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Buying a cat vs rescuing a cat

Discussion in 'The Cat Lounge' started by loribeth, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    Oh, yes, sorry :(. I meant it as a very general statement, not to pick on anyone personally. It's just such a common thing.
     

  2. red top rescue

    red top rescue TCS Member Veteran

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    Acworth GA, USA
    @catwoman707, I share your pain.  I wish we could have a moratorium on even "ethical" breeding for even just one year.  I cringe at all the new breeds being developed even though they are gorgeous (ALL cats are gorgeous in my opinion).  I wish we had better laws that would limit the number of litters which could be registered by each breeder.  Where I live, purebred cats aren't the problem, but there are backyard breeders of dogs all over the place, especially the little dogs, which are sold for incredible amounts of money IMHO.  I think retail stores  (like Petland for instance) should not be allowed to sell dogs and cats, and that would put a lot of these puppy mills out of business.  At times I have to assume the Buddhist point of view, that all is illusion, for us to learn from, and none of the suffering is real.  I guess that's what Heaven is, when you wake up and find out all that misery was just a bad dream.
     

  3. loribeth

    loribeth Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Laws not allowing retail stores to sell pets would be wonderful ...
     

  4. catrepublic

    catrepublic TCS Member Kitten

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    My opinion on buying vs rescuing is 50/50. If you have no breed preference, I would say go ahead and adopt. If you have a breed preference, then please buy from a reputable cat breeder not from pet shop. It is because purebred cats are prone to genetic diseases. Reputable breeders are more likely to select the healthiest cats to breed. I adopted two sister cats, but I have no problem with people buying cats or dogs as long as they take care of their animals nicely. 
     

  5. catrepublic

    catrepublic TCS Member Kitten

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    Breeders do not make a lot of money as most people think. Most of them do it because they love a certain breed. The money they receive from selling cats is just enough cover the cost to take care of their cats.  
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014

  6. pinkdagger

    pinkdagger TCS Member Top Cat

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    oh Canada~
    Exactly - people who assume they can turn a profit on breeding are the ones who likely aren't providing stellar care and are letting their pets breed carelessly. Responsible breeders know, and tend to sink more money into breeding than they could get back from selling/adopting out their pets' babies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014

  7. cocheezie

    cocheezie TCS Member Super Cat

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    I've never bought a cat from a breeder or adopted from a shelter, even though the local shelter is my top charity. I've just never had the chance. My cats have always been found and scooped up (alleyways, parking lots). My partner knows that "Darling, there's something in the kitchen, but don't worry, it's not staying" means that it is staying. The exception is the current two who were inherited (owner died, owner getting old and fragile and was going to put cat down).

    IMO. If someone wants a certain breed or type of cat, then they should scour the shelters until they find what they want - or something close. And, of course, if they are true cat people, they will fall in love with a cat completely different from what they went in for and everyone will be happy. This has happened to a lot of people I know. One day I've love to have a British Blue, but would easily settle for a grey cat, and would probably come home with a cat that has no grey on it whatsoever but instantly stole my heart.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014

  8. pinkdagger

    pinkdagger TCS Member Top Cat

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    oh Canada~
    This was me. I'd contacted rescues in a few nearby cities because in combination of what my boyfriend and I wanted, it was basically a female colour point or other light coloured non-tabby well-socialized cat under 6 months (his age preference, my marking preference, light so it wouldn't cover both dark and light clothes, female to avoid territorial acting out with our male). Found some, even some pure Siamese and Siamese mixes, but they get scooped up particularly quickly because light colours and colour points go so quickly. We fell in love with an adult black long haired male that was being housed at a pet store for the local rescue, but we agreed that neither one of us could guarantee the time to groom consistently and we didn't want the cat to suffer mats and hairballs because of us.

