Adopt a cat

For life

An animal is not for a moment, but for life. Before you proceed to adopt, it is best to think very carefully about being able to provide the cat with all the necessary care for the rest of his/her life. Think about good food, equipment, annual vaccinations, deworming,… Make sure you and your family have the time, energy, and money to pamper the cat for life, even if he/she gets a little older or sick.

Also, make sure the whole family is behind the adoption. Is no one allergic? Who will take care of the cat when you go on vacation? What happens to the cat if you move or someone in the family gets pregnant? Think about this carefully in advance before making a decision. 

The purrfect match

The cats in our shelter reside at foster families. This way they can get used to a homely atmosphere and normal family life. This also ensures that the foster family can get to know the character of the cat thoroughly and therefore we can estimate very well in which kind of situation each cat should end up. Each cat has his/her own character and therefore we always try to find the best possible match for cat and owner.

Because we are not a traditional shelter but work with foster families, it is not possible to just drop by. All of our cats are legally cleared before they can be adopted. They leave our shelter chipped, sterile, vaccinated, dewormed, and deflead to their golden basket.

I want to adopt

If after reading the information on this page you are convinced that you would like to adopt one or more of our cats, you can see our cats which are available for adoption by clicking on the button below. There you can fill in the form for the cat you want to adopt.

Please note: we only handle applications for cats that are currently up for adoption. We do not work with reservations and/or waiting lists. The cats up for adoption can be found by clicking on below button.

For each cat up for adoption, the incoming questionnaires are reviewed and answered. Only one application (the best match) will be selected. If that is your application, you will receive an email with the shelter’s contact information and you can schedule an appointment for an initial visit. After this visit, the foster family, together with those responsible within ZIL, will consider whether the adoption can go ahead and a final decision will be made.

If you and Zwerfkat In Leuven both agree on the adoption, you will have to pay 160 euros per cat on our bank account and after that you can make arrangements with the foster family to pick up the cat(s) and take it home.


Kittens are always placed in pairs. We only make exceptions on that rule in uneven nests and if a social cat is already present in the new family. We don’t do this for no reason, but out of love for our kitties. After all, cats are social animals, often appreciating the company of a fellow cat. Especially when they are young, kittens still have a lot to learn from each other.

Some reasons why we prefer pair-placement

  • By playing, eating, and sleeping together, kittens learn from each other how to behave socially. They learn how to communicate with other cats, how to interpret each other’s signals. When they should or should not retract their nails, when they should not bite. They learn to know their limits and deal with frustration.
  • All those things they learn from each other when they are young allow them to function normally as cats and allow each cat to form its own character in a healthy way. This allows them to grow up to be mentally healthy cats.
  • The presence of another cat ensures that your cat has a companion permanently (even at night and when you are not home). And no, as a human, you can NOT provide that same companionship. After all, you don’t speak the same language. You were not made to lurk and chase prey. You don’t want to sleep cozily together for 16 hours a day. And most people aren’t willing to lick the fur of your dearest fluffy friend clean either 😉 In summary, cats are the very best company for cats.
  • There is less chance of boredom or lack of attention (and subsequent possible behavioral problems).
  • Scientific studies have shown that cats form lifelong stable relationships with their littermates, mother, mate, cats they grew up with, … We want to give them the opportunity to grow and strengthen that initial bond.

In short, what is learned in the cradle is carried to the tomb. We want to give our shelter cats the best possible start in their lives, also for their mental well-being.


If you look at our cats up for adoption, you will frequently come across a cat that is FIV positive. What does that mean now and how does this disease affect your continued life with your adopted fluffy friend?

What is FIV?

FIV is a disease very similar to HIV in humans. The disease is also known as feline aids. It is a virus that weakens the immune system of cats. Because of that weakened immune system, an FIV-positive cat becomes more susceptible to other diseases, inflammations, bacteria and so on.

No. FIV can only be transmitted to other cats, not to humans or other species such as dogs.

Most infections occur through fighting and biting wounds, when saliva or blood from an FIV+ cat comes into contact with the blood of another cat. To a much lesser extent, cats can also become infected by sexual contact or by transmission from mother to kittens.

Yes, absolutely. Since FIV is contagious to other cats, FIV+ cats are best separated from other cats so they cannot become infected. In addition, this way you reduce the risk for your own FIV+ cat to get sick. Outside, they are at risk of wounds, viruses, worms and so on. By keeping FIV cats inside, you protect other cats from FIV and your own FIV+ cat from outside diseases. By doing so, you offer them an extra level of protection and more chances for a long, healthy life.

Cats with FIV are more susceptible to other diseases. However, FIV has a very slow progression, and for most cats, that means they can live happily and healthily for several more years.

Initially, the FIV virus is present in the cat’s blood, but the cat otherwise shows no health abnormalities. This asymptomatic phase can last for years.
In later stages of the FIV infection, the FIV virus affects the cat’s general defenses and thus the cat will become sick more often. Since there is no cure for the FIV virus itself, the symptoms of the diseases must be treated. Eventually, the cat’s resistance will have decreased so fiercely that the diseases and symptoms will only worsen. In this final stage, the cat has up to a few months to live.

Keep the cat indoors to prevent spread and protect the cat itself from outside diseases.

Extra alertness to illnesses (or signs of illness). With an FIV+ cat, it’s best to go to the vet as soon as possible if something seems wrong. Also, count on the fact that an FIV+ cat will likely incur some more medical costs over time.

Know that an FIV+ cat is probably going to have a slightly shorter life than a perfectly healthy cat. But that you can grant them a wonderful life full of love for many years to come!

Adoption Terms and Conditions