So. Kittens. Where to get one?

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teradaterada Frets: 1279
hi everyone,

Looking to get a kitten in London. Is it as simple as going on gumtree? Or should I be more careful?

ideally looking for a grey one!

any thoughts?
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  • jonevejoneve Frets: 853
    Do not buy an animal off gumtree. Most likely full of breeders or people looking to make a quick buck from selling animals and not having any interest in the welfare of the animal. 

    Either go to a local rescue centre or visit a reputable website like pets4homes. 
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  • stevebrumstevebrum Frets: 4187
    Rescue centre - avoid gumtree etc would be my advice.

    Unless you want to go down the pedigree route? Then you need to look at respected breeders.
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 489
    From a cat.

    More helpfully, go to a rescue centre.  If you're just interested in a general moggie, not a specific breed, there will be loads and loads and loads in rescue centres.  Possibly not that many kittens, as they grow quickly, but it's far from impossible - we ended up with two, both rescues, at different points.
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  • littlegreenmanlittlegreenman Frets: 3168
    Find a good rescue centre and adopt.
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1607
    The canal?  Sorry that slipped out.  

    I went for a walk yesterday along Chichester canal and there was a sign on a post with a £500 reward for finding a lost kitten.  Saw two separate groups looking for it in the bushes further along the path!
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  • teradaterada Frets: 1279
    Thanks for the tip regarding gumtree. I’ll avoid for sure. 

    Id quite like a Russian blue but recon it would get stolen. Do cats get nicked?
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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 5114
    Seconded. There are thousands of unwanted kittens across the country in rescue centres. Buying from gumtree etc dealers just encourages them to keep breeding more with little considerate for the mum or kittens. 

    I got my twin cats as 6 month olds, after they were abandoned in a box outside a pet grooming centre, and then shipped on to a rescue charity. Black cats are less popular so tend to be more common in centres, so please don't rule them out. 

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  • paganskinspaganskins Frets: 114
    Cats Protection though I'm not sure they do much with very young cats, RSPCA have kittens
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  • proggyproggy Frets: 2055
    Battersea dogs & cats home.
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1421
    What's been said already and avoid Gumtree.

    We have 2 rescue cats from a place near Croydon but Battersea Dog's Home, which is more central, also has cats and they will be checked, vaccinated, chipped etc for a small, nominal donation, but you are interviewed before they consider accepting you (probably the case at most places).
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  • revsorgrevsorg Frets: 382
    edited June 13
    Our cat, James, is a British Shorthair Blue.  He's now 15 years old.  My wife found the breeder in our local paper.  We actually bought two cats, James and Oscar from the same litter.  They were pedigree cats and cost about £350 each.  Oscar was a complete bastard, scratched you every time you went close.  He died within at about 6 months old from cat flu and I can't say I regretted his passing.  James on the other hand has a fabulous personality and fitted in really well with our family.  He likes a brief cuddle a couple of times a day and comes up and is friendly to us and to guests, but he can only tolerate about 10 minutes of cuddling before he needs to wander off and be on his own.  He now spends most of his time sleeping and his bed is on our desk so I am currently listening to him snoring.  The lady who sold the cats to us had some magical way of training them not to be afraid of a vacuum cleaner, which has been successful.  She didn't train James about black bin bags, so every time I go round the house emptying the bins he gets terrified, for no good reason.

    The point I'd like to make is that I think buying pedigree cats is a bit hit-and-miss.  The breeder had obviously done some selective breeding but I wonder if it's really all that scientific.  She made him generally calm around young children but terrified of bin bags.  One cat lives healthily to the age of 15, albeit with a heart murmur and small ear canals, while the other one pegs it a couple of months after leaving the breeder's home.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9003
    terada said:
    Thanks for the tip regarding gumtree. I’ll avoid for sure. 

    Id quite like a Russian blue but recon it would get stolen. Do cats get nicked?
    They can do. Microchipping them helps but cats get abducted for their fur and only shaving a little area that renders the skin unuseful to an abductor will spare the cat from a painful death
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 489
    terada said:
    Thanks for the tip regarding gumtree. I’ll avoid for sure. 

    Id quite like a Russian blue but recon it would get stolen. Do cats get nicked?

