Adopting a cat from a private individual: what precautions?


To avoid unpleasant surprises after adopting a cat, it is strongly recommended toto be vigilant, especially if we adopt the little feline through a person-to-person advertisements site. Unfortunately, it is common to pay the price of indelicate people whose goal is only to earn money by any means. And there are plenty of examples of scams. Here are some tips to follow so that the adoption of a cat from a private home does not leave a bitter taste to the new owner of the animal.

Adopting a cat from a private individual: the documents to recover

It is very important that the individual proposing a cat for adoption can provide the new owner of the animal with the following documents:

  • A certificate of assignment which must be produced even if it is a free transfer,
  • The animal’s health record and possibly its vaccination program,
  • Registration in the Official Book of Feline Origins for a purebred cat or, if it is a purebred kitten, proof of its provisional registration in the LOOF,
  • A certificate issued by a veterinarian attesting that the cat has been tested for:
    • FeLV (virus responsible for feline leukosis),
    • FIV (virus responsible forFeline immunodeficiency or “Cat AIDS”).
  • The identification card of the cat knowing that the kitty may have been identified (imperatively by a veterinarian) either by tattoo or by transponder (this is how the electronic chip is called). The new master will absolutely have to tick the “change of owner” box. He must also specify the date of adoption of the cat and his postal, telephone and electronic contact details. Thus, the change of owner can be done quickly with the ICAD.
  • A document specifying the needs of the cat as well as its characteristics.

Be careful, if it is a kitten, it must be over 8 weeks old. The law prohibits giving away for free or selling a 2 month old kitten.

Adoption of a cat from a private individual: the necessary checks

Today, donating and selling a cat and other pets are governed by law (ordinance of October 8, 2015). Individuals must submit to it in the same way as professionals. This law tends to fight against abandonment and / or animal trafficking but also against ” the uncontrolled proliferation of litters “.

Individuals are therefore not exempt from the legislation in force. But too many are still looking to rip off prospective adoptive parents. Must therefore check different elements before taking possession of the cat, namely:

  • The good health of the cat : he must not be sick. Some signs may indicate the opposite such as prostration, lack of vigor, disinterest in playing and even more if it is a kitten, thinness, dull hair, alopecia areata, untimely scratching, a runny nose, a cough, an infestation by parasites …
  • The good condition of the house or ancillary premises in which stay the cat or the various animals that the individuals in which one presents to adopt a kitty stay: it is better to go his way if these rooms are of a repugnant dirt, if the ground is polluted by droppings, if the walls are moldy …
  • The cat or kitten living conditions : it is sometimes a question of feeling. We can see in minute details if the animal is raised by good, attentive owners, or on the contrary by people indifferent to their little companion, unloving, even brutal.

It is also necessary to check if the cat has a toy, a basket or a cozy place to sleep, if its bowls are clean … This is why it is absolutely necessary to go to the owner of the animal. In no case should we be satisfied with doing business only by telephone or via Internet because once the deal is done, it will be difficult to turn back. A physical meeting lets really realize. It is indeed recommended not to blindly trust strangers.

During this interview, the future adopter can ask all the questions he deems useful and learn more about the cat’s life history, his character, his personality… He can learn a lot about what the little feline likes and dislikes, on his behavior with children and people he does not know. It is also a good way to know if the cat gets along well with other animals… During this meeting, we generally manage to perceive the honesty and sincerity of a person or on the contrary his bad faith.

Adopting a cat from a private home: how much does it cost?

In the majority of cases, individuals who do not seek to earn money with their animals, only ask for the reimbursement of expenses related to the health of the kitty such as sterilization, vaccines, antiparasitics … Otherwise, except of course if it is a purebred cat registered in the LOF (for which it is necessary to inquire beforehand about the prices charged by professionals), adopting a cat from an individual is in many cases a free act.

In any case, the future adopter has complete freedom to leave without the cat if he judges that he is the subject of a scam or if he has the slightest doubt. This is the best advice we can give to anyone wishing to adopt a pet from a private individual or by any other means for that matter.

Finally, let us never forget that the adoption of a cat – like that of a dog, a horse, a rabbit … – is a responsible act which leaves no room for neglect. All adopters undertake to take care of their little one for many years. He must allow him to live happily and in good health by giving him a balanced and adapted diet, by taking him regularly to the veterinarian so that a health check-up can be carried out once or twice a year and to have him treated at the least problem, to keep all vaccinations up to date. It is just as important to give the daily attention, respect but also the love that the cat is entitled to expect from its owner.