Finding A Cat
Finding A Cat
Arden Moore (Animal Behavioral Specialist, Editor and Author) gives expert video advice on: Where do I go to get a cat?; Don't shelter or rescue cats come with too many problems?; Are shelter or rescue cats free? and more...
Where do I go to get a cat?
There's over a hundred million cats running around just in this country alone. There are many avenues to check, including the back alleys. But if you want to be a little bit more responsible, you can find cats at your local shelter. You can find them through responsible breeders. You can also find them through breed rescues. You can also get them from less reputable places like kitten mills and by that I mean people that really just are into the business of churning out kittens for a profit and they aren't there to back you up when you have any kind if questions. My last three cats, actually picked me and that happens more then often or not. They're homeless. They're stray and there is just this connection, if you will. So there's many avenues.
Can I get a purebred cat from a shelter or rescue?
You can actually get a purebred cat from some shelters. Believe it or not. But what's happening nowadays, is the network of breed groups are becoming so good, and so coordinated that typically what will happen is if a purebred cat gets dropped off at your local shelter, the shelter will often call the breed rescue group and say "hey, we've got a siamese here, and a bunch of kittens," and they tend to get that cat and kittens, and then make them available through their breed rescue groups.
Don't shelter or rescue cats come with too many problems?
It's a misnomer and a myth to think that cats and kittens that come from shelters come with a lot of baggage and I'm not talking suitcases, I'm talking emotional behaviour issues. A lot of times a person may have a loving cat and pass away, and the family bring the cat to the shelter and the cat can make a wonderful companion for the next person. So I think you need to keep an open mind when you're going to a shelter and realize that sometimes getting a cat there, that cat or kitten is going to be very grateful for getting a second chance.
Are shelter or rescue cats free?
There's no such thing as a free lunch. There's no such thing as a free cat. Even if you go to your cat shelter. So when you go, keep in mind that they invest a lot of money and time in making sure that that cat has the needed vaccinations, maybe the cat has to be spayed and neutered before the cat is adopted. The feeding and the cleaning. So, no. There's no such thing as a free cat. And why should it be? You know what? Cats are priceless. And if you put a little money up front in an investment, you're going to get a great cat.
Where do pet stores buy their kittens?
When it comes to where pet stores buy their kittens, it all depends on the store. For example, many of the major national pet supply stores don't sell kittens or cats, dogs or puppies. What they do is showcase dogs and cats that are coming in from different shelters and breed rescue groups. If you're looking at those kinds of stores, I encourage you to go there. I am not a big fan of other stores that sell cats and kittens. The reason being it's very difficult to distinguish if they are really legitimate breeders and responsible, or are they what they call "kitten mills," where they just keep producing a lot of cats and kittens to sell them, and they're not available to answer any of your questions. Unfortunately, many of these cats and kittens from these "mills," come with a lot of health problems because the mama cat's been overbred. They don't get the needed vaccinations or the needed socialization. So, there are a lot of wonderful cats and kittens out there available at major pet supply stores where they're showcasing shelter cats and rescue cats, and the money is going to those groups, not to the stores.
What is a kitten mill?
A kitten mill is not a place where like little kitty biscuits are made and you know it's a cool place to hang out. A kitten mill is actually a place where poor mama cats are over bred and have litter after litter after litter; they're purebred cats with the hope that this person running it is going to make a lot of money on the sale of these cats and kittens. The downside, as you can guess, is that these poor cats are sick: they're not socialized, and they have a lot of health problems. Often, these kittens are bought and within weeks, they're dead because they've been undernourished and they don't have all the health vaccinations they need. I just say, say 'no' to kitten mills.
How much does a purebred cat cost?
What's the price tag for a purebred cat? I'd like to go "one million dollars"! I'm just kidding. purebred cats really range. It depends on the breed of the cat and the cattery, because you may want a cat that's from a cattery that has won zillions of national awards. The price of a purebred cat can actually range from several hundred dollars to a few thousand.
What's a pedigree?
A pedigree--and when I say that, I'm not talking about petting to the degree that your cat likes it--I'm talking about a cat's "coat of arms" if you will. These are blue bloods; these are the cats that are all Siamese or all Abyssinian, if you will. And to earn that pedigree status, they have to be registered with cat registries like the Cat Fancier Association or the International Cat Association.Pedigree cats are sort of like the gold seal of that breed. They have all the looks that is wanted in that breed. You can have a Siamese that can be a purebred, but you can have a show-quality cat that's a pedigree. And that cat tends not be spayed or neutered so that they pass on those good quality genes for the next generation.
Do I need a pedigree if I'm not looking for a show or breeding cat?
Certain cat registries like the major one, The Cat Fancy Association, and The International Cat Association or TICA, in order to compete in their competitions, you do need pedigreed cats. And if you're going to enter your cat in the shows and all that, then you need to have those types of cats. On the other hand, even if you're not planning to show your cat, then you can get a purebred.