Buying a cat

With their curious spirits, cats can make an exciting pet. But do you have what it takes to keep a feline friend purring happily?

Read our tips below...

Start with research

Different breeds need different things, and have different temperaments, too. Make sure you buy a cat that fits your lifestyle and environment. Look around online for advice or ask your local vet some questions to find the right cat for you.

Go and say hello

When arranging to view a cat, make sure you see it in its own home, rather than meeting it in a strange place. If the owner offers to bring it to your home, politely reject that idea, and say you are happy to visit it where it lives. Be suspicious if they are unhappy with this.

On your first viewing, ask loads of questions to discover whether it is a genuine sale. Pick him or her up and see if you get along. Cats are very choosy. Also, make sure the cat you saw in the ad is the same as the one you're stroking. If you can, visit at least twice to see how you get on together. Ask about his or her health and history, and make sure the owner sounds true and honest.

If the cat does not come from where you are viewing it, try and find out about its history and where it comes from. Make sure you meet the cat in its own environment at least twice; if this is not possible it could indicate an issue with the seller, so our advice is to walk away. If you have animal welfare concerns report the advert to Gumtree or directly to the RSPCA.

Check the paperwork

Always ask for vets records and medical history, including vaccination certificate and records of worming and flea treatment. Ensure that registration papers, the parents' hereditary disease screening certificates and microchip documentation are in order. If the current owner doesn't have anything, we recommend that you don't take the cat home.

Cat neutering

If the cat is over four months old, check if it has been neutered. It is not recommended to allow the cat to have a litter, as unnecessary breeding just adds to the many cats and kittens needing homes. It also has no effect on their development or health to allow them to breed once.

Two can be a crowd

Already got a cat? Think long and hard before you get another. Cats are naturally solitary animals, which mean they usually prefer to live alone. If you go ahead, ask your vet for advice on how best to introduce your new cat gradually in order minimise the risk of either cat suffering from stress.

To the rescue

Please consider contacting your local animal rescue centre. There are thousands of healthy, loving cats all over the UK who are waiting for a new home.

Our Partners

At Gumtree we take animal welfare very seriously.

We work with a number of animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, and we are an active member of the Pets Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG). PAAG is made up of animal welfare groups, vets and online classified sites, all working together to promote responsible pet advertising. Our shared goal is that all animals advertised for sale online are advertised legally and ethically.

For more information on PAAG or advice on buying a pet online, you can visit their site:

paag.org.uk

A fresh start in life

There are thousands of wonderful animals in the UK looking for a new start. A number of charities advertise these pets on Gumtree, but you can also visit PAAG member sites directly.