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Where to get a kitten?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Are most people in agreement about not buying from a pet store? Can pound kittens have problems?

post #2 of 19
All three kitties I've ever owned were from the pound. One lived 18 years, one 19 years with almost no health problems. They were wonderful, sweet, smart cats. My new cat Toby (8 months) was also from the same shelter. He's very healthy and no problems at all. I'm sure cats from anywhere, stores or shelters can have problems but if you choose a healthy looking, friendly cat or kitten from a reputable shelter or store you should be fine. Wherever you get them from, get a list of what shots and exams they already had done. Also, take your new cat to your a vet within a week after you get him/her to double check that everything is okay and they're up to date on all their shots/tests. The shelter where I got my kitty gives a list of local vets that offer free exams for cats adopted there. I'm not sure if other shelters have that, but you can ask. is also a good place to start to find cats or kittens in your area.
post #3 of 19
It depends what pound they are from.
The pound here is full of sick and unhealthy cats.
Im scared to adopt from the pound here because of that.
My friend adopted from the pound where she lives and has had nothing but trouble.
We adopted from the pound where we used to live and we had great luck.
You can adopt from pet smart also.
My sister adopted her cat from there and everything has been fine.
My coco came from a local pet store and she is 16.8 years old now.
You have to be careful though.
Some pet stores are really bad.
You can reasearch pounds in your area and see what the reviews are.
post #4 of 19
Anywhere you get a cat/kitten it can have issues. Kittens bought from pet stores ( who sell them - there is a difference in adopting from a shelter who had cats in a pet store) often purchase them from kitten mills where the cats are living in horrendous conditions & bred heat after heat.

Rescue cats can have issues & no group can guarantee the cat's health due to the fact that many groups get their cats as strays with no history, or dumped outside their building, etc.

I've even known cats purchased from reputable breeders to have issues.
post #5 of 19
I personally would never buy from a pet shop that was selling the kittens themselves(Not rescues). Most kittens in pet stores come from mills, as white cat lover said. And those who claim their kittens come from good reputable breeders I err away from too. No good, reputable breeder of any kind would put their puppies and kittens in a pet store. They would house their babies themselves to insure they are placed in proper homes with the right people. So, the only other place pet store kittens come from besides a mill is a BYB(Back Yard Breeder), who is someone who breeds for all the wrong reasons. Whether if be for money or whatever..they usually never, if ever, have the animals health and wellbeing in mind. Though it isn't the case 100% of the time, it is the case most of the time =(

Shelter cats can be just as great as any cat. Just make sure the shelter your going to is clean and the animals wellfair is in mind. Something I'd watch out for in some shelters are excess wastes in(or outside) the litter boxes that don't look like they've been cleaned in a while, no food or water in the cages(though some shelters may have feeding schedules, but water should ALWAYS be present!), an abundence of dirty animals, an abundence of obvious sick animals, and etc(I'm sure someone here could add on to this)..

Also a good place to go would also be rescues. Usually rescues(or the ones I'm use to) were started by people who really have a passion for animals and the animals in their cat are usually in good hands. Sometimes on weekends rescues will visit pet stores to adopt out animals. I actually volunteered at one of these and I have to say they took amazing care of their kittens.

Anyway..Hope this helped! =)
post #6 of 19
You can also go to petfinder and put in your zip code and see local cats from local rescues, in your area.
post #7 of 19
Oh and another good site I like to go to is:

It's very much like petfinder, but I've seen cats on here that weren't on petfinder, and vise versa..just incase your like me and like to see them ALL! lol
post #8 of 19
I like to encourage people to rescue kittens in need! There are sooo many homeless kittens. People need to start supporting rescues, over bybs and irresponsible cat owners.
post #9 of 19
I see cats all the time at our shelter that have "issues." I tell people up front that they should get the cat immediately to their own vet and have it checked over thoroughly. All three of ours had a URI when we brought them home. At our shelter, if a cat stays there 3 weeks, it will almost inevitably have the URI.

On the other hand, we have some wonderful cats who desperately need help and a home. Almost all the time, we have some older cats that people have just decided they don't have time for any more, or who have moved, or whatever. What kind of person would call animal control and say, "Uh, would you come by and pick up our cats. We're moving and can't take them with us."

That person gave us two female cats, one 5 years old, one 13 years old, both spayed and declawed, and both they had owned since they were kittens!
post #10 of 19
Welcome to TheCatSite.
Do you have a kitty now?
Are you thinking of adopting a new sweetie pie?
post #11 of 19
All 3 of my cats came from the pound and they are all well behaved and very healthy. Sometimes shelter kitties do have a few issues, but given time and lots of patience they can be re-trained to be wonderful pets.
Welcome TCS and I am sure you'll find lots of information to help you make your choice.
post #12 of 19
Like people, IMO, cats will have issues at some time in their lives... The will have issues when you move, or when you travel, or when you remodel your house... They are wonderful and very sensitive animals, and that is, I think, part of what makes us attach so much to them.
With that said, I don't think we can generalize shelter animals... Their condition will depend on their circumstances i.e.: for how long have they been there? How did they get to the shelter, is that cat social, does the shelter know anything about the litter? What is the health condition of the cat? etc

After adopting Lucky from a rescuer, and knowing that she was going to bps because she was unadoptable (she was too shy), I am all for adopting from the shelter... Lucky is a wonderful kitty - she completely came around, and she is the sweetest thing I have ever seen... It took time and patience, but I am so glad I gave her the chance to thrive and be happy... It was the best thing I did in years!

