Where can you buy a cat?
You're already looking forward to cuddles with your cuddly pet or exciting play sessions with your bright kittens, because it's clear: you want to live with at least one cat in the future. We tell you where you can find suitable velvet paws and explain the advantages of cat breeders, why cats from animal shelters are so special and what you should bear in mind when buying a kitten from a private person.
Breeders: For baby cats of certain breeds
If you want to raise a baby cat and already know what characteristics and appearance you want your pedigree cat to have, your best choice is a cat breeder. These are 3 advantages of a cat from a breeder:
The breeding regulations prescribe certain visual characteristics of the individual breeds, e.g. the spotted or marbled coat colour and the black tail tip of the Bengal cat. Therefore, you can be sure that your future kitten will look exactly as you imagine.
Not only the appearance, but also the character with its certain traits is anchored in the breeding regulations. While British Shorthairs, for example, tend to be gentle and calm, their oriental counterparts, such as the Sphynx or Birman, are sometimes very lively and playful.
Serious breeders will be able to show membership of the breed club. Also complete papers incl. pedigree as well as a vaccination certificate of the kitten will always be given to you by the breeder when handing over the animal. In many cases there is also a veterinary report on the health of the kitten.
Recognising reputable breeders
Unfortunately, there are also black sheep among cat breeders. However, you can find reputable breeders in cat breeders' associations and breeding clubs. Here are some important aspects you can check when visiting a breeder:
- Ask about both parents of the baby cats, because not only the mother plays a role in species-appropriate breeding. Reputable cat breeders can also tell you in detail about the father of the kittens.
- The care and hygiene of the litter shows the general state of health. Serious breeders look after the welfare of the kittens and the mother and do not neglect their animals. Therefore, look closely at all the cats: Is the baby cat's fur dull, are the mother's teats inflamed or does she even look emaciated? This should make you suspicious.
- Reputable breeders deworm and vaccinate their entire litter in the first 8 weeks of life. They will also give each kitten its vaccination certificate and advise the buyer to make an appointment for a booster within 2-4 weeks if the basic vaccination has not been completed.
- Don't be afraid to ask about the number of litters per year. So that breeders can do justice to all breeding cats and kittens and so that the respective dam is not overloaded, kittens are usually only born twice a year.
- Responsible breeders are members of a breeding club and are also often listed in the cat breeding association. In this way they commit themselves to follow certain rules for species-appropriate breeding and breed standards.
- Kittens are given away at the age of 10 weeks at the earliest. The breeders' association even prescribes that kittens may only be separated from their mother after the socialisation phase, i.e. at 12-14 weeks.
Our tip: If you find a notice saying "purebred cats without papers", it is often an ad for sale from so-called " multipliers" who mate cats by chance and want to make a profit out of it. Even though these are mostly purebred kittens, which are usually much cheaper than purebred cats with papers, take a closer look.
Animal shelter: Adoption instead of buying a cat
Most cats in the shelter already have life experience and often have a stable character. This means that the animal shelter mediators can select a cat that best suits your needs and your living situation.
These 6 facts speak for a cat from the shelter:
Whether kitten, young animal or senior cat - in the shelter you will find furry noses of almost all ages.
As a rule, different cat breeds, such as the British Shorthair or Maincoon, as well as mixed breeds are waiting for a new home. From the individual colour to the desired size to the preferred breed, there is therefore something for everyone.
It is not always a case of found animals whose past is uncertain. Many cats are handed over to the shelter because of lack of time, because the owners have separated or died. The cats are therefore mostly used to people, seek their closeness and are cuddly.
A misconception is that all cats in shelters are "broken" and lead a sad, lonely life. In reality, however, there are different characters in the shelter. So you'll find dominant and proud divas, cuddly snuggle cats and active hunters - although there are certainly fearful or even aggressive animals who prefer to stay in the background.
Shelter cats are regularly wormed and vaccinated. The animal keepers and voluntary helpers make every effort to care for each animal and enable the cats to lead a life that is almost appropriate to their species. A velvet paw is only kept alone in exceptional cases. In principle, cats in the shelter live in socialised groups with lots of climbing opportunities and some even get free access. This not only has a positive effect on their mental well-being, but also keeps the little tigers fit and active.
Cats from animal welfare and from the shelter are always neutered or at least spayed. They are also already chipped. Only kittens under 6 months of age are usually given away un-neutered. In this case, however, you are required to have them neutered as soon as possible.
Our tip: Some animal shelters work together with animal welfare organisations and place cats in foster homes. Unlike in an animal shelter, the cat lives with a human in the house where it is socialised and educated. The volunteers at the foster homes know the animals very well and can give you valuable advice on the appropriate food and habits of the animal.
Private sellers: Cats from private cat keeping
On various platforms on the internet, private individuals offer their cats for sale: "Cuddly male cat looking for a new cat mum" or "Playful kittens looking for a home" you can read there. As the cats are often offered with a lot of accessories but for little money, the online pet market may seem tempting at first. However, we recommend that you consider the following questions when thinking about buying a cat from a private owner:
1. Is the offer for sale reasonable?
In most cases, cat owners find it difficult to part with their beloved animal. Responsible sellers therefore offer their cats at realistic prices; often with lots of accessories such as a scratching tree, cat toys, a litter tray and species-appropriate cat food. If a cat including accessories is offered for less than 100 euros or even given away, take a closer look at the offer and question the reasons for giving it away.
2. Why is the cat sold?
There are many reasons why a pet may need to change hands: Perhaps the current cat owners did not consider before acquiring their velvet paw that the children or another member of the family could possibly suffer from an animal hair allergy. An urgent move to a new home where pets are not allowed, or even a separation, may also lead to the decision to sell the cat. It is also possible that the current cat owners have too little time for the animal or too little knowledge about species-appropriate cat keeping, which is why the cat shows initial behavioural problems and overtaxes the people. Depending on how pronounced the behavioural problems are, you may have a lot of work to do with the animal - possibly even involving high costs for vets or cat psychologists. Therefore, question the sellers in detail and consider whether you are prepared to bear any consequences.
3. How does the cat currently live?
Do you want a house cat in the future or can the four-legged friend go on a foray into the undergrowth? Will your soon-to-be housemate remain a loner or will he have a partner cat by his side? At best, you should continue to keep your velvet paw in the same way as it is kept at present. When looking for a cat for sale, look for information on the type of housing or ask the current cat owner whether the cat is kept alone and whether it is an indoor or outdoor cat. Some cats may be sold directly as a pair. It is not uncommon for these to be siblings who have been together from an early age and should not be separated.
4. Why are several kittens or young cats offered?
Private sellers in the online pet market are not always families or individuals who sell their own beloved pet. You will also find hobby breeders who, for example, have only had their female cat mated once. However, it is possible that a dubious breeder is hiding behind an advertisement, which is why it is advisable to take a close look at the cat's environment and the kittens. Farm cats also often reproduce uncontrollably and are therefore regularly offered for sale. From time to time you will probably find the term "mating accident" in an ad for sale: In this case, a free-roaming cat may have been mated unintentionally while roaming the neighbourhood. If you decide to buy such a kitten from a private owner, keep in mind: If you don't neuter your outdoor cat, you probably have little sense of responsibility towards the kittens, you might give the baby cats away too early and don't have them vaccinated, dewormed and chipped. In addition to the purchase price, you may also incur additional costs.
Conclusion: You have many options to find the right velvet paw. If you haven't yet decided on a particular breed and age of your future companion, it's best to keep all your options open and ask around at breeders, animal shelters or search the internet for private ads in search of your future companion. Perhaps you already have experience with buying a velvet paw?