It is very hard to pass by a pet shop and not feel you have to “save” a little kitten you've seen being kept in “not so good” conditions. It is a natural instinct to want to rescue these poor little creatures but at the same time, you have to take on board that by saving kittens being sold in places like this, means you are innocently supporting a market that should not be allowed to exist. This is because the people in it don't care for animals they are looking after as they should.
There are some fantastic pet shops around but sadly, there are some pretty awful ones too. If you do have any concerns about the conditions the animals are being kept in, then it's better to report the pet shop owner to the right authorities. However, many pet shops have to deal with another problem altogether and this is the “impulse” buyer. The people who fall head over heals in love with a kitten they have seen in the shop but who have not thought things through fully before taking the little creature home with them.
Taking on a kitten is a huge responsibility and it's one that needs very careful consideration. There's quite a bit of research to be done and this includes finding out about the breed and their typical characteristics. People also need to think about their personal situations. However, all too often, the impulse to buy a kitten means all of this goes straight out of the window and sadly many of these kittens when they grow up to be cats, end up in rescue centres looking for new homes.
If you are looking for a pure bred pussy cat, you may find it quite hard to find any breed cats with papers in pet shops too. This is because in most countries, breeders are very strict about how they organise the sale of their pure bred kittens and cats – it is their way of ensuring the breed is continued in a responsible way. For this reason most little kittens found in pet shops are gorgeous little moggies.
Many kittens are sold through pet shops every year although the environment is not ideal for a young cat to have to be in, This is due to the fact being in a pet shop for any length of time, can really stress little kittens out. Because there is no segregation when newcomers arrive, many kittens are introduced and mixed with others without the much needed quarantine time being adhered to. This unfortunately leads to all sorts of health problems with pet shop becoming “high risk” areas for transmissible feline infectious diseases.
It can be a heartbreaking experience to see a young kitten suffer and more often than not die from what is considered as a preventable disease. This is why you need to be so careful when considering buying or “saving” a kitten from a pet shop that keeps their animals in poor conditions. Instead, think about reporting the owner to the right authorities so they can look into the situation and hopefully do something about it.
However, there are many very reputable pet shops where animals including kittens are well cared for. But if you are thinking about getting a kitten, why not consider re-homing a little creature? There are so many in rescue centres just waiting to find loving people to take care of them.
A lot of pet shops in the UK source their “stock” of kittens from what has become known as “kitten farms” or “mills”. Sadly, these farms are run by people who are in it for the money and who don't give a second thought to genetics or other breed issues - let alone the health and well being of the young animals in their care.
Again, this is a heartbreaking scenario which needs to be avoided at all costs. The more people who avoid buying or rescuing a kitten that's been raised on a kitten farm, the less likely the farms will be able to exist.
There are many people around the country who breed kittens to make some extra money. These back garden breeders very often don't have the welfare of their kittens or indeed the parent cats at heart. Again, breed issues can be a real cause for concern with the genetic backgrounds being truly suspect. This means more chances of a kitten developing one of the horrid and extremely serious feline infectious diseases that more often than not prove fatal to young kittens.
Sadly, there are many adverts around for kittens that are “free to a good home” and although you may know the people who have the little creatures, you won't know if mum or dad have been regularly vaccinated. This can mean the kittens should be considered as an “unknown risk” when it comes to their overall health.
The other thing you need to consider is that a female cat that has been allowed to roam and breed is more likely to have contracted FIV (feline aids) and this horrible disease can be passed on by mum to her kittens. If the kittens belong to a friend's cat and the mum got pregnant without them realising it, you should encourage your friend to get their cat spayed to avoid the same situation happening again.
By far the best places to look for kittens is by visiting reputable, registered breeders websites if you are looking for a pure bred kitten. You can find lots of reputable cat breeders on our Pets4Homes website via the cats for sale pages. On the other hand, you could also visit the many cat rescue centres found around the country where you'll find lots of gorgeous little kittens, young cats and older pussy cats all of which are desperately looking for new and loving people to look after them. You can find our cat adoption page here.
You may be asked to let someone come to your house to do a “home inspection” and this is something that really should not offend you. This is the only way animal rescue centres can be sure, kittens and other animals are going to safe places where they can enjoy the rest of their lives being well looked after.