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Pet Store Kittens

August 07, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Buying a kitten from the pet store should never be an impulse buy!

Kittens are undeniably the cutest little fur-balls. But some of the responsibilities of owning a kitten are not so cute. Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide if a kitten is right for you:
  • Am I prepared to own this cat for up to 20 years or more?  
  • Do I like cleaning the litter box?  
  • Will I responsibly spay or neuter this kitten or am I willing to care for an injured cat with kittens if not.  
  • Am I prepared to care for this cat as part of the family?
  • Do I have enough extra income for vet bills, grooming and food?
  • Am I allergic to pet hair and shedding?  
  • Do I have space in my house for a cat?
  • Do I LOVE cats?
  • Does everyone in my family LOVE cats?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then owning a cat is not for you at this time. Never impulsively buy a kitten because they look cute and never buy a kitten as a present unless you can answer yes to all the above questions for that person and you have asked for their permission.  More and more pets end up at the animal shelter because of thoughtless, irresponsible owners who had no idea what it takes to care for a pet.

Also, think carefully of where you are buying this kitten. Many pet store kittens are weaned too early, are lonely and may suffer behavioral problems, inherited diseases and health issues.  Pet store kittens also come with a lot more costs than you may have considered like spaying/neutering, vaccinations and heartworm treatments; all of which need to be done soon after you bring kitten home. If you still want to buy your kitten at the pet store ask them lots of questions to help you feel confident that your kitten will bring both of you years of joy together.

Ask the pet store staff the following questions to help you decide:
  • Where did this kitten come from?
  • What breed were his parents?
  • Did he come from a cat farm?
  • What health issues are common for this breed?
  • Has the kitten had any medical care at all?
  • Can I take this kitten to the vet before I decide?
  • Can I bring the kitten back if he has a problem?
  • How old is this kitten?
  • What happens to kittens you don’t sell?

Many times, pet store staff will be able to answer few if any of these questions at all. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, look elsewhere like the animal shelter, a local breeder or a cat owner that has bred his cats. Cat owners are cat lovers who usually know everything there is to know about the kittens and have given them some medical attention before they are given away or sold.  Do your research!

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