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Where to Get a Kitten

There are many sources of cats. First, once you've decided to get a cat, start putting the word out among your friends and acquaintances. One of them might have a cat or kitten for sale or to give away, or know of someone who does. Don't buy from a dealer who might have bought kittens from several sources. They could have been weaned too early, and may have traveled long distances. The risk of disease and stress-induced illness is greater for these kittens. Here are the most popular sources of cats and kittens:

Animal shelters
Breeders or cat shows
Friends and acquaintances

Animal shelters
If you already have experience with cats, consider giving a cat from the animal shelter a new home. Older cats in shelters often have a sad history. So you need extra sensitivity and patience to deal with them. In any case, it's a personal success and a great gift to have turned a sad cat into a happy one. Just make sure you have a vet check your cat.

Breeders or cat shows
If you've decided to buy a pedigree kitten, the best source is a reputable breeder. You can find these breeders through other cat owners, your veterinarian, ads in newspapers and cat magazines, or by visiting cat shows. Breed clubs can put you in touch with reputable breeders in your area.

Exhibitions and cat shows offer a good opportunity to learn about the different breeds. And they're excellent places to make contact with breeders. But don't buy a cat at a show. Rather, visit the breeder and have a close look at the litter and its environment.

Many breeders and individuals advertise in the classified section of daily papers. You'll also find ads on various websites.

Friends and acquaintances
Often friends or acquaintances have kittens to give away. But don't say you'll take the cat just to do your friend a favor. Returning a cat is not only stressful for you but far more for the cat. Of course, getting a cat from someone you know gives you the advantage of knowing the environment and situation the cat is coming from.

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