Getting a cat
Where your cat comes from can have a big effect on how healthy and happy they are for the rest of their life.
Try to do as much research as you can and choose where you get your cat from carefully. The wrong choice can mean your cat might require lots of vet treatment, which can be expensive.
To help you with your research, download this "kitten checklist" which will walk you through the steps of finding a happy and healthy cat.
Here’s what we recommend at PDSA....
Leading animal welfare charity rehoming centres
- Several well-known animal welfare charities e.g. Cats Protection, Blue Cross, RSPCA have rehoming centres for cats.
- Many will also have pedigree cats looking for loving homes.
- Reputable welfare organisations will health check their cats and many do "temperament testing" to try and match the most suitable cat to your home and lifestyle.
We recommend with caution
Other animal rescue centres or sanctuaries
There are lots of rescue centres and sanctuaries that are not run by leading animal welfare organisations. They are mostly run by committed, well-intentioned people but try to check the health standards of the pets, and their living conditions before buying or rehoming a cat from them.
From a friend or family member
- You might be able to get a kitten or a cat from someone who know and trust. It can be best to get a kitten from an unplanned litter as these are often more in need of a home.
- You should try to see kittens with their mother, in the place they were born, so you know they’ve both been well cared for. You can also check the health of the mother and make sure she is up to date with routine health care such as vaccinations and worming.
- Most rescue centres are already full of cats needing loving homes. We recommend that all cats are neutered as soon as they are old enough and have been checked by a vet. Neutering your cat has lots of health benefits for them and will help to reduce the cat population crisis.
Cat breed clubs
If you are thinking of getting a pedigree kitten from a breed club breeder, it’s best to see them with their mother, in the place they were born, so you know they’ve both been well cared for. You can also check the health of the mother and make sure she is up to date with routine health care such as vaccinations and worming.
We do NOT recommend
- Pet shops aren't the right environment for cats or kittens to be living in.
- Being in a pet shop might cause them to develop behavioural problems.
Newspapers and websites
Whenever possible, it’s best to see any kitten you’re thinking about getting with their parents, in their home environment so you know they’ve both been well cared for. This lets you see what their parents are like, you can check the health of the mother and you can make sure she is up to date with routine health care such as vaccinations and worming. You can also check their living environment is hygienic and has allowed your kitten to get used to normal household life.
Buying a kitten from a newspaper advert or via the internet may not let you make these important checks.
Is a cat the right pet for you?
If you're thinking of getting a cat,#pawsfirst and take our quiz to find out if a cat will suit your family and lifestyle.
Vaccinations, neutering, parasite prevention - get advice from our vets on how to help keep your cat healthy.