Adopting vs. Buying A Cat. Should you adopt a cat or buy one? Buying a cat or kitten is still the default option for many: Ironically especially people who don’t know much about cats! Automatically reaching for Craigslist or eBay Classifieds can end up in heartbreak.
It’s unclear why so many people won’t consider adopting a rescue cat or kitten. Rescue cats aren’t ’rejects.’ In fact, there are many benefits to adopting a cat? Perhaps others worry they’ll get turned down by a rescue; some cat rescues are picky about where their cats end up.
Adopting vs. Buying A Cat
A fair proportion of cats offered for sale or sold online end up in rescue because they find the wrong home. Based on the work we do we’d definitely encourage novice cat owners or those on a tight budget to seek out cat rescues in their area rather than buying directly from a member of the public.
Although some free ad websites are trying to discourage people from selling cats commercially, some back street breeders are very crafty and use aliases and different phone numbers and addresses.
First-time cat owners are those most likely to end up out of pocket or people who believe cats are low maintenance, and hence don’t bother to think about their pet’s needs.
The net result is that cats bought online will often end up being surrendered to a rescue or shelter, because things didn’t work out.
Nowhere is the problem acuter than in the Southern States. Here a lower percentage of cats are spayed or neutered. Rescues and shelters are bursting at the seams, and it’s a similar story across the South were extremely dedicated rescues are struggling to cope. The net result: the Southern states have the highest rates of cat euthanasia.
How can you help?
You can help yourself and cats deserving of a forever home by adopting a spayed or neutered cat or kitten from a rescue or shelter. In these circumstances, most likely, if you adopt a cat, you will save a life.
These days cat rescues have their intake vet checked and tested. Cat rescues can also give you help in matching your preferences and lifestyle to individual cats. This allows cat rescues to help prospective cat owners find the most suitable cat or kitten – a foreign concept to inexperienced cat owners. This isn’t of any concern to ignorant or greedy owners selling online.
For example, some people want kittens, but in reality aren’t a great match for boisterous kittens because they are out all day. Others are convinced their child needs a kitten – which couldn’t be further from the truth! Kittens and very young children are not a good mix, as kittens are very fragile!
The problem seems to be that the level of ‘cat awareness’ – knowledge about the pet people say they want to own – can be low. This allows unsuspecting members of the public to be duped. Of course, not all people who advertise on Craigslist and similar sites are malicious, just that their goal is not to help you find the right pet!
Buying a cat, or kitten, if not from a registered breeder, always carries risks because there is no contract of sale. Should the cat not turn out as expected you will not be able to return it. Take a cat that’s sold as dog-friendly, but even after proper introductions is clearly terrified. Then what do you do? No one has money to throw away these days. If you’re smart, you’ll get your next cat from a bona fide rescue or shelter. Saving a life and your pocket: adopting a cat, rather than buying one has to be the sensible (and ethical) option.
So, if you are looking for a new cat or kitten to join your home, opt for cat adoption through a local cat rescue.