For many people, particularly the elderly, a pet cat is an important and comforting part of their life, and the care and well-being of the cat is a primary concern. With this in mind, there are three situations in which a cat owner should plan for:
  1. Upon the incapacity or hospitalization of the owner, advance arrangements should be made to ensure care for the cat(s) while the owner is hospitalized or incapacitated.
  2. On the death of the owner, provisions are necessary in the owner's Will to provide effectly for the comfort and care for the cat(s).
  3. On the death of the owner, advance arrangements should be made to protect the cat(s) during the period between the owner's death and the admission of the Will to probate. Too often this period is not considered. Although a Will can make provisions for the care of a pet, no action can be taken by the Executor to carry out those provisions until the Will has been admitted to probate and the Executor has received the authority to proceed by the issuance of letters of testamentary. The time between death and the authority of the Executor to act can vary from several weeks to several months. Plans must be made to ensure proper care for the cat(s) during this interim period.

Under the laws of all 50 states, a pet owner cannot leave any part of his or her estate outright to an animal. However, the owner may leave a sum of money to the person designated to care for the pet and request (not direct) that the money be used to care for the pet. The person designated, however, is under no legal obligation to use the money for the purpose specified or even care for the pet.