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Home Checks and what to expect

Discussion in 'Cat Rescue and Adoption' started by HannahJB, Feb 3, 2021.


  1. HannahJB

    HannahJB PetForums Newbie

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    Just over a year after my cat passed and I am finally ready and in a position to adopt another. My partner and I have just moved in together in a rented house which allows for cats.
    After months of looking, we have found a cat that seemed perfect for us from the RSPCA. We applied and just been told that they would like to take our application forward. I am so excited she is an indoor cat - we didn't have a preference either way rescued from a hoarding situation. However, when I got my cat he was from a friend whose cat 'accidentally' had kittens (how its an accident I don't know), so I have never been through the adoption process with the RSPCA.
    I know basically, it's about proving your home is safe and appropriate for a cat, but what sort of things do they look out for as warning signs? Besides wires, broken glass, piles of rubbish other obvious safety issues?
    Should we go out a buy things like a litter tray, bowls, window screens beforehand? I don't really want to just in case we get denied. But when my parents adopted through the RSPCA the home checker asked where the litter tray and bowls were.
    I also have a few houseplants, most are pet safe as I have had cats and my previous live-in landlords had dogs but should I get rid of all not pet-safe ones beforehand? I have a friend whos taking any if we get approved but again I don't want to get rid of stuff/buy loads of things and then get rejected. But also don't want to get rejected because we didn't buy stuff or get rid of everything beforehand.
    I know I am most likely overthinking it but this is the first application in months that's actually gone anywhere and we've not received 'there were so many applicants and unfortunately someone applied sooner or is a better fit or owns their home or lives further from the main road etc'. And she is also incredibly cute.
     
  2. Arny

    Arny PetForums VIP

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    I adopted a dog from the rspca so likely looking for slightly different things but I found the home check was more a chance for a chat and find out more about home life/routine than anything else. Making sure you understand having an animal will change things and pointing out any really obvious dangers.

    We did still have my previous dog's bed out as the cat had started using it but they still asked where would the dog sleep (we said down there or elsewhere if the dog would prefer not to be so near us), they didn't ask about where would they be fed etc.

    You can explain you've not bought things yet in case you're not successful but could still point out you've thought about where these items will go and how the cat will fit into your home.
    I'd never had a home check before either so was nervous but in the end needn't have been.
     
  3. Bertie'sMum

    Bertie'sMum Obedient Cat Slave

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    I volunteer with Cats Protection and, until very recently, they stipulated that if a prospective adopter was in rented accommodation then they needed to see proof (letter, rental agreement etc) that the landlord will allow pets. I would imagine that the RSPCA would have a similar ruling.

    (I know that parliament has just made it law that landlords cannot refuse to rent to anyone on the basis that they have a pet but don't how this might apply to anyone who has such a clause already in their existing rental agreement)
     
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  4. Babyshoes

    Babyshoes PetForums VIP

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    I don't know about RSPCA specifics, but in general they want to check that the home and people are suitable for a cat. You can be proactive and point out any plants you know are not safe, and mention that they'll be going to a friend before a cat comes home. If you'll be allowing kitty outside, they'll want to check the area and ensure you have a suitable way for the cat to get back inside at any time. If there are things you'll need that are not in place yet, that's fine but they'll make sure you understand what's needed and that you have a plan for them. They may ask you to get them in place before adoption day.
    They'll ask basic questions about the people in the home to ensure a good fit and to be sure the cat won't be left alone for too long. A single person working 12 hour shifts out of the home might not get approved unless they have a friend/neighbour/paid service who will come in while they're out, but normal office hours should be fine for an adult cat. They may want to speak to all adults in the home, since all adults will be legally responsible for their care, even if the cat technically belongs to one person.
    They will try to match the cat to the right household - if for example you have young children you'll need a very confident cat, which will reduce the numbers available to choose from.
     
