How to Adopt

Adoption Process

The Cat’s Cradle Shelter is dedicated to finding the right permanent home for each cat. To improve the likelihood of a successful adoption, we interview prospective adopters to help ensure the cat is right for the home and the home is right for the cat. Sometimes, we may try to guide you to away from one choice (like a nippy kitten in a home with toddlers) and toward a cat whose temperament may be better suited for the way you describe your life. Please don’t be offended if we ask some very specific questions because thinking things through on the front end can save you, your family, and our cat from stress and unpleasantness resulting from mismatched needs/expectations.

  •  Please be aware that Cat’s Cradle Shelter will not adopt cats or kittens without meeting the adopter(s) in person, nor will we ship cats or kittens, sight unseen.
  • We also do not allow people to adopt cats or kittens as gifts or surprises for a third-party. We must always meet/interview the person who will be legally responsible for the cat and it’s best to allow people to choose their own companion.   If you want to help someone acquire a cat, please contact us directly at 701-356-7877. You may choose to make payment for the cat in advance, then bring your guest to the shelter and surprise them after they find a cat that clicks with them.

Our adoption process is as follows:

    1.  Find a cat\kitten that appeals to you either online or in person at the shelter.
      • We love to give tours. View our adoption hours on our home page.  If you are serious about adopting a cat and these times don’t work for you, please call us at 701-356-7877 and we would be happy to set up a private tour for you.
      • Also, if you have a mobility limitation and would like to visit when the shelter is less crowded and is easier to navigate, please call us. We are happy to do what we can to make it easy for people to find a cat to love.
      • If you identify a cat/kitten online, follow up with a visit to the shelter to meet the cat/kitten you like – it’s important that you select a companion based on their personality and how they interact with you, rather than how they look in a photo.
    2. Complete a Pre-Adoption Screening Form,  available at the shelter or under the Forms section at the bottom of this page.
    3. Pass an interview with an adoption counselor/ volunteer. This is an important part of our adoption process and will not be skipped.  We will not hold a cat or allow a cat to leave the building until the prospective adopters have passed the interview (and for renters, we have contacted the landlord:  see #4 below).
    4. If you rent your residence, please bring your landlord’s contact information and/or a copy of your lease stating that you are allowed to have a cat and the landlord’s declaw policy. We do check landlord references to make sure pets are allowed and that deposits (or any other details) have been covered. This can take a few days, depending on when the adoption screening form is submitted and whether we can get ahold of the rental agency.
    5. If all parties agree the cat\kitten may be a good fit for the household, the adoption can be finalized and the trial period will start on the day the cat/kitten goes home.
    6. We will never allow a cat to leave our building without a safe cat carrier. We have cardboard carriers available for a small fee, but it’s best to purchase a good quality, hard-sided carrier that will last. Fleet Farm carries good ones for about $20 (Remington brand).
    7. “Holding”: Our goal is to have you take your cat home the same day as your visit, however, sometimes an adopter who has passed their interview needs us to hold a cat or kitten for a few days while they cat-proof their house, move to a new living situation, or because of other conflicts.  We are generally willing to do this for short periods (no more than 1 week), but only if the adopter has passed their interview and we have landlord approval, where necessary.  There is a non-refundable $20 deposit required.  If an adopter places a cat on hold and subsequently decides to not take the cat for any reason, they just made a $20 donation to the shelter.

Periodically, someone from outside a convenient driving distance is interested in one of our cats or kittens. For these people, we suggest submitting the fillable Pre-Adoption form in advance (see the link under Forms below).   Once completed, this form will be directed to an adoption counselor and we can do much of the interview over the phone.  If the interview determines we need more information, or that the cat isn’t a good match for the situation, we just saved someone a potentially long drive. If the interview and reference checks are successful, the individual can come to Fargo to meet with us in person and, if all goes well, pick up their cat (see first paragraph above, we don’t adopt to anyone we haven’t met).

Adoption Fees

Our adoption fee as of 1/1/18 is $132.10 plus 7.5% ND sales tax for a total of $142.00.

We now support paying Adoption Fees online using PayPal or Credit Card.  Use the button below to pay your Adoption Fee in advance.  Please include the name of the cat you are adopting with your payment.

Pay online using PayPal

This adoption fee is all-inclusive. For adult cats, the adoption fee covers 1 rabies vaccination and 2 distemper vaccinations, FELV/FIV screening, 3 de-wormings, microchip, and spay/neuter.  For kittens, the fee includes FELV/FIV screening, a minimum of 3 de-wormings, 1 rabies vaccination, 3 distemper vaccinations, microchip and spay/neuter. Since we adopt kittens out at 12 weeks of age and they may be too young to spay or neuter, that service is covered by Cats Cradle Shelter at the appropriate age as long as the procedure is done through our recommended clinic. Procedures done outside of our recommended clinic are at the adopter’s own expense.


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