Top Tips for Adopting a Cat

Looking to add a four-legged friend to your family? PSP members have all the recommendations you need for the purr-fect cat adoption, as well as thoughts on whether fostering might be right for you.

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Local places to adopt


Brooklyn Cat Cafe: “the Brooklyn Cat Cafe is where we recently adopted our two kittens.  However, their policy is that you can't adopt a sole kitten unless you already have a cat - they don't think kittens are happy by themselves without another cat around. They have a whole procedure, forms to fill out etc, and I've found the adoption coordinator very communicative.”


“There's a fee to go hang out there but it's a nonprofit group and it's a blast petting the cats as they wander, and the goal is to adopt them all out.”


PS9 Pets: “We just adopted two adorable kittens from PS9 Pets this week!  The day we went, they had two sets of kittens and were expecting two more sets that day.  I would suggest calling in advance to ask when they expect to have kittens available for adoption. They're a great pet supply store and usually have cats for adoption from different rescuers.”


Bushwick Street Cats: “Bushwick Street Cats is an incredible group of volunteers who rescue amazing cats and kittens in the Bushwick area. ... We got two little kitties there in July. They were vaccinated, neutered and microchipped upon delivery. I can't recall the cost, but think it's about $100 a cat. You can tell they are high quality, well-treated kitties.”


Infinite Hope: “they are a non-profit, volunteer-led organization that rescues cats and kittens in brooklyn. our cats could not be sweeter in nature, and i believe that's in large part because of the care and socialization given to them from a young age from the wonderful volunteers at infinite hope.”


“They are caring volunteers who take kittens off the streets and give them shots and lovingly socialize them. They also follow up with lots of care. Our adoptees needed an extra vet visit in the first few weeks and they covered the cost. They also helped me get them to the vet for neutering, when the time came.”


For Animals Inc.: “We got our amazing and incredibly friendly cat, Augie, through For Animals, Inc. this past May. They are based in Queens but always have some cats at the NYC Pets at 5th Avenue near President Street. I think the adoption fee was around $125 and our cat was already neutered/vaccinated and they covered those costs. You can find them on Facebook (very active) and they also have a web site.”


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“We absolutely loved the experience with For Animals, Inc. You can see a few of the cats they have at the NYC Pet store on 5th Avenue near President Street.


They always do foster-to-adopt first, and will take the cat back at any time for any reason (even years later, unfortunately I saw some cats on their Facebook in that situation), and they guarantee not to bring them to a kill shelter. The woman who runs it, Theresa, was super-responsive both before the adoption and while we were fostering. We knew just a few days in that we wanted to keep our sweet cat!”


K9 Kastle: “I foster cats for K9 Kastle and they do « foster to adopt ». They are a foster based organisation and organise adoption events in Unleashed by Petco on 7th Avenue sometimes on Sundays.” 


Brooklyn Animal Action


Cat Republic


Sean Casey Animal Rescue


In Our Hands Rescue


Animal Lighthouse Rescue






Animal Care Centers of NYC lets you search for available cats at adoption organizations in your borough.


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Considerations before you adopt


Some organizations will have you sign waivers and have your place inspected before allowing you to adopt.


“We had a bunch of forms to fill out making sure that we would do X, Y, and Z before we were allowed to adopt. The organization was worried that we had kittens on a terrace and that the ‘teenage cats’ could fall. We had to give assurances that we wouldn’t let the cats out until they were a year old.”


If you can accommodate two kitties rather than one, chances are both you and your pets will be happier in the long run.


“One major piece of advice is to adopt two kittens. Kittens are very social and need the company of each other. Taking care of two cats isn't much more work than taking care of one, but kitten generally tend to do better when they have a furry friend.”


“Kittens can get really lonely when they don't have a companion -- and it can cause odd social behavior as adults (and I say this from personal experience). If at all possible, try to adopt two. Vets will often give you a discount for bringing in two cats at once (the office visits).  It will mean, however, that the overall vet bills will be more expensive.  I would argue it is worth it for mentally healthier/happier cats.”


