Adopting Kittens, Some Words Of Advice
Kittens are often rehomed around 8 to 10 wks of age and will be started on their vaccinations. Kittens that are with us at around 16wks of age will be neutered prior to rehoming.
Download the CP leaflet on "Neutering" here
If you adopt very young kittens that are not yet neutered then you will need to agree to neuter kittens iwhen they are old enough, as this is part of Cats Protection rehoming procedure. You will also be responsible for having the second lot of vaccinations due three weeks after the initial vaccinations, this can be done at your local vets. Please be aware of the financial responsibility of taking on kitten/s its actually quite alot and gets more expensive almost yearly. Fine when puss cats are bouncy healthy and young, but what about when they get older and maybe get sick?
We generally like to rehome kittens in pairs mainly for companionship, but as with people, some kittens show a personality whereby they like being the centre of attention. Kittens are hard work and generally if you have a job that involves long hours and you are not home much, kittens lose out from companionship.
Unlike some rescue organisations, our branch does not have an objection to placing suitable kittens (or cats) into a home with young children who are respectful of animals. The soft, unformed and malleable bones of kittens are very vulnerable in rough hands and without doubt rough and thoughtless handling can adversely affect an animal’s temperament and kittens and young cats will scratch and bite and puss may find himself back in our care, or even worse taken to the vets to be put to sleep (yes it does happen!). We are thus very careful that none of this happens, but you should be prepared that kittens will get up to all kinds of mischief and badly socialised kittens turn into badly socialised adult cats.
Equally, giving any animal to somebody as a gift (even with the best intentions) is something that we don't particular agree with. Surprise birthday gifts are a recipe for disasters and some of those unforunately puss cats end up back in rescue because no one wishes to take on the responsibility or welfare of them when they fall ill, when they go on holiday or when someone moves house. Everyone in the family should be in agreement when you take on a kitten (or a cat) as it could potentially be around a very long time, long after your young children get older and maybe become a bit bored with it or when a teenager moves house and leaves puss cat behind for you to take on the finacial and welfare responsibilities?.
Equally rehoming a kitten as a companion to an elderly cat isn’t always the best thing. Senior cats like the quiet life and they may not take kindly to having a bouncy kitten in their home. We therefore don’t normally recommend rehoming a kitten with a senior puss. Think of it this way, how you would like it if you were 92 yrs old person and someone thought to bring a toddler into your house! Not just to visit but to stay forever!
Also do think about your existing cat (if you have one). Kittens need to be kept indoors until they are neutered (baring in mind female cats can become pregnant at around four months of age!). The logistics of keeping a kitten indoors (especially if you have a busy family, children do leave doors open!) while maintaining access for your existing cat, isn't something people think about.
Dogs and cats do get on.. kittens may be easier to introduce a dog to but adult cats that have come from homes with dogs (or laid back strays that we have in our care) can equally be rehomed with dogs that are feline friendly. So much depends on the breed and age of the dog, which is often why we make a point to ask. Sometimes it is easier to introduce a cat to a dog then it is with a cat to a resident cat. For more information about how to introduce a new feline into your home with resident dogs or /and cats check out the articles under behaviour on the Feline Advisory Bureau website www.fabcats.org
Finally neutering. The many problems caused by unspayed or unneutered pets each year are part of what has prompted numerous rescue societies to require that any adopted animals be promptly spayed or neutered as a condition of adoption. It really is very simple, by getting your cat neutered when it reaches the appropriate age you save the “lives” of many other puss cats out there, and any true animal lover would surely wish that.
It is CP policy to promote the neutering of all cats and kittens. We therefore do make sure that neutering of kittens is carried out when they reach around five months of age.
For some great information and advice about adopting kittens please see the articles on
CATCHAT "WANT A KITTEN?"
Download the CP Leaflef on "Kitten Care" here
Finally!! There is a kitten season officially from April to late Autumn, and that is when you will find most kittens in rescues. Mother Nature makes it much more difficult for a mum cat to produce healthy kittens in the depth of Winter, but you will always find people who realise that there is a very large gap in the supply and demand chain which they can easily plug, by letting their mum cat produce kittens all year round. They then sell the kittens on at a very tidy profit, to the general public that may not be aware that they are contributing to a market that does not have the best interest of mum cat in mind. How would you feel if you were pregnant all year round? Do not give money to people for poorly bred, unhealthy and unhandable kittens! Do not be fooled when you are told kittens are wormed, vet checked or had their jabs without seeing proof! Or you could just be patient and wait for kittens to come into rescue where you are guaranteed that such puss cats have had full health checks and are have been socialised with our foster carers!
Why rescues dislike Petshops & all those Free Ad Websites
Kittens sold through pet shops are sometimes obtained from dubious establishments, often no more than 'kitten farms' where very little attention is paid to the health and welfare of the animal. Conditions of care in many pet shops are often far less than ideal and litters of kittens are often mixed so disease can spread, but you may not realise that until its all too late and you find yourself with a sickly kitten and a very expensive vets bill. Furthermore, you will not get to see the "Mum" of the kittens, have no idea of their past history and no idea of any health issues that may be hereditary (heart mumors, deafness etc, etc).
The bottom line is that Pet Shops are run as a business for profit, therefore money is the main motivator. They will happily sell a kitten to anyone who pays their money, with no thought to whether that animal will end up in a suitable home, or if the customer is prepared to neuter it at 6 months and care for it for the rest of it's life. Some of those kittens may never of been to a vet to be health checked, its unusal for any of them to be vaccinated and some have more then their fare share of worms and fleas. There is no advice given out to new owners, no back up for problems, no "returns policy" , no help with neutering, so you are on your own!
So some cute, fluffy kittens bought in pets shops grow up un-neutered, unvaccinated, un-cared for and find themselves eventually joining the two and a half million strays on the streets - often victims of hunger, cruelty and disease, because it just seemed to be a really good idea to "buy" a kitten on a Saturday afternoon just before the shop closes for the weekend! And why not make it even easier... buy a cat or kitten of the internet!! Is this really such a good idea?
Every kitten bought through a petshop has then used up a home - and so somewhere in the country another healthy kitten could be put to sleep because there are not enough homes to go round and not enough rescue space available to foster them.Even if you have the perfect home to offer - by buying from a Petshop, you are helping to perpetuate and fund this thoughtless trade.By rescuing, you are giving a home to an animal that really needs it, and not helping those who breed and sell for profit.