We've adopted this gorgeous little chap from our local Cats Protection, which was a really easy process really. It can seem a bit daunting this whole idea of inspections and so on, so it can get how it can just seem easier to look in the local paper and get yourself a kitten that way. In reality it couldn't have been easier. We did try another calling another cat charity first (thinking go with the local guys), and they never called us back so the next call was to Cats Protection and they were great. The first thing is a few questions over the phone and then they get someone to call you back to arrange coming to see you to do the bulk of it. Cat's Protection don't have big central homes like Dog's Trust or others and have their cats in foster homes so there is no place to go and see all the cats. They do put them all on their website thou, so you can have a look at photos and a brief little bio of each kitty.
The visit itself is nothing to be scared of at all, they check out your space and ask you about your lifestyle, pets, kids and so on, as well as asking what you want from your cat. We were probably the most easy going people ever about what we wanted. They get a lot of people wanting kittens and assumed first off that is what we wanted, but I'm a lap cat kinda girl. They also asked us if we wanted a particular colour, as black cats have a hard time getting adopted. Its a bit like matchmaking or online dating, they need to find your matches then see which one you want to date, only in this case its which one to bring home with you. It was super quick, within an hour of the lovely lady coming for our home visit we had two names and phone numbers to call and arrange to meet our matches! All their cats are vaccinated, neutered (or they will do it when they are old enough in the case of kittens) and given a full vet check. Both our matches hadn't had any jabs before they were abandoned and I'm fairly certain hadn't seen a vet either! Our little Pippin had to be checked out for a suspected hernia (which was fine), but they take are of all of that before they re-home the cats, which is why the adoption fee is needed.
We had two - a cute little thing said to be totally affectionate and cuddly (that I'd seen on their site and LOVED) and one that they described as scared and anxious and afraid of everything. We went to see them both, determined to be fair. We thought it would be hard, in reality it was easy. The lovely affectionate cat would not let us near her, where as the shy little guy came to look at us, and was happy to sit still and let us pet him until he was purring like a little engine. So yeah, he had to come home with us.
And here he is, and one day in he is already happy to lay around snoozing next to me, let and pick him up and tickle his belly. In three weeks the ladies from Cats protection come and check on us all before the adoption is official, but I think this one is a keeper. One day in and everyone is loved up and purring.