Here’s how an international student can adopt a cat in Adelaide, Australia

If you were wondering if you can adopt a cat as an international student in Adelaide, then I have good news for you!
Yes, you sure can get a cat for yourself while you are living and studying in Adelaide, South Australia.

At this point in time, I am sure you are researching and gathering more information on how to adopt a cat in Adelaide when you are an international student here.

I understand that you have got lots of questions, doubts and queries about adopting a cat in Adelaide, South Australia and you are trying hard to collect all the pieces of information that you need to know.
This article will be your guide in helping you to adopt your dream cat.

But how?
Well, because I was on the same boat as you are when I was thinking of getting a cat for myself. I browsed a lot of sites, checked tips and watched tons of videos before we adopted our cat Eleven from an adoption centre in Adelaide.

I will be taking you from the basics of adopting a cat to some important topics like microchipping, desexing and registering online on the state website.

Getting started – How to adopt a cat in South Australia

Now let’s get started with the basics first. Before we dive into the other sections, one prime factor to be considered before adopting a pet or cat is the housing type you are living on. By housing type I mean if you are owning or renting the place you are living in.

Adopting a cat to your own house

If you are living in your own house and thinking of adding a feline member to your family then it shouldn’t be much of a problem as it depends on you and your family. However here are a few things you might want to focus on:

  • make sure your family member accepts your idea of adopting the pet
  • think of, plan and make some space for your cat

How to adopt a cat when you are renting?

While there are few more things to consider if you are renting and want to adopt a cat in South Australia but still you shouldn’t stress much as this is all about making sure you have enough permission and approvals from the concerned parties.

  • first thing first you will need to know if your rental property is pet friendly or not
  • you might want to check your lease agreement
  • make a written request to the agent/ landlord for keeping a pet while you are renting
  • if you are living in a shared corporation property like under strata management, approval of strata might also be required
  • you’ll need to sign a pet lease agreement after you get your cat
  • even though the cat will require very small space it is always a good idea to think about where you’ll keep the cat bed, litter tray etc.

Please check this page about renting with pets from dogandcatboard

Know the SA cat laws

It is good to know what the book says about what we should be knowing and doing about owning a pet. I recommend you to go through and GoodCatSA website at and making yourself familiar with the new rules and regulations on owning a pet.

Some of the common rules and regulations of owning a pet that we should be aware of are:

  • Dogs and cats must be microchipped before the sale, and must in any event be microchipped before 12 weeks of age.
  • Details of the cat or dog and the microchip must be entered into Dogs and Cats Online.
  • A vet can exempt a dog/cat from microchipping on health and wellbeing grounds.
  • all cats must be registered with the council through Dogs and Cats Online
  • after buying your cat you should be given the microchip number from the previous owner/ seller and ownership transferred to you via Dogs and Cats Online website

law cited source:

Please visit for full laws regarding buying and selling dogs and cats in South Australia.

Getting ready to adopt a cat

Okay by now you have decided to adopt a cat, seeking approval and know the cat laws in SA. Next, the time is to get ready to bring your feline friend home. Yes, the time is here and it is the time to keep your feet moving.

Find a cat adoption shelter

There are numerous organisations in South Australia providing cat adoption services. While most of them are in Adelaide, there are still many serving in the countrysides too. It is your choice and decision to choose a particular organisation.

Different adoption centres will have different policies and requirements for letting you be the new owner of a cat. An organisation like RSPCA have a strict methodology of accepting new ownership request. They may access your current situation, pet history and more.

The level of paperwork required to do fairly differs according to the organisation.

We adopted our cat from Cat Adoption Foundation and would definitely recommend them to you too!

Choose from available breeds and cat

Adoption centres will have different breeds of cats ranging from just born to many years old. It is your decision to choose what nature, breed, age and cat you would like to take home.

Most of the adoption facilities keep up to date records of the available cats online on their site or on social media profiles.

It is always best to give a ring to confirm the cat you are looking after is still available and make a reservation so it would be reserved for you.

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Buy cat things for your soon to be new family member

Running to the supermarket to get pet supplies after you bring the cat home mightn’t seem as wiser as buying beforehand. Even though a lot of things will depend on what type and age of cat you adopt, there are few things that you might want to buy beforehand like:

  • pet carrier and cat leash
  • cat toys and wand
  • cat litter, cat litter tray, litter bag and litter scoop
  • scratching post
  • 2 cat bowls for water and food
  • a small supply of wet food, dry food and cat treats

Read more about what you need to before getting a cat

Adopt a cat!

So we have gathered all resources and information needed to own a cat, it is the most awaited time – time to bring your fur baby home. On the day of adoption, there are few things to remember and a few things to take with you.

Here is what you need to do on the day of adoption:

Carry cat essentials to bring your cat home

Your new friend will be seeing you for the first time and mightn’t be comfortable coming home with you easily. It is best to carry few things to make the home journey easier.

  • pet carrier
  • cat leash
  • few cat treats and small toys to keep cat engaged

Paper works

There will be some paper works and signing to be done on the adoption time. It will take a few minutes. You will also be given a small cat/ vet book containing important information about your cats like microchip number, desexing status and details, medical history and diet details.

Ask about cat’s microchipping, desexing and vaccination details

It is always best to get answers to few questions before you leave.

  • Is my cat microchipped?
  • What do I need to register the cat in my name and how long it takes?
  • Please tell me about the vaccination and worming details of my cat.
  • Has my cat been desexed?

Do donate for the hard work cat adoption centre and volunteers do

You can also donate a few amounts apart from the regular fee to the adoption centres. This will be a small effort to thank volunteers and adoption centres for all the good work they do.

Bring your cat home, give some personal space and some time to get familiar

Your cat/kitten are territorial in nature. Therefore, they will take some time to familiarise themselves in your home which is new for them. Most cats go into hiding under the sofa, bed or corners of the house and they get out of it once they feel safe and unthreatened. After a few weeks, your furbaby will love to be around you.

Few last things

Well, you got a cat now!

But there’s little left to do.

Make sure you have completed the microchip registration online at and transferred the ownership from the previous owner/ seller. Generally, the adoption centre will guide you through what and how to do this, and often send you the invitation email to complete the registration online.

Useful links

Can I have a pet while renting?

Short answer – Yes.
Long – You might need to take approval from your agent/ landlord and sign a pet lease agreement.

Can an international student adopt a cat in South Australia?

Yes, you can adopt a cat in South Australia if you are an international student.

Do I need to microchip my cat and register online?

SA law states a cat to be microchipped before 12 weeks of age and registered online.

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About the Author
Lakshman Basnet
Nepali Digital Media Marketer currently based in Adelaide, South Australia who apart from playing with his cat - Eleven, also enjoys developing web content, publishing blogs and YouTube videos in his free time.

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