    In the end, we came home with a black smoke tabby just over a year old. Why? Because she was in need. Her family was losing their foster home, and they were all black cats over a year old. She was the second least social and painfully shy with strangers, and she spent an hour while we were in the foster home, and several days at her new home just being scared of the world to the point where my boyfriend regretted letting me choose her. It's been 2.5 months and she's perfect. She's my cat! In the future, I'd still love to get her another buddy and if that buddy happens to be some colour point or Siamese, that'd be fantastic, but it's not a deal breaker and I could never say no to an animal in need who's stolen my heart. (Let's get real, that's any animal)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
    red top rescue purraised this.

  9. momto3cats

    momto3cats TCS Member Super Cat

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    There's one thing I think is important, and never seems to come up in these discussions -  the cat's early life, and how that effects the cat they'll grow up to be. A good, responsible breeder will keep the kittens with their mom and siblings long enough to learn about being a cat, and to develop their immune systems so they're less likely to get sick with the stress of moving. Most people who simply let their cats have a litter and give away the kittens don't keep them past the legally required 8 weeks (if that), at least in my area. And shelter kittens are either those same litters, after the owners couldn't find homes for them, or are feral/semi-feral litters who get picked up because people don't want them in their yards. I think those kinds of early experiences have a detrimental effect on a cat's health and temperament. My most well-adjusted pets have been the ones who were never in a shelter environment. So for me, the reason to buy a kitten is not so much any inherent quality in a purebred, as the ability to choose a breeder who has raised her kittens in a loving home and taken excellent care of them from birth. Obviously it does take some effort to find such a breeder, but I think it's worth the effort and expense.

    I also think there's a strange idea that is becoming increasingly common, that it's only okay to have a pet if they were "rescued" from a bad situation, even a hypothetical one. IMO there is nothing wrong with choosing the pet that will fit your lifestyle and make you happy - in fact that makes it easier to keep that pet, rather than having it end up in a shelter for some reason.
     
    andrya, GemsGem, artem and 1 other person purraised this.

  10. GemsGem

    GemsGem Mentor Staff Member Mentor

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    :yeah: completely agree @momto3cats

    Also good ethical pedigree breeders will test all their cats for any genetic health issues. By DNA testing for certain problem genes and heart, hip scans etc... So they are only breeding from the healthiest cats possible.
     
    andrya purraised this.

  11. red top rescue

    red top rescue TCS Member Veteran

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    Acworth GA, USA
    WHAT "legally required 8 weeks" do you have in Texas?  Here in Georgia they give them away at 4 to 5 weeks, handing them out to anyone who will take them in the WalMart parking lot sometimes, or worse, dropping them off at Animal Control when they are too young to eat on their own.  Of course some of my best "fosters" have come in that way, tiny little white things with transparent skin, you can about see their organs through their naked little bellies, but they were raised with love and with other kittens and foster mama cats, and they have to be at least 8 weeks and 2 lbs before they can be spayed, and then they need a little recovery time too.  After that, we DO try to place them in the right homes, directly out of their foster homes, so yes, they ARE rescued cats, but in many cases they are far better socialized than some cats from SOME breeders.  Kittens should be raised underfoot, and the most bomb proof ones are raised in homes with gentle kids and gentle dogs and other cats.  Those guys are adopted as soon as they are available because they are just so calm and friendly!  
     

  12. momto3cats

    momto3cats TCS Member Super Cat

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    It's a local ordinance in my city. Of course plenty of people ignore it, or don't know or care about it.
     

  13. red top rescue

    red top rescue TCS Member Veteran

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    Which Texas city do you live in?  I commend them for making that ordinance!
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014

  14. misty8723

    misty8723 TCS Member Top Cat

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    My personal opposition to breeding is that no matter how ethical - there are already way too may cats / dogs who don't have homes to keep bringing more into the world.  For me personally, I would never buy from a breeder for that reason.
     
    red top rescue and datagrrl purraised this.

