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Buying a kitten

(26 Posts)
vienna7 Wed 27-Jun-18 09:44:05

Why is it so incredibly difficult and expensive to buy a kitten in the UK?

Shelters and rescue centres are well-intentioned, however the amount of paperwork, fuss, interviews and bureaucracy is so excessive.

So a “cottage industry” of home breeders has sprung up across the country to “make money on the side”. These unregulated breeders know that the rescue centres are frustratingly officious and ridiculously bureaucratic,, so these unregulated breeders get away with charging a lot of money for kittens that are not microchipped, registered or neutered. Often not vaccinated.

The answer is bring back kittens and puppies to pet shops. Just have sensible regulation. All must be microchipped, registered, vaccinated etc.

I want to get a cat but neither of the current options - mindless rescue bureaucracy or cowboy home breeders - is acceptable.

OP’s posts: |
Want2beme Wed 27-Jun-18 10:18:55

I never want to see an animal being sold in a pet shop ever again. It's absolutely heartbreaking seeing little kittens and puppies stuck in the windows of pet shops, waiting for someone to buy them. I lived in a country where they still do this and it makes you want to cry everytime you see it. Actually, I refused to go near them. Fortunately, people are taking a stand against them now.

Rescue centres have to be careful when placing animals into the care of someone. I accept that. It's people who are the problem, willing to buy from breeders or similar. If that stopped, there'd be a lot less stray and unwanted animals in this world.

Most of my cats have been strays who've chosen me to be their slave. I once went to the RSPCA to adopt, but they told me that because I worked fulltime, they wouldn't consider me. I accepted this, even though I thought it was OTT, and went to another rescue who were happy to let me adopt.

Nje1 Wed 27-Jun-18 10:41:22

There are many charities who have different criteria for allowing you to adopt. If you can't be bothered to go through filling out a form and home check are you sure the long term commitment of having a cat is for you?

HirplesWithHaggis Wed 27-Jun-18 10:47:45

Have a look in shop windows, supermarket notice boards, gumtree for free kittens. Of my current three cats, one was a feral kitten we found near death at the side of the road (cost a lot more in vet fees than buying one would have done, but we love him) and the other two came from an acquaintance whose cat had kittens, fee-free. There are loads of kittens around at this time of year, ask on local FB groups too.

Allergictoironing Wed 27-Jun-18 11:53:17

I'm interested to know what part of an adoption process you class as "mindless bureaucracy". When I adopted my 2 the main checks were whether I lived in a suitable area e.g. no busy road going past the front door, ages of people in the house, and an agreement to take them back there if I could no longer keep them. Most people need a home check as well, to ensure that you do have somewhere suitable for the cat/kitten, to make any suggestions and to ensure you weren't being a little disingenuous regarding the road. As it happens, in my case they were to be indoors only (as requested by the shelter) and I'm the only occupant and rarely have guests. We chatted for about half an hour altogether apart from visiting the cats who had been selected as suitable for me (e.g. a pair, indoors only, in need of a quiet home). When I collected them, again would have been only about 10 minutes doing the paperwork if we hadn't got sidetracked a few times grin.

The costs don't even cover the neutering, microchipping, injections, worming, any other vet treatment etc let alone the overheads of running the place.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Wed 27-Jun-18 11:55:33

So making sure an owner and their home is appropriate for an animal is 'mindless bureaucracy'? If you can't be be bothered with the paperwork please don't bother getting a kitten as I doubt you've got the level of commitment to look after an animal for up to 20 years, maybe more.