I say.... go to the shelter and listen to your heart while in there - You might find your kitty soulmate! If you don't, there are plenty of adoption sites that can help you...

Good luck, and keep us posted of your decision!
post #13 of 19
Any cat can have problems. If you like mixed breeds, then by all means adopt from a shelter or rescue group. Never the pet shop or the puppy/kitten mills online.

If you want a purebred, research the breed and look at a lot of ethical purebred breeders.
post #14 of 19
My two cats were adopted by the county 'pound'. The contract required that I take them in for a vet check within 3 days - both checked out perfectly healthy and in the two years since I haven't even had a cold to worry about with them. I believe both were at the shelter for several months after being picked up as strays - because they were both adults. I might also suggest not bypassing adults as a possible adoption option - an adult can reward you in so many ways.

My boy had some litter box issues, but that has been resolved - and that can happen with any cat. I do suggest either going the pure-bred from a reputable breeder (not a back yard breeder) or do check and visit the shelters yourself. Mine actually were housed at Petsmart before I got them.

Good luck with whatever you do.
post #15 of 19
Cats gotten from various locations can have issues... The important thing is to do your research...

- Know what qualities you want in a cat/kitten (active, or less so, friendly / cuddly or more aloof, vocal or not, long hair or short hair)

- Know what signs mean an unhealthy cat / kitten...runny or closed / squinty eyes, anal discharge, lethergy, bald or irritated spots or areas, sneezing, hacking cough, etc.

- Find out what your options are...If you want to adopt a rescue, look for local groups that are independent and /or at local shelters, also find local reputable breeders if you are interested in a purebred (many breeders will also have retired adult cats for placement as pets after they are neutered).

- Find out what each "source" the shelters (or breeder) vaccinate, health screen / vet exam, spay/neuter, etc. Do they do any temperment testing on their cats or foster them (kept in a private home awaiting adoption). Also get references from rescue groups and breeders.

In my experience....I've adopted one adult cat from a shelter and 2 feral kittens off the street.... All had their issues...The cat from the shelter had an underlying heart condition, seizures, and now allergies. The ferral kittens I had to pay for spay/neuter, rounds of shots, and then treatment for eye infections and UTIs. I do not blame the shelter (the cat had no visible symptoms at the time and the enlarged heart wouldn't be uncovered in a standard vet exam). BUT, I will say that WHEREVER you get your next cat, take them to your vet ASAP for a thurough health screening to detect any problems the shelter, rescue, or breeder might have missed.

For myself, now that I have three rescue cats, I'll most likely be looking at buying a kitten from a good breeder or adopting a retired breeding cat for my next addition. That said, I'm a sucker for cute cats in need, so I might end up falling for another feral or shelter cat (which is why I should NOT go to petsmart on saturdays when the shelter groups are there).

post #16 of 19
I have had ferals die young and some that were older.
My brothers feral was 15.5 when she died.
Never was sick once before that.
My Stripe her sister had 2 breasts removed with cancer cells in them at age 4 but was fine after that.
I lost her to crf at age 11.
My new kitten is coming from a breeder and should be here this week.
She is my first pure bred and is a sphynx.
I was also looking at retired breeders before I decided on the kitten.
My last cat was about to go to the pound and has fcks.
I had 5 cats at the time put said I will take her.
I loss Stormy and Yoshi within 2 months after getting her.
I would take another cat with problems or a older cat again.
I would have had my sphynx a long time ago but I was offered cats that needed homes so I took them.
post #17 of 19
For your situation I vote shelter or rescue group. Not the paper, never ever a pet shop, and not online unless you go to Petfinder
post #18 of 19
I have 1 cat from a former co-worker (to his credit, he had thought he had already placed Raven & Nabu but the lady changed her mind--that's how they came to live with me), 1 from a shelter, and 1 who just showed up at our back door.

All cats have issues at some point or another, but right after adoption a health check at the vet should clear up any questions you might have. A good shelter/rescue won't adopt an animal out while they are ill.
post #19 of 19
If you are looking for a kitten I would say try the papers first. Where I am from there seem to be kittens given away all the time, just ask them if you can see the kitten before taking them and check them out and make sure they are ok. I am finding good homes for now only 3 of my 5 kittens I'm keeping one and one is claimed by my friend the moment he was born. Now there are just the three girls left. I want to keep them all but I can't and the one I am keeping is going to be our barn cat, he's such a sweetie. Well I hope that helps you.
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