What is the adoption process?
- Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or text us on 07722826935 with an email address and then we can send you a form to apply to adopt.
- You can also phone us on 07722826935 but please bare in mind that everyone is an unpaid volunteer and they may be at work or minding family or at medical appointments as noone is a fulltime volunteer. So if we are not able to answer the phone, do leave us a message and someone will call you back.
- When you email back our form, on which you can describe what you are looking for in a cat and what you can offer a cat, your lifestyle, etc. then current cats available can be matched to your form.
- If your form matches a cat, you can then reserve the cat subject to home-check or subject to our team being happy you are a match. This match is subjective and is at the discretion of our volunteers, usually Richard as he is the volunteer Rescue Manager. We want the best thing for the cat and a happy cat and a forever adopter.
How does reservation fee work?
If you reserve a cat, it is only held for 2 weeks reserved for you. It is only held for longer than that if the cat is not well or the rescue feels is not ready to be homed yet (it could be recovering from spay or dental, etc). The reservation fee is £50 and is paid via the Friends and Family option to our paypal account email@example.com
Is a reservation fee refunded?
This is NOT refunded if you just change your mind and then do not want to adopt the cat within 2 weeks. So please be sure you want to adopt a cat before you pay reservation fee.
IT IS refunded if your homecheck is not a match for the cat or one of the team then feels that you are not a match for a cat.
Why won’t you hold a reserved cat for more than 2 weeks?
If that cat is ready to be rehomed, vet treated and deemed ready – it is in the best interests of the cat to start it’s new future. Not to be held at rescue or in foster for many weeks longer than is needed.
Can I meet a cat before reservation?
You can meet a cat before reservation, but only if you have done a form and we deem it a match for that cat. We will not hold a cat you are interested in if someone else applies and is a match. We may agree to hold it if you are a match and coming to view the cat within a short period of time. This is completely at the discretion of the volunteer Rescue Manager.
You must be aware that cats are in the homes of Richard and Fiona or a fosterer, so you cannot just phone and come and browse in someone’s home. You have to do a form and be a match and then we can liase with the fosterer about you viewing a cat when they have someone else home. If you arrange to come and view a cat, we may more it to rescue – so you need to keep any arrangement made.
Where are rescue cats located?
They are in the homes of Richard and Fiona (rescue), which is in Upminster, Greater London, near junction 29 of the M25.
Most cats are usually in Essex, London, Greater London, Kent or Norfolk. We do have other fosterers around England and a safe house in Wales to take in cats if urgent, while we can arrange to collect from them. Look at each listing for an Available cat to find location.
Who is fostering for us varies depending on what else they have happening in their lives, as they foster around their own jobs, lives, families and commitments.
Can you help transport a cat to an adopter?
We can do this, subject to finding a volunteer able to give up their time and you funding their petrol. The rescue will not fund petrol to bring a cat to you.
Can I have a cat for free?
No. Without adoption fees, a rescue would not be able to keep going. We are a small specialist pedigree-looking or part pedigree cat rescue. We take in many old or ill cats that we are told other rescues have refused to take.
We have committed volunteers, but they are normal people like you – giving up their time for free. They cannot fund all vet bills for cats, flea, worm, bedding, food, litter, petrol, equipment needed for each cat, so that you can have a cat who is ready for adoption for free.
Why aren’t you so grateful we are prepared to take a rescue cat that we can have a cat for free as we are prepared to feed and love it forever and do you a favour?
We are very, very grateful to you for looking to adopt a rescue cat, but only if you can afford adoption fee for the cat and afford vet treatment in the future for the cat (ideally also get some whole of life insurance for it too, which may help with some vet bills) and afford good quality food for the cat and afford boarding or pet care while you are away from home and afford any equipment the cat may need, etc. We cannot afford to work in our jobs and volunteer for the rescue – we work to pay our own bills and our own cat bills, we are often already donating a lot to the rescue and donating our time free – we cannot fund your pussycat adoption fee and all other costs to save each cat.
Why do adoption fees vary?
We take alot of old or ill pedigree looking cats that other rescues may have refused. This actually means that our vet bills and care is more expensive. We have therefore found that we can only afford to help them if we charge a higher adoption on younger or apparantly healthy younger cats.
What happens if I can’t keep a cat after adoption?
If after the moment you adopt a cat you feel you cannot keep it, it must be returned to Strawberry. This can be for any reason and we do not judge. It can be because you cannot integrate it with other cats, if you find you cannot cope with a cat, or you get ill or whatever reason. We take a Strawberry cat back at any time in it’s lifetime, whether old or ill.
Adoption fees are not refunded after adoption if you do not want to keep the cat. That is because funds coming in can be used for bills outstanding and cat care. As soon as money is available, it can be committed or used to pay rescue bills to save cats or help save cats. We ourselves when we have adopted from other rescues and say could not integrate that cat into our own cat families, we knew that the poor cat was going to be confused and more difficult to place a second time, and we never got a refund of adoption fees.
Can you guarantee that a cat will never stratch or bite or hurt a child?
