Adopting a cat using social media

Adopting cats through internet social media

I’ve titled this because I’d like to share my experiences on adopting a cat using social media. Not only will this include Facebook, but any social media that offers cats using Petfinder, Craigslist or your local online newspaper. While I don’t approve of Craigslist because of the danger of meeting a real wacko, a lot of people search for a cat using their services

Michael had questions in his article about the adoption of Cali, who was adopted using a photo found on social media, and then sent on a journey across America. Michael made the comment wondering how anyone can fall in love with a photo. I’d like to try and answer that question, because several cats in our home were adopted using only a photo.

I’ve written about Mandy in the past for PoC. She’s my sweetest cat. Mandy was our first rescue, along with her brothers Jasper and Sammy. The three kittens were on the Greenville County Pet Rescue Facebook page, and Mandy really got my attention in her photo. Not because she was beautiful-but because she was SO ugly! I was afraid if I didn’t speak up to save her, no one would want her because of her appearance. As you can see, Mandy turned into a real beauty, who’s as sweet as she is beautiful. Laura and I took the three kittens home after falling in love with a photo.

Cassie had a story behind her photo. She was found along Interstate 85 a week after a blizzard dumped almost a foot of ice on the area. Cassie was named Scrawny at the shelter, and her photo showed a skinny black kitten with a bad URI. Cassie’s photo really spoke to me. It said “Here I am mama. Come and save me.HURRY MAMA!” I was so desperate to save her that I started driving, only to receive a phone call from the shelter that she couldn’t leave until her stray holding period was up. Cassie was in horrible shape and had to go through a round of antibiotics to clear up the nasty upper respiratory infection. She’s turned into a giant long-haired black beauty who likes to keep to herself. She enjoys sleeping on soft pillows and looking out Laura’s window.

There are very few out there who know me who haven’t heard the story of Sealy and how he was critically injured in a car fan blade accident back in February 2012. I saw his photo on the Greenville County Pet Rescue euthanasia list. His photo showed a cat who had given up on life. More than anything, I wanted to wipe that depressed expression off his face.We believe Sealy is a very old cat. He’s toothless and has little hunched over shoulders and dark specks in his eyes that younger cats don’t have.

Sealy will celebrate his two year anniversary with us on February 24. He’s totally healed, and is spoiled beyond belief. Sealy enjoys laying in my lap-a LOT! As in HOURS each day. And he’s very pushy about his desire to receive daily back rubs and to be held like a baby and all the other things I never thought would be part of his personality. People see photos of Sealy and ask what’s wrong with him. You see, Sealy had some brain damage where the car fan blade/belt slash into his skull. He either stares at me or won’t look at me at all.

Sealy was adopted using only a photo.

There are many out there who now choose to adopt a cat from far away by photo alone. This also is true about many out of state rescues who “pull” cats from high-kill shelters in NC/SC. They have to determine which cats to bring into their rescue to adopt out and they have to do this without ever meeting the cat. Many times a shelter rescue coordinator will supply personality traits in the cats profile. It’s important to know if a cat won’t tolerate other cats or children or dogs.

Many rescues from up north choose cats out of the same shelter where we adopted the majority of our cats. There’s a shortage of cats up north, but I’m not sure why. Perhaps there’s less “farmland” where cats tend to breed and breed and breed until the family takes the cat to the shelter or until the cat dies. There will never be enough homes in the south for the sheer number of cats born, especially in the south.

Private adopters are no longer held back geographically as to where to choose a cat. Perhaps they follow a favorite shelter, such as Laura and I follow the Greenville shelter. Or maybe they’re just surfing different animal shelters on Facebook and find the cat of their dreams in a far away state.

While distance once prevented a cat from relocating, it’s only a small part of the adoption process these days. In other words, any cat you fall in love with a photo alone can be brought to you by a transporter or shipped through a commercial airline. Sorry if this sounds a bit like sending a package, but that’s how the world works these days.

There are even transport services out there who will drive non-stop from point A to point B to deliver your cat. These cost more than when your new cat is shipped along with a dozen others using a van or covered pickup truck. I have a big respect for transporters. Imagine having to listen to a dozen or more cats as the meow and cry in the cages. Plus there’s the responsibility of getting the cat safely from point A to point B.

Have any of you ever fallen in love with a cat from far away when you came across a photo of that cat? Would you chance an adoption where you didn’t meet the cat before signing the final paperwork? Your comments are welcome.


Related PoC articles both on adopting from long distance: Art 1 and Art 2.

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Adopting a cat using social media — 13 Comments

  1. Yes I would. I’ve heard to many good stories involving long distance adoptions in the US that I can justify the transport. The reality is that with the internet we have more choice. Choice might be a good thing or it might not – but regardless it just is.

    I would have taken Vincent and I would have taken Nora from a shelter in France. It is what it is and it is because of the internet. Lives get saved.

