Purrfectly Picked How to Adopt a Cat in Singapore
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Purrfectly Picked: How to Adopt a Cat in Singapore

Wondering where to find stray cats in Singapore and if you can adopt them?

You’ll often spot adorable strays roaming around neighbourhoods, parks, and public spots in the Lion City. These resilient felines are born from abandoned or lost domestic cats and have mastered the art of surviving on the streets for generations.

Thankfully, the Singaporean government and animal welfare groups are on the case with helpful initiatives. Plus, there are fantastic animal shelters and rescue organisations dedicated to finding them forever homes–like yours!

How do you adopt a cat in Singapore?

— From kittensanctuary.sg

Level Grade
DifficultyRelatively easy ●●○○○
Time requiredFrom a few days to a couple of weeks
Things you need
  • ID bearing picture and age
  • Proof of address like a utility bill
  • Filled out adoption application form
  • Landlord’s consent (if applicable)
  • Employment/financial information
  • Personal references for cat ownership suitability
  • Written consent to home visit (if applicable)
  • Adoption fee (if applicable)
  • Now, let’s break down the steps to make the cat adoption process a less complicated one.

    Step 1: Research and Prepare

    — From catwelfaresociety 

    It’s easy enough to want a cat to live permanently in your home. It’s another thing to be prepared and do adequate research so you’ll be a responsible cat carer.

    As a future cat owner, it’s your job to do thorough research and preparation. Here are some essential aspects to focus on

    ✔ Understanding cat care – Educate yourself about the basics of cat care, including feeding, grooming, litter box training, and common health issues. 

    Knowing how to meet their physical and emotional needs will make the transition smoother for both you and the cat.

    ✔ Your lifestyle – Consider your lifestyle and daily routine. Cats require time, attention, and affection, so ensure you have enough time to spend with your feline friend. 

    ✔ Financial commitment – Owning a cat involves expenses such as food, litter, toys, and veterinary care. Assess your budget to ensure you can provide for your cat’s needs throughout their life.

    ✔ Allergies and other health concerns – Check if anyone in your household has allergies to cats to avoid potential health issues.

    ✔ Living situation – If you are renting, confirm that your landlord allows pets. Also, assess your living environment to ensure it’s safe and suitable for a cat.

    ✔ Family/roommate compatibility – Discuss the idea of adopting a cat with all members of your household to ensure everyone is on board and prepared for the responsibilities.

    ✔ Choosing the right cat for you – Research different cat breeds and temperaments to find a cat that aligns well with your lifestyle and personality.

    ✔ Cat-proofing your home – Before bringing a cat home, pet-proof your living space to remove any potential hazards or dangerous items.

    ✔ Adoption process – Familiarise yourself with the adoption process, requirements of different shelters, and the necessary documents you might need.

    ✔ Post-adoption plans – Plan for the initial adjustment period and decide how you will introduce your new cat to your home and existing pets (if any).

    Step 2: Choose a Shelter

    — From keepcatssg

    Choosing a pet shelter in Singapore is an important decision, as it can greatly influence your adoption experience and the well-being of the cat you’ll bring into your home. 

    Here are some well-known animal shelters and organisations that you can consider:

    • Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), adoption fee from S$25: SPCA Singapore is one of the oldest and most well-known animal welfare organisations in the country. The group has a variety of cats and other animals available for adoption.
    • Cat Welfare Society (CWS), adoption fee from S$40: CWS is dedicated to promoting the welfare of community cats in Singapore. It has a fostering program and an adoption program for cats rescued from various situations.
    • Animal Lovers League (ALL), no adoption fee: ALL is a non-profit animal shelter that rescues and rehomes cats and other animals. It has many animals available for adoption and focuses on giving a second chance to strays and abandoned pets.
    • Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), adoption fee from S$300: While ASD primarily focuses on dogs, it occasionally has cats available for adoption as well. It’s a reputable organisation that rescues and rehomes both dogs and cats.
    • Purely Adoptions, adoption fee from S$100: Purely Adoptions is an animal welfare group that has cats and kittens available for adoption. It rescues and rehomes animals in need of loving homes.
    • Love Kuching Project, adoption fee from S$65: Love Kuching Project is a non-profit rescue group that specialises in rescuing and rehoming abandoned and abused cats and kittens.
    • Noah’s Ark Cares, adoption fee from S$40: Noah’s Ark Cares is an animal welfare organisation that rescues and rehomes both cats and dogs. The centre has a range of animals available for adoption.