    Pretty much anything can get nicked these days :(  But yes, cats do get nicked - posh/expensive/desirable breeds for sale and wotnot, and even moggies for unspeakable purposes.  Same with dogs.

    If you want a particular breed, research breeders and go for one who clearly takes the animal welfare seriously. Also, expect to have any reputable seller (breeder or rescue centre) to run some kind of checks on you to assess your suitability to own and care for a puddy tat.

    CPL can be incredibly arsey about this (I have some friends who are excellent, excellent pet owners who the local CPL knocked back repeatedly because the person running it was, frankly, a frigging psycho) but that very much depends on the local people.  We got ours from Wood Green animal shelter (which, bizarrely, is nowhere near Wood Green, but out in the wilds of Herts/Cambs borderlands) and from a private rescue in Harrow. They were perfectly reasonable about the whole checking process.
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  • CHRISB50CHRISB50 Frets: 1895

    We got our two from rescue.


    Their mum had already had a litter, then fell pregnant again straight away. When the 2nd litter were born the mum rejected them. They were all hand reared by vets so are extremely friendly, but very human reliant.


    Local rescue is definitely the way to go.


    I know someone who recently bought off Gumtree without knowing any better, and it was not a good experience.


    Best of luck finding your new owner(s). You belong to your cats. They don't belong to you ;)

    I can't help about the shape I'm in, I can't sing I ain't pretty and my legs are thin

    But don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to

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  • teradaterada Frets: 1279
    Wow so much to learn!

    my sister brought home a cat many years ago that was lovely. So affectionate and would follow me arou c all the time. Was a bit dopey but so gentle - never viscous at all. 

    Id love to get a cat with a similar temperament. Is there any knack to doing this or is it pot luck?

    also, are they better alone or in twos?

    happy to be checked, I’ve taken a year off work for personal reasons so would guess that me being permanently around would be beneficial!
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9003
    CHRISB50 said:

    Best of luck finding your new owner(s). You belong to your cats. They don't belong to you ;)

    Correct. You don't 'own' a cat, you give him a home, and if he likes it, he stays.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • hasslehamhassleham Frets: 256
    edited June 13
    I bought a cat on gumtree from some students who were moving to London from Manchester and didn’t want to take him with them.
     He is great BUT they did tell me he was neutered when he wasn’t. We soon got that fixed though lol 



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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9003
    edited June 13
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • breakstuffbreakstuff Frets: 5664
    Definitely go to your local cat rescue.I've got four cats,and three are from rescue centres (the other from a reputable Persian breeder).It's so rewarding seeing a scared,timid animal turn into a confident and happy member of the family.

    Oh,and grey (or blue) cats are awesome.This is our Frank,the leader if our clan.

     
    In my life,why do I give valuable time to people who I'd much rather kick in the eye.
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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 5114
    CHRISB50 said:

    Best of luck finding your new owner(s). You belong to your cats. They don't belong to you ;)

    Cats don't have owners. They have staff!

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  • jonevejoneve Frets: 853
    Also, consider getting a dog. Because cats are bastards. :)
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18496
    terada said:
     never viscous at all. 
    Err....


    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • Axe_meisterAxe_meister Frets: 2211
    When checking a litter spend some time watching them, but don't initially reach out to them. After a while put your hand in the pen and wait for a kitten to come to you. And see what it's reaction is. It will generally be the bolder and least scared cat. If it runs itself against you then that is the one.

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  • BillKatBillKat Frets: 1093

    You won't be able to choose colour but I'd also say rescue homes. They won't always have kittens - after Xmas is boom time when m*therf*ckers dump them on the street as unwanted presents.

    This is in Kensal Green, bound to be others - https://www.themayhew.org

    We did get a kitten from there. She was the last of a rescue, a couple before us took the last-but-one. As they got into their car they thought they'd open the box and take a look. Kitty legged it. They came to ask if they could have another one!

    I digress. But cats are good. Good luck with the search.



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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    +1 on the rescue thing.

