Adopting a Cat from PetSmart: How Long Does It Take?

Adopting a cat is a joyous occasion for any family. When you choose to adopt from PetSmart, not only are you welcoming a new feline friend into your home, but you’re also giving a cat a second chance at life. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the adoption process at PetSmart and how long you can expect it to take.

Overview of PetSmart’s Adoption Process

PetSmart, a well-known pet retailer, partners with local animal shelters and rescue groups to facilitate pet adoptions. The animals up for adoption at PetSmart are typically housed in-store, offering a convenient and highly visible platform for potential adopters.

Step 1: Meet the Cat

To start the adoption process, visit a PetSmart store and spend time getting to know the cats. PetSmart ensures that their adoption partners take good care of these cats until they find their forever homes. The cats at PetSmart are all from local rescue groups, ensuring they are in healthy condition and ready for adoption.

Step 2: Application and Approval Process

After finding a cat you wish to adopt, you’ll need to fill out an adoption application form. This form includes questions about your lifestyle, home environment, and past pet ownership to ensure a good fit for both you and the cat. The application process duration can vary from one rescue group to another, but they usually aim to respond within 48 hours.

Step 3: Take Your New Friend Home

Once your application has been approved, you can proceed with the adoption. You’ll pay an adoption fee, which goes towards supporting the rescue groups and shelters partnered with PetSmart. After paying, you can bring your new cat home!

So, How Long Does It Take to Adopt a Cat from PetSmart?

The duration of the PetSmart adoption process can vary based on several factors, including the specific rescue group’s policies and how quickly they can process your application. Generally, however, the process can take anywhere from a few days to a week.

Factors Influencing the Adoption Timeline

While PetSmart aims to make the adoption process as efficient as possible, there can be factors that may lengthen the adoption timeline:

  1. Application Approval: Some rescue groups may take longer than others to process applications.
  2. Availability of the Cat: If a particular cat is popular and has multiple interested adopters, there may be a delay.
  3. Health Issues: Sometimes, cats may have health issues that need addressing before they can be adopted.

Why Choose PetSmart for Cat Adoption?

PetSmart’s partnership with local shelters and rescues ensures you’re adopting a cat that has been well-cared-for. Plus, adopting from PetSmart means you’re supporting local animal welfare organizations. Moreover, each adopted pet comes with a range of benefits, including a booklet of valuable coupons to use in-store.


Q1: How much does it cost to adopt a cat from PetSmart?

The adoption fees can vary significantly based on the specific animal rescue organization that PetSmart has partnered with. Generally, you can expect fees to range from $50 to $200. These fees usually cover the cost of vaccinations, microchipping, spaying or neutering, and other veterinary care the cat may have received.

Q2: What are the PetSmart adoption requirements?

While specific adoption requirements can vary depending on the individual rescue group, most organizations require you to be at least 18 years old, provide identification, and complete an adoption application. Some may also request proof of residence and may conduct a home visit to ensure a suitable environment for the cat.

Q3: Can you return an adopted cat to PetSmart?

If you are having difficulties with your adopted cat, PetSmart encourages you to reach out to the rescue organization from which the cat was adopted. Their main goal is to ensure the well-being of the animals, and they will typically work with you to address any issues or, if necessary, arrange a return.

Q4: How old do you have to be to adopt a cat from PetSmart?

You must be at least 18 years old to adopt a cat from PetSmart. This age requirement is a common standard among most animal rescue organizations and is intended to ensure the adopter is able to provide a stable, responsible home for the cat.

Q5: What is PetSmart’s adoption application form?

The PetSmart adoption application form is a document that potential adopters fill out to provide information about their lifestyle, household, and past pet ownership. It’s designed to help rescue groups ensure that the cat is a good fit for your home. The form usually asks about your work schedule, who lives in your home, any existing pets, and how you plan to care for your new cat.

Q6: Does PetSmart host adoption events?

Yes, PetSmart regularly hosts adoption events in partnership with local shelters and rescues. These events are an excellent opportunity to meet multiple cats in one location and potentially find your perfect feline match.

Q7: What should I do if my adopted cat has health issues?

If your adopted cat appears to have health issues shortly after adoption, reach out to the rescue group from which the cat was adopted. Many organizations have policies to address post-adoption medical concerns. Also, a visit to a vet should be scheduled for a new pet, regardless of where it was adopted.