I'm glad you don't see animals in pet shops and the sooner Gumtree and FB stop adverts for animals the better.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 27-Jun-18 13:00:55

Smaller, local rescues tend to have much more flexible approaches to adoption. Most of the mindless bureaucracy is associated with the microchip so has to be done with a kitten acquired any where else. The rest is spent ensuring that the home is appropriate for the cat to reduce the risk of the cat being returned. When you see the number of privately 'rescued' pets that vets see who quite frankly end up situations that are worse or the same as before you would understand for example we have two cats who at 16weeks we were their fourth home, due to private rescuing.
Personally I think the whole busy Road thing with the main charities is nuts 90% of the RTA cats I see are injured on 'quiet rural' roads because cats take chances crossing these road, busy road they steer clear of. I successfully challenged this with an RSPCA home check when I lived on an A road.

Vinorosso74 Wed 27-Jun-18 14:04:29

Rescues/charities want to make sure cats go to suitable homes!!! As for the fees there's the overheads the rescue has for food, litter, bills etc then there's vet fees. The animals are vaccinated, microchipped, neutered and given appropriate medical treatment which may just be a course of antibiotics or a dental.
I don't agree with any animals being sold in pet shops so would hate to see a return to that. If anything I think there should be better controls on owning pets.

ifonly4 Wed 27-Jun-18 14:05:31

OP, can you tell me what you experienced with shelters/rescue centres and what boxes they want ticked. When the time is right later in the year we had planned on rehoming an older cat, so it would be useful to know if we stand a chance.

EarlGreyT Wed 27-Jun-18 22:51:49

@PinkSparklyPussyCat well said.

The answer is definitely not to bring back puppies and kittens in pet shops.

There are too many unwanted cats and kittens in the U.K as there are too many irresponsible pet owners. Rescue centres do not have mindless or excessive bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is there to ensure the cats (other pets) go to suitable homes with responsible owners who understand what owning and properly looking after a pet involves.

Advertising animals on gumtree, Facebook and the pets4homes site should all be banned.

ClandestineAdulation Wed 27-Jun-18 23:02:06

In certain areas in the UK there are cats and kittens being euthanised because there is no demand for them, sometimes as a result of poverty in certain areas and often a result of over-breeding/lack of neutering.

The answer is not to bring kittens back in petshops. The answer is to educate people so they understand the repercussions of breeding their animals and the responsibility that comes along with it.

If you can’t be bothered to go through the necessary paperwork then you’ll have a shock when it comes to looking after a kitten! The procedures are there to ensure that pets are re-homed to responsible pet owners who understand the concept of animal welfare and the demands that having pets bring, whilst being able to show a commitment to the animal.

As a PP has said, the fees cover general vet visits, microchipping, worming, flea treatments, vaccinations, and vet treatments that were necessary during the animal’s time in the rescue (these bills can reach £1000s, especially where dental work is concerned) as well as the overheads that the rescue centre have.

Vinorosso74 Wed 27-Jun-18 23:18:18

Sadly there is a pet shop near me which sells kittens. They put a huge banner outside saying "kittens now ready". I did read about rumours about a kitten farm above the shop.... The Cats Protection
adoption centre is about 10/15 mins walk away.

JockMcGraw Thu 28-Jun-18 08:32:30

I adopted two indoor cats from cats protection a few months ago. There were boxes to tick (I.e making sure the house was suitable) but nothing excessive. In fact, I would have been concerned if they didn't ask questions and wanted me to sign an agreement!

As for fees, I think it was £50 per cat, plus we gave an extra donation. Very reasonable given the care they'd received was far in excess of this.

You don't have a right to a pet. It is entirely proper that the rescue centres make sure the owners are suitable & serious about the commitment.

chemenger Thu 28-Jun-18 08:39:24

I suspect that the OP has been turned down for adoption by some mindless bureaucratic volunteer. We have someone who posts endlessly on our CP branch Facebook complaining that we refused him a cat just because his last four have been killed on the road he lives beside.

