How to Plan for Meetings with Kitten Adopters

How do you find adopters? What do you talk about when you meet them? How can you ensure that you, your home, and the fosters are safe? Read on to find out how to have a successful meeting with a potential adopter.

First, How Do You Find Potential Adopters?

Fostering for an organization

If you foster for an organization, they will likely already have a process in place for advertising adoptable pets and for reviewing adoption applications. Carefully follow their guidelines and recommended course of action to get started finding loving homes for your fosters. In the meantime, see if you will be allowed to advertise the fosters on social media to create interest in your specific cats or kittens.

Many rescue groups will also screen adopters for each adoptable animal before they schedule meetings.

Fostering independently

If you’re not fostering for an organization, you should definitely use any tools you have at your disposal. Advertise the availability of your fosters through social media. Use the best pictures and descriptors of the kitty in your care. You want to put your best work out there in order for your posts to stand out and draw the right kind of attention. Use these same pictures and descriptions to create physical flyers, and ask around in local businesses to see if you can post the flyers there. You can also ask your family and friends to help spread the word!

To screen adopters, take a look at different shelters and rescue groups and see what type of questions they ask on their adoption applications. You can use similar questions that make sense to you, and you can share it via email or Google Forms with the potential adopters that contact you. I recommend only accepting a few applications at a time per kitten and honoring meetings on a first come, first serve basis.

Also consider advertising all the hard work you and/or the organization you foster for invested into this lucky feline. For example, when I write kitten biographies I always include feline leukemia test results and that the kitten is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, and microchipped. That’s a significant financial and ethical responsibility that you or the organization has taken on! Most adoption fees don’t even come close to the total of all those procedures, so potential adopters may realize what a deal they’re getting when it comes to future vet bills.

Where and When to Meet

Yay! Your fosters have finally received adoption applications, and a few adopters have been approved. Now it’s time to set up meetings.

When adopters are approved, they’re given access to my email address and I respond to their emails in the order I receive them. I thank them for considering adoption and include a quick message about the dates and times I’m available for them to meet the kitten. Depending on your unique situation or the requirements of the rescue organization, you may have the option to meet the adopters in your home or in a mutually convenient location.

Meeting potential adopters in your home is sometimes the most convenient option. It means the adopters have to come to you and you don’t have to worry about transporting animals yourself. It also gives the potential adopters an opportunity to see the cat or kitten in an environment it’s comfortable in, so they’ll see their little personalities shine.

Once you know where you’re meeting the adopter, it’s time to set a time and date. On the days you’re available, I recommend offering at least a two-hour time window. This will give you four 30-minute time slots per day. This is what I do for weekdays, and I offer more time slots on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s important that you don’t overstretch yourself and set reasonable hours. If you’re inviting adopters into your home, it’s perfectly understandable to have these boundaries.


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– $6.00 allows us to buy a bag of litter
– $25 helps us buy 12 cans of cat food
– $100+ allows us to fund general medical procedures for any felines that we foster on our own

Thank you so much for considering a donation! 🙂

Any contribution is greatly appreciated!

– $6.00 allows us to buy a bag of litter
– $25 helps us buy 12 cans of cat food
– $100+ allows us to fund general medical procedures for any felines that we foster on our own

Thank you so much for considering a donation! 🙂

Any contribution is greatly appreciated!

– $6.00 allows us to buy a bag of litter
– $25 helps us buy 12 cans of cat food
– $100+ allows us to fund general medical procedures for any felines that we foster on our own

Thank you so much for considering a donation! 🙂

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Safety for You and Your Home

If you’re fostering for an organization, make sure you’re aware of what screening process potential adopters are required to go through before they can meet any foster cats or kittens. Understanding the process may put your mind at ease a bit, because you’re taking the time to acknowledge what someone has to go through before they’re allowed in your home.

Regardless of those screening processes, you should never hold meetings alone. Invite a friend, family member, roommate, or trusted coworker to stick around for the adopter meeting. I also recommend keeping a phone with you at all times, just in case. If you’re unable to arrange a meeting where you have someone with you, give the time and location of the meeting to someone who lives close by. Arrange an action plan for what will happen if that person doesn’t hear from you when the adoption meeting is over. Please also stay present with the potential adopter at all times. You’re inviting them into your home, and they should be understanding of your privacy and supervision.

If you feel uncomfortable at any point, PLEASE know it’s okay to feel that way and that you are not crazy. Immediately end the situation the same way you might end a horrible date; tell them you’re about to vomit and escort them the heck out of your home. I’m serious. Bonus points for acting! 🙂 Check out my favorite podcast, Crime Junkie, if you want more info on safety and red flags to watch out for.

Safety for the Kittens

Start by always opening doors for your guests. No, this is not for the sake of chivalry or respect…

You just don’t want to invite the potential adopters to open any doors themselves in case of an animal escaping, accidental injury, putting a resident pet at risk…you name it. It’s happened to me before, and thankfully no one was harmed, but please don’t let it happen to you! An excited adopter rushed ahead of me, opened my foster room door, and let my dog run into the foster room. The kittens hadn’t seen my dog since their spay and neuter surgeries, so thankfully they were only slightly spooked and that was that.

