Cat World > Cat Articles > Free Cats and Kittens

Free Cats and Kittens

There is no such thing as free kittens. There will always be costs associated with adopting a cat, be it a free kitten from a friend, a cat from the shelter or a purebred from a registered breeder. How much these costs will depend on many factors.
 

Shelter cats will cost a small adoption fee (usually around $150), but the cats will have been desexed (spayed/neutered), vaccinated, wormed and quite likely microchipped, saving you the expense.

If you adopt a free kitten, more often than not you will have to take care of the desexing, vaccinating etc. The cost of this will be more than the adoption fee you'd pay at the shelter. Here is an estimate of the costs;

 

Shelter kitten


 

Cat (microchipping, desexing and vaccinations already covered)

$100-150

Carrier

$30

Food and water bowls

$20

Litter tray

$20

Toys

$20

Grooming equipment

$20

Cat toys $30
Cat bed $30
Council registration $40

Basic scratching post

$20

Total outlay

$355.00



 

'Free' kitten


 

Cat

$Free

Desexing (depends on the sex) $100
Microchipping $50
Vaccinations x 3 ($50 x 3) $150

Carrier

$30

Food and water bowls

$20

Litter tray

$20

Grooming equipment

$20

Cat toys $30
Cat bed $30
Council registration $40
Worming/flea meds $20

Basic scratching post

$20

Total outlay

$530



As you can see, once you have paid for necessities such as desexing, vaccinating etc., you have paid more money for the free kitten than you would have from a shelter kitten.

Of course, if this is the way you wish to proceed then there is nothing wrong with it, but potential kitten owners need to be aware that there is no such thing as a free kitten.

Is desexing necessary?

Free kittensAbsolutely. Every day, thousands of cats and kittens are euthanised because there just aren't enough homes for them. As pet owners, we all have a responsibility towards animal welfare and not contributing to the over population of cats. There are health benefits too. Entire female cats are at risk of;


 
  • Mammary Cancer. The third most common tumour found in cats. Extremely low chance of developing this if the cat has been spayed prior to her first heat.
  • Pyometra. This is an infection of the uterus. At best, if caught early it can be treated. At worst, it can lead to death.
  • Tumours of the uterus and ovaries.
  • Stress caused by constant calling can weaken the cat's immune system.
Male cats;
 
  • Testosterone is known to weaken a male's immune system.  Desexing your tom cat will reduce the level of testosterone in his system, thus strengthening his immune system.
  • He will be less territorial, and therefore not get into as many fights with other cats in the area. Less risk of injury.
  • Entire males are at risk of developing testicular cancer
  • Both males and females permitted to breed at random are also at risk of contracting FIV or FeLV. Both  are caused by viruses, and once caught are fatal.
Entire males (and females) are likely to spray. Cat spray is extremely pungent. Most cat breeders keep their stud cats in a separate cat enclosure because of this problem with spraying. Generally females don't spray, but it's not unheard of. It's more likely to happen in entire females.

Do I really need to vaccinate my cat?

Yes, cats are at risk of several diseases which can be life threatening. These include;
Other vaccines available include: Speak to your veterinarian about what vaccines your cat requires.

Summary:

If you still decide you would like to adopt a free kitten just bear in mind that kittens
should not leave their mother until they are at least 10 weeks of age. Not only does the mother cat provide the kitten with the basic necessities it needs such as food (milk), love and warmth, but she also teaches the kitten how to behave.

Good luck and enjoy your kitten :)


Further reading:

Kitten Care   Kitten Food   Bringing Your New Kitten Home   Essentials For New Cat Owners   Can Cats Drink Milk