Want to Know How Long it Takes to Adopt a Cat?

It’s important for every cat lover to know how long it takes to get their perfect pet into their home and life. But before you even decide to purchase a kitten or cat, this blog will show how long it takes to get your furry friend from the shelter and into your home! 

Cost of a Cat 

Before learning anything about how long it takes to adopt a cat, we should start off by explaining how much it costs to do so. Since every shelter you’ll look at will have different prices and fees for these felines, you’ll want to research and make sure you have the right prices before deciding on anything permanent. When looking, you’ll also want to see what’s included in the adoption process, which could include a variety of things depending on the shelter. Some may (or may not) include things like:

  • Spaying/neutering 
  • Flea Control 
  • Different vaccines 
  • Deworming 
  • Different medications if they’re sick

Typically an animal would cost more if it has had deworming and all of its necessary vaccines, but that may help in the long run since you wouldn’t have to pay for them later on and on your own after getting the cat or kitten. 

Cats from the shelter will cost less than a breeder with the price being about $50-$175 for the shelter and upwards of $750 from a breeder. Always make sure to research what your best options are for the cat you want in your life! 

After actually buying the feline, you’ll want to remember that there are costs for necessary equipment you’ll need for everyday cat life which include:

  • A pet carrier 
  • Food bowls 
  • Medications if needed
  • Toys/treats/beds  
  • A litter box and litter 

Now after we’ve gone over how much a cat may cost you, here’s how long it takes to adopt one of your own! 

Four kittens sitting and facing a camera. 
You want to make sure you know the price of a cat from where you’re getting it. 

How Long the Adoption Process Takes

Since every shelter and breeder you may find will have different policies for adopting an animal, the process may differ in length for each place you decide to visit. How long it takes can depend on your location and the place you decide to adopt from as well. 

In addition, some places may have fewer cats than people that want them, while some may have more which could affect how easily and quickly you will receive your new pet. Some factors that may affect the amount of time it takes to get a cat can include: 

  • The location you’re adopting from. If there are more cats at a shelter near you than they can hold, you’ll likely be able to adopt a friend on the same day you picked them out since there’s only enough room for so many animals at once. But, if it’s the opposite way and they don’t have many cats, you may have to be put on a waiting list which could mean that you'll also need a background check to even receive the feline. 
  • The type of cat you want. This is especially important when trying to adopt a kitten. Even if you see one that you want, you’ll have to usually wait a couple of weeks before bringing them home. Cats that are currently sick or have special needs as well sometimes need more time for extra care before they’re sent to their forever home. 

But here’s a general estimation of how long and what it takes to adopt a cat: 

A woman painting while her cat relaxes. 
It may take some time to get your perfect cat but, the wait is worth it! 


For any type of Humane Society or shelter, the process of adopting a cat can typically take between an hour or two meaning your new best friend would be coming home with you the same day you picked them out! During this hour or two of waiting, the new parents would usually need to go through the process of:

  1. Filling out an application (either online before or in-person) 
  2. Completing an interview 
  3. Meeting/getting used to the new feline 
  4. Finally taking them to their new loving home! 

During the meet and greet aspect of the process, most adoption places will also require the whole family to see their new potential member. This includes other animals that they’ll be living with just to make sure they all get along and that everyone will love their new pet as well! 

Sometimes, a shelter or rescue may also want to complete a home visit, making sure the animal is going to be cared for, safe, and loved in its new home. If so, during this process, someone from the rescue or shelter would come and make sure your home fits all the needs of a new furry friend.

 A couple with their dog and cat. 
You always want to make sure that everyone in the family is on board with a new member. 

Although places may differ in how long it takes to get a new cat into your home, you can always find out an estimated adoption time by calling the organization you’re adopting from or reading their website. We’ve discussed the estimated amount of time for those wanting a cat but if there’s ever any doubt about the time it takes, always be sure to call the agency up for more information. Either way, no matter how much time it takes to receive your new pet, know that they’ll be so happy you waited for them! Now go out there and pick out your precious pet (or two) for adopt a cat month! 

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