Adoption FAQs

Adoption FAQs

Q. What kind of feline is available for adoption from Town Cats?

A: At Town Cats, diversity is celebrated! We have all different sizes, shapes, ages, hair length, colors and personalities. We get mixed breeds and sometimes even pure bred Maine Coon, Siamese, Persian, Russian Blue, Ragdoll, Burmese, Abssynian, Bengal, and American Shorthair cats. We have rescued animals from every situation imaginable. Many of them come from other shelters in Santa Clara County, some from the streets, some from abusive or neglectful situations and some who are surrendered by their current guardians for a variety of reasons. We have kittens in foster care and most of our special adults reside at our shelter where they live in a free-roaming environment. We also have many “special needs” cats that have physical disabilities, severe shyness, advanced age or behavior issues because Town Cats is one of the few rescue groups that will take in these special cases.


The majority of our cats and kittens are happy, well-adjusted animals just waiting for the perfect home to adopt them. Since the majority of people want to adopt a kitten, we have some gorgeous, loving teenage and adult cats who are overlooked simply due to their age–these older animals are often the perfect match for special adopters! Town Cats provides long term care to those cats who do not get adopted. Euthanasia is a last resort that is considered only in case of extreme medical necessity, and to prevent suffering due to illness or injury. Unlike many animal shelters, Town Cats will NOT euthanize cats for simple medical conditions that are not life threatening such as ringworm, ear mites, upper respiratory infection (URI), diarrhea, etc. Nor do we discriminate against the more serious but often manageable diseases of feline leukemia (FeLV) or feline immune deficiency virus (FIV). We also do NOT euthanize for behavior issues. We think all cats have a lot to offer and just need the right home to lead a full life.


Q. What are the costs involved in adopting a cat from Town Cats?

A. The Adoption Fee helps to cover the cost of initial medical care and the daily costs of caring for each cat during their stay at Town Cats or a foster home. Although the adoption fee helps, it does not come close to covering the costs involved in caring for the large number of felines in our care, especially in the case of those with medical conditions or long term residents. It allows us to defray costs associated with spaying or neutering all cats and kittens who pass through Town Cats’ doors to help us reduce the homeless cat population. Although it may seem an easy option to obtain a free cat from a friend, or out of the newspaper, the initial costs of all the medical work that every one of our kitties have already had done at time of adoption is far greater than the adoption fee we charge. The adoption fee is also an indicator of the commitment of an adopter.


  • $150 for a single Kitten (Up to 6 Months Old) Adopt a pair of kittens on the same day and pay $225.
  • $100 for a single Adult (Age 6 Months to 8 years). Adopt a pair of adults on the same day and pay $125.
  • Senior cats over the age of 8 are $50.
  • Premium adoption fees for particular cats may apply


Click here to go straight to our Adoption Application that you can download and bring with you when you come meet our cats or you can email your application to: adoptions@towncats.org


Our working cats are placed for a donation to cover our medical and caretaking costs and these donations vary depending on how many cats one adopts.


Some of our special needs or long term residents at the shelter have their adoption fees covered by sponsors, and so their adoptions are at no cost (although we do ask for a donation of whatever the adopters can commit to).


Our adoption fees help pay for the following medical work and care:


Spay/Neuter: every single cat and kitten is spayed or neutered before you take him or her home. We spay/neuter kittens when they weigh a minimum of 2.5 lbs which is usually about 8-9 weeks old. If you want to reserve a kitten and wait until he/she is spayed/neutered, you may begin by viewing the kittens in the “available soon” section and emailing us to make an appointment. Otherwise, every cat listed on our site is spayed or neutered and ready to go home today! (Other exceptions may include Referrals, which have NOT been seen by Town Cats veterinarians or staff, and are listed by us to assist people in rehoming cats.)


Deworming, Defleaing: we deworm all cats and kittens with Strongid and/or Drontal for tape, round and other common worms/parasites. We deflea all cats and kittens with Advantage, Frontline, Program, Flea Bathing (depending on age) and/or Revolution. We check all cats and kittens’ ears and treat for ear mites as needed too.


Vaccinations: we vaccinate all cats and kittens for FVRCP at a minimum for the first shot and sometimes the second and even third shot, depending how long we’ve had them and how old they were upon arrival. Kittens under 4 months old require a series of 3 FVRCP vaccinations, at 3-4 week intervals. Adult cats and kittens over 4 months old require 2 FVRCP vaccinations.


Other Medical Work: when we receive a cat at Town Cats, each one is checked by our vet. We do all necessary surgeries for broken limbs, illness or disease, dental work, and long term medical care for the senior cats. Since we are No Kill, our residents may be with us for much longer stays than in traditional shelters. We do not euthanize because of illness but instead we treat them, so our medical costs are much higher than traditional shelters. We also purchase special foods as needed for specific conditions, again raising our costs.


Maintenance/Daily Care: our cats and kittens use 500 pounds of litter, 300 pounds of dry food, and 200 large cans of wet adult and kitten food weekly. Our adoption fees and donations help pay for these costs.


