Adoption Process

View all cats and kittens available for adoption on our Available Cats page, or on Gumtree.

If you’ve found a cat (or two) you’re interested in, please fill out the form by clicking the button at the bottom of this page. Once we have reviewed your form, we can get onto organising a meet & greet.

You can also read the adoption stories submitted by some of our cats’ adopters on our Stories page.

Starting Point – Frequently Asked Questions

What are your adoption fees?

Adoption fees for our cats help us to recover some of the costs of vet care that each IFR cat gets. Adoption fees are refundable in the event of an unsuccessful trial adoption period, but not once the trial period has ended.

AgeAdoption Fee
Kitten (<6 months)$250
Teen (6-11 months)$210
Adult (1-9 years)$190
Seniors (10+ years) & FIV+$99
Adoption Fee includes: Full health check, worm and flea treatment, desexing, microchipping & two F5 vaccinations.
What vet care do IFR cats get?

All of our cats and kittens are microchipped, sterilised, vaccinated, treated for worms and fleas, and thoroughly health-checked by the wonderful veterinarians at our affiliated vet clinic Challenger Veterinary Hospital. Some of our cats also require additional vet care. For instance, we have senior cats with special needs and a foster cat who has epilepsy.

Where do I go to visit your cats?

Most of the cats we rescue are cared for by our team of dedicated foster carers in their own homes, where we can get to know how each cat individually, and give them the best possible chance to flourish with their forever families.

We also have some of our more shy cats staying in the calm, quiet environment of a suburban cattery thanks to the very kind owner offering us spaces there.

Why doesn’t IFR have a shelter I can visit?

Unfortunately, we do not have the income required to have our own central premises. We rely entirely on our volunteers to keep us going.

Why is a home visit necessary?

There are a number of reasons why we elect to perform house visits of both applicant adopters and applicant foster carers prior to cat placement.

When visiting a home, we are able to make recommendations regarding how best to help a new foster cat settle in, based on our experience and tailored to particular cats and their needs.

Additionally, we have had a number of incidents with cats escaping foster care or suffering neglect in the past, so we have learned what to look for to reduce the chances of this happening. For example, we have learned just how determined some cats are to get outside, and how far they will go to get through even the most seemingly secure windows or security doors.

We love our foster kitties and only want the best for them, health and safety-wise.

Why is a there a trial adoption period?

Our adoption trial period exists to allow a “soft transition” for you and the cat you are adopting. The aim is to ensure that you have all the support you need to help settle your cat in at home.

At the end of the trial period, you can either choose to finalise the adoption with a contract. Alternatively, if things aren’t working out, you will return the cat to us and receive a full refund of the adoption fee.

We may agree to extend the trial period if there is a valid need. Just ask us about it.

Adoption Prerequisites

IFR cats need indoor / secure homes

IFR seeks indoor (or indoor with secure cat enclosure) forever homes for all our cats. Our cats who are FIV+ and all/mostly white must be strictly indoors/confined to a cat enclosure. White or mostly white cats must not be exposed to prolonged sunlight, and infant-safe sunscreen is recommended if they like sunbathing.

Read the cat’s full biography

Please ensure that you have read every part of a cat’s bio before you apply. Our cat bios are designed to give you what information we have at hand that will help you know if a particular cat is suited to your household.

Sometimes we know that a cat doesn’t like children, or probably would not be great with them. Other times we know that a cat has never once liked a dog they’ve come into contact with, in which case we will state that they must go to a home with no dogs. It’s important for the cat, for your family, and for the IFR team that we get placements as right as we possibly can from the start, to avoid unnecessary stress for all.

Ask questions!

Do not feel shy about asking questions before filling out your Expression of Interest form. We are happy to answer questions about each of our cats as best we can, and can provide you with what veterinary history and general life history we are in possession of. We also invite you to speak with the cat’s foster carer ahead of submitting an Expression of Interest form.

Our adoption process

Find “the one” and let us know

Take a look at our listings on Gumtree, or if you’ve already seen a cat posted on our social media that you’d like to meet, you can contact us in any of these ways:

Or if you have already found a cat you are interested in adopting, you are welcome to submit an Expression of Interest form. Messaging us afterwards on our Facebook page helps to get our attention, as sometimes we don’t see form submissions straight away.

