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What to think about when buying a kitten

If you've decided you want to bring the joy of a kitten to your life, you have two options: buying or adopting. Here's what to think about when you're making this big decision so that you can be sure you're welcoming a happy, healthy pet to your home.

Buying a kitten

If you have your heart set on a purebred cat, choose a breeder carefully and be sure their cats are well looked after. Use our Kitten Checklist to help you find a healthy, friendly kitten and make sure you're buying from a responsible breeder.

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Before you visit the kitten

A good breeder will be happy to answer your questions before you visit. Some of the things you'll need to know are:

  • When was the kitten born?
  • Was the kitten raised with its mother?
  • Is the kitten friendly?
  • Is the kitten healthy?
  • Where was the kitten born, and where did it spend most of its time when it was between one and nine weeks old?

When you visit the kitten

Before committing yourself, always visit the kitten and meet its mother in the place it was bred. They should stay with their mothers until they're around 8-9 weeks (taking them away earlier than this can lead to problems with their behaviour).

A kitten should be sociable and alert, with bright eyes and no visible health problems. Work through our Kitten Checklist to help you remember what to look out for and ask, such as:

  • Can you see the kitten with his/her mother?
  • Is the mother healthy? Friendly?
  • Are there many other cats or litters of kittens in the home?
  • Is the kitten's environment clean?
  • Does the kitten look healthy?
  • By the end of your visit was the kitten friendly? Nervous? Fearful?

It's worth bearing in mind that purebred cats can be more prone to health problems. In addition, don't buy a kitten younger than six months old from anyone other than the breeder. Not only is it illegal, it's a warning sign that the kitten could be illegally farmed.

Adopting a kitten

The UK is experiencing a cat crisis and our adoption centres are often full. Consider adopting a cat or kitten and you'll find that the affection of a rehomed pet that needed a second chance is all the more rewarding.

If you adopt a kitten from us, you can be sure that they're happy, healthy and ready to go to a new home. Where possible, they'll also come:

Whether you buy or adopt, be sure to have a read of our advice on how to look after a kitten so you're all set for your new arrival!

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