Q8: Can I adopt a cat from PetSmart at any time?

The cat adoption process is subject to the operating hours of the specific PetSmart location, as well as the schedule of the rescue group handling the adoptions. While you can view cats during normal store hours, actual adoptions may be restricted to certain hours when a representative from the rescue organization is present.

Q9: What type of cats can be adopted from PetSmart?

You can find a wide variety of cats up for adoption at PetSmart. These could range from kittens to adult cats, and from mixed breeds to purebreds. Remember, every cat is unique and they all deserve a loving home!

Q10: Do cats at PetSmart receive veterinary care?

Absolutely! Cats available for adoption at PetSmart typically come from local shelters or rescue groups, which ensure the cats receive necessary veterinary care. This often includes initial vaccinations, de-worming, flea treatment, and spay/neuter surgery.

Q11: What does the adoption fee cover?

The adoption fee typically covers a portion of the veterinary care the cat has received. This includes initial vaccinations, microchipping, spay/neuter surgery, and any specific medical treatments the cat may have needed while under the care of the rescue organization.

Q12: How can I prepare my home for a new cat?

Before bringing your new cat home, make sure you have the necessary supplies: a litter box, cat food, food and water dishes, a scratching post, and toys. Prepare a quiet, comfortable space for your cat to relax and adjust to their new surroundings. Make sure any potentially dangerous items, like toxic plants or small loose objects, are out of reach.

Q13: What should I do if my adopted cat is not adjusting well?

If your newly adopted cat is having trouble adjusting, give them time and space. It’s normal for cats to need a period to adjust to a new environment. If issues persist, consider reaching out to the rescue organization or a professional animal behaviorist for advice.

Q14: Is there a trial period for adopting a cat from PetSmart?

Trial periods depend on the policies of the specific rescue group associated with the adoption. It is always best to check directly with the organization handling the adoption for any specific post-adoption policies or support.

Q15: Do I need to have previous pet ownership experience to adopt from PetSmart?

No, PetSmart and its partner organizations typically welcome first-time pet owners. However, they will want to ensure that you understand the responsibilities that come with cat ownership. It’s also beneficial to do some research and learning about cat care before bringing your new feline friend home.

Q16: Do I need to make an appointment to adopt a cat from PetSmart?

While it’s possible to adopt a cat during a casual visit to PetSmart, it’s always a good idea to contact the local rescue organization ahead of time. This way, you can learn more about their specific process and potentially schedule a visit during a time when a representative is available to facilitate the adoption.

Q17: Can I adopt more than one cat from PetSmart?

Yes, it’s possible to adopt more than one cat, provided the rescue organization feels it would be a good match and that you can responsibly care for multiple pets. Some cats may even have bonded with one another while in the shelter and are encouraged to be adopted together.

Q18: What should I feed my newly adopted cat?

Initially, it’s a good idea to continue feeding your new cat the same food they were receiving at the shelter or rescue, to prevent any digestive upset. Later, you can gradually transition them to a new diet if desired. Always choose high-quality cat food appropriate for their age, size, and health status.

Q19: Can I adopt a cat as a gift for someone else?

While the intention might be well-meaning, it’s generally not recommended to adopt a pet as a gift. Adopting a pet is a personal and long-term commitment that should be made by the person who will be caring for the pet. Instead, consider gifting a “pet adoption kit” that includes items like cat toys, food, and a promise to accompany the recipient to choose a pet when they’re ready.

Q20: How can I help if I’m not ready to adopt a cat?

If you’re not ready to adopt but still want to help, there are many other ways to support PetSmart’s mission. You can consider volunteering with the local shelter or rescue group, donating funds or supplies, fostering a cat, or even just helping to spread the word about the importance of pet adoption.

Q21: Are PetSmart cats socialized?

Typically, the cats available for adoption at PetSmart have been socialized to some degree by the shelter or rescue organization. However, each cat is unique and their level of socialization can depend on their past experiences. The rescue organization can provide more information about a specific cat’s temperament and behavior.

Q22: Can PetSmart help with post-adoption support?

Post-adoption support largely depends on the specific rescue organization. Most rescue groups will be more than willing to provide advice and assistance following adoption. They can be a valuable resource for any questions or concerns you might have during your cat’s adjustment period.

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