Suggest that the potential adopters leave personal items outside of the kitten room, such as bags that the kittens could chew on or crawl into. Please also ask them to leave food and drinks other than water outside of the kitten room. Felines are so crafty, and if they ingest something harmful for their little bodies, that’s on you, not the potential adopter or the organization.

When it’s finally time to start helping the fosters get to know their new friends, make sure everyone is aware that they should not ever use their hands or other body parts as toys. We often see people interact this way with puppies, but cats and kittens are more apt to get stuck in prey mode. Once they learn that humans are toys, it’s going to take a lot of work to help them redirect that play aggression. Even if that weren’t the case, you simply don’t want to be put into a situation where one of your fosters bites a potential adopter and you’re blamed for it!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s SO tempting to scoop up every cat and kitten I see. However, I recommend requiring that unfamiliar adults are seated on the floor while holding kittens. This way, if there’s a surprise or a fall, they don’t have a very far way to go. If there are children present, use your best judgement on whether or not they’re old enough to physically handle a cat or kitten. Ask their guardian to have them seated regardless.

Safety for Your Resident Pets

You know your pets best. Evaluate how your resident pets act when unfamiliar people enter your home. Do they usually hide? Do they try to run out of the entry? Do they growl? If your pets get overly excited or stressed, like one of mine does, consider putting them in their safe zone before the potential adopters arrive.

Depending on how long your fosters have been with you, the quarantine period might not be over. If you don’t know how long a quarantine period is or how it’s done, you can read more in How to Quarantine Your Foster Kittens. Or, maybe you’re a foster home that never integrates fosters and residents. In either case, have steps in place to make sure that your pets are kept separate from the fosters. The potential adopters are there to get to know the fosters, not your residents or how the fosters interact with your residents. If someone asks for proof of, let’s say, that one of your foster cats is truly dog-friendly, take time to show them pictures or videos instead of bringing your dog in.

How to Make Potential Adopters Comfortable

If you can allow for it in your space, allow the adopter to bring a guest. It can help them feel more at ease, just as you likely feel more at ease if you’ve been able to arrange having a second person with you during the meeting.

Offer them a chance to ask questions before you jump into your own agenda. In my experience, this has been the best way to get a natural conversation flowing.

Encourage them to interact with the cat or kitten if they don’t do so on their own. Make sure you have the kitty’s favorite toys available and offer them to the people around you to get them engaged in play.

If you find that you’re suddenly unsure of what to say, bring up something silly like the foster’s litter box habits or if they’re messy when they eat! I also like to keep foster kittens’ backstories in the back of my mind in case it doesn’t come up naturally. Lots of previous adopters have enjoyed hearing about how they were rescued and how they ended up in foster care.

Questions to Ask Adopters

It’s super helpful to have a list of questions in mind to help you get to know the adopter and their intentions a little better. Here are some examples:

“What would a day in their life in your home look like?” This question helps you figure out if the potential adopter plans to keep the cat outside instead of indoors. It also helps you get a feel for their routine and if they seem ready to fit cat care into it.

“Do you have other cats/kittens in mind at the moment?” I like asking this question because some organizations allow potential adopters to apply for several cats or kittens at once. After asking this, I’ll know how serious they are about my specific foster.

“What would cause you to re-home them?” Ideally, the answer is always no! This question helps you understand how ready the potential adopter is to make this commitment.

Also think about asking the potential adopter if they’re aware of the laws around declawing cats. You’d be surprised that many people have never owned a clawed cat before, and they might not be aware of the laws and major drawbacks to this type of mutilation. Please be gentle and understanding if the adopter doesn’t already know, but if they push back on the idea of keeping a cat’s claws intact, it’s something to keep in mind before any final decisions are made.

Red Flags to be Aware of

Even after someone’s adoption application is approved, sometimes red flags are raised. This happened to me when I was scheduling meetings for my first litter of foster kittens. Those who were meeting one of the kittens shared that they weren’t sure if an indoor-only cat would work for them. They were used to having a cat who could roam freely around the yard and neighborhood as it pleased.

Some rescue groups and shelters require that any animal adopted from them is never living or roaming freely outside, and that requirement applied to this kitten’s situation. The comment doesn’t mean that the people were bad adopters, but it did mean that they weren’t ready to follow the necessary guidelines and therefore couldn’t adopt that kitten.

Here are some other red flags to watch out for that could indicate that someone might not a perfect match for your foster:

  • The adopter mentions wanting to declaw the animal.
  • You learn that not everyone in the home is on board with or aware of adoption.
  • The adopter handles the fosters in a rough or harmful way.
  • One story of re-homing a pet, while taking the circumstance into consideration, may be one story too many.
  • You learn that the person is adopting for someone else who isn’t present.
  • You notice signs that they want a companion, but they have pretty much no time to spend with or care for the animal.

I realize there is a lot of caution throughout this post. However, I had to learn the hard way about how to best handle these meetings, and I want you to feel safe and successful right away! Best of luck to you and your fosters! 🙂

Exploring animal welfare one foster kitten at a time

2 responses to “How to Plan for Meetings with Kitten Adopters”

  1. […] is that it creates awareness of how many animals are looking for their forever homes. Check out How to Plan for Meetings with Kitten Adopters to learn about the importance of this part of the […]


  2. […] quarantine period and they’ve completed the bulk of their veterinary care, it’s time to find potential adopters. Advertise the kittens in your community to create interest in your foster kitty. Make sure you […]


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