Microchipping: our cats and kittens are microchipped, ensuring that if your pet is lost, they can be reunited with you! (This is especially important to have in case of natural disasters, as observed when dealing with pets lost during the tumult of hurricane Katrina.)


All known or permanent medical and behavior conditions, if any, are disclosed to adopters to ensure that the best care can be given in the future. Remember, we want to get the best match possible for both adopter and feline!


Q. What should I know before Adopting?

A. The most important thing to consider is that this will be a commitment, both financially and emotionally. If you are not 100% certain you are ready to adopt, please wait until you are sure. These cats need a permanent loving home, and shouldn’t be shuffled around from one adopter to another until they find the right home. Taking the wrong cat could stop the right person from finding him, which is not good for anyone. It’s hard on both adopters and cats to to return a cat because not enough time was taken to ensure a good match. A new addition to your family may need patience and attention, so be sure you are willing to devote that time while your new friend learns to accept his or her new home. As with humans, not all cats are alike; some will move right on in like they have always lived there; others will need a month or more to really feel secure and settled.


The rewards of seeing a shy, scared cat bloom and become a member of the family is worth every day you have to wait. Imagine if you were suddenly removed from everything and everyone you know, surrounded by unfamiliar people and in a location that is totally alien. Wouldn’t you need some time to re-adjust? Town Cats is more than happy to advise you on the best approach to ensure you and your feline settle in and become best buddies as soon as possible. In extreme circumstances, if a cat will just not adjust to his or her new surroundings nd if all parties agree that it is not a good match, then it’s in the best interest of the cat to return him. We will then try to help you find another cat who is better suited for your lifestyle and situation.


Some of these cats have already lived in other homes and are suffering the effects of being abandoned by their loved ones. If these cats are new to the shelter environment, they may well be less affectionate while there when you visit them. Please bear in mind that in most cases these cats will have a complete turnaround in personality and affectionate nature when they settle into a new home and learn to trust their new family.  It will bring you great happiness to see your cat thrive under your loving care. It’s priceless.


Q. What do you need to know about me before I can adopt?

A. Town Cats begins the adoption procedure with an application – click here to view the application.  You can email it to adoptions@towncats.org, or just come to one of our adoption fairs and fill out the application there.  After pre-screening we’ll interview you and key members of your household to ensure that everyone is happy with the commitment required. If you have a particular cat or kitten in mind that you have seen on the website or at an adoption fair, you’ll be given the opportunity to spend some time getting acquainted to ensure that the right choice is made. Sometimes it’s not the adopter doing the choosing! We have some kitties who are more than happy to take the choice out of adopters’ hands and tell them who they are taking home!


Q. Does everyone who applies get approved?

A. Most potential adopters who apply will be approved, although not everyone will be. We are happy to accept applications from different lifestyles and situations. Ultimately our main concern is to find a loving permanent home for all of the cats and kittens in our care, and on occasions we do have to turn down adopters who we feel are not ready for the commitment required or we do not think are a good match for the selected kitty. In our experience, the wrong home is worse than shelter life or foster care and we would rather keep a cat in a long-term foster home, or in the shelter where they are safe, warm, fed and most of all loved and well treated. These felines have been rescued, so they have already experienced much change in their lives. We try to prevent shuffling them around to help them feel secure, and to prevent future behavior problems due to excessive stress.


Not all animals are appropriate for every adopter or living situation, so please respect our advice if we think that the animal you have selected would not be a good match. Since most of these felines are in foster homes and in a non-caged shelter, we know our animals very well and know their needs best. If we do not feel a match will work, this is not an indication of our thoughts about an adopter personally, we just want to do what is best for both feline and adopter. For instance, if an adopter has small children in the household and has selected a kitty who we know is too shy or not good with small children, we must decline that adoption. The adopter would be happier with an outgoing cat or one that lives well with children, and the feline would be happier living in a quieter, less active household.


Q. Will the cat or kitten I adopt already be spayed or neutered?

A. Yes! As a rescue group, our responsibility is to prevent any of the felines we rescue from ever reproducing. We want to ensure that none of our felines contribute to the tragic problem of too many pets and not enough homes in this country. Kittens are held by Town Cats until they are old enough (based on weight and health) to be altered, which usually occurs at approximately 8 weeks of age. Spayed and neutered pets make happier, healthier and better behaved family members too! (Note that if you decide to work with one of the people who has listed a feline under our Referrals for rehoming, they may or may not be spayed or neutered. Please do the right thing, and spay/neuter that pet if you adopt it!)


Q. Will my cat or kitten be microchipped when I adopt?

A. Yes, Town Cats microchips all cats and kittens before adoption. The cost of registration is included as well.


Q. How do I know which cat or kitten is right for me?

A. We are happy to make recommendations based on the information in your application. We want to be sure that the adoption will be the beginning of a long and happy life together. On occasion cats are returned because an adopter is not able to provide the time and patience necessary, or a cat just does not fit in with their lifestyle. We do our best to avoid this, as the upheaval can be devastating to both the cat and family members. Please be very sure you are ready to adopt before you take the final step.


