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Adopting vs Buying a Cat: Cost Location and Considerations

Adopting a Cat: Cost and Location Considerations

Cats are one of the most beloved pets in the world. They are lovable, playful, and can easily adapt to different environments.

If you are considering adopting a cat, there are two important things you should take into consideration – cost and location. Understanding these factors will help you make an informed decision on where and how to adopt your new feline friend.

Cost of Adopting a Cat

The cost of adopting a cat is the first thing many potential pet owners consider. Adoption fees vary depending on where you choose to adopt and the type of cat you are interested in.

Most animal shelters and rescue groups charge an adoption fee between $50 and $200, which covers the cost of medical checkups, spaying/neutering, and vaccines. Private rescue groups usually charge higher fees since they rely on donations and fundraising events to support their operations.

Breeders, on the other hand, charge a higher fee, often ranging between $500 and $1500, depending on the breed and availability.

Variation in Adoption Costs

Adoption costs vary greatly, depending on where you choose to adopt your cat. Animal shelters and private rescue groups often charge lower fees compared to breeders.

However, some breeders offer purebred cats, which fetch a higher price, ranging between $600 to $1500.

Factors Affecting Adoption Costs

The location and time of year also play a significant role in determining adoption costs. For instance, some animal shelters offer discounts on adoption fees during the Christmas season to encourage people to adopt.

Similarly, the cost of adoption fees in New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco can be much higher than in other rural communities.

Cost Ranges for Different Types of Adopted Cats

You can choose between purebred and mixed-breed cats when adopting. Mixed-breed cats come in different colors, sizes, and hair lengths, and often have lower adoption fees compared to purebred cats.

Purebred cats, on the other hand, come from a specific breed and are often sought after for their unique characteristics and traits. If you are interested in purebred cats, you can expect to pay an adoption fee between $300 and $1500, depending on the breed, age, and bloodline.

Cat Fanciers Association

It’s worth noting that the

Cat Fanciers Association, an organization that regulates all aspects of cats, states that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for breeders to recover the cost of cat breeding and the care of the kittens and parents.

Where to Adopt a Cat

Now that you are aware of the cost considerations when adopting cats let’s explore the different options available for you.

Options for Adopting a Cat

You can adopt a cat from an animal shelter, private rescue group, or a cat breeder. Animal Shelters:

Animal shelters are a great place to adopt a cat if you are looking for a furry friend in need of a home.

Most animal shelters offer a wide variety of cats and kittens in different sizes, colors, and breeds. Adopting from a shelter also helps reduce the number of animals euthanized each year due to overcrowding.

Private Rescue Groups:

Private rescue groups are also a great option for adopting a cat. These groups are usually composed of volunteers who rescue cats from high-kill shelters and provide them with temporary foster care until they can find a permanent home.

Private rescue groups offer the same benefits as shelters and often have a wider selection of cats and kittens. Cat Breeders:

If you’re looking for a purebred cat, cat breeders are your best option.

Breeders specialize in one or more breeds and are knowledgeable about the specifics of each breed. The downside is that breeders usually have higher fees than animal shelters or private rescue groups.

Bear in mind that breeders do not take returns.

Availability of Adult Cats and Kittens

Whether you are looking for an adult cat or a kitten, you will have multiple options to choose from. Kittens are usually born during the warmer months of spring and summer, hence shelters and pet stores have a higher number of kittens available during this time.

However, the peak adoption season for kittens varies based on location. Adult cats and older kittens are often left behind since people are more drawn to puppies and younger cats.

These cats are often overlooked, but they make great companions and are usually better trained than kittens. The advantage of adopting an adult cat is that the cat is already litter trained.

Inclusions in Adoption Fee or Purchase Price

Another important thing to consider when adopting a cat is the included services and products that the adoption or purchase fee covers. These can vary depending on where you adopt.

