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Relinquishing Your Cat

Excuse Vs.Reason?

There are very many excuses given for relinquishing your cat; however, there are few valid reasons. Below are a few examples. You decide if you are dealing with an excuse or a valid reason:

Please don't give me away

There are only a few valid reasons for surrendering a cat. These include death of the guardian; serious physical or mental illness of the guardian; and other life altering circumstances. When a valid reason exists, typically the guardian has exhausted all possible solutions in an attempt to keep the kitty. Chances are that when a valid reason exists, the kitty or kitties have had a good home and have experienced a good quality of life. (If allergies are the reason you are relinquishing your cat, please visit ASPCA's website article on allergies and your companion animal at, go to Pet Care and Nutrition, click Other Pet Care Topics, click Pet Care Brochures, and click "Are You Allergic to Your Companion Animal?")

There are several excuses given for surrendering a kitty. We frequently hear that the owner is moving and cannot take the kitty with him/her. The truth is, with a little effort and consideration, the kitty could make the move with the guardian. Another frequently used excuse is that my husband (wife) girlfriend (boyfriend) doesn't like cats. It's not unusual for these relationships to end not long after the cat has been given up. We've certainly seen the human/animal bond outlast many human relationships. We've heard so many pathetic excuses for surrendering a kitty. None are good reasons. Usually the truth is that the guardian simply doesnít want the kitty anymore.


Unlike a valid reason, when an excuse is given, the kitty will probably be better off in another environment. No cat deserves to live with humans who donít want and respect him/her. If you find yourself giving an excuse, please recognize this. Examine your heart. When you took the kitty in to live with you, you made a commitment to this cat. . . to provide quality care to this cat for the duration of his/her lifetime (which could be twenty years or more).

We urge you to please reconsider your decision to give away your cat. We may be able to provide you with helpful advice about the issue or issues you are facing. Please look at the information on this website or contact us and ask us about your problem.

I Still Want to Relinquish My Cat. Now What?

If, after examining your conscience and your heart, you still wish to relinquish your cat, please be willing to take the time and make the effort necessary to find him/her a good loving forever home. . .this is the least you can do. . .and you owe it to your cat. . . and, please, please, never adopt (or buy) another animal. Cats are feeling, sentient beings. They are not property to be disposed of when it becomes inconvenient or difficult to provide for them. Some humans simply don't "get" this. Some humans should never have pets.

That being said, if you still want to relinquish your cat, we will try to help you by placing his/her name and information on our website. In addition, we have listed other actions you can take to place your cat in the good forever home he/she deserves. We do appreciate the fact that you are willing to take the time and make the effort necessary to find a good home. There is not enough of room for all the cats being surrendered by owners at our Animal Shelter here in Oklahoma City. There are not enough people available to adopt all the cats who are surrendered by owners. So the majority of cats are euthanized. Finding a home yourself is the right thing to do. Don't place this obligation on over-worked employees and volunteers in our Shelter and local rescue groups. This is your responsibility. Don't be unrealistic and think that your kitty will be one of the lucky ones to survive if you surrender it at the Shelter. You may think that your cat is so sweet or so pretty or so special that he/she will not be euthanized. Thousands of sweet, pretty, and special cats are euthanized each year in the United States. There are just not enough homes for all the cats who are needing placement. It's most likely that he/she will be "put to sleep" within 24 hours of being taken to the shelter. Likewise, cats who are dumped in the country are usually eaten by coyotes within the first 24 hours of being dumped. . . certainly not a pretty way to die. . .

Suggestions for Finding a Good Forever Home for Your Kitty:

When placing your cat with a person you don't know, please check out references of this person before letting that person have your cat. Animal dealers, cult worshippers, gang members, and other humans who will hurt your cat do exist and are a real threat to cats. They often come across as nice, caring, believable people and say they will give your kitty a good home. . .so BEWARE!!!.

Check out personal, professional, and veterinary references of any potential adopters. Make a home visit and evaluate the home situation. You can't be too careful! We have a veterinary reference form provided on this web site. You are welcome and encouraged to use that form. You are also encouraged to use the information provided on our adoption form available on this web site.

It is highly recommended that you ask for an adoption fee for your kitty. This will help safeguard you from adopting to an animal dealer or other undesirable person. If you are uncomfortable asking for money, then request that a donation be made to this rescue or another non-profit cat rescue organization.

1. Check with friends, family members, and co-workers first to see if anyone can take your kitty.

2. List your kitty on our web site. (and the web sites of other local animal rescue groups and shelters.) To be listed on our web site, the kitty must be spayed/or neutered; must be tested for Feline Leukemia (FeLeuk) and Feline Immune Deficiency Virus (FIV); and must be current on vaccinations. Please send us a picture or pictures of the kitty and provide us with pertinent information, including age, color, personality traits, medical history and social history.

3. Design a flier that has a picture of your kitty and a heading that states he/she needs a new home. Include any details about your kitty, including age and gender, personality traits, and any other information you feel is pertinent. Place these fliers in veterinarian offices, in schools, in your work place, etc. Distribute them at church or other social events.

4. Place an ad in the paper. Do not state that the Kitty is "Free to a Good Home". Free to Good Home ads often attract animal dealers who turn around and sell your kitty to research laboratories. . .a miserable existence for any living creature.

These animal dealers are real professional con artists and come across as nice, caring people. . . usually with great stories of what a good life they will give your kitty. . .often they say they live in the country and will provide a great country home for the kitty. It's best to put a price on the kitty to make the kitty less attractive to these dealers.

5. Some local rescues and shelters will keep a list of kitties available for adoption and who are not in their program. Check with local rescues and shelters to see if any are willing to do this.

6. If your cat is a purebred, such as a Siamese, Abyssinian, Ragdoll, Persian, etc., it is recommended you contact these breed specific rescues in regards to placing your cats. These rescue groups can easily be found on the Internet.

Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to read this. It often takes time, commitment, and patience to find a good home for your kitty. But it is possible. Please don't give up! You owe it to your kitty!

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