Where to buy kittens
So, now that I’ve got your mind full of positive thoughts and beautiful images about cute little fur balls chasing around balls of yarn let’s figure out how you can get that for yourself. As we’ve already talked about, you’re going to love having a kitten, so you’re making the right decision. There are three options to consider for bringing home your furry bundle of joy:
- A shelter
- A pet store
- A breeder
- Kitten Mill Horror
Actually, I technically lied to you because there are really four options, the fourth one being a kitten mill.
What is a kitten mill? You’ve probably heard of a puppy mill, and it’s the exact same thing. Kittens are born to mothers who are stuck in a small cage, forced to mate with any male nearby, have their kittens, nurse them off, and then get pregnant again.
A lot of times certain “pretty” kittens are not sold off to homes so that their genes will carry on to the next generation so that they’ll be even cuter than the last batch. The kittens that you purchase from these types of “establishments” are often expensive – and the funds go into creating more chances for the owner to abuse animals – and can often have all sorts of behavioral, physical and mental problems later in life due to inbreeding and lack of nutrition and care.
Kitten mills can range in terms of the quality of life that they offer the mothers, fathers and young ones, but it’s important to avoid them. If you are considering something like a breeder, definitely ask to see the place and take a tour. If you see any kind of sign that it’s a kitten mill – or something seems off – don’t make a deal, and then call in the animal control authorities. Kitten mills – like puppy mills – are examples of animal cruelty and should be shut down so the animals can be rescued and re-homed properly.
From inbreeding to poor living conditions to emotional and physical distress, kitten mills are full of all sorts of bad things, and it’s important to completely steer clear of them, end of discussion. Moving on to better things.
Where to buy kittens
Local shelters are amazing places to start when you are looking for a kitten. Pregnant mothers and newborn kittens are always coming in and need to find good homes. A lot of times the adoption price of the kitten is by donation, or relatively very low. But if it’s over $100 or so then it often will include the first round of shots, or even the spay or neuter of the kitten when the time comes.
There all sorts of different shelters including the SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), or other rescue organizations that deserve your respect and attention. This is absolutely the first place that you should look for your brand new kitten, and you will love the caring animals that you’ll find waiting for you in these kinds of locations.
You can visit www.spcai.org to find out more about the local chapter of SPCA in your area.
The reason that I put pet stores second on the list is that they tend to be expensive. A lot of times you’ll get access to the medical history, which is great, and you know where this kitten is coming from, but you could be paying over $200 for a kitten. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but it is a large dent in your bank account, and you still have all of the vet bills and monthly fees for your kitten, too. There is something to be said for pet stores, but a shelter is definitely going to be the best place for you to do the majority of your hunting and you’ll still be able to find that right kitten for you – and you’ll save a few bucks!
If you thought pet stores were expensive, breeders are going to make your wallet disappear entirely. You’ll be able to, essentially, build your dream cat and you’ll be able to request certain fathers and mothers and the whole deal. It’s the option to create the perfect kitten for you and your family. That being said it’s going to cost a pretty penny, and breeders can have a whole series of conditions that will definitely make you decide quickly whether it’s a good idea or not.
Just remember not all breeders are created equal, sometimes they can say they’re breeders but in reality, they are kitten mills, so you need to be careful in getting a feel for the place, especially seeing it in person. I would do my due diligence, too, and take personal recommendations if you’re really focused on the idea of going with a breeder.
My two cents
I’ll be upfront with you, these three options are great, honestly, but I do personally believe that you should be looking primarily at shelters when you want to bring your kitten home.
These places are often overcrowded, and in a lot of the places, shelters are forced to become kill shelters after a certain amount of time passes – despite how much they don’t want to be – so when you adopt from a shelter or another kind of rescue organization, you’ll be able to ensure that you are saving lives and helping them to deal with overcrowding issues.
Even if you have a particular kind of kitten that you want (like all of us do to some extent), a shelter will still give you the same variety that you’re looking for, whether it’s temperament, looks, or a combination of the two. It’s not like you’re picking out of a hat or something, you just will have to be patient if the right one isn’t there for you.
The best part is, if it isn’t, you get to come back several times, get to know the staff, and play and learn about all kinds of kittens! If you don’t agree with me, that’s totally fine. The point is for you to find the right place to source your kitten and that you are excited to make this sweet furball a part of your family. You’ll know when you meet the right one because you’ll feel a connection. It’s that sweet and it’s that easy, and you are going to love it.