Are you looking for adopting a cat in Switzerland? Read to invest time, money and love to a furry 4-legged friend? We wanted to share with you our personal experience with adoption. We adopted a cat from a local organisation in the Ticino canton and it was the best decision and best experience we could have imagined. We already had one cat, and it was time she had a little brother or sister! Read on to see the process from our experience as well as the sweetest photos from our adopted cat!
The first thing you need to consider is, are you ready to adopt a cat? Is your house equipped with the right items for a cat? If you already have a cat and want a second cat, how do you plan to welcome the new cat to the old cat’s home? What routine do you plan on trying? Can you afford keeping a cat?
The questions can go on of course, and it’s really based on your own personal living situation.
Cat adoption rules switzerland
It is good to know what is required in Switzerland before adopting a cat. There are not many strict rules, but more general guidelines and advise that should be considered.
- Some organisations require you to have an outdoor space/garden.
- You should have permission from your landlord that you can have a cat at home
- Cat owners are also not obliged to pay tax
- It is recommended to microchip your cat and keep it updated, as even indoor cats incase they end up missing by accident
- Cat owners don’t have to be registered in Switzerland
- Be financially responsible, for overall upkeep (food, litter, toys) but also for any emergencies and vet bills
Is Switzerland a cat-friendly country?
Yes, Switzerland is definitely a cat-friendly country with approximately 1.7 million cats living in a Swiss home. So you would fit right in with having a cat too!
Our Home Situation Before Adopting A Cat In Switzerland
For us, we already had a cat called Szila, a beautiful 4 year old European shorthair breed who we had since she was a kitten. She relocated with us when we moved to Switzerland in 2022. She, lets be honest, is the boss of the house and very independent. But still lovable!
So we already had lots of cat toys, scratching posts, plenty of space, feeding bowls, a water fountain, tunnels, climbing towers and more.
The Process Of Cat Adoption In Ticino
We started by finding local organisations to follow, with many of them having Facebook pages where they share updates, new cats for adoption and information.
Find A Trusted Organisation
We quickly became hooked on following a specific organisation that shared some of the sweetest, young and old, cats for adoption. They also seemed like a trusted organisation, which is important. If interested, they are called Zampa nel Cuore Ticino and you can find them on their Facebook page.
It can cost you between 150-200 CHF to adopt a cat. This is because the cats have been looked after, and are usually already spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and treated against worms and fleas. So this is really ideal for those getting a cat for the first time too with all sorted for the cat beforehand.
We would like to highlight that you can pay more for the adoption by choice. Any additional money will of course support the local organisation in helping more cats!
Initiating Contact For Adopting A Cat
We were a little specific with the cat we wanted, since we already had Szila and had a feeling she would be best suited with a younger cat. We did not mind on what breed overall, but one that is generally playful but chill would be suitable. We were considering a male cat too, after researching how two female cats can be together.
We had made contact with the Zampa nel Cuore Ticino through facebook, who one day shared a beautiful photo and information on a cat called Medea, a beautiful female Persian cat from Bosnia. As soon as we saw the post, we were excited with the thought of giving Szila a younger sister.
We first had to send some information about ourselves and living location. This also builds trust between yourselves and the organisation, as they want the best people for the cats too, to avoid that you don’t get along and return them. They asked good questions about our home space and balcony and lifestyle (such as if we are home often or not). We also video called with them to show more as they could not come to visit personally at the time.
Pick Up Day
After communication with the organisation, they had invited us over to the home where the kitty that we were interested in was staying. The home was super sweet, with a few permanent resident cats and then space for cats up for adoption.
We didn’t speak much Italian at the time, but they were very helpful with a local neighbour also helping out as a translator! During the time of talking about Medea, we of course got to meet her, stroke and play with her. As well as to see how she would take us!
Overall she was definitely nervous to start with, but didn’t run away or anything. She was purring very quickly from our attention and loved to be on the climbing tree. She seemed a little sick, such as sneezing a few times which we were a little concerned about. However we understood that she had only just come all the way from Bosnia 2 days before, which must have been quite a journey as its 12 hours driving!
We had brought a transportation box with us, and after collecting her passport and having all information and staying a while, we were allowed to take her! They put her in the box, we paid and that was it! Exciting times ahead!
After a short drive home in Ticino, we brought the transportation box into our home, where Szila was also waiting. Medea didn’t really seem nervous at all for meeting Szila, which was a good sign for us, but we of course would focus on making sure Szila felt still at home and comfortable with her new sister.
We had researched a lot of methods on how to introduce a new cat to a home where there already was a cat. And we had picked the one that we felt most best for our situation.
If you are living in Ticino, we can also recommend this veterinary clinic!
Welcome Home Medea
When we adopted Medea, she was 8 months old and her background was originally a street cat from Bosnia. But now she joined our home with Szila, which is now complete with four nationalities in our home too, Dutch, Polish, English and Bosnian!
We decided to keep her name as it was, which was chosen for her when she was collected in Bosnia from the local veterinarian. This was where they had created her passport too.
Our 1st cat Szila was definitely a little unsure at first at what we had brought home, but over time she’s already getting used to her, eating well together and lots of zoomies around the house!
We had to manage the food carefully, as Medea was wanting to eat everything (we think due to being a street cat with limited food). She would eat so quickly that Szila would end up with nothing, so we continuously kept up with the method where the food bowls were far apart. After a month we slowly got them together and Medea was no longer eating so quickly, knowing she got food regularly.
Play time was important too. Medea was not scared at all of Szila, and she wanted to play very often together. However Szila needed her space and was not so confident at first, so we made sure to give Medea extra play time from our side with ribbons, little toys and her favourite bouncy balls.
In no time the weeks passed and she has been absolutely lovely overall, settled in very quickly, loves her sister and loves playing with us all!
Cat Adoption Tips
If you are interested in adopting a cat in Switzerland, and based in Ticino, we can highly recommend the organisation that we adopted Medea from. They were brilliant in communication, even with some translation required in our case.
Other tips we suggest include:
- Research the breed first, and don’t just take a cat because it’s cute. They can be very different in personality, upkeep and attitudes.
- Make sure you have time to comfort, play and spend time with the cat
- Make sure you have financial means to afford the cats monthly costs as well as for emergencies
- Secure your house safely, such as a balcony net to avoid any high falls
- Consider taking pet health insurance
- Join a local veterinary clinic so that you will make sure to get their vaccines and check ups on time
Let us know in the comments if you’re adopting a cat in Switzerland! We’d love to hear your experience too!