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I am getting one or two kittens soon and I need to decide what type I'd like to get. I'm either going to adopt a domestic kitten from a local animal shelter or buy a purebred kitten from a local breeder. What do you think? Purebred or Domestic? I would like facts and opinions please (for example: facts on if purebred kittens or shelter kittens have been found to have more problems etc and then just your personal opinion.)

Thanks so much!

Also, I am getting one or two FEMALE kittens if that helps your answer. I am aware that female kittens often aren't as friendly as males. What is your view on this? Thanks!

7 Answers

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by (2.0k points)
Best answer

If you don't have a breed in mind , why not adopt 2 kittens from a shelter? http://www.petfinder.com/index.html

If you do have a breed or even a certain breeder in mind, you need to be researching that breed (and breeder) in particular.

Good place to look for breeders & start researching breeds http://www.breedlist.com/

13 Questions to Ask A Breeder http://www.breedlist.com/faq/breeder_questions.htm...

Determining a Breeder's Reputability http://www.bengalcat.com/aboutbengals/reputable.ph...

Or if you think you'd like a pedigreed kitten but you want to find out about more breeds, you could visit a cat show.

TICA Show Calendar http://ticamembers.org/calendar/

CFA Show Calendar or list http://www.cfa.org/modules/EventCalender/EventCale...

One cannot make any truly meaningful broad generalizations about the chance of problems in breed cats vs non-breed /"domestic SH/ LH" cats. Basically within the purebreds there is the best chance AND the worst chance depending on where you get them.. And in the domestics it's a total crapshoot! .

I agree with Mocha, the absolute worst chance of getting a healthy kitten/cat is a purebred (or supposed purebred) from a bad breeder - like the kitten mill kittens sold in pet shops, or kittens from irresponsible, ignorant BYBs maybe breeding on a smaller scale than a mill but just as irresponsibly.

OTOH, probably the best chance for a healthy, well socialized kitten/cat is from a really responsible breeder who is very concerned with health and doing any available testing appropriate for cats in general and their breed in particular, carefully choosing breedings, feeding high quality food, keeping kittens for 12+ weeks with lots of human handling and love, etc. Pedigreed cats from good breeders are also selectively bred for temperament, so they've had things like being attached to humans bred into them for generations. Put that "nature" together with the "nurture" of the socialization they get and it really is pretty wonderful.

(But this is NOT to say a domestic can't bond strongly with you. they absolutely can and do.

The "domestics" are....who knows? some can be very healthy, some very unhealthy.

Actually many random bred cats are themselves doing more inbreeding than most breeders today would do. it's just that nobody is recording their pedigrees. One dominant tom can sire most or even all the kittens in a feral colony or small neighbourhood area of indoor/outdoor pet cats, then he goes on to breed with his daughters and granddaughters, or is deposed by a son or grandson who breeds with his sisters and mother and aunts...... it can wind up with a very inbred group. (So much for the "hybrid vigor" someone mentioned. Actually that is not even an appropriate term for random bred domestic cats. For the most part they are NOT hybrids of different breeds, but a population of nonbreed cats.

But in general the domestics are not as unhealthy as poorly bred purebreds from bad breeders.

Whichever you get, choose alert, responsive kittens with bright, clear eyes, no runny nose. Pick kittens who come up to check you out (unless you WANT to take on the project of a really shy / semi-social kitten from a shelter.) Talk to the breeder or shelter workers who know the kittens about what you're looking for and which 2 female kittens would make a good pair. Littermates is a good idea.but at some shelters they have kittens from different litters kept together in one room and you might find 2 girls who have bonded while at the shelter. or maybe at a foster home.

Re FEMALE and MALE . It's not that females can't be affectionate. but I think it's that they are more moody about it..Female cats can be super affectionate --- when they're in the mood. the males are more steady in their affections.

(and I don't just mean the females who are not spayed, though that certainly accentuates it. The queens are often totally caught up in their hormonal cycle and in rearing kittens, and do seem to be less friendly. In fact less friendly than intact toms. But hopefully you'll be getting kittens already altered, or else with an agreement to have them spayed by a certain age and you will keep the agreement.)

Another interesting thing.... many people feel that the female cats are in general smarter.

0 votes

I volunteer at an animal shelter so I have to say that I am partial to adoption over buying from a breeder. There are so many animals in shelters that need a home. It's sad the number of animals who are put to death every day because homes cannot be found for them.

It is a myth that there is something wrong with animals in a shelter. It's true that some animals in a shelter have been abused or neglected, and may have issues related to their past mistreatment, but all they need is a little love, care, and patience. How fulfilling would it be to adopt a pet with "issues" and know that your love turned their life and behavior around? That said, any animal can develop issues. Most times these issues can be corrected. I spent several hours socializing the cats in the shelter yesterday, and I have never seen such loveable, friendly cats in my life (except for maybe mine..lol)! Our shelter also will not adopt out an animal until it has had its shots, a full medical exam (or been fully treated for an illness/injury), been spayed/neutered, and micro chipped.

I have owned both male and female cats, and have never noticed a difference in their level of friendliness. I think it varies between breeds, and individual cats and their levels of socialization.

