kitten with a note I am sorry

Letting Go with Love: How and Where to Surrender a Cat in Australia

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Deciding to surrender a beloved cat can be emotionally challenging, but sometimes, it’s the most responsible choice for you and your feline companion. If you are in this situation, remember you’re not alone. This guide will help you navigate the process of surrendering your cat in Australia, ensuring a smooth transition and a brighter future for your furry friend.

Understanding Surrender

First, let’s differentiate between surrendering and rehoming. Surrendering involves placing your cat in the care of a shelter or rescue organization. Rehoming, on the other hand, means directly finding a new home for your cat through personal networks, adoption platforms, or other responsible means. Both options require careful consideration, and exploring all avenues, like finding friends or family who can provide a loving home, should be explored first. Check out the RSPCA guide on how to responsibly rehome your cat if this is an option.

Surrendering with Care

If surrendering to a shelter or rescue is the most suitable option, know that many reputable organizations across Australia accept cats. National organizations like the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League have established policies and procedures, while dedicated cat shelters like the Cat Protection Society of NSW and Brisbane Valley Cat Rescue offer specialized care. Each organization has its requirements and fees, so contacting them directly for current information is crucial.

Where to Surrender Your Cat

Reach out to these organizations in your state that help surrender or rehome cats to learn more about your options. For example, in the financial year of 2023, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in Australia successfully rehomed approximately 21.74 thousand cats!

NSWAnimal Welfare League NSW*
NSWCat Protection Society of NSW*
NSWSydney Dogs and Cats Home*
NSWHunter Animal Rescue*
NSWRenbury Farm Animal Shelter*
VICRSPCA Victoria*
VICThe Cat Corner$150
VICGeelong Animal Welfare Society*
VICThe Lost Cats’ Home*
QLDRSPCA Queensland*
QLDAnimal Welfare League QLD*
QLDAWLQ – Gold Coast Rehoming Centre*
QLDBrisbane Valley Cat Rescue$100-$150
QLDBest Friends Felines$100-$150
WACat Haven WA$120-$170
WASAFE Perth (Saving Animals From Euthanasia)$100-$150
WAPerth Rescue Angels*
SAAnimal Welfare League SA*
SAAnimal Rescue Resource Network*
SAPaws & Claws Adoptions Inc.$100-$150
* – Varies based on age, health, location. Contact shelter for details.

Cost Transparency

While we understand budget concerns, it’s important to remember that shelters rely on fees to care for animals. Costs vary depending on location, the cat’s needs, and the organization. Expect a $100-$170 range, with potential waivers for low-income individuals or cats with special needs.

Preparing for Goodbye

Before saying goodbye, ensure your cat is up-to-date on vaccinations and has a recent veterinary checkup. Gather medical records, food, and familiar items to provide comfort during the transition. Be honest and transparent about your cat’s temperament, health, and behavioral quirks. This information helps shelters match your cat with the perfect new home.

The Surrender Process

Most shelters follow a similar intake process, including an interview and assessment. Answer questions honestly and cooperate with staff to ensure a smooth transition. Some shelters offer post-surrender support, so don’t hesitate to ask about their programs.

Alternatives to Shelter Surrender

While shelters provide excellent care, rehoming through responsible private channels might be an option. If used carefully, websites like PetRescue and social media groups can help find loving homes. However, prioritize reputable platforms and avoid potential scams.

A Heartfelt Farewell

Letting go is never easy, but making this tough decision ensures your cat’s well-being and opens doors to a happy future. Numerous resources are available to guide you through the process, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Responsible rehoming can be a positive experience, giving your cat a second chance at a loving home.

Taking the Next Step

This guide provides a starting point, but each situation is unique. Consult your local veterinarian, animal shelters, or rescue organizations for personalized guidance. Share this article with anyone considering cat surrender, and remember, together, we can create a brighter future for all our furry friends.

Additional resources

RSPCA is a fantastic resource that helps you make the right decision considering your personal circumstances.

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