  15. artgecko

    artgecko TCS Member Super Cat

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    Wanted to say that I agree with momto3cats... I see nothing wrong with rescuing... I adopted 1 adult cat from a shelter and then rescued 2 feral kittens at 4 weeks and raised them myself.  That said, just because there are cats that don't have homes (in shelters, ferals, etc.) does not mean that ethical breeders and those  that want a purebred cat should have their right to such an animal taken away.  I'd wager that he percentage of purebreds from responsible breeders in shelters is very, very low.. so eliminating ethical breeding won't help the issue.  Convincing more people to get their pet cats spayed / neutered and giving them affordable options to do so will do a lot more good in that area.  

    I am considering purchasing a purebred kitten for my next cat and I will tell you why... It's not the looks or "status", it's for temperament and health reasons.  The adult shelter rescue I adopted had loads of health problems unknown to me at the time of adopting and some mental issues later on (my vet thinks he was a former lab test cat)...We had to have him put to sleep just a couple weeks ago due to repercussions of those issues. The two kittens that I rescued (the rest of their litter had been killed by a stray dog) have turned out to have great temperaments, but mediocre health.. It was very difficult to raise them from such a young age to have good temperaments and the cost of all the kitten shots and vet appointments was insane.  Although I am glad I rescued them, I would not want to go through that again.

    The bottom line for me, is that I know that I want a healthy cat that has great social temperament.. The only way for me to get a cat that is guaranteed of the second requirement and has a great shot at the first, is to get one from an ethical breeder that does health screening, breeds for health and temperament, and has heavily socialized their kittens from day one.  A second option with similar results (excepting health) is purchasing from a private rescue group that fosters their kittens in homes...and again, I have no problem with that either, although there is no guarantee of their health, such kittens are at least socialized properly and won't have many of the behavior issues found in unsocialized kittens or those sold / adopted too young. 

    I just want to put it out there that cats that are not purebred (i.e. moggies from a shelter or otherwise) won't necessarily be healthier than a purebred cat and that if you are considering especially an adult from a shelter, you might end up with a cat with some health issues and you should be prepared for that.  Basically, you should weigh your options before deciding which route to take.. For me, because I want so many specific traits in terms of temperament it would be easier to find those qualities in a purebred... For someone that isn't as picky in what traits they want, an adopted kitten from a rescue group might be perfect.  I think that people should, however, have the right to choose which suits their situation the best.  
     

  16. datagrrl

    datagrrl TCS Member Adult Cat

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    We talked about purchasing a PB of one of the less allergenic breeds, but my husband couldn't do it.

    I see both sides. I think people have to do what is right for them.

    I do have an issue with people who don't spay or neuter. I read someone on Yahoo answers who asked if spay and neutering wasn't worse than declawing. They picked the best answer from the one person who agreed with them. That article actually ruined my day.

    I don't like people, but after almost 40 years on the planet I have figured out I can't change most of them.

    My aunt just bought a Himalayan. She lost hers last year, she has always had one. If she knows she likes them, and all of the grooming stuff that comes with them, who am I to tell her she has to rescue? I will,that kitten is so cute it makes my teeth hurt.

    As for PB, I worked in PB Dog rescue for years. People always assumed I bought my dogs. They were keeshonden. You can rescue PB if you want, usually breeders know of older dogs that need homes. I assume this is the same way with cats.
     

  17. catrepublic

    catrepublic TCS Member Kitten

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    yes. Pedigree animals are prone to genetic health issues. Good ethical pedigree will only breed from the healthiest cats. The problem is that reputable breeds' cats are $$$ or hard to find a breeder for certain breed. Many people choose buy from backyard breeders or pet shop. They end up having a cat not only with genetic health issues, in some cases with FIP.... At the end, they spend more money on vet bills than the cat. 
     

  18. littlewolf

    littlewolf TCS Member Young Cat

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    When there is a burgeoning overopulation of cats and dogs in the world, a situation created by humans who can't/ don't want to accomodate the huge amount of animals who have no natural place in the wild (thus nowhere to go beside a human home.., Its crazy.

    We have pets as companions and working animals; I can understand preserving 'landrace' breeds and those suited to a particular purpose (like sledding or herding) but cata don't fulfil that function.

