Everything you want to know about Fur Real NYC's adoption process.
ADOPTING VS. BUYING?
Why should you adopt instead of buying a cat?
PLEASE never purchase a kitten or cat from a pet store! No matter what the salesperson tells you, it is a stone cold fact that pet stores get their animals from only two places: irresponsible “backyard breeders” who couldn’t be bothered to spay their cat; and commercial mills, where cats spend their lives in cramped, dirty cages with little human contact or veterinary care, solely for the purpose of bringing two or three litters a year into an overcrowded world.
Buying supports cruel mills and irresponsible breeding, while adopting saves lives.
WHAT IS SINGLE KITTEN SYNDROME (SKS)?
Why do Rescue Orgs insist on adopting out two kittens when I only want one?
Over the years we have placed a multitude of cats and kittens. We have also had cats returned to us, often as young adults, that did not work out in their new homes. What we found repeatedly was that single kittens adopted into homes without other young cats frequently develop behavioral problems. Kittens have been returned because of litter box problems. Litter box habits are learned at an early age and kittens actually play a large part in teaching each other how to faithfully go to the proper place when nature calls. Kittens have also been returned because of aggressive play biting. Cat behaviorists now believe that kittens raised without kitty companionship transfer the playful biting behavior, which is so important in developing proper manners, to their humans. To prevent these problems, and to encourage the general well-being of the kitten, Fur Real NYC has adopted a policy of not placing a single kitten under the age of six months into a home without another kitten or young cat.
In order to become well-socialized cats, kittens need to learn appropriate behavior from one another. A human is not a substitute for a feline companion. You can provide attention and love but there is simply no way you can replicate the play behavior of the species. If they don’t learn limits in their play as youngsters, they often develop inappropriate playful aggression. In other words, it may be cute when a kitten attacks your ankles when you walk by or playfully nips at your fingers while you’re playing. It will be much less cute, not to mention annoying and painful, when your cat is full grown.
Caring for two cats is not that much more work than caring for one, we highly recommend you adopt a pair.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN AN ADOPTION FEE?
If I'm saving a life, why am I being asked for an Adoption Fee?
Adoption fees help cover the medical care of the animal while he or she waits for a new home, as well as food and transportation costs. The money we collect from adoption fees also acts as a donation to help support the organization as a whole, allowing the group to continue its efforts to rescue and rehome pets. An adoption fee ends up saving lives but also saving you money!
Here's the breakdown of what's included for Cats or Dogs:
Altering if cat is over 6 months old
Any necessary medications and treatments during kitty's time with us
Lots of love and top-notch care as we wait for the perfect home!
RV or titer test, depending upon age of dog
Heartworm test for dogs of foreign origin
Microchip for dogs of foreign origin
Altering if dog is over 6 months old
Any necessary medications and treatments during the pup's time with us
Lots of love and top-notch care as we wait for the perfect home!
WHY CAN'T I FIND YOUR ADOPTION APPLICATION?
The Application Form is nowhere to be found on your website.
We do not have our Adoption Applications posted publicly to cut down on churn.
If you wish to apply to adopt any of our lovely cats, send us an email or text indicating which kitty you're interested in, & we'll reply back with a link to our Application Form when we're able.
CAN I JUST ADOPT A CAT WITHOUT FILLING OUT THE ADOPTION APPLICATION?
The Application Form seems long and with a lot of questions.
If they wish to adopt from Fur Real NYC, all potential adopters must complete the online Adoption Application form, which collects information used to ensure the best possible match for everyone, cats & humans. We check personal and veterinary references, and also have a safety checklist all applicants must pass in order to adopt [or even meet] a rescued cat from us. Filling out an Adoption Application form with us doesn't mean that you're locked in to adopt the cat.
Filling out an application is not a commitment, rather a preliminary step before you meet the cat[s] in person and make your final decision. You still get to meet the cat before making your final decision, but you need to be approved to meet our cats. Conversely, filling out our Adoption Application form doesn't guarantee that your application will be approved for adoption either.
*If you have technical difficulties filling out our form, let us know & we'll have one of our more tech-oriented volunteers help you when they have the time.
WHY HAS NO ONE RESPONDED TO MY ADOPTION INQUIRY?
I requested or submitted an application days ago, but haven't heard back yet.
We are a very small Rescue group, most of us wear many hats and are often out in the field caring for street cats, trapping them, and taking them to vet appointments. As such, this unfortunately only leaves so much time in the day to correspond with potential adopters until we're able to staff more volunteers. Please do not take it personally if it takes us a few days to respond to you, we likely are still working on verifying all the info you provided in your application and haven't finished our process yet.
Feel free to send us a gentle reminder that you're still interested. Being pushy and demanding doesn't work here, we all volunteer our time and money to save animal lives and don't have time to deal with impatient folks who lack empathy for our work.
MUST I REALLY TAKE A VIDEO OF MY HOME?
I feel weird showing my home to strangers, do you really need a home walkthrough video?
Yes, no exceptions! The adoption application review process includes a video portion, which is used to help asses where the cat will be living in terms of both safety and comfort. The application's walkthrough video is used instead of an in-person safety check, to gauge the safety of your home. We feel in-person home safety checks are too invasive, and waste valuable time for all parties including unnecessarily lengthening the application review process. We don't need to see what you look like, your place doesn't have to be neat, we just need to confirm that the space is safe, all windows have screens on them, there are no toxic plants, and no heavy leaning items without physically going to your home.
