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Thinking of getting a kitten through Facebook?

14 July 2020
Thinking of getting a kitten through Facebook? Social media sites and online selling pages have made it incredibly easy to get yourself a kitten or puppy very quickly, and at a very low (initial) cost.

Social media users have taken advantage of Facebook Marketplace and local selling pages as a place to advertise their kittens and puppies. Whilst the sale of animals has now been banned by Facebook, the practice continues, as sellers find new subtle methods of advertising. They are spurred on by high interest from the Facebook community.

On the surface, getting a pet through Facebook looks like the perfect deal. The animals are often very cheap – usually cheaper than at a rehoming centre. Moreover, they are often claimed to be from loving homes, from owners who have given them all the necessary care and veterinary treatment. Have they though?

Before taking advantage of a great deal on Facebook, think whether someone would sell a kitten for £20, or even £60, when flea and worming treatment and vaccinations would exceed this cost. This doesn’t even take into account the veterinary care that the mother of the kittens should have received. So, why would anyone engage in a business with no profit?

Whilst your pet might be very cheap initially, the veterinary costs that you will have to pay following the purchase will by far exceed those of an adoption fee from a rehoming centre.

Animals from irresponsible breeders often suffer from many health issues. They may suffer from serious conditions due to interbreeding (between closely related animals) at puppy/kitten farms. They can often suffer from life-threatening conditions that could have easily been prevented if the kittens were vaccinated at the right age. They may also have behavioural issues due to improper handling and care.

Only too often, Cats Protection has had kittens signed over to us from owners who have purchased them from these sites, who then cannot afford the vet costs. These kittens are usually extremely sick, either with cat flu or tick/worm related issues. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to nurse these kittens back to full health.

Rescue centres like Cats Protection receive donations which cover part of a kitten’s care costs. Therefore, an adopter will pay a smaller adoption fee than what was actually spent on the care of the animal. When you adopt a cat/kitten from us, you have the guarantee that it has received all necessary vaccines, blood tests, flea and worm treatment, vet checks, it was neutered where appropriate and you will receive 4 weeks of free pet insurance. Above all, you will have a guarantee that your cat or kitten has received the highest quality of care, with a friendly team always on hand to give you advice.

“I want to sell kittens because my cat has accidentally had kittens”

If your cat has had kittens by accident, we appeal to you to get in touch with a reputable animal charity that will help you find them loving homes, where the prospective owner will be checked. Unfortunately, not only the sellers are a concern when it comes to online pet sales – buyers can get a new pet as an ‘impulse buy’, not having thought of the long-term implications of having a cat. Therefore, these animals may later in life be neglected or given up for adoption due to no longer being wanted.

To avoid unwanted kittens, Cats Protection runs annual campaigns that cover the full cost of neutering. If you miss out on one of our campaigns, you may be eligible for help if you are from a low-income background or if you receive financial help from the government. Therefore, there is no excuse not to have your animal neutered.

In summary, we appeal to our cat-loving community to avoid buying animals from online sellers. If you see any posts advertising animals online, please report them to Facebook to help stop a business that does not prioritise animal welfare.

To report posts on Facebook, click on the 3 dots in the top right-hand corner of the post. Then, click ‘report post’ on the dropdown menu. Next, click ‘unauthorised sales’ then ‘other animals’. Click ‘next’, then ‘done’. Making a difference for the cats in our community is as simple as that.