Many cats, both kittens and older cats, unfortunately become abused, abandoned or homeless through no fault of their own every year and end up in rescue centres looking for a new home. It can be very satisfying to give a cat or kitten a second chance at a healthy and happy life.
Rescue centres usually assess the cat's or kitten's health and behaviour on arrival and ensure any required medical treatment or remedial training is carried out to ensure they are suitable for re-homing. Therefore cats and kittens offered by rescue centres usually make loving pets.
Rescue centres often have both pedigree and cross breed cats and kittens available but the cat's or kitten's background or exact breeding details are often not known. However, unless the intention is to show or breed then rescue cats should be considered.
Depending on the rescue organisation they may require the completion of a series of forms, interviews or even a home visit to assess suitability as a potential cat owner. Their primary concern is to ensure the correct placement of the cats and kittens in their care with a suitable new owner.
Cat breeders may be located through cat clubs or advertisements for cats for sale.
Those breeders who are members of cat clubs and who show their cats breed towards producing a good robust, healthy show cat with a view to keeping one or two kittens themselves so quality and temperament is of vital importance when planning their breeding. There are also those who breed popular breeds of pedigree cats purely for profit whose main interest is often quantity not quality so if looking for a pedigree cat it is always best to go to a show breeder located via a cat club.
There are also owners who have had a one-off litter from their pet cats to produce a litter of cross breed or pedigree kittens. These may be the result of a planned or unplanned pregnancy but the kittens have usually been well cared for and brought up in a family environment and so most often make very suitable pets and will be less expensive to purchase than a pedigree kitten bred from show cats.
Buying a kitten directly from the breeder means that there is the opportunity to see the parents of the kittens offered for sale and know the exact date of birth of the kitten that it is intended to purchase.
Kittens should not be sold or permanently separated from their mother until 8 weeks of age minimum.
If, when viewing any kittens, you are concerned about their environment or the welfare of the mother or kittens being offered for sale then you should inform an animal welfare organisation.
Sometimes kittens are offered for sale in pet shops. These kittens are most likely to have come from a cat owner with an unplanned pregnancy or from commercial kitten farms. There is some risk as to whether these kittens will be of good temperament or health as the parents cannot be seen and often little or no information can be given about their background, breeding or exact age. Therefore it is best to source a cat or kitten from a rescue home where its health and termperament would have been assessed or direct from a reputable breeder.