Should I get a kitten from a pet store?
You've probably seen them at a number of pet stores: litters of kittens available for sale. Should you actually buy one? The answer is most likely to be a big NO. There are a lot of different reasons for this. First and foremost are the moral ones - most pet stores that have kittens are getting them from kitten mills. These are kittens bred solely for sale, and at a time when the cat population is well in excess of the demand by pet owners. As a result, tons of cats are put to sleep that otherwise wouldn't be at shelters. We have plenty of kittens as is, we don't need more being made just to sell to people. If you buy one of these kittens, you're supporting them financially and encouraging them to do it. It's much better to go get a kitten from a reputable shelter.
If you're not convinced by the morality of it, there are lots of reasons it's bad for you personally to do that. First, pet store kittens are not socialized well in general. Most kitten mills are not the kind of places you would want a pet to grow up - they don't get much time with their mothers, they are separated too early, and they often live in squalor. That can mean a kitten that grows up to be an adult cat that isn't suitable to be a pet. Second, they cost way more than they should. A shelter will usually give you kittens for much cheaper - they aren't looking for a profit, they just ask for the cost of caring for it. Often, the pet store kittens cost more than a pure-bred would. Many pet stores will spin you stories about where the kittens are coming from - they'll claim local breeders or shelters. This usually isn't true, as reputable breeders tend to disapprove of pet stores selling kittens and refuse to associate with them. If you are going to get a kitten, the best option is to go through a shelter, a private individual, or if you want a purebred an actual breeder.
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