What to Look for – and Avoid – When Choosing a Cat

With pet ownership at an all-time high, families have been offered advice to help them when selecting a kitten to bring home. Though of course we know that truly cats choose us.

Money experts from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk have revealed the questions that should always be asked – and the red flags families should avoid.

First time pet ownership has skyrocketed over the last 12 months, with more families than ever bringing a four-legged friend into their homes.

But without doing due diligence, families might be left out of pocket by paying over the odds and bringing cats home that haven’t received the proper care they need.

A spokesperson for NetVoucherCodes.co.uk said: “With more families spending time at home over the last year, the demand for pets has skyrocketed.

“This has caused prices to spike dramatically across the board, so we want to make sure families aren’t getting conned out of their hard-earned cash.

“So, to help point families in the right direction, we’ve researched and revealed what they should look out for and what they should avoid doing entirely.”

1. Check that the price is right

Buying a cat is a big financial decision to make and it certainly isn’t the time to start bargain hunting. But similarly, you should have a good idea of what the other cats and kittens in your areas are typically selling for at the moment, so that you don’t end up paying over the odds. If a breeder is charging more than average but it’s not obvious as to why – then this is a red flag. The same goes for cats that are priced particularly low. When buying a pet, your focus should be on the welfare of the mother and babies. The same should be said for breeders and sellers. Be wary of breeders who just seem to be after a quick buck.

  1. Don’t pay a deposit 

The Coronavirus pandemic has done lots of favours for scammers, as it’s been the perfect opportunity to demand hefty deposits and cash up front, without people being able to see the pet first. Now that the virus restrictions are lifting, make sure you’re able to visit your new kitty before handing over any money.

3. Ask to see the kitty with its litter mates and mother

New born pets should always be seen with their mother, at the place they were born, and with their litter mates if possible. Be wary of breeders that make excuses as to why they can’t accommodate these requests. This could be an indicator that the animals’ welfare isn’t a priority.

4. Ask lots of questions

When you visit a potential new pet, you might feel overwhelmed by how cute they all are and therefore tempted to make rash decisions without doing your due diligence. But if you’re not thorough at this stage, you could find yourself dealing with a poorly kitty later down the line – which also means steep vet bills. It’s an even better idea to ask these questions over the phone before visiting, so your judgment isn’t clouded. Some things you should ask include:

·   Have the parents been screened for health conditions relevant to the breed?

·   How many litters has the mother had and how old is she?

·   Have the kitties been checked by a vet?

·   Are the babies used to being around people, and has the breeder been socialising them?

5. What to look for

When you visit your breeder for the first time there are a number of things to pay attention to. Be prepared to walk away if things don’t seem right. Kittens should be alert and engaged. Check that their eyes look bright, and they have a sociable nature. Are the kitties being kept in a suitable environment? And can you see that they have access to clean, safe bedding, plenty of stimulation, and access to food and fresh water?

It is also worth noting that babies shouldn’t be removed from their mothers until at least the eight-week mark.

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