No, they are living things and as animals will scratch, bite, etc. We can only tell you what we are told about a cat’s temperament the previous owner has told us and what we have observed ourselves.
Why don’t you now rehome cats with children under 6 or even older children?
We dont do this anymore as too many cats were returned for scratching or biting or hurting a child. Cats will scratch and bite, depending on if ill, scared or what is happening to it. Look at a cat’s details as some are not ok with children even older than 6, depending on what we have been told or have seen of the cat.
What do you need in a fosterer?
You must have a spare room where the foster cat can be kept separate from your other cats or your home. This is needed as some may be ill and need space or be scared.
Does fostering mean I can get a kitten free and you cover costs forever?
No. If you foster and then decide you want to keep a cat, you have to pay adoption fee.
We now follow the model that many rescues follow. Fosterers just get a litter tray, starter pack of food and cat litter. The fosterer has to be prepared to fund the food after that starter pack and cat litter. The cat remains property of the rescue and will be rehomed as soon as it is ready and well enough to rehome. Without adoption fees, we cannot exist.
What do you do to cats pre rehome?
We look at vet history we are provided for every cat. We take to a vet to have a vaccination done and they do the usual vet check that that vet may do for a cat pre vaccination (think back to when you have annual vaccination done on your own cats.
We have been asked for the follwing and we do NOT do DNA testing, ultrasounds, x rays, dentals on every cat, we do not research cat pedigree history for any history of illness, we do not do bloods, urine analysis etc on every cat).
We do blood analysis and urine analysis where we are very worried about cat and it’s condition, where the cat looks poorly and is old, where the cat looks very ill and does not respond to love and TLC, worming, feeding and flea treatment (some look so much better after that being done). We work with advise from our vet and our own experience with rescue cats and our own. Some fosterers have their own concerns and may do other vet work.
Why don’t you do blood analysis, urine analysis and dentals on every single cat?
We just cannot fund this. We have to do work that is needing doing in our opinion or the vet opinion (not every vet advises the same thing). Dentals are very expensive as we do pre op bloods usually for older cats, fluid support during the operation, x rays if needed, and medication and pain medication as needed post op. We do as many as we can and always where the vet says it must be done straight away or the cat is suffering. You will see how many we do from looking at our listings!
What happens if my vet says a dental is needed post adoption?
Every vet has it’s own perspective and sometimes subjective opinion. We will tell you if our vet says that a dental is needed in a period of time. Sometimes our vet will say needed probably in 2 years and if this is said – we will tell you. All cats need dentals at some time in their lives and we do a lot as we take so many old cats.
Can I get the vet record of the cat we are adopting from your vet?
Of course you can. This is important where we have funded bloods and expensive treatments, as we funded that for a reason – the cat’s health. You can get this before adoption if you want to.
Will you pay my vet bills after adoption?
No, we can’t do that. Adopting means you take on the liability of that cat you adopted – which is why we suggest whole of life insurance.
We struggle to fund every cat coming in with work they have may have been needing for some time. Few people (not all, but few) want to spend £350 on a dental for a cat they are giving up. That cat may be in terrible pain. We have cats coming in with abscesses and in agony. We fund their work. We cannot fund cats who have been re-homed, as we are small and fund raising is very difficult and can yield very little money. We suggest that you get quotes for a Whole of Life insurance (lifetime) policy for your newly adopted cat. Richard has signed a deal with Agria Insurance, which means that every single cat comes with 5 weeks free pet insurance. If you adopt a cat 9 and older from Strawberry, Agria will let you have insurance if you continue before the 5 weeks expire! We think that is truly amazing and we are very pleased to ensure older cats have insurance. Agria will not insure cats 9 + as a rule, only those adopted through Strawberry. We personally only take out LIFETIME policies for our own pets, which cover the conditions for a lifetime up to their max level of cover you opted for, not ones which only cover a condition for that year of the insurance policy. Our rescue number is 21584 with Agria, so even if you previously adopted via Strawberry – quote this number for a discount and quote. We can’t recommend insurance companies, as we are not financial advisors – we recommend you checking it meets your requirements, as we all want slightly different things from insurance. For every policy you take out and quote the 21584 rescue number, Strawberry gets donations from Agria back to the rescue each year.
Our own cat Hanna has had about £7,000 of vet work / MRI/ investigations and 2 stays at the Royal College vets – thankfully she has a lifetime policy.
Do we have cats who don’t cause an allergic reaction?
No, if you are allergic to cats or your children are, please don’t apply to adopt. It is very distressing for cats to settle into your home and then have to be homed again.
Is there such a thing as a pedigree cat who won’t moult, won’t scratch furniture, won’t scratch or bite at times?
We do get at least 2 calls a month wanting these things. No, they are living things and do all of these things at times. Richard usually suggests buying a teddybear instead.
Can we guarantee a cat won’t get ill?
No, at some point every animal and living creature will get ill. That is why we suggest whole of life insurance.
Can we phone for advice after adoption?
Of course you can or message our Facebook page – we will help with questions whenever we can. If your cat is very ill though, please get it to a vet – as we are not vets.