Sometimes an owner can find themselves unable to continue to provide a home for a cat. The reasons vary but can include: illness, developing an allergy to cat dander, having a new baby, being unable to meet vet bills or moving to a new home where keeping a cat is not possible. Some owners cannot deal with the behavioural problems which can develop in cats experiencing stress. Whatever the reasons are, it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that their cat lands in safe hands and that he/she is safe from harm.

Surrender your cat

When surrendering your cat to any shelter, please ensure the cat is:

  • Fully vaccinated and up to date with the vaccines
  • Flea and worm treated
  • FIV and FeLV tested
  • Microchipped
  • Neutered
  • Health checked

If an owner has neglected providing the above to their cat, shelters are still going to help the animal, however you are not just asking to find a loving home for your cat, but you are asking them to cover your cat’s veterinary bills, food and boarding and the cost of rehoming. Cats need a course of vaccinations that are taken 3 weeks apart, which means that your cat will have to stay in our care for nearly a month. In Bushey, the veterinary cost of admitting a single healthy cat into our care is approximately £250, plus food and boarding. Our vet offers us 20% charity discount.

If you think shelters are being unhelpful by being reluctant to take on the responsibility for owned pets, the best way to help is to use your local vet and cover these fees or if this is an emergency situation, make a donation which covers as much of these fees as you genuinely can afford. If this is not something you can cover, your cat is still going to get help. We do not mean to shame those pet owners who have found themselves in financial difficulties. We simply need to clarify that it is not just about “finding a good home”. No cat can be rehomed simply on the owner’s word that they are healthy, and no cat can be rehomed without being neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, flea and worm treated, health checked and blood tested for FIV/FeLV viruses. This generates significant cost which the shelter has to cover.

Waiting list

All shelters operate on waiting lists and it is important that you register your cat at as many rescue places as you can. These can be found on

NEVER expect that your cat will be taken on immediately and NEVER leave it to the last minute to secure a place for your cat. On average, waiting time for rescue space is approximately 4 weeks, during which time it is still your responsibility to provide care for your cat. If desperate, you may want to seek alternative accommodation for your cat such as a cattery. Please remember that sometimes the only thing that the shelters can offer as a solution to your problem is to euthanise your cat. You can avoid this by planning ahead.  Some owners claim that they decided ‘yesterday’ to emigrate or have only just discovered that they cannot take their cat to a new home. Such stories are hard to believe.