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Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you found a cat, lost a cat or need help with a cat, we’re here to help with these FAQs.

Got questions? We have answers! Here’s some information to help address some of the most common questions we hear at the shelter. Don’t see your question listed here? Reach out to us!

I can’t keep my cat; can I surrender it to you?

Cat Care Society receives numerous requests from owners looking to rehome their cats. Unfortunately, as a small, limited-admission shelter, we aren’t able to help every cat in need. The best option, when possible, is to keep your cat in your home. Please visit our Resources page if you need help finding financial aid for medical bills, addressing problem behavior, securing pet-friendly housing or securing pet food or financial assistance for medical treatment. If you need a temporary caregiver for your cat for a short time, please inquire about our Temporary Care Program.

We understand that sometimes, as painful as it may be, keeping your cat is simply not an option. If this is the case, we encourage you to try to rehome your cat yourself with the help of Rehome on Adopt a Pet (use our referral code to waive the listing fee: RCXHAQTL2U8AD8Z).

The fact of the matter is that no animal shelter is as comfortable as a home, despite how hard we try to make every cat feel safe and stress-free. If none of the above options are suitable for your current situation, please fill out our INTAKE FORM HERE, and someone will contact you within seven days if we’re able to take in your cat. There are many wonderful shelters in the Denver metro and across Colorado that support cats of all shapes and sizes. If the need to surrender is urgent, we recommend checking out our shelter partners, as some of them may be able to help you sooner than we can. If you submit the intake form and later find alternate arrangements, please contact us so we can remove you from our waiting list. 

I found a stray cat! What should I do?

First, it’s essential to determine whether the cat is a stray, feral or lost cat. If the cat is friendly, the easiest thing to do is to scan the cat for a microchip, which can be done at most animal shelters or veterinary clinics. If the cat does not have a microchip, check your local municipal animal shelter for lost cat notices. Post the found cat’s information on flyers in your neighborhood and online through Petco Love Lost, Nextdoor and Facebook.

If you cannot keep the cat in your house, it is best to take him or her to the municipal animal shelter that provides animal services for your city, as this is often the first place that people look for their lost pet. If you suspect that the cat has been abandoned and would like to place it with us, please email us, but note that we often have a waiting list and may not be able to help immediately. We will contact you if space is available in our shelter.

If the cat is not friendly to people or is skittish, look at the cat’s ears to see if they have an ear tip! If they do, the cat is a community cat and is likely living its most comfortable life outdoors. If you think the animal is intact or needs medical attention, a TNR group may be able to help. Check out our Resources for stray cats to find organizations that trap, neuter and return neighborhood cats. This is an important step in reducing the number of stray cats in our community. We also have humane traps available for a small, refundable deposit. If it’s extremely cold outside and you want to give the cat a safe space to warm up, do not try to bring it indoors; instead, build a feral cat shelter (find instructions and more information in this blog post!).

Do I need an appointment if I want to adopt a cat from you?

Nope; come on in anytime during open shelter hours (Thursday through Monday from noon to 6 p.m.), when we accept walk-in visitors! If you intend to adopt, we recommend filling out an application prior to your visit to speed up the process in the shelter, even if you don’t yet know which cat you’re interested in. Please note that we stop processing adoptions at 5:30, so come early to start mingling with our feline friends. You can find more info on our adoption process and prices on this page.

What are the prices and process for adopting a cat?

Great, we’d love to help you find your perfect match! You can find all current adoption prices and information on our Ready to Adopt? page. Because we keep adoption fees low, we greatly appreciate additional donations you are able to make to support the care of our cats. Don’t forget to peruse our Adoptable Cats to see which one(s) strike your fancy!

I’m interested in a cat who comes with a health condition. How do I know if I can properly care for him or her?

We get it; taking in a cat who needs more care than a young, healthy cat can feel scary if you don’t know what to expect! We know that these cats can provide just as much love and joy as anyone else, though, and we encourage you to open up your home to one of the cats, too. Often, older cats or ones with chronic health conditions are overlooked and are in shelters the longest, so please know that you are making a positive difference if you are willing to take on a little bit more responsibility.

There are many resources out there to help you learn about caring for a cat with diabetes, FIV, FeLV, kidney disease, urinary issues and more. Please visit our blog for articles on some of these topics or ask one of our adoption counselors in the shelter to help you make an informed decision. And if the cost of caring for a diabetic cat is a concern, we recommend connecting with Diabetic Cats in Need who can assist with insulin and testing supplies. Before you adopt, we review the cat’s medical history with you so you can make an informed decision! We also offer 24-hour adoption holds if you’d like the opportunity to research the condition further.

Do you have any kittens available for adoption?

You may notice that few kittens are listed on our website. It’s because many families inquire about kittens, and they often come and go faster than we can get them listed! If you’re interested in a kitten, it’s best to stop in the shelter or call or email us to find out if we have any currently available. (Pro tip: Thursdays tend to be the best day to see our available kittens, so come in as close to opening as you can for the best chances of meeting our little ones!)

