Older Cats Need Loving, Responsible Homes, Too - Find a Home For the Cat Who Shows Up at Your Door

Kittens are not the only ones who need responsible, loving homes. A lot of older cats do, too. If a stray cat turns up at your door and you cannot seem to find an owner, or if you inherit a cat from a sick relative, if you end up with an older cat for another reason, or for whatever reason, you can no longer take care of your own cat, you want to find the best home you can. Adult cats have the the lowest rate of adoption of all animals in the shelter, so they can be very difficult to place. If you are patient, however, you may find a home for the older cat. Here are some tips to follow:

- Do everything you can to make the cat more adoptable. The pet has a much better chance of being adopted if its vaccinations are current, it uses the litter box reliably, and if it is spayed or neutered.

- Ask a price. People will show more interest for something they have to pay for. A price tag also lessens the possibility that the cat will be sold to a research lab, or even to people who use them to train dogs for fighting (which is more common than you think). A good general rule is to charge enough to cover vaccinations and/or the cost of spaying and neutering.

- Do not lie about the cat's problems, or why he is being placed. Although finding a new home for a pet that has behavioral problems takes longer, you can still do so. But the person who gets a pet without warning of a problem is likely to bring it back, take it to the shelter, or give it away to someone else (and maybe not to a good home at all).

- Spread the news about the cat. Make flyers and take out an ad in the newspaPer, and on the internet. Post the flyers everywhere you can, such as bulletin boards at work, at pet stores, and at your veterinarian's office. Give them to family and friends to post at work, also. The more exposure you can get, the better.

- Ask lots of questions to perspective adopters, such as whether they have had pets, and particularly cats, before, and what happened to them. Just make sure you are dealing with someone who understands the long-term commitment involved in owning a pet.

- Do not take the cat somewhere and let him loose. The lives of feral cats are full of suffering, disease, or accidents. Do not put any cat through this horror. Take the cat to a shelter if all chances for an adoption are gone. Even though the cat will have a very small chance at adoption there, it is better to give it a painless death than a short life of suffering and fear.