Where to get a cat?
Do your homework before you decide!
Where to get a cat is a question that is often asked. There are many places where you can get a cat, such as pedigree breeders, owners giving kittens away or rescue centers.
Do research and visit several places before you make a final decision about where you want to get a cat or kitten. Once you have decided where to get a cat, your next step is to start preparing for the cat's homecoming.
If you decide to get a kitten or a cat from a breeder, do your research on the breeder beforehand. Ask for references that you can speak to and go to the cat breeder's premises. Breeders who care for their cats will have no problem showing you the cats and their kittens.
Do not only look at the appearance of the kittens, also look at their behavior and check for signs of illness. Some breeders prefer to have the mother with her kittens in their household - this is good because the kittens will be socializing from a very young age. Breeders sometimes only let kittens go at 12 weeks of age, so that they are fully vaccinated and litter trained.
A breeder might insist that the kitten be neutered so that you cannot later on breed with the cat. If you are working on a budget, a pedigree cat might not be the best option. The price of the cat will depend on the breed and whether the cat is of show quality.
Adopting a cat or a kitten from a cat rescue shelter is not only a good way to get a cat, but you might literally be saving a life. Most rescue centers have a "no kill policy" which means that they do not euthanize healthy animals, but many unwanted animals are destroyed every year.
If you do decide to get a cat or kitten from a shelter, find out from the staff if they know anything about the cat's history. A cat who spent the first part of its life on the street might be difficult to integrate into a household.
Do not just look at kittens, many rescue shelters have adult cats that need good homes, and with an adult cat, the staff will be able to tell you about any behavior problems they might have picked up on.
A rescue center will not let you adopt a cat without it being neutered. You can also be sure that the cat or kitten has been dewormed and fully vaccinated. Usually the cost is minimal, and the fee would include the cost of the neutering, deworming and vaccinations.
Sometimes a cat will adopt you or you might come across a stray cat or kitten in the street. It is very important that you do everything possible to ensure that this cat is not maybe someone's beloved pet. It might be that the cat was just looking for a bit of company or that he is lost.
Check if the cat has a collar with a name tag with owner details.
Put up posters around your neighborhood and in shopping centers and take the cat to a vet who can scan it for a microchip.
Once you are satisfied that the cat does not actually belong to someone, take it to the vet for a checkup and to be dewormed and vaccinated. Also have the vet check if the cat has been neutered, and if not, have him neutered.
Friends or neighbors
A friend or a neighbor's cat might recently have had kittens and could also be a source of where to get a cat. You will be able to pick the kitten, but ensure that the kittens are at least 8 weeks or older before taking one home. Usually these kittens are for free.
Getting a kitten from a pet store is not advisable. These kittens usually are the result of unplanned matings and would have been sold to the pet shop by the mother cat's owners.
By getting a kitten from a pet shop, you are supporting a business that is usually not concerned with the animal's welfare.