Basic inclusions:

– Medical checkups

– Spaying/neutering

– Vaccines (some may prefer FVRCP, Blue 2-year and Rabies)

– Deworming

– Flea and tick treatment

– Microchip (to help save your cat in emergencies)

Additional inclusions:

– Feline leukemia/FIV testing

– A pet bed and food dishes

– A cat brush and/or toys

– Training materials or consultations


To make the most informed decision when adopting a cat, consider the cost and location associated with adoption, as well as the type of cat you want, including the age and breed. Determine your lifestyle and what you can afford before adopting to ensure you can provide a home for your new pet.

By adopting, you will be saving a life and providing loving companionship for years to come. Adopting from an Animal Shelter or Rescue Group:

Availability of Cats and Kittens

Adopting a cat from an animal shelter or rescue group is a great way to give a loving home to a furry friend in need.

Both animal shelters and rescue groups offer a wide range of cats and kittens in different breeds, ages, sizes, and colors. Choosing to adopt from an animal shelter or rescue group can help save lives and reduce overcrowding in animal shelters.

Availability of Cats and Kittens

Many people assume that animal shelters only have adult cats, while rescue groups have more kittens available. However, most animal shelters have both adult cats and kittens available for adoption, while rescue groups often have a higher number of kittens in foster care.

Kitten Season:

Kitten season takes place mainly during the spring and summer months when cats tend to mate and give birth, and animal shelters end up with a higher number of felines. During kitten season, animal shelters are flooded with a large number of kittens, which means that potential adopters have a higher chance of adopting a kitten they desire.

Choosing an Adult Cat:

Adult cats are sometimes overlooked when it comes to adoption, but they make great companions and are usually easier to care for than kittens. Adult cats are trained and have fewer energy requirements, which makes them ideal for people with busy lifestyles or those looking for a low-maintenance pet.

Moreover, adult cats often have a good temperament and are less likely to scratch furniture or other household items. Purebred Cats:

Animal shelters and rescue groups also have purebred cats available for adoption.

Purebred cats often have higher adoption fees, as they are preferred for their unique characteristics and traits. However, adopting a purebred cat from an animal shelter or rescue group is a great way to provide a loving home to a furry friend while also saving a life.

Inclusions in Adoption Fee

When adopting a cat from an animal shelter or rescue group, there are several inclusions to keep in mind. These include the following:

Veterinary Checkup:

Most shelters and rescue groups require a veterinary checkup before they adopt out a pet.

This checkup ensures the cat is in good health and free from any illnesses. Feline Leukemia/FIV Testing:

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) are common viruses that cats can acquire.

These viruses can lead to serious health problems if left undetected and untreated. But with proper testing and treatment, cats infected with these viruses can still live long, healthy lives.


Vaccines are important in preventing cats from acquiring infectious diseases. Most shelters and rescue groups vaccinate their cats with the FVRCP vaccine, which protects them against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia.


Cats can get intestinal parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms. Deworming medication is given to eliminate these parasites.

Flea and Tick Treatment:

Fleas and ticks can cause discomfort and health problems for cats. Hence, animal shelters and rescue groups provide flea and tick prevention for cats and kittens.

Spaying or Neutering:

Spaying or neutering is performed to control pet overpopulation and to prevent cats from getting reproductive-related illnesses like ovarian or testicular cancers. Microchip:

Microchips are tiny devices that are implanted in a cats skin.

This device has a unique code and provides information for shelters and rescue groups to reunite lost cats with their owners.


In conclusion, adopting a cat from an animal shelter or rescue group can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Both shelters and rescue groups provide the same inclusions in their adoption fees, including veterinary checkups, Feline Leukemia/FIV testing, vaccines, deworming, flea and tick treatment, spaying or neutering, and microchips.

Despite the common misconception that shelters only have adult cats available, there are often kittens available too. When adopting, consider your lifestyle, budget, and the kind of cat you are looking for, whether it be a purebred or mixed breed, a kitten, or an adult cat.

Remember that by adopting a cat from an animal shelter or rescue group, you are not only opening your home to a loving companion, but you’re saving a life. Buying a Kitten from a Breeder: Factors to Consider

A kitten is a joyful addition to any household.

