Adoption Process

Our regular adoption fees are:

Kittens (up to one year old): $120

Cats one to eight years old: $80

Cats over eight years old and "special needs": $70

Prices are subject to change. Promotional events may occur that reduce these prices (for a limited time only.)

Please make sure you speak to a WSC representative about adopting a special needs cat.

Cats and kittens receive all the following veterinary care:

  1. Deworming
    • Most infected cats do NOT show signs of having worms; heavy burdens of worms can cause weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea, irritation around the anus and failure to thrive. You may notice worms in their feces shaped like segments of rice or noodles.
    • All cats/kittens are given a "broad-spectrum dewormer" in which it will treat the following parasites: tapeworms, hookworms and roundworms.
  2. Flea Treatment
    • All cats receive a topical (on the back of the neck) treatment of fleas. In times where cats are rescued and heavily infested with fleas, they may receive a bath and/or oral flea treatment (CAPSTAR™) in order to properly eliminate/treat the fleas.
  3. FeLV/FIV Test
    • FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), if these viruses go undetected, are capable of causing premature death in cats/kittens.
  4. Fel-O-Vac Innoculation
    • Feline Rhinotracheitis-Calici-Panleukopenia Vaccine
    • Vaccination of healthy cats as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by feline Rhinotracheitis, Calici and Panleukopenia viruses.
  5. Collar with Identification
    • All cats/kittens get a leather collar with a plastic idientification tag listing their "shelter name" on it.
  6. Spay/Neuter
    • "Neutering is the most common method for sterilization of animals. Spaying involves abdominal surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus. In male animals, 'castration' involves the removal of the testes."
    • There are a plethora of benefits to spaying/neutering:
      • Risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian and/or uterine cancer is reduced/eliminated.
      • Reduces the number of unwanted litters and helps reduce the pet overpopulation.
      • Helps cats live longer and happier lives.
      • Reduces/eliminates risk of males spraying/marking.
      • Risk of testicular/prostate cancer reduced/eliminated.
  7. Rabies Vaccine (over four months of age)
    • "Core vaccine" kittens are usually vaccinated against rabies when they are between eight and twelve weeks of age, and given a booster shot a year after the initial vaccination.
  8. Microchip
    • A small chip (smaller than a grain of rice) is placed underneath the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The chip has a unique number that can be picked up and read by a scanner.
    • Microchips help in the event where your pet is lost/stolen and someone picks your pet up. Veterinarians, humane societies, and some police stations can scan to see if a chip is present. If scanned, one can contact the microchip company with the unique numbers that pop up on the scanner, and the company can identify the owner.
    • A microchip is NOT a GPS/tracking device, it is only useful and identified when a scanner is present and searching for a microchip.
    • Make sure your microchip does not need further instruction/registration. We will instruct you on how to register your information with your newly adopted pet.

No, just stop in! There are plenty of cats to visit.

Cat or Kitten currently in the shelter and already fixed: once approved, you can take them home the next day we are open!

Kittens at the shelter but not yet fixed: occasionally we will have kittens available for viewing who are waiting for their surgery dates. These kittens can be reserved but cannot go home until they've been fixed. You will be given a pick-up date when you reserve them.

You should plan on spending some time simply visiting with the cats to determine the right one for you. This is a lifelong commitment to another living creature, so take your time. Once you choose your new feline family member, you'll need to show identification and fill out a simple adoption application and contract.

If you rent your home or apartment, you’ll be expected to provide your landlord’s name and phone number so our adoption counselor can verify that you are permitted to have a cat in your home. If you know your landlord will not be available via phone, please bring a copy of your lease agreement that specifically states that pets are permitted.

After that the process is easy. Your application will be reviewed by one of our adoption counselors and you may be asked some follow-up questions. We do not do same-day adoptions, as we are all volunteers and the approval process does take some time, so please do not expect to walk out with your new family member that day.

Cat Intake

Simply put, you can’t.

West Side Cats does not accept drop-offs because the drop-off issue promotes the thinking that cats are worthless and easily discarded. All of our cats are accepted by appointment only, and a minimum donation is required. To inquire about whether or not there is space available for new cats call 330-792-4228.

Because we are a no-kill shelter we rarely have room for stray cats. Cats in a high-kill shelter who are in danger of being euthanized take priority over owner surrenders and strays. To find out if our shelter has room, please call us at 330-792-4228. A donation to cover the cat’s medical costs and routine care is required for all new cats.

In general, we recommend that you try to find a home for the cat on your own. A shelter should always be the last resort, not the first option.

First take the cat to a veterinarian to have it tested for FeLV/FIV. If the cat has not yet been fixed, arrange to have this done prior to placing the cat. Neglecting to do so contributes to pet overpopulation and increases the number of cats that will eventually be euthanized.

Next take a great photo of your cat and post it on youngstown.craigslist.org, or place an ad in the Youngstown Vindicator by calling 330-746-6565. Be sure to describe the color of the cat, whether its fur is long or short, the gender, all medical care it has received and its approximate age (the vet can tell you this). Always ask for a small adoption fee of $10-$20 or more to weed out undesirable homes for your cat.

While waiting for responses to your ad, make a few flyers to post on bulletin boards in grocery stores, in your veterinarian's office and local pet stores.

If planning to move it’s much better to find a place for you and your cat to live together than to find a shelter willing to take your suddenly unwanted cat. This is because there are simply more cats than there are available homes. It is worth the extra effort to find an apartment or landlord that will accept the cat. It’s only a matter of a couple extra phone calls. Your cat will thank you for it.

Those wishing to abandon their cats because of the convenience of moving without them are given one of the lowest intake priorities and are very rarely accepted.

Losing their home is very traumatic for a cat. Imagine living with your family for years then suddenly being forced to live in a strange place against your will. That’s what abandonment is like for a cat. Consider alternatives before doing this to a cat who loves you and your family.

There are many over-the-counter allergy medications that are very effective. Talk to your doctor if you need something stronger. Many doctors are quick to say that getting rid of the cat is the answer. Tell him/her that you love your cat and work together with your doctor to find a solution. Our volunteer, Kimm, is extremely allergic to cats, yet she founded an organization to help and care for them. In addition to spending countless hours every day with dozens of cats at the shelter, she owns several cats at home. Do your best to honor your cat and see if there is a way to control the allergy.

Feral Cats

Feral cats are most often cats who have been born in the “wild” with little or no human contact. They are extremely scared of humans and will run away, scratch or bite if caught. Because we have children visiting the shelter where the cats are free-roaming in their rooms, we do not accept feral cats into the shelter.

Managment of a colony of cats can be achieved when a resident feeds and cares for these cats. Cat shelters for the winter months can be made out of dog houses, sheds or wooden boxes with access holes for the cats. In order for colony management to be successful, ALL cats in the colony must be fixed to prevent a population explosion. This is accomplished by trapping the cats and taking them to a veterinarian to be fixed.

You do not need to have any contact with the cat in order to trap it. Call 330-549-1111 to rent a humane trap for $50 from Angels For Animals. One of their volunteers will show you how to bait and set it. Trap the cat and take it to a vet to be fixed.

West Side Cats does not have the facilities or space to maintain a public feral cat colony at this time. For this reason, feral cats are never accepted. The best solution is to keep the cats in their current colony. If you were to remove the existing cats from the area, new cats would take their place.

Cat Issues

Pregnant cats can still be spayed right up until the moment of delivery very safely. This prevents unwanted litters from adding to the overpopulation and stops this problem from ever occurring again. Contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment to have your cat spayed immediately.