    If you really want to spend money but still get the warm-fuzzies that come from doing a good thing, i can get you a pure-bred Arabian Mau rescued from the streets of Abu Dhabi and shipped to your door for about £1k. Massively loyal, super friendly and stupidly big ears :)
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 809
    I was given a kitten. what a bloody PALAVER!
    Me mother (God rest her soul) let her big gob run away with her while she was in the hairdressers.
    Decided i would like a kitten so she accepted one on my behalf(it wasn't getting in her house) The Last one (The one nobody wanted)
    It had fleas and we had to feed it with a sponge thingy magig because its mother didn't. ahhhhhhh. 
    Any way a couple of weeks of playing hide and seek later i come home from work and part of its eye is hanging down on its face! Couldn't believe it. wtf is that about. Took it the vet. £60 for Gas and £15 for cardboard box to take it home in (nope not dead it was still alive minus some fur) Vet says Hes going to need an operation!  He!! we were told He was a She when we got lumbered with Him. est cost  £400 to £600.  
    Not on my watch Matey boy!
    Rang me mother (God rest her soul) and told her That her cat needed an operation. Good enough she took it to the PDSA. For a voluntary donation of £100 they put it right. (fantastic place).
    We Took Sweep! our one eyed cat home and he continued to be a massive pain. Chewed the hall and stairs carpet to tatters,battered next doors 2 cats, He would actually go in their house of a night and eat there food and get his head down there ( right little bully). Neighbour said he was banging his cats on the back yard wall and they're Toms!.
    Unfortunately for Sweep  he wasn't quick enough to dodge the traffic at the bottom of our street and we Drove past him on our way to work splattered on the road. 
    The Mrs was upset and made me ring the council to confirm if the dead cat at the bottom of our street was a one eyed cat as ours looks similar. There was nothing left of it to look at unfortunately but it was Sweep.
    I took the Mrs to the rescue centre to pick another one but we were turned down for a cat because of the road at the bottom of our street .  Result!.
    Moral of the story. Learn to cut hair and do a Blue Rinse.
     
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32850
    Cat rescue *only*.

    I love cats, but there are more than enough domestic cats in the world already, and if you pay a breeder you're just adding to the problem, as well as quite possibly contributing to animal welfare issues.

    Don't get hung up on what breed you want, the right cat will pick you and not the other way round.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 3522
    When checking a litter spend some time watching them, but don't initially reach out to them. After a while put your hand in the pen and wait for a kitten to come to you. And see what it's reaction is. It will generally be the bolder and least scared cat. If it runs itself against you then that is the one.

    Assuming that's the temperament you want!

    Our cat Nina was born on the streets and wasn't picked up until near the end of the narrow window that kittens can be socialized. Her mum and brother were rehomed before she was, then Nina was rehomed and returned to Cat's Protection because the owners thought they'd not been given the cat they reserved.

    When we first saw her at 9 months old at our local Cat's Protection, she just sat in her lonely box and stared warily at us. Honestly, I wouldn't have picked her as I worked my way along the corridor of friendly cats. But my wife saw something in Nina and I wasn't in the mood to argue.  :o   Nina was so under-socialised she didn't even know how to play, and she was so scared of us she spent the first few weeks hiding.

    Owning her has been one of the most rewarding thing I've ever done. She's a beautiful soul - affectionate, sociable and clever - and I get the sense that she doesn't take having a loving family for granted. These days she's a happy 6 year old adult cat, and knowing where she started from and that we were able to give her a home fills me with pride.

    We have another rescue, who was around a year old when we took her in and had already had a litter of kittens. Her name's Tallie. The first time we saw her in the cat sanctuary, she climbed up into our arms, onto our shoulders and gave us kisses on our lips and noses. She's an absolute angel too. But you can tell she *needs* human interaction, cuddles, conversations much more than Nina, and when we leave her for a couple of nights it takes her a few days to settle down again afterwards - she gets very clingy and meows a lot. We think she remembers what it was like to live feral and have to support kittens, and gets anxious when her safe daily routine changes.


    Anyway, I agree with everyone who says to go for rescue cats. They know and appreciate that they've been given a chance at a comfortable life, and god knows there's enough cats already out there to go around, without creating demand for new ones.
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  • rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 565
    Agreed rescue centre. We got our Lottie and Eddie, a Mum and son combo and they are totally an integral part of our family
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9081
    One of our plain black moggies had some beautiful kittens.  


    2 which a vet mistook for pure bred Burmese.  1 which was black at the front and faded to mid brown at the back.... and the last one was light grey with a white belly and paws just like Tom & Jerry.

    our cat clearly had good taste. 

    We have only only ever had rescue cats.  I would take them over a breed any day

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