Behind every question in our Adopters’ Questionnaire which every prospective adopter needs to answer for us before a successful adoption, is a rationale based on our experiences in meeting different kinds of adopters.
We care about who you are, because we care about the cats.
Hence our experiences in re-homing rescues have led to the need to know your answers to the Adopters’ Questionnaire. Sometimes, these experiences have turned into ugly stories that led to the degradation of care of the adopted cats which we do not wish to have repeated.
Here are our reasons behind every question in our Adopters’ Questionnaire.
It matters to us because our adoption is sealed by a written adoption agreement. The agreement is a legal contract and thus only adults can be held accountable to it when it is signed upon.
This may seem like an irrelevant question but it is pertinent for us to know because some cats will require more care than others, which will depend on how much time you can afford at home. For example, if you are working from home, a homemaker, freelancing, or work part-time shift hours, you may be more physically available for the adoptive cat – this is important if the cat is a young kitten requiring several meals a day or medication. If you work in a high level job or one that requires long hours, a more independent cat would be more suitable for you – hence we need to know your occupation so we can recommend you the right feline companion.
The members of your household.
This is important for us because it has happened before that adopters bring home the adopted cat, only to find that another member of the household is strongly against it. We have had cats returned to us before because of such situations. It is not only stressful for the cat to be shuttled back and forth, it is also a waste of resources because adoption fees from you are not refundable and the time spent in the adoption process would have been for nothing. In asking this question, we also hope to prompt you to consult the rest of the people living under your roof about the adoption decision before adopting. We will also invite you to bring along the other members of your family during the adoption visit.
The primary caregiver.
Sometimes, the person in the family most keen on adopting a cat may not be the one who ends up paying for veterinary visits, or clearing up the cat litter, or feeding the cat, or making sure the cat is healthy and well-groomed. There have been situations before that adopter was not the primary caregiver. In one story, the son adopted the cats, while the mother, who was the one cleaning up after the cats, decided that she couldn’t handle it and sent the adopted cats to SPCA, overriding the son’s decision to own cats. Another instance was when the primary caregiver of the cats was hesitant, while her other half was extremely keen on the adoption. Eventually, the keen husband went on an overseas trip, and the primary caregiver, the wife, abandoned the cats. These are just two stories. Hence, we need to know who in the household will be contributing physically and financially to the care of the cat, and that person must be the one who is present for the adoption visit to sign the adoption contract. If your household’s primary caregiver seems at all hesitant or lacklustre about the adoption, we will not allow the cat to be re-homed to your family.
Your experience with cats, and if you have other pets.
We do not discriminate against first-time cat owners at all, in fact we have made many feline converts in our line of work! However, knowing about your experience with cats tells us about what you do already know about cat-care. We even want to know about the mistakes you might have made in caring for a cat before, this way we can also advise you on how to care for the new cat better, for example.
As for whether you have other pets or not, we would like to know this because, for instance, if you have small animals or dogs, we can recommend a cat whose character is more likely to gel with your other pets’ personas.
Your type of accommodation.
This is important for us for so we can advise on the safety aspect in caring for your cat in the next question.
Is your house cat-safe?
Safety is two-fold. If you live in a high-rise, there is a risk of apartment-death if your cat goes out the window. This is regardless of how high your apartment is situated.
Second, if you live in a low-rise or landed property, while there is no risk of height-related accidents, there will be concerns that your cat goes into your neighbours’ property or onto the streets.
This is because it is unsafe for your cat to have outdoor access in Singapore: all it takes is one resident complaint, one AVA / pest-control visit to your neighbourhood, and your cat will be trapped and culled regardless of whether it is ID-tagged and collared and sterilised or not. Even if you believe your neighbours to be cat friendly, your cat may get into fights, traffic accidents or get poisoned from eating something wrong. Plus, your neighbours might move away and get replaced by a complaining cat-hater.
The cat-safety issue of your house is pertinent to re-homers of rescued cats nationwide. We draw the line at conducting surprise visits to your house or inspecting it thoroughly before we let you adopt. In asking this question, we are also inviting you to think of your house’s cat-safety aspect carefully before you embark on a lifelong journey with a cat companion.
If you are an expatriate in Singapore.
We do not discriminate against foreigners adopting from us, but we will need to know what happens to the cat if you should return home for holidays or be relocated back home or to another country. We have encountered more than one instance where the adopted pet was abandoned by whoever remained behind to care for it when the adopters went back to visit their home countries. Also, because a cat’s lifespan is on average 14-17 years (even beyond 20 years is now very common), we need to know your long-term plans, career- and thus residence-wise. By asking this question we are ensuring that you have thought out the next 2 decades of your life through with a adopted cat as part of your family.
We thus seek your understanding and cooperation in answering our Adopters’ Questionnaire before you adopt from us. To all interested adopters: thank you in advance for taking the time to answer these questions for us! Remember that we care about who you are, because we care about the cats.