Free Cats

by Elisa Black-Taylor

Free cats. We see these words everywhere these days. People advertise cats on Craigslist and in the freebies section of the newspaper. Not only is this dangerous for the cats, it’s also misleading to those wanting to adopt a cat.

Free cat adverts Craigslist
Free cat adverts Craigslist. This is a screenshot.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

For one thing, free cats aren’t really free. They come with a lot of “adoption baggage” and that’s the reason I’ve always suggested people adopt from a shelter or rescue. Your typical free cat will need a vet exam, tests for FIV/FeLV and sometimes heartworms. They will need vaccinations to protect their health. Most likely they will need a spay/neuter. All of this is included when a cat is adopted from a legitimate shelter or rescue.

It’s not safe to adopt a cat out to someone not willing or capable to care for it. You never know who will show up for a free cat. It could go to a wonderful home, or a life of hell may await it.

The reason for this article comes from a story Michael wrote regarding the ASPCA offering up the Caboodle Ranch cats next weekend. I wasn’t aware the event had already been scheduled. I have a hard time keeping up with all of the news in the cat world using just my cell phone for internet. I thought this an important topic and wanted to know if everyone else is as concerned as I am.

For those of you who haven’t heard, the ASPCA will host an adoption event next weekend where the cost of taking home a Caboodle Ranch cat will range from free to $10 per cat. All a person has to do is show up and show an ID. And I guess looking like a normal person instead of an abuser is required.

Update – correction: Please see John’s comment below:

“The adopting agencies are not just handing out cats to anyone with a photo ID. The applicants are being screened and interviewed — more rigorously than usual, given the number of Caboodle Ranch supporters who have threatened to “steal” or “kidnap” the cats, or to adopt them under false pretenses so they can be illegally returned to Craig Grant….”

See a page on ASPCA rehoming events for the Caboodle cats.

My main concern is what an abuser looks like. A lot of you may not know I write a lot on dog abuse. MANY of the abusers are members of the police department where they live. Who could look more normal than a police officer? My point is, judging someone by their appearance and not taking an application to check references or do a home visit is very dangerous for a cat.

A lot of people are concerned the Caboodle Ranch people will adopt some of the cats and take them back to the ranch. I think that’s the most dangerous thing that could happen. Not for the reason most of you would think. We went through a feline distemper (panleuk) scare last summer. If any of the Caboodle cats died of this and were buried on the property, the property is still contaminated. Dry conditions allows distemper to live for a year. Wet conditions, such as rain mixing with soil and cat remains could keep the virus alive for YEARS.

So I caution anyone who wants to adopt out a cat using the freebies as well as those of you who adopt this way. Be very careful what you’re doing. Sometimes a bargain isn’t a bargain and sometimes a nice looking person is a seriously deranged animal torturer. The moral is, acquiring a cat is a serious decision regardless.

How do all of you feel about the ASPCA adoption event next weekend? I’m really worried about who will be taking these cats home.


Associated page: Free Maine Coon Kittens.

25 thoughts on “Free Cats”

  1. Thanks, Elisa, for making these corrections. The ASPCA and its adoption partners will have thorough adoption processes in place to help ensure that the cats are going to loving homes. This includes completing an application form and having potential adopters meet with adoption staff to answer various questions about their home environment. Some of these cats have special needs, and we will also have a veterinary expert onsite to explain how to care for them.

    Also, to address the other questions about out-of-state adoptions, we welcome potential adopters to come from all over, including states outside of Florida. We encourage everyone to come out and adopt one of these sweet cats! For more info, please visit
    – The ASPCA

  2. Dana can you or John leave a comment on whether out of state adoptions will be allowed. I know a lot of states require a certificate of health. You two know more about this than I do and this may save someone a trip if you must live in Florida to adopt.

  3. Here’s the link I was talking about Most of our police officers are great. They will even assist people when not on duty. It’s only a few who are bad. I’m sure if you look hard enought there are abusers in every profession. I just wanted to show you shouldn’t think someone is nice solely by appearance. There probably will be abusers showing up trying to adopt. With so many available its the perfect scenario. The Caboodle adoption event is all over the internet now. I’ve already received 3 notices on it from 3 newsletters. I hope those who would sneak a cat back to Caboodle will read my comment about distemper and other diseases remaining in the ground.

    • I agree, Elisa. There are abusers in EVERY profession, everywhere, all around us. Closer than we’d like to think. Many of us probably interact with them regularly. Even the people who profess to be rescuers are often abusers. Scary, that they are everywhere.


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