When a potential adopter comes to meet your cat, Kitty may want to hide and do anything but be seen. *You* know that they’re pretty much a ‘normal’ cat once they know you, but it’s good if the adopter also gets glimpses of this. At the very least, most people will expect to actually see their potential new cat. Weird, right?
On this page
- How to help their meeting be a success
- Patience is key
- Have a video of their normal behaviour with people they know
- Prepare your adopter for Kitty’s arrival
- The adoption roller coaster – if they say no
Help their meeting be a success
Having your kitty free-ranging throughout the whole house is unlikely to end well. They will almost certainly find a hiding spot and refuse to come out. It may even be a spot they’ve never used before, leaving you with a potential adopter and no cat. Awkward!
Use these tips to help your kitty show themselves off in the best light.
- Confine your cat to a small comfortable room, with at least one hiding spot eg their igloo, crate. If possible, avoid using a room where there’s an inaccessible hiding spot eg under the bed/sofa/behind the wardrobe
- If they’re food motivated, let them be peckish Consider delaying breakfast or dinner, so they’re hungry. They might be swayed with food offerings
- Have the person slowly and quietly come into the room and sit down, ideally on the floor, ignoring Kitty and just chatting with you, maybe over coffee. If there’s more than one person, start with one person at a time
- Ask them to speak softly, not to move suddenly and to just ignore Kitty for a while. Have a coffee together
- Ask them not to stare at Kitty Instead, ask them to give ‘cat kisses‘ – soften their eyes, very slowly close them while thinking ‘I love you’, then slowly open them
- Monitor how Kitty is coping Go over to them and stroke them. Put them on your lap if they’re calm. Think calmly.
- If they’re OK with that, encourage the adopter to move a little closer to your cat.
- If you don’t think Kitty will cope being stroked with hands, encourage the person to stroke them with a wand, or offer food treats. One couple brought warm roast chicken when they came to meet their future cat – even though she hid, they won her over and she interacted with them more. We knew it was likely to be an adoption made in heaven when they also had roast chicken waiting for her at her new home.
Patience is key
It may take an hour or more before the adopter is able to touch them. That’s OK – someone who’s going to make a 20 year commitment to your cat will hopefully not mind sparing one or more hours of their life.
If they deem they’re too timid, they may not have been the right person, or maybe your kitty needs a bit more time.
A video speaks a thousand words
It’s a great idea to take videos of what your cat is normally like, once they feel safe – show them off when they’re cuddling, playing, interacting with other cats, being incredibly adorable etc.
The chances of the person getting to see your cat’s whole beautiful personality when they first meet them are pretty low – that’s a treat for when Kitty feels safe. So make sure that they get to see what they’re really like, even if it’s on video and not ‘in the fur’.
If you’re promoting your kitty on PetRescue, you can add videos to their profile, as well as photos.
Prepare your adopter
Help your adopter understand what to expect, and not expect, of their new family member when they move in. Give them tips on how they can help their new kitty settle in and feel safe as quickly as possible.
‘We don’t want to adopt’ – the emotional roller coaster
Fostering and adopting is an emotional roller coaster. When a great person enquires about adopting your cat, and you think the meeting goes well, it can be really disappointing to receive an email, text or phone call that they don’t want to go ahead.
‘But why?’ you wonder. ‘You were perfect for each other! I’m so sorry, darling kitty, you don’t have your own human after all.’
In our experience, when this happens, a home that’s an even better match for your cat always comes around. Someone was keeping an eye out for your kitty and making sure they had a match made in heaven. ❤
So don’t give up. It just wasn’t meant to be.