When you shoot your video, keep it long enough that you show you us what we need to inspect, but short enough that it doesn't become an unwieldly large video file that can't be uploaded easily. You don't need to speak, but succinct and minimal narration is highly appreciated. Don't worry if your place isn't pristine, but if you're in the process of moving in, redecorating, de-cluttering, construction, or heavy duty cleaning, please send us video of the final outcome so we can appraise the environment fairly.
The most important things your video should focus on are:
Your windows, zoom in and tap the window screens so we can verify you have them, do this for all your windows, even ones usually closed. If one of your windows is missing a screen, adjustable window screens are an easy solution.
Your plants, any plants you have, even if safe for cats, please make sure there's at least a 2 second pause on their location.
Anything leaning against any wall at an angle (i.e. a full-length mirror or artwork), we just need to confirm it's properly secured for the safety of the kitty. If not, a simple rubber stopper is an easy fix.
If your walk-through video doesn't adequately show the actual environment the cat will be living in, or if there are safety issues that didn't pass our Checklist and need addressing, you will likely be requested to send a follow-up video, which will just make the adoption process longer, so get it right the first time!
Food, water & litterbox location optional, even if you don't have all the basic supplies yet, feel free to show us the general area these things would be setup, along with any future environment-enriching catification objects [such as cat trees, cat beds, cat wall, etc].
CAN I HAVE A MEET & GREET ASAP?
I need to see the cat before adoption.
Approving adopters in advance to scheduling a Meet & Greet is essential to our process. Once your Application has been fully vetted and we've verified all the info you've provided us, we will make a decision as to whether you are approved for adoption or not.
Once you are officially approved, and not before, we will put you in contact with the foster so you can coordinate a Meet & Greet day/time that works for you both.
During [or after] your Meet & Greet, you can then decide whether to adopt the cat on the spot, in which case you'll zelle or venmo us the adoption fee, or you can think about it and come back for pickup on another day.
Please note: to expedite your approval process, make sure your Personal Reference gets back to us, and that you've given us visual confirmation on safety checks such as: window screens, plants, unsecured leaning objects, etc.
IS THERE A TRIAL PERIOD?
No trial periods, no foster to adopt, it's confusing & unfair to the cat.
Some adoption agencies allow for a two week time frame before finalizing the adoption to see if the cat adjusts to the new home and current pets well. Cats all have different personalities, and some cats will take longer than 2 weeks to adjust. We are looking for adopters who are committed to treating their new family member like a living, breathing creature with feelings and not a used car that you try out first to see if you really want it. Commit, see it through, follow proper introduction protocols, and make it work or you should proceed with a different rescue organization.
CAN I RESERVE A CAT?
I won't be able to adopt until a future date, can you put a cat on hold for me?
It's not fair to the cat to languish while waiting on hold for you. We have so many cats in our foster system that the longer they stay, the more costly it is to us and that's one less spot and resources available for an upcoming rescue.
We tend to review our applicants by order they applied, except when they've set a future adoption date. Anyone ready to adopt on the day they submit their application will be given priority in our review process! If a suitable applicant isn't found, or if someone is found but falls through, we will definitely keep you in mind.
If your application is really great and you're descriptive in what you're looking for in a feline companion, we are able to suggest you alternative cat profiles to peruse as we get new ones on a regular basis., but you need to let us know up front.
Note: if your adoption date is more than a week in the future:
please indicate this in pre-screening before we send you an application so we can accurately access your and the cat's needs.
CAN I REVIEW THE CAT'S HEALTH RECORDS BEFORE ADOPTION?
We only provide Health Records with the final Adoption Contract.
All of the cats we have listed for adoption have been examined by a vet, had their shots, boosters, and tested negative for FIV/FeLV [Elsa Test] unless otherwise indicated on their Adoption Profile as "Special Needs". Once your Adoption has been processed & you have signed your Adoption Agreement, then Fur Real NYC will send you a pdf of the final Adoption Contract along with any health records. Paying the Adoption Fee unlocks this automated process, no exceptions.
Note: Please do not rush to a vet to vaccinate your newly adopted pet! All cats & dogs from Fur Real NYC already come with immunization included.
You can severely harm your cat's health if you vaccinate them too soon in between boosters, too often, and in some cases too young.
THE CAT I WANT TO ADOPT IS FOSTERED FAR AWAY
Do I have to pick up the cat, can it be dropped off?
Our cats are housed in foster homes throughout Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. If you are approved to adopt, you are expected to pick up your cat(s) in person or to arrange for your cat(s) to be safely transported to your home. However, we'll strive to assist with transportation for any person with disabilities or special needs.
We highly recommend that during your Meet & Greet, you prepare ahead and bring a carrier with you, so that if you make a connection with the kitty you're meeting, you can take them home with you on the spot instead of trekking back out to wherever it's being fostered on a separate day.
I'VE ADOPTED A NEW CAT, NOW WHAT?
Helping your adopted cat settle into their new home.
Congrats you've saved a life! After you've successfully transported your newly adopted cat home safely, be sure to help them acclimate to their new territory, set up an enriching environment with catification, make sure you have the proper supplies, and if you already have a cat be sure to introduce them to your new family member the correct way with Introduction Protocols.