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Looking for kittens for sale? Read our advice on what to look out for when buying a kitten from a breeder

Download the Kitten Checklist

If you choose to buy a kitten from a breeder, you’ll need to be sure that the kitten is well looked after and in good condition. Cats shouldn’t be removed from their mothers until around eight to nine weeks, and should appear bright, engaged and sociable. Download the handy Kitten Checklist for a comprehensive guide to what you should look for when you visit the breeder. 

Download The Kitten Checklist

Adopting a kitten

If you’re keen to get a kitten, have you considered adopting one? Adopting a kitten is rewarding for both you and your new pet, especially if they’re looking for a much-needed second chance.

If you choose to look into kittens for adoption with Cats Protection, you can be sure that your cat will be ready to go to its new home. It will also be, where possible:

  • wormed
  • vaccinated
  • microchipped
  • neutered
Find out more about adopting a cat with Cats Protection

Buying a kitten online

While it might be tempting to buy kittens for adoption through online listings, adverts or on social media, it isn’t recommended.

It isn’t always possible to guarantee that kittens listed are from a reputable breeder, and your new feline friend could end up with future health issues.

Buying a kitten from a breeder

If you want to buy a kitten from a breeder, you’ll need to make sure you see the kitten where it was bred before agreeing to the sale. Being introduced to the kitten’s mum, as well as seeing its home environment, is particularly important. On meeting the kitten, you should check they are:

  • sociable
  • alert
  • have bright eyes
  • have no visible health issues

Buying a pedigree kitten

If the kitten is a pedigree, there are rules which the breeder should adhere to. Some organisations, such as the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), have rules about ethical breeding and health. Make sure to research the breed online and download the guide as part of The Kitten Checklist for more questions about purchasing a pedigree kitten. 

Visit the GCCF website

Before you visit the kitten

If you’ve found a breeder and are communicating with them over email or phone, think of some key questions to ask before you visit. It can be hard to resist an adorable kitten when you see them. Find out as much as you can before visiting and you’ll have chance to think about it if you have any concerns. Consider the following:

  • when was the kitten born?
  • will you be able to see the kitten with its mother?
  • was the kitten raised with its mother?
  • where was the kitten born, and where did the kitten spend most of its time when it was between two and nine weeks old?
  • does the kitten have brothers or sisters – and does it interact with them?
  • is anything known about the father of the kitten?
  • is the kitten friendly?
  • is the kitten a specific breed?
  • has the kitten interacted positively with a dog or dogs?

Ensuring the kitten has been socialised

Ensuring that a kitten has been appropriately ‘socialised’ is important when looking for kittens for sale. Kitten socialisation happens between two and nine weeks old and helps in preparing them to cope with the human world. At this point in time, a kitten’s brain and sensory system are still developing. There are a number of key things that your kitten should be gradually exposed to during this time. They should experience:

  • different people (at least four, ideally including a male, female and child)
  • handling (including handling by a vet, looking in their ears and handling their paws)
  • sounds
  • litter trays and types of litter
  • different types of toys
Find out more about kitten socialisation

Visiting the kitten

Once you make a visit to your potential kitten in its home, use the kitten checklist to guide you on things to look out for. You could consider questions such as:

  • can you see the kitten with its mother?
  • is the mother healthy and friendly?
  • are there any other cats and kittens in the home?
  • what is the kitten’s environment like? Is it clean?
  • does the kitten look healthy?
  • is the kitten friendly or was it nervous or fearful?

Basic kitten care

Before you take your new kitten home, ask the breeder if they have been vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. The kitten will need to be treated for worms and fleas. If this isn’t the case, you’ll need to ensure you do this yourself.

Neutering, vaccinations and microchipping guide

Preparing for your kitten

Once you have visited your kitten and make the decision to buy, it’s time to get your home set up for your pet. Make sure you leave enough time to make preparations, as well as to go shopping for pet essentials. Provide your cat with a quiet, comfortable space for them to get settled. It could be a spare bedroom or space in the house – anywhere that they can familiarise themselves with their surroundings before exploring the rest of their environment.

Ask the breeder about the food and litter that your kitten has been using – continuing with the same products will ensure your kitten settles in well. You can also ask for some of its bedding as the familiar smell will be reassuring, especially when travelling. Find out more about preparing for your kitten in our guide.

Bringing a new kitten home: our guide
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