Not all breeders can find homes for the animals they breed (another reason I don't advocate for breeding), and these animals sometimes end up in shelters too. We have seen several purebred cats come through our shelter. Sometimes their previous owners have to give them up, or they escape and are picked up as strays. So you might even find a purebred among the domestic cats in a shelter!

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by (11.2m points)

Well personally I believe both purebred or shelter make wonderful pets-- the greatest cat I even owned came from Project Pet--- Hailey -- a shelter here in SC where I live -- Hailey would literally allow my 7 month old to lay on her even before she turned a yr -I had her for 5yrs sadly not long enough- she snuck outside and A STUPID dog jumped my fence and got my baby--she was a domestic long hair and spoiled rotten -- I think a lot of shelter animals just know you are giving them a new and better life and they love you so much for it--in my opinion....I just got a 16wk old Ragdoll kitten --have only had one other purebred Persian as a bday present for my 9th bday --she was great too.. I felt guilty honestly when I paid for my ragdoll instead of rescuing as there are so many cats and kittens in need of homes = ( As far as facts from my research purebreds actually seem to have more problems than shelter kitties due to breeding gene pools..poor breeding habits in some cases -- it really depends if you buy from someone with refs and trustworthy and even then you are taking a chance-- I have read online recently even the best breeders can have health issues or genetic issues--get a health guarantee to cover illness and genetics --As for shelter kitties --USUALLY the gene pool is much larger and less of the genetic defects possible-- and a lot of shelters in my area even offer 30 day pet insurance included in adoption cost of 80-150 total --no extra charge -- in the event pet gets sick--etc.. May I suggest maybe getting one shelter kittie and one purebred if you are determined to get a certain breed =) !!! Since you mentioned getting two --I think one of each would be cool!!

0 votes

Shelter cats need homes!! Now with problems, your going to have about the same with shelter cats and purebred cats. Alot (not all) of purebred cats have some genetic defects which are harmful to their health. For example Selkirk Rex' have kidney problems and Singapuras have birth issues because of size. Shelter cats have problems too like infections in the eyes or other body parts.

Though i adore purebreds, I think a shelter cat needs a home :) If you do get a purebred kitten, I would say get an American Curl or Siamese (or Balinese); These cats have amazing personalitys. If you want lovable cat, definatly get a Russian Blue.

I have also heard that males are more friendly. Personally, my males are very friendly, but my females are just as sweet! Everyone gets grumpy now an then!

I say get a shelter cat. You will love them <3 They need a home!!

BUT if you choose a purebred, here is a list of the breeds:


0 votes

I have both domestic cats and purebred cats. I honestly cant tell a difference between the two except with the purebreds I got everything I love about the breed. My domestics are friendlier though, but the two purebreds are coming around. I do have a 3rd purebred, she's a Maine Coon and the sweetest loving cat you could find. She came with the house we live in now and the two I have are 10months old and skittish. But in all fairness you'll have to decide whats right. If you are getting two...maybe adopt one and buy a purebred that way you have one of each. Good luck with your kitties. Oh, and the only reason I bought my purebred Snow Bengals is because I fell in love with the breed and markings, which you cant find in just any domestic cat.

0 votes
by (8.1k points)

Well this question's a bit vague. Is there a particular BREED of kitten you want to get? If so the only place to find one would be from a reputable breeder. Kittens of particular breeds START at around $600 and that's only for pet quality. If you want two kittens then you're looking at at least $1,200 for the kittens and then another $400-$500 (minimum) to get both of them altered, up to date on shots, microchipped, etc. So do you have $1,600-$1,900 to spend right now on kittens?

Go to a shelter and adopt a kitten. For around $100 you'll get a kitten that's already altered, up to date on shots, deflead, dewormed, tested for disease and microchipped. You also may be able to get a special deal for adopting two of them.

I'm hoping you're not getting this kittens right now around Christmastime? Christmas is a horrible time to get a new pet because your home will be just too busy and too many hazards out for the kittens. Wait till AFTER the holidays to get them.

And to answer your question - no, shelter kittens have not been "found to have more problems". You actually get more problems from badly bred kittens sold by horrible backyard breeders. They could care less if they sell you an animal with heriditary problems or are sick. They only want to make money. Shelters, on the other hand, don't tend to adopt out sick animals. Any issues are taken care of before the animals are allowed to be adopted out.

0 votes
by (300 points)

Domestic, hands down! You can get domestics in all shapes, sizes, hair lengths, colors, and temperaments, and because of their hybrid vigor they don't have as many health problems as purebred cats do. Shelter kittens can have problems because since someone didn't care about them, they didn't take care of the mom or babies so they can have all sorts of diseases and parasites. You might try checking with your vet and the paper and Criags List for litters of kittens, if someone cares enough to advertise then they might be better cared for. If the kittens mom was a stray, the chances of leukemia and aids are higher. But those diseases are rampant in purebred catteries, too. Whatever you get, make sure it doesn't have runny eyes or nose and is not sneezing and its coat is clean and no fleas and no diarrhea and it is eating well and fat and sassy and playful and energetic. Then have your vet test for leukemia and aids and examine it and deworm it and get the proper vax.

Additional detail: females are NOT as friendly as males. They have to be more adult to care for kittens, the males can stay carefree.

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