Buying a cat? Why you should adopt from Cats Protection instead
Our centres are full of cats and kittens seeking a permanent home – in fact, in 2018, we homed 41,000 cats. We aim to encourage potential owners to consider adopting from us or other welfare organisations to ensure all cats have the opportunity to be homed.
If you are sure you want to purchase a cat, always ensure you’re buying from a reputable breeder or seller. Kittens in particular should be visited when they are still with their mother and should look healthy, alert and sociable:
Buying a cat or kitten
If you're keen on buying a cat, we strongly recommend that you do so from a reputable breeder or seller. Before a kitten is rehomed they should stay with their mother until they are eight to nine weeks old. It is important that the kitten appears alert, sociable and with no other visible health problems. If you're buying a cat or kitten, here are a few things to consider:
- have you seen where the kitten lives and check it is well cared for?
- have the kittens in the litter been checked over by a vet? If so, you should be given details
- has the kitten been wormed or vaccinated? There should be documentation of this
- have you seen the mother of the kitten? Is the mother a healthy cat? Are there any hereditary illnesses or diseases? It is important to know the kitten's history before you buy
- where have the kittens been kept? Keeping kittens in a busy environment will allow them to be socialised and feel safer around people once they are adults
Find out more about buying a kitten
Should I get a cat or kitten?
It can be difficult to resist getting a kitten. While they are cute to look at and full of energy, they also demand a lot of time and patience from their owners. There is no indication of what your kitten will be like when they become an adult too, as cats don’t tend to form an established character until they’re at least a year old. If your household is more suited to a more laid-back character, it is best to choose an adult cat.
Adult cats are usually more settled and less likely to get up to mischief than kittens. Some of them will even be keen to cuddle up on the sofa or lounge around at your feet. By the time a cat is grown, their personality is well established.
You may even be able to find out from their previous owner about their food intake, litter tray habits and character, making it easier for them to settle into their new home.
Mature moggies, or cats that are older than seven years old, are ideal for quieter households. While older cats aren’t always the first choice of potential adopters, they’re well worth considering as a pet. They are likely to be quieter throughout the day, sleep through the night and less likely to wander from home.
Find out more about elderly cats
All cats have differing personalities, in the same way that humans do. Some are content to be handled, making them the perfect pet for children or older people. Others will shy away from attention, only interacting when they choose to. Consider whether you’d like an energetic or playful cat, or whether you’d be more compatible with a cat that spends its time curled up asleep!
When visiting our branches and centres, you’ll get a good idea of what each cat is like from their descriptions, or by talking to some of the volunteers and staff that look after them.
Getting a cat if you have other pets
If you have other pets in your home, think carefully about whether they are likely to get on with a new cat. Consider your animal’s age, personality and previous experiences.
Getting another cat
Cats are solitary creatures, meaning they tend to want to live alone and don’t need ‘friends’. Some cats can tolerate other cats when they come into the home – others will find it impossible! Consider your existing cat’s behaviour and how they will react – introducing a kitten into the household might be easier than introducing another adult cat into their territory.
Find out more about introducing cats to other cats
Cats and dogs living together
Don’t believe the age-old stereotype about warring species – some cats and dogs can live together in harmony. Think about your dog’s personality and behaviour towards felines. Have they come across a cat on their walks and reacted negatively? Do they get along with cats in the neighbourhood? As long as they don’t react aggressively towards cats, they should be able to share their home with a little guidance.
Introducing your new cat to your dog is the most important thing you can do, and shouldn’t be rushed. First impressions count, and it is easier to arrange a gradual introduction than repair a damaged relationship between your cat and dog. You can find a step-by-step guide below.
Find out more about introducing your cat to your dog
Is my home the right place for a cat?
While cats really do make a house a home, you’ll need to think about the right pet for where you live. Cats that love to venture outdoors are ideal for those with gardens, while those with limited space might like to consider an indoor cat or a cat with specialised needs. Blind cats or those with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) need to stay indoors and usually only need specialised diets or medication as well as plenty of love.
Indoor cats can be perfect pets for older people or those in search of a quieter feline companion, without worrying about them wandering from home.
Find out more about indoor cats
How can I choose a cat that is right for my family?
Do you have children at home, or even other pets? Choosing a cat that will settle into family life is vital.
Can I get a cat if I have children?
Cats and kids can become great companions as they grow and having a pet can be of great benefit to little ones. However, you’ll need to bear in mind a cat’s previous experiences and personality as well as ultimately what you are looking for in a pet.
While children might be enthusiastic about homing a cute kitten, kittens need plenty of care and attention as well as regular supervision. Adult cats can be less frenetic, which suits many families. Teaching children basic cat care as well as how to treat them carefully is a great idea and encourages a sense of responsibility too.
Cats are generally good with babies, choosing to either become friendly with them or stay well out of their way. If you’re expecting a new arrival and you’re worried about choosing a cat, there are plenty of things you can do to help them settle in. Take a look at our guide:
Find out more about adopting a cat with children