  2. Internet media spreads the word, which widens the net. Many more potential adopters are given a chance to adopt and that must be a good thing.

    For me there is a downside, namely, it is a bit like a dating service organised by Amazon involving cats and not books.

    The cat choices are based on appearance primarily and shipping is not an obstacle.

    Maybe this is a compromise worth making. It suits people. It is tailoring cat adoption to the desires of people. It is convenient.

    Do we know how many cats get into trouble during long distance shipping. What are the costs involved?

    What I also like is the fact that a surplus of cats in the south can be shipped to the north where there is an undersupply.

    I just wonder though whether this style of cat adoption is a move in the right direction in the long term.

    The better way to adopt is locally. More people should be encouraged to do that. More people should be encouraged to adopt the most needy and vulnerable not the best looking. Just a personal viewpoint.

    • I haven’t done so but given the chance I surely would sign the adoption papers before meeting the Cat.

      My one foster was adopted by wonderful people who fell in love with his photo, they made the drive to pick him up as soon as they were approved and they were ready to sign the papers even before meeting him.
      He is doing very well in his new home.

      • I haven’t done so but given the chance I surely would sign the adoption papers before meeting the Cat.

        Are you sure that is wise? All the “experts” say one should meet the cat and see the place where the cat is resident before adopting.

        That said, I know you’re good and I respect your views.

  3. I fell in love with my Kissy (née Bobette) through the Internet. Robin Olson, author of the blog Covered in Cat Hair and president of Kitten Associates, a Connecticut-based rescue that pulls cats from high-kill shelters in the South and finds adoptive homes for them in their area, had pulled Bobette and her litter of kittens with some help from rescuers in Georgia. All the kittens found homes, but Bobette stayed. She had a behavior issue because of chronic pain, and the right person just never seemed to come along. But after my sweet Dahlia died in April of 2012, Bobette’s story and her beautiful eyes really began to tug at my heart strings. Long story short: A couple of months later, I drove from Maine (where I lived at the time) to Robin’s home in Connecticut. When I met Bobette, there was an instant connection for both of us. I was pretty sure I was going to adopt her, but I didn’t think I was going to take her home when I left. Well, things happen, and Bobette joined my little family.

    Sadly, Kissy/Bobette passed away due to complications of a surgery to amputate her chronically painful and seriously damaged leg. She was only a part of my family for a few months, but she’d finally begun to overcome her fear and was spending time snuggled next to me on the sofa, as opposed to hiding in her “safe room,” which she did for most of the first month she was there.

    This photo of Kissy was taken August 18, 2012, about three months after I adopted her. This was the first time I saw her relaxing on the couch.

    • Bobette is lovely red tabby. I love red tabbies. The pain problem she suffered from is upsetting to read about. Very sad she died due to the surgery. We don’t know how much pain a cat feels. Personally, I am sure they feel pain exactly like we do but they put up with it much better than we do. Stoic. Uncomplaining, but it can affect their mood and personality. How did she injure her leg? Do you know?

  4. Even though this is not exactly the same thing- I desperately wanted a white Oriental shorthair. I have a real -life friend who is on Facebook, and I happened to mention to her about my interest in a white kitty. She contacted one of her friends on Facebook who had a white female who was just about ready to be retired from the show ring- as one of the top Premiers (she had developed a uterine infection and had to be spayed) in the nation.

    She sent me a photo of the kitty and I just fell in love with her immediately- and we made arrangements to visit her home and get to meet both the breeder and the cat.

    The cat was so sweet and loving and was all over me. I accepted her offer to adopt her immediately- and then Dr. Hush Puppy jumped on my shoulder- winding himself around my neck. It was a done deal- I would take both cats.

    Sadly, although we tried for almost two months for the cat to accept us- she was always under the couch- we would see a white blur come out to eat and use the litter box. Puppy was her only companion.. So the breeder agreed to take her back- and keep her forever since the cat was so bonded to her.

    The happy ending, however is that we got to adopt Sir Hubble- I just had to pay for his eye surgery(he was born with a membrane over his eye), and of course, his neutering.

    So in a way- this story is internet related. My husband and I couldn’t be happier with the results!

    • I don’t think Michael gets it how we fall in love with cats here without ever meeting them. The way I look at it any way to save a cat is worth it.

    • Our feral boy Renny hid for 2 months. But we were lucky. The lady who turned him and his littermate into the shelter had them vetted 2 weeks before taking them to the shelter and it was enough time for the panleuk vaccine to work. He’s one of the few who didn’t get distemper.

      We would see him slinking along the walls at night to go to the litter box and to eat. We won him over with raw chicken gizzards. He decided he loved gizzards more than he feared us. He’ll always be a skittish cat and he lives in my bedroom. He loves for me to hold him at night while he sleeps.

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