Adoption FAQ

Adoption FAQ

At Safe House, we are looking for ‘forever homes’ for our pets with adopters wanting to make a lifelong commitment.  We strive to match each pet to his or her ideal home and ensure that the pet will be compatible with your entire family so that you have a wonderful adoption experience and have a pet you will cherish its whole life through. Below are our general adoption guidelines which we consider on a case-by-case basis.

  • Adopters must be 21 years or older, or demonstrate exceptional maturity for their age if younger.
  • Renters must have permission from the landlord to have the type of pet applied for.
  • Our contract will specify that if you are ever unable to keep your pet for any reason, he or she must be returned to us.


  • No Declawing.  In addition to declawing being illegal in 36 countries and multiple US cities because of its inherent cruelty, we believe in the wealth of information that indicates cats frequently suffer long term behavioral and medical problems after being declawed. We require that each adopter sign a contract that they will never declaw any cat adopted from us. If you feel you must have a declawed cat, we will be happy to contact you when we rescue a cat that is already declawed.

Adoption FAQ:

Q – How do I adopt a pet?
A – Your first step is to complete an online adoption application. Once submitted, a volunteer will contact you to discuss meeting the pet.

Q – Can I come meet all the pets and then decide which I’d like to adopt?
A – We are a foster home based rescue and do not have a dedicated shelter facility where all of the animals are housed, so there is no central location where you can meet all of our adoptable pets. However, if you tell us what kind of pet you’re interested in, we can select several pets meeting your criteria and arrange for you to conveniently meet them all. 

Q – What are your adoption fees?
A – Fees vary based on the age of the cat or kitten. Kittens 6 months and under are $100; Kittens 6-12 months old are $75.  Cats 1-7 years old are $50, 7+ years old $25.  If a cat is FIV+ there is no adoption fee (though any donation would truly be appreciated!). 

Sometimes we’re asked why we have adoption fees.  Here are the (minimum) medical/care costs we are responsible for when we rescue a cat or kitten:

  • Spay or Neuter (sterilization):  $45
  • Rabies Vaccinations:  $10
  • FIV/FELV virus test:  $20
  • Other vaccinations:  $20
  • Microchip:  $20

Our minimum cost for each cat and kitten in our care is $115, excluding any out-of-the-ordinary care that may be needed.  We rely on donations to cover all costs above a cat’s adoption fee.

So…  Adoption fee $25-$100 (depending on the kitten/cat age);  you gaining a companion for life – Priceless!

Q – Is the adoption fee refundable if I return my adopted pet?
A – No, adoption fees are not refundable. However, the adoption fee on any returned pet will be turned into a tax deductible donation at your request.

Q – What’s included in the adoption fee?
A – Before adoption, cats and kittens will be spayed or neutered, be current on age-appropriate vaccinations, be given first (or more) deworming, microchipped, and tested for FIV/FeLV.

Q – Do you adopt to out-of-state adopters?
A – Yes, if you live outside of Illinois you may adopt a Safe House pet. You must come here to meet and adopt the pet, we do not ship pets or transport pets.

Q – What should I bring with to adopt?
A – You should bring a photo ID (driver’s license),  your adoption fee payable in cash or check, and a pet carrier.

Q – Can I take my new pet home the same day?
A – YES! All approved adopters may take their new pet home the same day.

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