    Additionally, you can check their websites or social media pages for updates on available cats and adoption events. 

    Step 3: Visit the Shelter

    — From project_luni

    It’s essential to contact the shelters or organisations directly to inquire about their adoption process, the cats available for adoption, and any specific requirements they might have. 

    Even better, visit the shelter in person to observe how they interact with the animals and how the animals respond to the shelter staff. This can give you valuable insights into their dedication and care for the animals. 

    Here are some things to remember during your visit:

    • Observe and interact – Take some time to observe the cats in the shelter. Pay attention to their behaviour, temperament, and how they interact with shelter staff and visitors. If allowed, interact with the cats to see if there is a connection between you and any of them.
    • Ask questions – Don’t hesitate to ask the shelter staff or volunteers any questions you may have about the cats, the adoption process, and the shelter’s policies. They can provide valuable information and help you make an informed decision.
    • Respect boundaries – Some cats may be shy or nervous around strangers. Respect their space and let them come to you if they are comfortable. Avoid forcing interactions with cats that seem fearful or stressed.
    • Take your time – Spend enough time at the shelter to get a good sense of the cats available for adoption. Rushing the process may lead to making a decision that may not be the best fit for you or the cat.
    • Consider your lifestyle – Keep in mind your living situation, daily routine, and any existing pets you may have. Choose a cat whose personality and needs align well with your lifestyle.
    • Ask about health and behaviour – Inquire about the health and behaviour history of the cats you are interested in. Knowing about any medical conditions or behavioural issues can help you prepare for their care.
    • Plan multiple visits – If possible, visit the shelter on multiple occasions to spend time with the cats you are interested in. This will help you get to know them better and build a stronger bond.
    • Understand adoption fees and procedures – Familiarise yourself with the adoption fees and procedures of the shelter. Be prepared to provide the necessary documents and complete the adoption process if you find the right match.
    • Bring family members – If you have other family members or someone else living with you, consider bringing them along to ensure everyone is comfortable with the decision to adopt a cat.
    • Be patient! – Finding the perfect feline companion may take time. Be patient and trust your instincts when choosing the right cat for you and your family.

    Step 4: Get Interviewed

    — From thecatteryproject

    Preparing for an interview when adopting a cat in Singapore is essential to showcase your commitment and suitability as a responsible pet owner. It demonstrates your dedication and readiness to provide a forever home for a cat in need. 

    Plus, it increases the chances of successful adoption and brings you one step closer to welcoming your new furry friend into your home! Here are some tips to help you get ready:

    • Research your chosen shelter. Familiarise yourself with the shelter’s mission, values, and adoption process. Understand its requirements and what the staff expects from potential adopters.
    • Be patient and respectful. Understand that the interview process is meant to ensure the best match between you and the cat. Be patient, respectful, and receptive to any feedback or advice provided by the shelter staff.
    • Prepare questions. Think of relevant questions to ask during the interview. Inquire about the cat’s health, temperament, and any special needs they might have.
    • Understand cat care. Demonstrate your knowledge of basic cat care, including feeding, grooming, litter box training, and regular veterinary check-ups. Show that you are ready to meet the cat’s physical and emotional needs.
    • Provide proof of residency. If you are renting your home, bring proof of permission from your landlord to have a pet.
    • Provide proof of financial preparedness. Show that you are financially prepared to take care of the cat. Discuss your budget for cat-related expenses, including food, litter, toys, and medical care.
    • Share your lifestyle. Show how a cat will fit into your lifestyle. Be prepared to discuss your daily routine, work schedule, and how much time you can dedicate to caring for the cat.
    • Share your pet history (if any). If you have previous experience with pets, be ready to discuss your past pet ownership and how you handled their care.
    • Be enthusiastic. Express your genuine love for cats and enthusiasm about providing a loving home for the cat you wish to adopt.
    • Address any concerns. If the shelter raises any concerns during the interview, be open and honest in addressing them. Show that you are willing to overcome any challenges to provide a loving and safe home for the cat.

