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Rescuing Vs. Buying a Cat – Pros & Cons

Rescuing Vs. Buying a Cat – Pros & Cons

If you are considering getting a cat, there are two primary options. You can adopt a rescue cat from an animal shelter or buy one. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Adopting a rescue from a shelter is very fulfilling. Most cats in animal shelters were abandoned or lost. You will be able to give it a new loving home and family.

On the other hand, buying a cat also has its perks. One of the key ones being you get to start with a clean slate. However, buying can be very expensive compared to rescuing one. Let’s take a deeper look at the pros and cons of each.

Rescuing a Cat: The Pros

Alright, here is the thing, rescuing a cat or adopting a cat has tons of benefits. In addition, the feeling of fulfilment is great. You feel fulfilled and joyful knowing you are helping a soul find love and home again. Here are some of the top benefits of rescuing a cat.

1. You Are Giving a Cat a New Home

One of the biggest pros of rescuing a cat has to be that you are giving a cat a sweet home and potentially saving its life. There are few things as endearing and fulfilling as this.

Animal shelters in the US, for example, cat rescues in the San Fernando Valley, get their animals from all kinds of places. Most of the time, these animals have been abandoned by their owners or lost, even from across the border. They have records of rescuing cats even from the UK also. Imagine giving a cat a new home when they thought they might never feel what it is like to have a family again.

2. Less Expensive

Rescuing a cat or adopting one from an animal shelter is also less expensive than buying one.

First of all, if you are buying a cat, you will only look at reputable breeders. And reputable breeders charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the breed.

Moreover, when you adopt a cat from a shelter, they already do initial checks like veterinarian checks. Therefore, you do not have to spend on initial vet bills for things like deworming and sterilization.

3. You Get to Know Their History

Since the workers at the shelter spent time with the rescued cats, they know how each cat behaves. In addition, they also know the cat’s history. As a result, workers can help you pick the exact type of kitten or cat you want.

They can find the exact fluffball for you, whether you want an outdoorsy cat or one more suited for apartment life. You do not get this when buying a cat since it is hard to tell how they will behave when they become adults.

4. More Breeds to Choose From

Sadly, there are many rescued cats in animal shelters – all of which need a loving family and home. This means you can also pick from different breeds.

Most breeders typically specialize in a specific kind of cat breed. You can choose based on size, colour, breed, and temperament. Moreover, the best part is all these different cats are under one roof.

You can meet all of them and pick the kitty you connect with. And let us tell you, you will feel a connection. It is just something you feel inside your gut.

5. Rescued Cats Tend to Be Older and Already Trained

If you are adopting a rescued cat from a shelter, it will likely be older. Older cats naturally tend to be low maintenance and are likely to be trained.

So, you do not need to spend time training them compared to if you were to get a kitten. This is great if you are away most of the day or want a less energetic cat.


Rescuing a Cat: The Cons

As great as it is to get a rescue cat, there are some drawbacks. However, these cons are negligible and do not outweigh the benefits. That said, they are still worth a mention.

1. Rescued Cats Need a Bit More Time Adjusting

A rescued cat might sometimes need more time to adjust to its new home. The thing with a rescue cat is you do not know what it went through. Maybe it had some trauma with humans.

Therefore, you need to give it some time to adjust and feel at home. However, this is not a problem lots of love and care cannot fix.

2. Finding a Specific Breed Might Take You a While

Although shelters have many rescue cats of different breeds, you need to move quickly if you are interested in a specific rare breed. Exotic breeds are adopted fast. Finding the specific breed you want might take some time.

3. Habits Can Be Harder to Change

Changing an adult cat’s habits and behaviour is harder than changing a kitten’s. Kittens can be trained since they are little. However, an adult cat is already settled in its way. That is not to say that it is impossible to change their behaviour. On the contrary, with proper training and patience, it is possible. Also, adopted cats tend to have specific food habits and toxic reactions to certain foods.

Buying a Cat: The Pros

Alright, we have looked at the pros and cons of getting a rescue cat. Let’s check out the other side of the coin. There are both pros and cons to buying a cat as well. Here are the pros:

1. You Can Start Fresh

The obvious benefit of buying a cat is that you can start fresh. If you buy a pet cat, you will probably buy a kitten. And kittens are easier to train.

In addition, they can be adapted to fit your lifestyle. Kittens can also be socialized from an early stage. Socializing young cats early will also make them more comfortable around humans and other pets. Even those of different species, like dogs or birds.

2. Training Will be Easier

Buying a kitten will make it easier to train them as well. You can teach cat-specific behaviour and rules for your house. Their behaviours still need to be settled since they are still learning and exploring the world around them.

Buying can be a good option if you want to train a kitten from a very young age to act and behave how you want. But remember, they are still cats. They are not always as obedient as dogs.

3. You Can Get the Breed You Want

Many pet owners want a specific breed. It could be due to personal preference, or you might have an allergy. Siberian cats, for example, are good for owners that are allergic.

You can contact a breeder of a specific type of cat you want. You can also pick a cat that sheds little or is fluffy and cute. In contrast, you could get one with very little and short fur. You just need to find the right breeder.

Buying a Cat: The Cons

While buying a cat has its advantages, there are some cons to it as well. Buying one is more expensive, and you might also need to wait a long time. Here are the major cons of buying a cat:

1. More Expensive

The biggest disadvantage of buying a cat is surely the cost. Buying a cat can be significantly more expensive than adopting a rescued cat. The cost will only increase if you want to buy a specific breed from a reputable breeder.

2. No Guarantee of Temperament

Since you will most likely get a kitten if you buy a cat, it is difficult to tell the temperament. However, there is a caveat to this. Some breeders choose cats with a desired temperament to get offspring of the same temperament.

3. You Need to Put in More Effort

Although you can train a kitten from a young age, it will also be more needy and dependent. You will have to put effort and spend time with it.

4. Some Breeder’s Waitlist Can Be Very Long

If you buy a cat from a reputable breeder, the wait times can be very long. There is usually a big waitlist for pedigree cats. The wait times can be weeks or even months.

Should You Rescue or Buy a Cat: Which One is Right for You?

At the end of the day, whether you should buy a cat or adopt a rescued cat depends on you. There are pros and cons to both. However, buying is a viable option if you are looking for a specific breed or want to train a kitten from a young age.

On the other hand, many cats in shelters are already waiting for a loving home. You can get a rescue cat and provide it with a loving home and family. You cannot deny the special joy of adopting a kitten and caring for it. Otherwise, who knows what its fate could have been.

Moreover, rescue cats cost less, and you can choose a cat with the kind of temperament you want. In addition, all the initial medical checkups should already be done by the shelter.


What happens to a cat in a shelter that does not get adopted?

If the shelter has a no-kill policy, then cats who do not get adopted will live out the rest of their lives in the shelter. Or they can get fostered in someone else’s home. However, if they do not have a no-kill policy, the shelter will euthanize the cats if they run out of space.

What to look for when adopting a rescue cat?

If you are adopting a rescue cat from a shelter, talking openly to the shelter staff is important. Ask about its temperament, health condition, eating habits, how it ended up in the shelter, and whether it has been vaccinated and dewormed.

What should you ask a breeder before buying a cat?

Ask about their experience breeding, when and why they got started. You should also ask them about the cat’s family history and meet its parents. Another important question to ask is whether the kitten has been dewormed or not.

Wrapping Up

Whether buying a cat or adopting a rescue, both have advantages and disadvantages. Remember that knowing what you want from your pet is key. In addition, how available will you be, and how much effort can you give? All these will make your decision easier.

Thanks to the team for their brilliant blog!


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