Make a Perfect Match

Many roads may lead to your ideal kitten. Here's where to start.

By Theresa Meyers

Page 3 of 5

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In many cases, finding a pedigreed kitten is a long-term process. When you decide on the breed you want and contact several breeders, you may find that the kitten you want hasn't been born yet. Many people are willing to be placed on a waiting list for that perfect pedigreed kitten. In any case, a pedigreed kitten is likely to cost more money. Even pet-quality kittens, which have slight differences from the breed standard that would likely not make them winners in cat shows, can cost several hundred dollars. If you are thinking of showing your cat, be prepared to possibly pay thousands of dollars for the right bloodline and look of a show kitten.

Be aware that on rare occasions some shelters may get a pedigreed kitten, but you are far more likely to find older cats. Most reputable breeders write into their sales contracts that if for any reason the cat is ever not welcome in the family, they be returned to the breeder.

Pet Stores
Another fast track to finding a kitten may be as close as your local pet store. You probably won't have to undergo an intense interview process, but depending on the stores selection you may not wind up with a kitten that best fits your home, either. The cost of getting a kitten usually is low, but you will probably need to pay for the kittens spaying or neutering, plus its first veterinary exam and shots.

Some pet stores form partnerships with local shelters to make homeless pets available for adoption in their stores. We offer the space in our stores free of charge to nonprofit local animal welfare organizations as an additional resource to help find homes for homeless pets, said Julie Schmaltz, Adoptions Operations Manager for PetsMart. PetsMart stores provide the groups with food and accessories the pets need while they are waiting to find a home, and in many of our stores we have a seven-day cat program in which the shelters leave their cats and kittens with us seven days a week.

Each organization that partners with PetsMart is required to spay or neuter the animals before adoption or offer a spay or neuter program following the adoption to help with pet overpopulation. Schmaltz said the adoption process at each store varies, since each adoption organization is encouraged to follow its own procedures in screening owners. They work to find the best match so the goal of a lifelong, loving home for every pet is met. Our goal is to save lives.

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