Namethecat Thu 28-Jun-18 08:41:32

We got ours from the local animal rescue. Her mum was taken in from being found pregnant living under a hedge. The local animal rescue has kennels for dogs but cats are looked after by rescue volunteers in their own home. Once the kittens are born photos go on the Facebook page. We visited our kitten several times at their home so they got to know us . Once the kitten was old enough to leave mum they visited us to see our home. Yes we filled out an adoption form and paid a fee but surely knowing the cats/kittens have been looked after and cared for is well worth any hoop you feel you need jump through to get a kitten.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Thu 28-Jun-18 09:07:28

I suspect that the OP has been turned down for adoption by some mindless bureaucratic volunteer.

I also suspect we may never find out!

Vinorosso74 Thu 28-Jun-18 10:04:37

I don't think we'll find out either!

ifonly4 Thu 28-Jun-18 10:34:10

OP, as mentioned in my previous post I desperately want to rehome a cat later in the summer/autumn. We grew up with six between us and have had our two for 17.5/18.5 years. Cats are part of me and to be honest I'll go through whatever to get one (hopefully I won't be disappointed), regular visits, scent exchanging, home visit, I'm more than happy to pay the fee to the shelter as it'll more than cover food, litter, possible neutering, microchipping, worming and a basic vet check.

If you don't want to rehome, speak to local people - there's sure to be kittens locally. If they're coming from a decent home, the owners will be more than happy to let you visit, at least that's what happened when we got our last two.

POPholditdown Thu 28-Jun-18 14:36:08

When I adopted my first kitten, I had quite literally walked in off the street into RSPCA and walked away with a kitten, no notice or appointment. I even made a throwaway comment about loving the idea of lots of little baby versions of her (when they told me I had to make sure to get her spayed). Obviously I had no intention of breeding her, but for all they knew I could’ve been serious. There were no checks done whatsoever.

Maybe there are other more lenient rescues.

I dread to think what would happen in pet shops. I always think how scared the rabbits in Pets at Home must be when there are people towering over the enclosures and excited kids screaming into them.

Also a lot of retail staff aren’t exactly treated as well as they should be, you think the animals would be treated any better?

StayingAtTamaras Mon 02-Jul-18 14:43:04

I'm in Manchester and there's a hideous pet shop just up the road from me that always has teeny tiny kittens and puppies in the windows, as well as monkeys(!), rabbits in ridiculously small enclosures with NO HAY and it's just heartbreaking every time I walk past there. Nobody seems bothered and people are always in there.

t3xa Mon 02-Jul-18 16:25:19

I've not read the full thread, but I have to say I found the cats protection very easy to deal with - not at all bureaucratic. I emailed my interest one Sunday morning, had met the cat and agreed to take her by the afternoon, picked her up a couple of days later. Minimal paperwork, and nothing at all invasive. I'd far rather financially supper them than a pet shop/byb

sweetkitty Fri 06-Jul-18 12:53:24

Our kittens are coming from Cat Concern, Home check was fine. I know the kittens will be well looked after rather than peoplebreeding their family pets for quick money. It’s all the ragdoll/Bengal crosses which get me, they look like tabbies and cost £400!

sunshinesupermum Fri 06-Jul-18 12:56:19

I don't understand why the OP is so anti rescue centres. Our dogs and cats have always come from rescue centres. Not all of them have a home check - they talked it through with us and looked at photographs of our home and outside space. Rehoming a pet is a very simple procedure we found in every case.

sunshinesupermum Fri 06-Jul-18 12:59:39

Agree with T3xa - we had two cats from cats protection and another plus two dogs from Battersea. No-one was bureaucratic but sensible in ensuring that the pet would be with the right owner.

In absolutely no way should cats and dogs be sold through shops. Vienna7 YABU

EachandEveryone Fri 06-Jul-18 18:55:54

What about in NYC where you see boxes of them on the sude of the streets being sold? Its horrible, puppies as well.

I rang CP on the off chance that my girl was still available and lucky for me the people that were adopting her changed their minds. I was well out of area but they were happy for me to send in photos of my back way and i passed. My Daphne was a lovely big sister from the beginning and im so happy that they werent as fussy as my local CP who wouldnt entertain me when they saw my address.

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