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Should I adopt a cat online?

Question: Should I adopt a cat online?

I've moved out of state from my parents' home and had to leave my cat behind. I miss having a cat and would like to adopt a new one, but the closest shelter to me is over 40 miles away. I've seen a few web sites that feature adoptable cats. Would this be a wise way for me to adopt a cat?


I certainly understand your desire to find a new cat companion. Before taking the leap, you should ask yourself a few questions.

Once you are certain the time is right, you can start your search for the right cat for you.

While the Internet is a great way to do a search for adoptable cats, I wouldn't recommend adopting a cat online. Rather, search for a shelter near you on a site such as, look at the available cats, then visit the shelter personally to acquaint yourself with those cats. There are a couple of good reasons for following this path:
  • Shelter Policies
    Very rarely will any shelter agree to a long-distance adoption. Most shelter officials want assurance that the cats they release for adoption are going to good homes. They will require forms to be filled out, a personal interview, and many shelters require a personal home visit to assure them that the living quarters qualify.
  • Is the Chemistry There?
    Before you make what should be a lifelong commitment to a cat, it is necessary to see first if the chemistry between you is there. You may even find that a cat that wasn't even on your list will reach out and grab you by the heart when you visit. Adopting a cat is should not be a spontaneous decision, but requires careful thought and consideration. I'd recommend two or three visits with your potential cat before making that decision.

    I've seen one or two successful exceptions to the general rule, including the adoption of Butch in 2007 and Chucky in 2008. However your odds of a successful adoption of your new forever cat will be greatly improved by following the guidelines I've set out. Good luck in your search!

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