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How Long Will It Take To Adopt a Cat? 2024 Guide

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

adopting a cat

Adopting a cat is a significant and time-consuming commitment. Although the adoption process can be lengthy, bringing a furry friend into your home is worth the wait.

We’ll tell you how long it will take you to adopt a feline friend in this article. Adopting a cat can take anywhere from a single day to a few months, depending on where you adopting from.


How Long Will It Take To Adopt a Cat?

How long the adoption process will take depends on where you’re adopting from. If there are a lot of cats who need homes, the process should not take that long, but if there are fewer cats, then it’s going to take a while.

If inventory is low, then the shelter has to choose who gets to adopt, which means would-be cat owners have to jump through more hoops and may be put on a waiting list.

Because of this adopting a cat can take you anywhere from a few hours to a few months.

adopt a cat
Image Credit: VS_star, Pixabay

Fastest Way To Adopt a Cat

Selecting a cat from a rescue organization will usually take much longer than adopting one from a shelter since shelters tend to have more cats. Adopting from a rescue organization typically requires filling out an online application.

It can take several days for the organization to get to your application and then several weeks for you to be approved.

On the other hand, a shelter will typically allow you to show up, choose a cat, and leave with your new pet all on the same day.

The Cat’s Health

The cat’s condition can make the process take longer; some cats have medical issues that need to be addressed before adoption. For example, if the cat you want to adopt has special needs, you need to learn more about your cat’s medications and establish care with a vet.

If you want to adopt a young kitten, you won’t be able to leave with it on the same day.

Kittens have to finish weaning before they can be taken away from their mothers. You will also have to wait if your desired feline is currently sick or in need of any treatment.

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Adopting a feline can take a few hours to a few months. The wait time is very dependent on your location, which organization you choose, and the cat’s health. While shelters will usually let you adopt the same day you walk in, adopting from a rescue agency can take longer.

The quickest way to adopt a new pal is to head to your local animal shelter. Still, even then, problems such as a cat’s medical issues, a kitten that’s too young to adopt, or a limited number of available cats could arise. Adopting a cat can take a long time, but you shouldn’t let that dissuade you from giving an adorable cat a new forever home.


Featured Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

Patricia Dickson

Authored by

Patricia is a pet and coffee writer and a published author under the pen name Skylar McKinzie. When she isn’t writing, Patricia enjoys spending time with her two cats and dog. Since she was a young child, she has been a pet lover and enjoys nothing more than cuddling with her pets, Mystery, and her two cats, Binx and Link. Mystery has been with her family since the day she was born, as has Link. Binx was found under the...Read more

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