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“I agree with everyone who says it is better to adopt 2 kittens together especially if they are young kittens. They need to play together to develop their social skills. The best is to get 2 kittens who grow up together (same litter or different ones, it doesn't matter). If you adopt 1 kitten and realise he is bored, it is more difficult to introduce another kitten later on... If you adopt an adult cat, some like being with other cats, some prefer to be the only cat of the house. In my case for instance, Omelette is fine on its own as long as I play everyday with him, however, when he went to someone else with cats while I was away, he had a blast playing with other cats (we will never replace completely a furry friend)...”


“BTW, I hesitated over the 'two kitten' rule when I adopted in April, but now they're here, I do agree, because they're so bonded to each other, and spend a lot of time interacting.”


You can expect to pay between $100 and $150 per cat for the adoption.


“the adoption fee is partial reimbursement of vet bills for being micro-chipped, neutered, vaccinated, flea and worm treatment and tested. ... I think Omelette, the kitten I'm fostering, is at about $130 (as someone said, the older they are, the more difficult it is to adopt them out, so organisations need to reduce their fees even if these cats cost more as organisations continue having vet bills for them).”


In terms of cat breeds, you have tons of great options to choose from.


“I got a lot of great responses regarding my post looking for the most cat friendly breeds, here are some of the highlights:


On type of cat:

- several responses supporting adoption and many highlighting that it's less about the breed, so visit an adoption center and see which cat(s) come to you

- opt for a neutered male

- a few votes for adopting older cat rather than kittens - allows you to see their characteristics

- several votes for tabbies, especially male orange ones

- Maine Coons (x2 votes) - furry, friendly lap cats

- ragdoll

- Scottish Fold - relaxed, social

- Burmese (particularly the sables) - affectionate, intelligent, loyal

- Ococat - smart, playful, active, cuddly - require a lot of attention though

- Russian Blue - social, chatty, and hypoallergenic”


Considering fostering?


Fostering a cat can be a great option if you have love and TLC to spare but don't want to permanently commit to a pet. PSP members have shared the following thoughts on the ups and downs of fostering:


"Take all this with a grain of salt, as it's been a decade since I fostered, but...

I loved fostering because I got to meet so many kitties! I found that, if I went into my foster with that mentality - I'm a part of their journey toward finding a new home, and once they do, I'll have a new kitty to help - it made it much easier to hand them back over when their time with me was up. With any luck, you'll wind up working with an organization that can give you updates on the cats when they do get adopted, so you and your kids can know that the cats you've loved have found their forever homes. It's so rewarding!

I never felt any pressure to adopt the cats that I was fostering, but nor did I feel any shame if I decided to keep one (though I never did). There was an aw-shucks warmth toward those families who just loved a cat too much to give it up, but all the same I got the sense that fosters are such a valuable resource that most organizations would gently prefer you not to keep the cat.

Cons are that, at the organization I was working with, most fosters need help in some way. My first foster had an eye infection that was too contagious to have him at the shelter; my second and third fosters were kittens that were too young to be fixed. They all needed a little extra TLC, which I was more than happy to provide, but you should be prepared for that possibility.

You should definitely talk to potential foster organizations, as each group might have different expectations, requirements, and types of cats in need of fostering, and see if any of them are the right fit for you."


"I also fostered after losing my boy in February of 2020. I fostered several kittens and found it to be a wonderful way to grieve while helping other kitties. I worked with Flatbush Cats and Brooklyn Animal Action. Both are great organizations that go the extra mile for the cats. They are flexible to work with and will give you cats to foster based on your capabilities and situation. There is no expectation for you to adopt. In fact, there was always a foster home shortage during the year I fostered.

I found it difficult to give up the cats when they were adopted. Some of them stayed with me for months. However, I was able to interview the potential adopters and give input on who I thought would provide a good home. I also was able to check in on the kitties after they went to their new home. All of this was optional. You can be as involved as you want.

Ultimately, I adopted two cats, but I always knew that I would eventually adopt."


Related resources on PSP

Member reviews for Animal Shelters

Wanna Adopt a Dog? Here's Some Advice