Please allow a day or two for a response, as we have a very small volunteer team with outside commitments such as day jobs, family obligations, etc.. If you haven’t heard from us by then, please do send us a reminder! We’d hate to leave you waiting too long.

COVID-safe Meet and Greet

Once you have submitted an Expression of Interest form for one or more cats, we will put you in touch with their current foster carer to arrange a Meet and greets (if you haven’t already met the cat).

Meets can happen one of two ways:

  • In person, wearing masks
  • By video chat (social distancing)

Our shy cats are also best met via video chat, as most won’t come out for strangers visiting the house.

The meet is an opportunity for you to ask the foster carer any questions you have about the cat, such as their history or how they might fit with your family (including any other pets or children) and whether they will suit your lifestyle (e.g. if you work long hours, have a busy household, etc.).

Home visit for adopters

Before your new feline friend can start their adoption trial period with you, we will organise a suitable time for one of our volunteers to visit your home.

Things we look at include:

  • How secure fly-screens are on doors and windows
  • Whether or not there are security screens
  • How securely doors and windows close
  • Whether there are cat/dog flaps and if they can be locked
  • Any other possible escape routes to the great outdoors

We will make personalised recommendations on how you can keep the cat securely indoors during the trial period. We’ve unfortunately had some determined cats escape from foster care or their adoptive homes in the past, some sadly never to be seen again, so we’ve learned the hard way what to look for to save us all the heartache!

House visits also allow us to discuss important things like:

  • Where the cat will be kept during the trial period (we always recommend a quiet room for anywhere between a few days and a few weeks, depending on the cat.
  • Best location for cat’s bowls, litter, bed, scratching post, etc. that are least likely to cause stress while they settle into their new home. During the trial, the focus should be on helping the cat adapt to the change.
  • The plan for (if applicable) a safe and stress-free integration for the cat into the household, e.g. other pets, children, housemates. This is especially important for cats who are shy or have endured trauma.

Our aim is to achieve the smoothest trial period possible, with the best chance of a successful adoption outome. Our recommendations and suggestions are made with this goal at heart.

Adoption trial period

The trial period is where your kitty friendship begins!

After the cat is home, the trial period begins, and generally lasts two weeks (unless we’ve discussed an extended trial period). This is usually more than enough time for our confident cats to settle in and start behaving like themselves in their new environment. Hopefully, the bonding has begun in that time too.

Some cats take longer than two weeks to come out of hiding, and we are always open to extending a trial period if you feel you need more time. We also offer an extra-long trial period for shy cat adoptions.

Many people underestimate or forget how timid most cats can be in unfamiliar surroundings – assaulted by new smells, noises, sounds and of course new people. Even cats that are extremely outgoing in foster care can sometimes struggle with change, taking weeks to adjust to a move, so a new cat should always start off confined to one room with all the supplies they need, so they can get used to all the new experiences without getting overwhelmed.

It’s important to trust our recommendations. All we want is for your trial adoption to be successful.

Adoption Finalisation

Once the trial period is over and you’ve decided that you want to stay together, it’s time to make it official.

We’ll get you to sign the final papers, transfer ownership on the Microchip registry, and hand over all vet records.

Congratulations, this marks the start of the rest of your lives together!

IFR Adopted Cat Families group on Facebook

We love getting updates on our adopted kitties, so feel free to share updates with us on the “IFR Adopted Cat Families” private group on Facebook. All you have to do is search for the group, and answer the question about who you adopted. If you want to invite family to the group, please ask them to answer the question as well so we know their relationship to our IFR family.

For those not on Facebook, you are welcome to send email updates to impoundfelinerescue@gmail.com.

If you would like your adoption story featured here on our website or shared on Facebook, we’d love to hear it! You can share it on the “IFR Adopted Cat Families” Facebook private group, send it to us via Facebook message or email it to us.

Have any concerns or need advice about your adopted cat? Don’t hesitate to send us a message or email, or post on IFR Adopted Cat Families. We will always do our best to help out where possible or point you in the right direction otherwise.

Adoption Reversals

Should you adopt a cat from IFR and unfortunately realise after the trial period that you need to rehome the cat, the cat must be returned to the care of IFR. Please contact us immediately if you are thinking about the need to rehome your adopted IFR cat.

Ready to meet your new feline friend?

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More questions?

If your question wasn’t answered on this page, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.