Q. Someone in my family has allergies, can I still adopt?

A. In most cases if the adopting family knows how to deal with pet allergies and is willing to incur the time and finances involved, we’ll approve these adoptions. Many people who have cat allergies can become accustomed to their cat in time. We’ll work with families to help find the perfect feline for you. Despite common misconception, hair length has little to do with cat allergies; it’s the dander that contain the allergens and cause a reaction in the sufferer. Shedding has a lot to do with diet, genetics and stress-levels. Long-haired cats can be shaved by a professional groomer during the warmer months to keep hair shorter.


Various methods to keep allergies under control include HEPA filters, regular laundering and vacuuming of pet areas, cat wipes to reduce dander, regular bathing and brushing of your feline, professional groomers, keeping cats out of bedrooms in extreme cases, and of course medical intervention such as antihistamines. We have asthmatics with cat allergies who foster and adopt. The other alternative is to adopt an outdoor cat if your location is suitable and safe. These cats require the same level of care, but are either not as affectionate towards people as most indoor cats, or have a behavior problem that is better accommodated outdoors, such as litter box issues. Please contact us about adopting an outdoor cat if this might be better for you.


Q. Where can I find your cats and kittens that are looking for homes?

A. Most of our cats and kittens are listed on our website, but we still have a number of cats waiting to get posted at any given time, so contact us if you would like to have more adoptee information. We have Adoption Fairs every weekend at several different pet store locations in Silicon Valley. Locations and dates can be found here. Our shelter in Morgan Hill is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12-4pm.


Q. I already have a cat or dog, can I still adopt from Town Cats?

A. Yes, we have lots of cats and kittens who are living with other animals in their foster homes, and some of our shelter residents were in those environments before they came to us. Obviously time and care must be taken to introduce the new kitty to your family and existing pets, but with care and attention to the progress of individual animals, most of our cats will be quite happy to join a home with an existing family pet. Going slow is the key to pet introductions! We are more than happy to make recommendations on which of our special felines’ personalities would be best suited to your situation based on answers in your application, if you do not have a particular cat or kitten in mind, to help you find the perfect addition.


Q: I’ve never had a cat before, can I still adopt from Town Cats?

A. Yes, we encourage first time adopters. We are happy to help first-time cat guardians and we do our best to provide advice to any adopter with questions after adoption. We are continually adding new information and useful cat resource links to our website whenever we can.


Q. Where can I find more information about caring for my new cat if I adopt?

A. At the time of adoption Town Cats will provide you with an adoption packet containing valuable information about your new kitty and what to expect during this transition.  If you should encounter other questions along the way, please contact us. Additionally, your own veterinarian is a great place to seek advice; be sure to talk to them about any worries or questions you have when you take your kitty in for shots, check ups, etc.


Q. What do I do if I adopt and my cat or kitten becomes ill?

A. Town Cats tries to ensure that all cats are healthy when adopted, but as with humans, unpredictable illnesses and injuries do arise on occasion. We highly recommend that you consider some form of insurance for your new friend as veterinary bills can become expensive, and you never know when you might need it. Town Cats does not have the resources to cover lifetime medical bills on cats that have been adopted.


Q. Are there advantages to adopting an older cat?

A. Older cats are very rewarding! We would recommend an older cat for working families or more mature persons where their lifestyles require a feline companion who can spend more time alone or has a less active nature. Also, adult cats with known easygoing personalities or who crave lots of attention, are encouraged for families with very small, rambunctious children. This can prevent the child being mistakenly get scratched by a kitten that doesn’t have the patience for all the handling that little kids provide. In general, adult cats are less high-strung and have the great benefit of already having formed personalities so you can choose the right cat that exhibits the personality traits that suit you best.


Cats are born with certain personalities which can be enhanced and refined with love and attention from their guardian(s). However, it’s unlikely that a shy cat who will adore one or two quiet people will develop into an outgoing, highly confident cat that loves an active, noisy household. Although it may take a little longer for some adults to adjust to a new home, they have as much love to share as any young kitten, and possibly more gratitude. It’s a special and wonderful mutual gift to give a home to an adult cat, because most adopters gravitate to the babies.


Q. What is the best way to contact Town Cats about adopting or getting info on a cat I have seen on the website?

A. If you see a cat you are interested in, go ahead and apply online!  We will immediately receive the application and will contact you to set up a time for you to come and meet the cat.  You can also visit us during our open hours, or send us an email to gather more information. 


Q. Where can I find good deals on cat furniture and toys for my new feline friend?

A. Adopter Packs come with a discount voucher to one of the local stores where we hold our pet fairs. We recommend that our adopters consider the purchase of a tall, sturdy cat tree or some form of scratching post. Not only do cats love to be up high which provides them with a sense of security, but scratching and stretching is as natural to cats as breathing this furniture helps to prevent cats from using furniture and drapes. Short scratching posts are usually rejected by cats as they mature because they fall over when scratched on and cats need something sturdy to stretch and scratch on. There’s usually a solution to suit every budget, and we’d be happy to advise you on suitable furniture and toys when you adopt.