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Recommendations for Would-be Cat Owners, Seeking to Buy a Cat

07 July 2019
Recommendations for Would-be Cat Owners, Seeking to Buy a Cat

Cats Protection’s Haverhill and District branch is issuing a warning to would-be cat owners buying a new pet through social media and classified adverts.

Animal lovers considering buying a cat or kitten through social media are being urged to be cautious.

The charity regularly hears of cases where buyers are coming away with sick kittens or those which are too young to be separated from their mothers.

We would really encourage anyone looking to welcome a cat into their home to go to a reputable animal rehoming charity, such as Cats Protection.

With charities such as ours, you know that the best interests of every cat or kitten are put first, and you will be given as much information as possible to get a full picture of their health and background.

We know that there are many reputable breeders who care deeply about their cats and kittens, and do much to raise the bar in terms of cat welfare. But sadly, there are also plenty of people who use cats simply as breeding machines to make money.

While the charity would always recommend adopting a cat from a rehoming centre first, it urges would-be cat owners to follow guidelines issued by the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG), of which Cats Protection is a member.

It recommends:

  • Consider contacting your local animal rescue/rehoming centre. There are thousands of healthy, loving cats all over the UK who are waiting for a home.
  • Avoid third-party sellers, such as pet shops and garden centres (who buy wholesale from breeders).
  • Research before you buy. Different breeds have different requirements and temperaments. Be sure that the cat you are interested in is suitable for your lifestyle and environment.
  • Make sure you get a healthy cat. Always ask for a copy of the cat’s or kitten’s medical records, including the vaccination certificate and records of worming and flea treatment. Ensure that registration papers, the parents’ hereditary disease screening certificates and microchip documentation are in order.
  • If buying a kitten, ideally you should see the kitten with its mother and check that the facilities are clean and the litter appears alert and healthy. You should be able to handle the kittens freely under supervision.
  • Don’t buy a kitten that is under 8 weeks old.
  • If the cat is over 4 months old, check if it has been neutered. Kittens can be neutered at around 4 months or younger. It is NOT beneficial for a cat to have a season or just one litter. Breeding just adds to the many cats and kittens needing homes.
  • Ask where your cat came from. If your chosen cat does not originate from the place of purchase, ask about where it did come from, and try to obtain its previous history.
  • If you are thinking of getting another cat, think carefully if you already have one. Cats are naturally solitary animals, which means they usually prefer to live alone. If one of your cats has recently died, hold off getting another cat as a ‘friend’. Let your existing cat adjust first, as you may find it prefers to be the only cat. If you do decide to introduce a new cat to another, seek advice from a vet or animal welfare charity on how to do it gradually, in a way that minimises the risk of either cat(s) suffering from stress/a stress-related illness.

Cats Protection works to improve the lives of cats in the UK, and in early 2015 launched its Manifesto for Cats, a ten-point documents calling for a string of measures to improve feline welfare.  The charity’s proposals included regulation of commercial cat breeding through licensing and an inspection process, as well as new rules on the breeding and sale of cats under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your local Cats Protection branch or the charity’s general helpline. We will be happy to help and advise you.