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Adopting vs. buying a kitten

Adopting vs. buying a kitten
by Lucinda Beeman

Read time: 3 min

Deciding to bring a kitten into your home is a big step. But before the zoomies and purrs, there’s another crucial decision: should you adopt from a shelter or buy from a breeder? Each option has its own set of pros and cons. And the right choice depends on your circumstances and preferences. So let’s break it down.

Adopting a Kitten


Saving a Life: Adopting a kitten from a shelter means giving a homeless animal a second chance. Shelters are often overcrowded. And every adoption helps. Even if you decide against adoption, head to our Instagram every Friday. Where we spotlight one cat up for adoption. Because every share gets cats closer to a safe home. 

Lower Cost: Adoption fees are generally much lower than the cost of buying from a breeder. And many shelters spay/neuter, microchip, and vaccinate the animals before adoption.

Variety: Shelters have a wide range of cats and kittens, from purebreds to delightful mixes. Which gives you plenty of choices to find a kitten that suits your lifestyle.

Feel-Good Factor: There’s a sense of satisfaction and joy in knowing you’ve given a kitten in need a loving home.


Unknown Background: Shelter kittens may come with unknown health histories. Or behavioural issues due to previous neglect or trauma. Ask the shelter about their experience with the kitten you want to choose. 

Limited Information: You might not get a lot of information about the kitten’s lineage or genetic health, which can be important if you're looking for specific traits.

Availability: You might not find the exact breed or age you’re looking for. And shelter availability can vary widely.

Buying from a breeder


Predictability: When buying from a breeder, especially a GCCF-registered breeder, you know what you’re getting. You can choose a specific breed with predictable traits and behaviours.

Health Guarantees: Reputable breeders provide health guarantees and detailed medical histories. They often screen for genetic conditions, giving you peace of mind about your kitten’s health.

Socialisation: Good breeders invest time in socialising their kittens, ensuring they are well-adjusted and accustomed to human interaction. Find out more about how to choose a good breeder here.

Ongoing Support: Breeders can offer valuable advice and support throughout your kitten’s life. From dietary needs to health care tips.


Cost: Purebred kittens from reputable breeders can be expensive. Sometimes costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

Waiting Lists: Good breeders often have waiting lists. Which means you might need to wait months for your kitten.

Ethical Concerns: The breeding industry has its dark side. Like unethical breeding practices and kitten mills. It’s crucial to choose a breeder carefully to avoid supporting these practices.

Aftercare Support: A reputable breeder will offer ongoing support and advice. And show genuine concern for the kitten’s wellbeing even after you take it home.

Whether you adopt or buy, you’re making a commitment to care for and love a living being. Do your homework, consider your lifestyle, and choose the option that best suits your needs and values. Then get ready for the 3am zoomies.

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