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Advice on where to buy kittens

53 replies

Whatevertheweather · 30/12/2013 21:11

Hi, we are looking to get my daughter 2 kittens for her 7th birthday at beginning of March. She has been desperate for a cat since she could talk and for various reasons now is the right time so we are going to coincide getting them with her birthday. We do also have an 18 month old DD.

I have tried our local RSPCA and cats protection league and neither have any suitable. Pets 4 Homes local site only seem to have the £300+ pedigree cats, gorgeous but out of our budget! There are some on free ads/gumtree but am wary to get them from there.

Presume we need to start looking now to collect end of Feb/beginning of March?

We live in a semi detached house on a quiet residential street with a large enclosed back garden and will get a catflap fitted. I work from home most days so they will have plenty of company Smile There's a vet around the corner and we will arrange insurance and micro chipping.

Any advice gratefully received - we had kittens/cats when I was growing up but that was a fair while ago now!


OP posts:
MrsBradfield · 30/12/2013 21:17

Rescue centres should have lots of kittens available nearer the time you are looking at, my nearest centre usually gets an influx during spring time

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile · 30/12/2013 21:20

Kittens to be ready early March aren't born yet, surely?

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile · 30/12/2013 21:23

There are other shelters than RSPCA/cats protection

Google your local area or county - I just put 'cat shelter x county' & lots of others came up.

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile · 30/12/2013 21:27

\link{\} has links to lots of places

BunnyBaby · 30/12/2013 21:30

Rescue centres do have kittens and I got the most amazing brother 1yr old cats when my DCs were 3yo and 6m who were fab with the children. A good rescue will know which cats are good for a family. :-)

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood · 30/12/2013 21:31

our local cat charities show cats as available when they are, so if you want a kitten in end of feb they would literally be being born now! so therefore would not be known to them yet.
when we got our kittens they went on the website on the saturday morning, we saw them saturday lunchtime and had to sign there and then. We could take them a week later.

Whatevertheweather · 30/12/2013 21:31

Thank you both, will try that link now for other rescues in my area. I thought kittens were normally ready to come home at around 9 weeks old? So thought I'd better start looking now end of Feb is scarily only 9 weeks away.

OP posts:
Elizabeththefirst · 30/12/2013 21:34

Don't buy one from a pet shop.

Your only ethical options are a rescue or a good, registered pedigree breeder, tbh

Whatevertheweather · 30/12/2013 21:37

Ah thank you, may be jumping the gun a bit then! Will contact all local rescues and ask if we can be notified if they get any kittens in. We are thinking kittens purely because of our toddler - an older cat not used to children may struggle?

OP posts:
MrsBradfield · 30/12/2013 21:44

thenicestsmile I didn't necessarily mean kittens that may not be born yet, and ready by march, the centres get a lot of kittens that are are older than 9 weeks in as well, it's not restricted to solely young ones as I'm sure you're aware.

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile · 30/12/2013 21:47

Sorry, MrsB, I was addressing what OP said about nothing suitable being available just now - of course there will always be older kittens, I was just thinking about tiny ones Smile

OddFodd · 30/12/2013 21:50

I'd get your homecheck done now by both RSPCA and CPL and tell them what you're looking for. Then they can (and will) ring you when they have kittens available. The homecheck bit is the bit that can hold things up - until they've done that, they won't let you have kittens.

It should mean you get pick of the litter. You may have to collect a week earlier/later than your DD's birthday though. My DS has SN and our kittens (who we've had since they were 8 weeks old) are remarkably tolerant and good-natured considering he can be very trying quite loud at times so definitely better than older cats in that respect

OddFodd · 30/12/2013 21:52

ETA - RSPCA here charge £80 per kitten which includes neutering, chipping and 2 sets of vaccs. And they cost about £1/day to feed each

TheBunsOfPanettone · 30/12/2013 21:56

Do get rescue kittens or an older cat that has a good track record with small children, Whatevertheweather. There will be a rehoming fee to pay but it's far more ethical than going to a shop or Gumtree (which sources exacerbate the huge problem of unwanted cats). The sanctuary I volunteer with charges approx £80-120 per cat homed, which sounds like a lot of money but isn't when you consider the charges for neutering and the medical care many of the rescued cats and kittens need when they arrive at the sanctuary. If you adopt from a sanctuary you will also likely have access to a network of invaluable after-care and advice, which it's doubtful a shop or a Gumtree seller would provide.