However, before you make a purchase, it’s important to choose a reputable cat breeder. A responsible, ethical breeder will ensure that the kitten you get is healthy, socialized, and well bred.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a breeder. Reputation of the Breeder:

A reputable breeder has a good reputation and is widely known for producing healthy, well-tempered, and quality kittens.

Such a breeder will freely provide references and recommendations on request and make available their veterinary records to prove that their cats are in good health. You can also check breeder reviews, either online or from fellow cat enthusiasts within your local community.

Responsible Breeding Practices:

A responsible breeder promotes the health and welfare of their cats. They ensure that cats are properly socialized by exposing them to various sounds, people, pets, and experiences during their formative weeks.

Ethical breeders also avoid inbreeding, which can cause genetic health problems, and breed according to industry standards set by organizations such as the

Cat Fanciers Association. Regular Health Tests:

Ethical breeders routinely conduct health tests on their kittens and adult cats.

These tests should include testing for genetic diseases, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

Cost of Buying a Purebred Kitten

The cost of a purebred kitten is determined by several factors, including the breeders reputation, the cat pedigree, the availability, gender, and color of the kitten. Purebred Kitten:

Purebred kittens can cost anywhere from $300 to over $1500, depending on the breed and quality.

The higher-priced kittens come from well-established breeders with great bloodlines, optimal health guarantees, and extensive socialization. Lower priced kittens might be from less reputable breeders or, in some cases, sick, inbred, or even unvaccinated.

Spaying or Neutering:

Before taking the kitten home, a breeder often requires that the new owner agrees to spay/neuter the kitten. This helps control pet overpopulation and prevent the kitten from breeding, especially if the owner is not interested in breeding them.

The cost of spaying or neutering ranges between $50 and $500. Veterinary Checkup:

Upon acquisition, the first step is usually to take your kitten to a veterinarian for a checkup.

This can add an additional $50 to $200 to your initial cost depending on the vets procedures. Health Guarantee and Genetic Health Issue:

The breeder should also offer a guarantee that the kitten is healthy at the time of purchase.

This guarantee usually lasts from 7 days to a couple of weeks and includes any genetic health issues of which they might be aware.

The Bottom Line

Comparison of Adoption and Breeder Costs:

The cost of adopting a cat ranges from $50 to $200. Many shelters and rescue groups also include a veterinary checkup, spaying or neutering, vaccines, deworming, a microchip, and flea and tick treatment in their adoption fee.

A breeder-bought kitten, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $300 to upwards of $1500. Additional costs include spaying/neutering, veterinary checkup, and any extras such as pedigree and genetic health guarantees.

Importance of Unconditional Love:

At the end of the day, the most important factor when acquiring a kitten or cat is the amount of love they will bring into your life. Kitten or cat ownership should not be based solely on the cost but the amount of unconditional love they can provide.

Cat ownership is a long-term commitment and requires dedication.


In conclusion, when buying a purebred kitten from a breeder, you should consider the reputation, breeding practices, and health tests of the breeder. You should also be aware of the costs, including the purchase price of the kitten, spaying or neutering, veterinary checkup, and any extras such as a health guarantee.

However, affordability should not be the only determining factor. Adopting a cat from a shelter or rescue group can also be a great option.

Whatever the choice, remember that unconditional love is the most important ingredient in cat ownership. In conclusion, adopting a cat or buying a kitten is a joyful addition to any household.

Cost, location, type, and health guarantees, are some of the primary factors to consider when adopting or buying a kitten. Animal shelters and rescue groups have a variety of cats and kittens available, while reputable breeders offer well-bred kittens with responsible breeding practices.

Ultimately, the love and care you provide to your furry friend are the most crucial aspects of cat ownership. Remember to choose a companion that best suits your lifestyle, budget, and preferences.

Whether you adopt or buy, the joy and love that a cat or kitten brings into your life is invaluable and rewarding.

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