Pet Store Kittens
You walk by a pet store and see those tumbling kittens and you think to yourself… I want a cute, little kitten. Usually, it’s an impulse buy like buying gum at the checkout. Never, never, never buy a kitten without first asking yourself if you have the time and the means to look after a pet. Are you away a lot? Do you have the extra income for vet bills, like spaying or neutering and declawing? Can you handle the fur which permeates your clothes and furniture? You are going to have this little love from anywhere up-to 24 years, but likely at least 15 years. You need to plan for it.
Buying a pet as a gift? Pets are a horrible idea. You have just landed someone you care about with more responsibility and perhaps guilt, if they turn the animal over to the Humane Society.
Many pet store cats are weaned too early and may have some behavioral problems. The kitten’s Mother or Father may have been feral (wild) and your new kitten may have inherited diseases or a bad temperament. All things to think about. Lineage is important.
Pet store cats may not have been spayed or neutered or even had shots and since this additional cost is left up to the new owner, it is often neglected. Vaccinations needed may include feline leukemia, feline AIDS, feline rhinotracheitis and rabies. Cats should also be treated for heartworm, just like dogs.
If you are tempted to buy a cat be sure to ask the following questions:
- Where did this kitten come from?
- Did the kitten come from a cat farm?
- What health problems are common in this breed?
- Has the kitten been spayed, declawed, neutered or had its shots
- Is the kitten microchipped?
- Is it ok if you take the kitten to the vet for an assessment before deciding?
- Can you bring the kitten back and what happens to it if you do?
- What food should the cat be eating?
- How old is he/she?
- What temperament do the Parents have?
- Is it long or short haired? Do they shed?
- What happens to cats that don't sell?
The best thing to do if you see a kitten in a pet store and you have your heart set on the little fur-ball, is to ask the pet store staff if they can hold it for you overnight. Then really think hard if it is the right thing to do and if the creature will fit your lifestyle. If you decide yes, take it to the vet immediately for a routine check-up before you get emotionally attached to it. If you get the A-OK from your vet ensure you love your new family member and enjoy the short kitten years.