Nyborg · 30/12/2013 21:57

Good luck with it all, OP. Bear in mind that a shelter will want to be sure when you say the kittens are "for DD" that the adults in the house recognise that it's a family pet and are prepared for all of its care. Kittens born now will probably still be with you when DD is off to university and they will want to be sure that you are prepared to take on a long-term commitment.

TheBunsOfPanettone · 30/12/2013 22:01

Very good point Nyborg.

Whatevertheweather · 30/12/2013 22:06

We'd thought around £200 for a pair from a rescue so good to know it's the right ball park. They will definitely be a family pet, tbh we'd be getting them anyway even if it wasn't dd's birthday, we firmly decided in October to get some but we knew we were away christmas week so held off and it will absolutely make her birthday to do it around the same time. She is animal crazy and lovingly looked after 2 guinea pigs for nearly 4 years until they died earlier this year Hmm

Thanks so much for all the advice - much appreciated. I have emailed some rescues from the catchat link so hopefully we will find some soon

OP posts:
Wolfiefan · 30/12/2013 22:10

We got two rescues from Katz Castle (shameless plug!) in Surrey. Youngest was 18 months. Young enough to act like a kitten and play. Old enough to be left for a while, be litter trained, not claw us/furniture to pieces and come when called! Result!
Good luck.

Whatevertheweather · 30/12/2013 22:15

Ah we're in Hampshire so surrey not too far! Thank you.

Also what is generally the best combination - same sex or mixed? Is either sex more affectionate generally or is it totally cat dependant. We'd love them to be happy to jump up for cuddles!

OP posts:
OddFodd · 30/12/2013 22:54

In my experience, boys are generally lots more soppy/affectionate but it's down to the individual cats to some extent. Lots and lots of handling when they're little helps.

Also you need to be at home (ie not FT WOHP) for most rescues to let you have kittens. They need feeding 3x day when they're really small

Fluffycloudland77 · 30/12/2013 23:01

Black and white cats have a reputation for being lap cats. I have to say the two I've known did climb onto you for fuss 30 seconds after meeting you.

Whatevertheweather · 30/12/2013 23:09

I WFH most of the day Mon-Thurs (don't work Fridays) I do have to go out on appts but am home in between so they wouldn't be on their own for more than 2-3hrs max. If I was out all day in meetings (rare) my DM lives round the corner so has said she will come in to feed/play with them. DP gets home from work at 4pm most days too. I hope that would be acceptable to a rescue? We've no plans to go away until a week at the end of August and will assess then what to do with them (cattery or more likely cat sitter as my friend runs a pet sitting business)

OP posts:
Nyborg · 30/12/2013 23:13

That sounds great. The shelter may be nervous about the combination of toddler and kitten/s as roughly-handled kittens can become aggressive, but otherwise, it sounds like a you have a lovely home to offer. They may suggest an older cat with more experience of children - do take their suggestions seriously as a kitten will only be a kitten for a brief time!

Whatevertheweather · 30/12/2013 23:19

Oh I definitely will Nyborg - we're not dead set on kittens, it just seemed from looking at local rescue pages none of the older cats would be allowed to come to a home with such a small terror child. We will make sure littlest dd is not allowed to manhandle them, older dd will be very protective of them I'm sure Smile

OP posts:
WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes · 30/12/2013 23:22

Catteries and cat sitters can get very booked up in August, don't leave it till the last minute to decide on that.

We're in Hants too and adopted our two rescues from CPL in Hazlemere who were extremely helpful in helping us choose ours. They recommended adult females as we are fairly near a main road and they said kittens and male cats tend to wander more than adult females. Our two are friendly and like being stroked but aren't lap cats (even though one is black and white).

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