    We keep cats for our own selfish reasons. They retain more traits of their wild ancestors than dogs yet we cruelly try to curb far more natural behaviours or despair when they are not as affectionate or easy to handle or people-obsessed as dogs. Is it not bad enough that PETA euthanises thousands of animals each year?

    Must we be EVEN more selfish continuing to breed fancy animals just because of a particukar coat pattern, or even so they have short legs as not to bother humans by jumping on the counter? (Munchkins) It doesnt matter if these animals are more susceptible to genetic defects or diseases, if their squashed face impairs their breathing or whatever as long as they look nice.

    My boyfriend comes from a VERY affluent family and insisted on buying two Burmese to replace a long line of 2 Burmese who all had various illnesses and short lifespans, just because that was the only cat he grew up with, what he considered beautiful to him an the only cats good enough. One of them can barely breath, has extensive gum disease and isnt even a year old yet. She is also exhibiting symptoms of feline hyperaesthesia syndrome. They are lovely but I can't believe this culture, especially in middle to upoer class families where a pet must cost several hundred £/$ and be purebred to be seen with.

    I love the look of alot of purebreedsbas much as anyone else but as aforementioned there are plenty of breed specific shelters out there.

    Unless you are breeding yourself or showing, you do not NEED a £500 cat when one of the same breed in good health in need of a home is in a shelter near you. The only excuse is snobbery.
     

  19. lindamc62

    lindamc62 TCS Member Young Cat

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    I can see both sides of this issue.  I have never had a purebred cat, but there are some I am very much attracted to, that are hard or impossible to find in rescue, like Russian Blues, so I can understand the appeal of buying a kitten.  On the other hand, I don't like breeds with traits that can/could cause medical problems, like flat faced Persians, or Munchkins.  Health and a good temperament should be top priorities in any breeding program.  Of course I can't stand abusive situations like puppy/kitten mills.  

    I don't think people who choose a purebred cat or dog should be demonized.  Choosing a pet is a major life changing decision.  They will be your companion and responsibility for the next 15-20 years.  Getting a good match is critical.  If someone wants specific traits only found in a certain breed, that is their choice.  Should we force people to adopt unwanted children instead of having their own?  People want control of which living things enter their lives.  I can understand that.

    Getting a kitten (or two!) from a rescue or shelter is a really good deal that is worth considering.  I adopted two feral kittens taken in by woman who was bottle feeding them.  They were free to acquire, but the cost of deworming, flea control, shots and spay/neuter was several hundred per kitten.  It was worth it because I knew they had early human contact, and were raised with other cats.  Long term health, of course, is an unknown, but I liked having the freedom to take them to my own wonderful vet intead of some unknown one, and the choice to have them spay/neutered at six months instead of 2lbs, which I think is horrible.  I understand why shelters do this, but there is no medical reason - it's just to prevent people from letting their animals breed. The extremely early spay/neuter issue is one that may keep me  away from shelters for kittens in the future.  Rehoming is stressful enough for the animal.  They should be allowed to settle in for a while before being subjected to surgery.  Some rescues have you bring them back at 4-6 months, which to me is much more reasonable.  

    Keep in mind that random-bred cats can have a purebred look.  The two I recently adopted are longhairs. I've been asked what they are many times.  

    I also once adopted an adult form a shelter, and another as an adult after a friend died.  The cats I raised from kittenhood were much better behaved the the ones I acquired as adults, although none were really bad.  The shelter cat had some medical problems and was probably older that they said, which is often the case.  

    There are no guarantees no matter which route you go, but there should be a choice.
     

  20. ashley davidson

    ashley davidson TCS Member Kitten

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    The main thing is that people want to get kittens, instead of grown cats, they don't really care if they buy it, or rescue it.  And, lets be honest, in shelters you mostly have older cats. But, I agree, all of them deserve a chance for a loving forever home. Still, whatever everyone say, stray cats don't have a bad life in the wild. They don't NEED a home, they're not so helpless, like dogs for example. Honestly, it's why I love cats in general - the grace, strength and agility of a predator, yet you can snuggle them all day. Cats are amazing.
     

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