    Step 5: Expect a Home Visit

    — From thecatpeoplesg 

    The home visit is conducted to ensure that you can provide a safe, loving, and suitable forever home for the cat. If your home is found to be suitable, you’ll move forward with the adoption process and soon have a new feline friend to welcome into your family.

    Here’s what you can generally expect during a home visit:

    • Scheduled appointment – The shelter will typically schedule the home visit at a mutually convenient time. It’s essential to be punctual and prepared for the visit.
    • Living space assessment – The representative will assess your living space to ensure it is safe for a cat. They may look for potential hazards, such as toxic plants, exposed wires, or any items that could be harmful to a curious cat.
    • Living conditions inspection – The representative will observe the overall cleanliness and condition of your home. They’ll want to ensure that the cat will be living in a healthy and hygienic environment.
    • Pet-proofing suggestions – They may check if you have taken measures to pet-proof your home, such as securing windows and balconies and keeping dangerous substances out of reach.
    • Family member interactions – If you have family members living with you, the representative may want to meet them to ensure everyone is on board with adopting a cat.
    • Existing pet interactions – If you have other pets, they may assess how they interact with each other and whether they will be compatible with the new cat.
    • Preparedness assessment – The representative may ask about your preparations for the cat, such as having the necessary supplies (food, litter, toys, etc.) and a designated space for the cat to settle in.
    • Further Q&As – The representative may have some questions for you about your experience with pets, your daily routine, and your plans for caring for the cat.

    Step 6: Pay the Adoption Fee

    — From meownistryofmeow

    If the shelter asks for an adoption fee, you can ask the staff about the following:

    • A clear explanation of the fees – The shelter staff should provide a clear explanation of the adoption fee and what it covers. The fee typically includes the cost of initial vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and other medical expenses incurred while the cat was in the shelter’s care.
    • Payment options – Ask about the accepted payment methods. Most shelters accept cash, credit/debit cards, or online transfers. Be sure to check with the shelter beforehand to ensure you have the appropriate payment method available.
    • Official receipt – After making the payment, you should receive a receipt or adoption agreement as proof of payment and acknowledge the completion of the adoption process.
    • An adoption kit (if available) – Some shelters provide adopters with an adoption kit or starter pack that may include useful information about cat care, vouchers for pet supplies, or samples of cat food.
    • The cat’s medical records – You should receive the cat’s medical records, detailing the vaccinations they have received, any medical treatments, microchipping, and their spaying/neutering status.
    • Adoption certificate – Some shelters may also provide an adoption certificate or a personalised record of the cat’s adoption date and your name as the adopter. 

    Step 7: Sign the Adoption Contract

    — From babzglobal

    It’s essential for adopters to carefully read and understand the adoption contract before signing it. If there are any questions or concerns, they should be addressed with the shelter staff before proceeding with the adoption.

    While the specific content may vary between different shelters, a cat adoption contract generally includes the following elements:

    • Adopter information – The contract will start by stating the adopter’s full name, contact information, and address.
    • Cat information – The contract will specify the details of the adopted cat, including their name (if available), breed (if known), age, and any distinguishing features.
    • Adoption fee (if any) – The contract will outline the adoption fee paid by the adopter and what it covers (e.g. vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and medical expenses).
    • Cat’s health status – The contract may include information about the cat’s health at the time of adoption. It might mention if the cat has any known medical conditions or is under treatment.
    • Spaying/neutering agreement – The contract may contain a clause stating that the adopter agrees to have the cat spayed or neutered if it has not already been done before adoption.
    • Adopter responsibilities – The contract will outline the adopter’s responsibilities, including providing proper care, shelter, food, water, and medical attention as needed.
    • Indoor/outdoor living – Some contracts may specify whether the cat should be kept as an indoor-only cat or if limited outdoor access is allowed.
    • Transfer of ownership – The contract will state that the cat’s ownership is transferred from the shelter to the adopter upon signing the agreement.
    • Return policy – The contract may include a return policy outlining the circumstances under which the adopter can return the cat to the shelter if necessary.
    • Liability and indemnity – The contract may include a clause addressing the adopter’s liability for any damage caused by the cat and indemnifying the shelter from any claims arising from the adoption.
    • Termination clause – Some contracts may include conditions under which the shelter can terminate the adoption if the adopter does not meet their responsibilities or violates the terms of the contract.
    • Signatures – The contract should be signed by both the adopter and a representative of the shelter, indicating their mutual agreement and acceptance of the terms.