I lost my cat; do you have it?

Because we have few open spaces at any given time, we seldom take in lost cats unless we are certain that they don’t have a home. The first place to look is at the municipal animal shelter that provides animal services for your city, as lost and found pets are often posted online. You can also post flyers in your neighborhood and online forums such as Craigslist, NextDoor and Petco Love Lost. Try leaving a blanket or article of clothing with yours and/or the cat’s scent on it. This deters predators but can still make it easier for a lost cat to smell home. If your cat is shy or frightened, you may have more success using a live trap to try to capture your cat. We have live traps available for rent at the shelter. 

Do you have live traps I can borrow?
Yes! We rent traps for a $75 deposit. You can either pay in cash, by check or filling out a form with your credit/debit card info. We will keep your payment safe and secure while you use the trap. Then, when it is returned with no damages, we will return your payment and form or can shred it for you.
I can’t afford to have my cat spayed or neutered at the vet. Can you help?

Spaying or neutering your cat is very important to their health and helps control the stray cat population. While Cat Care Society does not currently offer veterinary or medical services to the public, a few of our friends do. Please check in with the Dumb Friends League Clinic for free spay/neuter surgeries regardless of the owner’s income. The Feline Fix also offers low-cost spay/neuter and wellness services for cats, as does Spay Today.

Will you take donations of extra cat food/litter/toys that I have?

As a small shelter who operates solely off of donations and grants, we are always grateful for any donated pet food, gently used beds, carriers and towels. We also accept opened cat food and litter for our Nibbles & Kibbles food bank and for feeding nearby feral cat communities. Due to PACFA regulations, we cannot use or accept used litter boxes or fabric furniture or toys. You can always find an up-to-date list of items we accept and items we don’t on our Ways to Give page.

I see CCS calls itself a limited-admission shelter. What does that mean?

As a limited-admission (sometimes called managed admission) private shelter, Cat Care Society can only take in new cats as we have the space and resources available to do so. This relies on the current cats in our care being adopted into new homes — or finding additional foster homes to provide relief and open up more spaces for new cats. As such, we often have a waiting list to accept new cats into our care. We balance accepting owner surrenders with transfers from our shelter partners in the state.

Most limited-admission shelters are smaller and great places to bring cats who are older or are facing chronic health issues, as we provide loving care for every cat. It is important to note that even at CCS, we do humanely euthanize when we are unable to alleviate a cat’s suffering or find that a cat’s behavior may cause harm to humans, other pets or the cat itself. We pride ourselves on always going the extra mile for every cat before the last resort of humanely euthanizing.

Open admission shelters, however, will take any animal and do find loving homes for the vast majority of them. Open admission shelters are a crucial part of the animal-welfare ecosystem. These shelters do everything they can within their available resources to place animals and are faced with tough decisions regarding euthanasia when the needs of an animal expand beyond those resources. The majority of these shelters do not euthanize merely due to a time an animal is in care or the space they may have. CCS is able to partner with these organizations and accept some of these cases.

There are several other limited-admission shelters like us in the Denver metro, as well as open-admission ones. Find a list of both on our Resources page and in this PDF.

What is your policy on euthanasia?

Cat Care Society never euthanizes an animal for space, resources or because an animal has been with us for an extended amount of time. In fact, we routinely go the extra mile to make sure all cats in our care receive the best medical treatment and/or behavioral attention so they can find a loving adoptive home. We are proud that our live release rate — sometimes called “save rate”— is 95%, meaning that 5% of the cats we care for die of natural causes or are humanely euthanized due to serious illness and/or quality of life (according to Shelter Animals Count, the 2023 average among U.S. shelters was 9%). 

We believe in transparency and always want to be available for questions or clarifications around our statistics, policies or procedures, and ask that you simply reach out if you hear any information about us and want to ensure its validity. Email executivedirector@catcaresociety.org to set up a time to talk.


Cat Care Society’s official euthanasia policy reads:

“The Cat Care Society is a limited-admission shelter, committed to placing every cat that enters its doors into a loving home. Humane euthanasia is a rare outcome that occurs when a cat’s suffering is great or a cat poses such a risk to themselves, other animals or people, and the management of either does not offer safety or solace, compromising the cat’s quality of life. 

“Each animal that comes to us is evaluated in entirety and as an individual, taking into account both behavior and medical conditions. Euthanasia is considered when an animal is felt to be suffering mentally, emotionally or physically with a poor prognosis, protracted painful recovery or incurable illness that cannot be mediated through palliative care. 

We ensure that all cats are valued, loved and treated with dignity. Cat Care Society believes that euthanasia is the final act of love and dignity that can be shown to an animal. It is the policy of Cat Care Society that animals be handled with respect and sensitivity and protected from stress, fear, discomfort and pain during this time.”