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Kittens! Kittens! Please Rescue!

If you are looking for a kitten (or two!) to become part of your family - did you know that between April and November there are literally thousands of kittens in rescue and rehoming centres across Britain and Ireland?

In fact, due to the recent milder winters, some rescue centres have kittens needing homes throughout the year.

>> Shelters with Kittens Needing Homes in Your Area <<


Yes, they're gorgeous aren't they...? basket of kittens Cute, playful, cuddly, inquisitive, adorable...??

So How Come Thousands of Kittens end up in UK Rescue Shelters Each Year?

From spring through to late autumn, literally thousands of kittens (and their mums) come into rescue shelters across the UK. Sometimes they are taken in when a stray cat has had kittens, but all too often it is where unthinking owners have simply not bothered to have their cat neutered, and then find themselves with an unplanned, unwanted litter. There are already far too many cats in rescue shelters up and down the country, and not enough homes to go round.

Whilst people continue to buy from pet-shops and breeders, or neglect to neuter their cat, then still more litters will be produced. This leaves the rescue centres full, and keeps breeders and kitten-farms in profit. This is a totally unacceptable situation, and one which can be helped by adopting from a rescue centre, and by neutering your pet at four months old. So, if you are looking for a kitten (or two)... Please Rescue, don't buy!

mum cat and kittens
Kittens should stay with mum until 8 weeks old (even better, 10 weeks), to ensure they are properly weaned.

Want To Adopt A Kitten? Here's How...

April to November is main 'Kitten Season', and most rescue centres across the country will have mums & kittens needing homes.

If there are no kittens available for homing when you contact your local rescue centre, you can usually put your name down for when some are ready for homing - you can normally arrange for the home-check to be done in advance, so that when there are kittens old enough for homing you are ready to adopt.

»» Rescue Centres with Kittens Needing Homes in Your Area
»» Find Your Local Rescue & Rehoming Centres


Why Go To a Rescue & Rehoming Centre?

A rescue centre's main priority is the health and wellbeing of the animal. The vast majority of rescue centres are very careful about placing each animal in the right home, and will offer advice and support where necessary even after adoption. If for whatever reason things don't work out (such as not getting on with another pet), the rescue centre will take it back into their care. Kittens from rescue centres will have been vet-checked prior to adoption, including being de-flead and de-wormed where necessary. And, by rescuing you free up that place for the next unwanted cat...

  • Rescue centres put the animal's health and welfare first - not money
  • Kittens and cats will have been vet-checked, de-wormed and de-flead prior to adoption
  • Rescue centres are careful to match the right animal to the right home - better for all concerned!
  • A rescue centre will offer you cat-care advice and support even after adoption
  • Many rescue centres offer help with neutering costs if you are on a low income

Please Remember - a Kitten Becomes a Cat, and a Cat is for Life!

Rescuing can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do, but do think carefully first. It is a long-term commitment, much like a marriage, for better or worse, in sickness and in health. The average life span of a cat is 12-16 years, but many can reach 20+ years. Food is relatively cheap, but vet bills and cattery fees must be considered. Taking out a good pet insurance plan is also a very sensible idea. Right now, there are thousands of incredibly loving, and unique cats and kittens waiting patiently, in rescue centres all over Britain, for someone like you to give them a new life. If you can offer a secure, 'forever home' to a kitten or cat >> Find your Nearest Rescue Centres

Can I Rescue a Pedigree Kitten?

If you are thinking of going to a breeder because you want a pedigree kitten, you may be interested to know that pedigrees too end up in rescue centres! Although it is more normally adult pedigrees who find themselves in need of a home, and not often kittens, it is worth making enquiries through the breed club's welfare divisions, and also at your local rescue shelter. Most of the pedigree breed clubs have a welfare division, which operate a rehoming scheme for unwanted pedigrees. Visit our Pedigree Rescue Shelters page, or ask your local rescue centre.

• Why not go to a Pet Shop?

Kittens sold through pet shops are often obtained from dubious sources, such as 'kitten farms' where very little attention is paid to the health and welfare of the animal. Conditions of care in many pet shops are often far less than ideal. The bottom line is that Pet Shops are run as a business for profit, so money is their main motivator. A petshop will happily sell a helpless kitten to anyone who pays their money, with no thought to whether that animal will end up in a suitable home, or if the customer will neuter it and care for it for the rest of it's life. Many cute, fluffy kittens bought in pets shops grow up un-neutered, un-cared for and find themselves eventually joining the two and a half million strays struggling for survival on the streets - often victims of hunger, cruelty and disease.

Even if you have the perfect home to offer - by buying from a petshop, you are helping to perpetuate and fund this thoughtless trade. By rescuing, you are giving a home to an animal who really needs it, and not helping those who breed and sell for profit. You may feel sorry for the kitten in the window - but do you really want to fund kitten-farms?

rescued kitten
Every kitten bought from a pet shop has then used up a home - so a rescued kitten goes homeless, as there are not enough homes to go round.

• Why not buy from Classified Ads?

Newspapers and some classified websites often include a classified ads “pets for sale” section in all good faith that people will be offering friendly, healthy, kittens for genuine, caring homes. But classified ads are often used by ‘backyard breeders' or ‘kitten/puppy mills', as a profitable business – at the expense of the animals.  Some uncaring people use their female cat(s) purely as a source of kittens, to be sold on for profit, often deliberately ensuring their cat gets pregnant time and again to produce as many litters (and as much profit) as possible.  This is completely unfair to the mum cat, whose health suffers as a result. 

Another problem with classifieds is that all too often, kittens and puppies are sold at less than 8 weeks old, before they are properly weaned. This can lead to both health and behavioural problems, and there will be no back-up or support later, as you would get with a rescue centre.  Buying pets from the Classified Ads just perpetuates this uncaring trade in animals. Whether you want to adopt, or need to rehome a pet, it's far better to contact your local rescue centre.
Please don't risk the Classifieds!

• What about Breeders?

Although most breeders of pedigree kittens take far more care with their animals than a pet shop, there are still a number of unscrupulous 'back yard breeders' who do not ensure the health of the kittens they sell. If you are set on having a pedigree kitten, please check very carefully the record of the breeder, and ensure they are properly registered. Please remember though, breeding further litters ultimately uses up homes that cats or kittens from a rescue centre could have had.
You may think it's 'safer' to go to a breeder - but do we really need yet more litters?


>> Shelters with Kittens Needing Homes in Your Area <<


Thank you to the following, for supplying the photos on this page:
Coppercat Photography
A Chestnut Cat Sanctuary
Hounslow Animal Welfare
UK Animal Rescue

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