Buying a kitten
Did you know a cat can live for 15 years or more? If you buy a kitten, that's a lot of cuddles. It's also a lot of time, money and scratched furniture.
Read our tips below...
Read our tips below...
First things first, make sure it's the right breed or type of kitten for your home and lifestyle. Look around online for advice or ask your local vet some questions to find the right kitten for you.
Different breeds need different things and have different personalities. Make sure you find a kitten that fits your environment and lifestyle. Ask the owner lots of questions about the kitten you're looking at.
Remember kittens are babies, they may require more time, attention and training than if you were buying a mature cat.
When you visit the kitten, the cuteness factor will be strong. Resist (for now). First, check the kitten you're stroking is the same animal you saw in the ad. Then pick him or her up and see if you get along. Cats are very choosy.
Make sure the kitten is at least eight weeks old. If he or she is younger, they might not have built a relationship with their mother, which could lead to trouble.
Always see the kitten with its mother and check that its home is clean. The litter should appear healthy and alert with bright eyes. Ask about the kitten's health and medical history. Also, if the kitten is over four months old, check if it's been neutered.
If your chosen kitten isn't with its mother, ask about where it did come from, and try to obtain its previous history. If in doubt, walk away and report the advert to Gumtree or directly to the RSPCA.
Use the time when you visit a kitten to ask lots of questions and find out as much as you can about the seller and the kitten. If you can, visit at least twice to see how you get on together. Find out about his or her health and history, and reassure yourself that the owner is genuine. Ask to see its medical records, including vaccination certificate, worming and flea treatment records.
Try to find out the kittens history if it does not come from where you are purchasing it. Ensure the owner lets you visit twice in its home before buying; if not, it could be an indication that the owner is unscrupulous. Don't buy it to rescue' it. Simply report the advert to Gumtree or directly to the RSPCA.
If you already have an established cat, think carefully before introducing a new kitten. Cats tend to be solitary and your cat may not be happy sharing its home with a new kitten. If you do decide to get a kitten, take advice on the best way to introduce your kitten to your cat, to ensure your cat is not stressed by the new addition.
Check with your local animal rescue before buying a kitten, as they may have something suitable that you can re-home.
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
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.