    Step 8: Bring Your Cat Home!

    — From thecatographer_sg 

    Bringing an adopted cat home for the first time can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience for both you and the cat. Here’s what you can expect during the initial moments:

    • An adjustment period – The cat may feel overwhelmed and anxious in their new environment. Expect them to be cautious and reserved as they explore their new surroundings. 
    • Some hiding and shyness – It’s common for a new cat to hide in a safe spot, such as under furniture or in a quiet corner. Give them time and space to come out at their own pace.
    • Limited interactions – The cat may not immediately warm up to you or other family members. Avoid forcing interaction and let them approach you when they feel comfortable. 
    • Exploration and scent marking – Cats use scent marking to feel secure in new spaces. Expect them to rub their face against objects to leave their scent, indicating ownership of their territory.

    Step 9: Adjust to Your New Cat

    — From catparadisesg

    Now, you’re ready to give your cat its best life

    Remember that every cat is unique, and the adjustment period may vary. Some cats may acclimate quickly, while others may take weeks or even months to fully settle in.

    But don’t worry because there are some tried-and-tested hacks to getting your new feline friend to adjust quickly to their new home.

    ✔ Get them used to the feeding area and litter box. Show your new cat the location of the litter box and their food and water dishes. Cats may be more willing to eat and use the litter box when they feel safe.

    ✔ Strive for a quiet environment. Keep noise and activity levels low during the first few days to help the cat adjust.

    ✔ Slowly introduce your other pets to the new cat. If you have other fur babies, introduce them to the new cat gradually and under supervision. Give them time to get used to each other’s presence.

    ✔ Be patient and give it some time. The ideal scenario is an instant rapport between your cat and everyone else at home. But building trust and forming a bond with your new cat takes time and patience. Allow them to approach you on their terms and offer gentle interactions.

    ✔ Establish a routine. Cats thrive on consistency to feel secure, so try to stick to regular feeding and playtime schedules.

    ✔ Be observant. Keep a close eye on the cat’s behaviour and monitor their eating, drinking, and litter box habits. If you notice any concerning signs, consult a veterinarian.

    ✔ Keep your cat engaged. Provide toys and enrichment activities to keep the cat entertained and mentally stimulated.

    Step 10: Seek Post-Adoption Support

    — From muffin042017

    The cat adoption process in Singapore doesn’t stop as soon as your new furbaby starts feeling right at home. 

    Seeking post-cat adoption support in Singapore is essential to ensure a smooth transition for both you and your newly adopted feline friend. Here are some tips on seeking support after adopting a cat:

    • Reach out to the animal shelter or rescue organisation – The first point of contact for post-adoption support is the shelter or rescue organisation from which you adopted the cat. The staff could offer advice, guidance, and resources to help you with any questions or concerns you have after bringing the cat home.
    • Request for cat care guidelines – Request care guidelines specific to your adopted cat. These guidelines may cover feeding, grooming, litter box training, and behaviour tips.
    • Ask for medical assistance – If your cat has any pre-existing medical conditions or requires further medical attention, contact the shelter to discuss treatment options or to arrange a follow-up with a veterinarian.
    • Seek behavioural support – If you encounter behavioural issues with your cat, seek advice from the shelter or a professional animal behaviourist. They can provide insights and strategies to address behavioural challenges.
    • Join pet forums and groups – Look for online pet forums and social media groups where you can connect with other pet owners and seek advice.
    • Look for local veterinarians – Establish a relationship with a reputable veterinarian in your area. They can provide regular check-ups, vaccinations, and medical care for your cat.
    • Canvass pet supply storesPet supplies stores often have knowledgeable staff who can assist you with questions related to cat care, food, toys, and other essential items.
    • Utilise online resources – Look for online resources such as articles, blogs, and videos on cat care and behaviour to educate yourself further.
    • Sign up for pet events – Attend local pet events or workshops where you can meet other cat owners and gain valuable insights.