First, let us say thank you. SAFE Haven is appreciative of your concern for the safety and well-being of stray cats.

We offer a variety of services to help with strays, from referrals to our low-cost spay/neuter services to possibly placing the cat on our waitlist for participation in our adoption program.

Together, we can be part of the solution. Everything you need to know to get started is listed in the following sections.

Program Requirements

SAFE Haven is a limited access shelter. One cat or kitten has to be adopted before another is rescued. Because of this, we have a waitlist. Click here to place a cat on our waitlist. PLEASE NOTE: Completion of this form does not guarantee a spot on our waitlist. You will receive a follow-up phone call or email from SAFE Haven’s intake coordinator regarding this form.

Additionally, our shelter can accept cats for adoption ONLY if:

  • You have found stray cat(s) or kitten(s) that are approachable and have a good chance of being adopted. A good measure of adoptability is whether you yourself would want to take this cat into your home and make a lifelong commitment to it.
  • You have found young (six–10 weeks old) kittens among feral cats.
  • You have placed free found ads in local newspapers, searched on and made efforts to find the owner of the stray.

Please remember, we always have a waitlist for our adoption program. We are, however, able to help stray cats quickly through our low-cost spay/neuter program. If the stray you have found has been sterilized, vaccinated and is healthy, you have a much better chance of finding it a home on your own.


Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests we receive, SAFE Haven is unable to place cats into our adoption program if any of the following apply:

  • You have feral/community cats in your neighborhood or place of business. A feral/community cat is one that is mostly nocturnal, cannot be approached, touched, easily picked up and/or put in a carrier. They do not make good pets without foster care in a home for six months to years, if ever.

If you have feral cats, please get an appointment with the clinic here: Spay/Neuter Request Form. We can help with these cats right away with the loan of humane traps and low-cost or free sterilization. Sterilizing these cats will help break the cycle of unwanted births and colony growth. We advocate a Trap-Neuter-Release approach for feral cats. The SAFE Care Feline Spay/Neuter Clinic provides humane traps for rent. There is a cash-only, refundable trap deposit of $20. Please contact our clinic administrator at 919.872.7233 to rent a trap.

  • You live outside the Triangle area (area codes 919 and 984). Please see for resources in your area.
  • You are seeking to give up a personal pet. A personal pet is defined as one you have cared for at least six months regardless of how you acquired the cat. The exception is a cat previously adopted from SAFE Haven. See below for information regarding previously adopted cats. How to Find a Home for Homeless Pets
  • You adopted/purchased your cat from another rescue group or breeder. Please contact them directly.
  • You have an abuse or neglect concern about an owned pet in your area. Please contact the appropriate Animal Control office.
  • You have found a cat that needs immediate medical attention. Please take it to an animal hospital. We do not provide any emergency or wellness care through our spay/neuter clinic or shelter.

How to Help a Stray

Try to provide basic care for the cat. If you are able, move the cat to a secure location. If the cat is friendly and tame, please search the listings on Also, please place a free found ad in one of the following newspapers:

  • Raleigh News & Observer: 919.829.4500.
  • Durham Herald-Sun: 919.419.6910.

Placing an ad immediately upon finding the cat will help avoid heartbroken families in the event the cat is a lost pet. Also, consider contacting a local veterinarian for a microchip scan. Many vets provide this service for free.

The resources section of our website provides links to other local rescue groups and documents containing additional helpful information.

Placing A Stray Cat/Kitten On Our Waitlist

To place a cat or kitten on our waitlist, click here and use this form. PLEASE NOTE: Completion of this form does not guarantee a spot on our waitlist. You will receive a follow-up phone call or email from SAFE Haven’s intake coordinator regarding this form. For more tips on how to help homeless cats find a home, click here. We wish you the best of luck!