  5. Stephanie Rose

    Stephanie Rose PetForums Newbie

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    We adopted our cat from the RSPCA last week. We selected him via video footage, emails, phone and finally a zoom meetup where we were able to give a tour of our home. They need to be assured the cat will be safe i.e. no toxic houseplants, household cleaners, open fireplaces, list is endless. They require a complete tour of the property including where kitty will sleep, ours is an indoor cat so outside footage wasn’t necessary. With regards to buying bowls, litter tray and bed, if you’re definitely set on getting a cat at some time just bite the bullet and buy them now. Lose the toxic houseplants or loan them to your friend.
    We’re onto day five with our boy and having bought two cat trees, beds, scratching posts and toys, he’s spent all of his time in a large cardboard box with a pillow inside.
    Just buy the basics for now which aren’t costly and then build up as you want.
    Hope this is of some help.
     
  6. white_shadow

    white_shadow PetForums Member

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    .
    Hi and welcome to the forum, @Stephanie Rose !

    I hope you're planning to stay 'around' - this place can offer a wealth of knowledge and a group of very supportive folks, very useful problem-solving resources.

    I also hope that something you said above.......was not on your own to-do list.....much less checked off as 'done' after your approval. If so, please, for heaven's sake, take some remedial action to protect this little one............

    I'm talking about "Lose the toxic houseplants or loan them to your friend.", but specifically to the latter option there. Honestly, if you have any houseplants at all, do ensure they're non-toxic to felines.

    We all make our own value judgements about the items on such bureaucratic lists.....sometimes only to experience firsthand the tragic lesson of why those things were included in the first place. In the "Plants" department, Lilies are at the forefront for me......with all parts, from stem to their very pollen, on all (I believe) species/types, gardened or potted....are deadly for cats.

    Fifty years ago, just a very few mere grains of a powdered household cleanser unknowingly dropped from the box spout (kept under a bathroom sink) were enough to hospitalize my very first cat for a week - with either liver or kidney acute failure (fifty years have dulled that detail) - and, we almost lost her - but, the same fifty years have not dulled the memory of the horror and anxiety we experienced.....and, all of that returning in a flashback the second I read what you wrote.

    Do you have "reclining" furniture? Immobilize/disable it! (likewise, rocking chairs) I mention this specifically because it's become very popular and some of these "lists" do not yet include it. Cats have been catastrophically injured and killed when they've become entangled in recliner mechanics. Later on, with very careful planning, after a good period of observation and acclimatization, you may be able to determine how the moveable features can be used safely.

    OK - a quick, easy guide to separate safe from dangerous plants is here: Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants - aspca.org.

    Hope this helps!


    Oh..........once Mister begins to explore his new domain.............we want pics! (that's the 'kitten tax' around here [​IMG] )
    .
     
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  7. HannahJB

    HannahJB PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for all the help and advice. We ended up having our home visit via photographs, which was odd. And then within 24hrs of sending them off, we were asked to fill in a form and send payment, and they dropped her off. She has had a few issues which have taken a lot of time. She was rescued from a hoarding situation of 40 cats and our vet found issues with her mouth and teeth, being very underweight and hoarding food, as well one of her front legs being severely broken or dislocated which wasn't treated and fused in an odd way and has early arthritis which isn't ideal for a three-year-old. But everything has been a bit of a surprise to with her from her definitely not being a DSH, to her coming up to cuddle and sleep within 36 hours.

    The whole point though in this post is to pay a kitten or adult cat who is a bit kitten-sized tax/ Dax Tax, this is Dax (Like Jadzia). Also if anyone has any idea about breed/what mix she might be as all the RSPCA have said is a domestic short hair we think DLH OR DSLH either way we think beautiful
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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  8. Bertie'sMum

    Bertie'sMum Obedient Cat Slave

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    Oh she is beautiful :Kiss:Kiss Such a lovely white "ruff":)

    Yes, I'd have classified her as a domestic long hair too - what's her name and have her "problems" now been sorted ?
     
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  9. HannahJB

    HannahJB PetForums Newbie

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    Dax, from Star Trek, it was hard to decide on a name and actually called her something different every day for a while. We've lucked out but I said that about every cat I've owned or interacted with.

    Problems are ok, had most teeth removed but behaviorally she's mellowed a lot even lets us pick her up. And her arthritis is manageable and the vet's arent worried. Just makes me sad that some animals have to go through life mistreated
     
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  10. Isolette

    Isolette PetForums Senior

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    CIMG3056 (2).JPG She is so like my Boycat in markings and fur. This is him.
     
    #10 Isolette, Jul 21, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
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