Is that free Kitten really free?

Congratulations on deciding to get a Kitten! they make fantastic family pets. Best of all it is easy to get a “free” Kitten. You read the ads in the newspaper, online or even see the signs on the side of the road “free Kittens” Why would you want to pay 200.00, 300.00 or even $400.00 to adopt a Kitten? I can tell you why you should consider it, adopting is safer and cheaper!

Let me break it down for you. You take home that “free” Kitten, now what? Well, your first step would be to take it to a Veterinarian for a health check. That usually includes the first set of shots, micro-chipping and an overall medical exam. This is especially important if you have other animals in the house or small children. Let’s face it flea’s are nasty and just plain hard to get rid of. Plan on a bill of around $200.00 if all is routine. Well, that wasn’t so bad, only a couple of hundred dollars. Maybe not so free anymore, but still a good price. Then of course it is time to spay or neuter your newest little furbaby. That can easily cost upwards of over $500.00.  Now your “free” Kitten has cost you $700.00 plus. Not so free anymore.

When you adopt from a shelter or rescue most people are not immediately aware of all the behind the scenes work that has gone into making your Kitten happy and healthy. Health and Dental checks are done and any issues are addressed, sometimes this alone can cost a rescue thousands of dollars on just one Kitten. Before you even see your new Kitten it has been cleaned up, health checked, de-wormed, given flea treatments, first set of shots and had blood tests done to determine if any long term health issues are presently visible. Any medical issues are listed and discussed prior to adoption. My household has two special needs cats. It was important for us to financially be able to afford the ongoing care before we signed on the dotted line.  Here is the biggest cost savings of all,  If it is old enough it will be spayed or neutered before adoption. If it is not old enough in almost all cases you just bring it back at the appropriate age and it will be done, at no extra cost to you. It is all part of your adoption fee.

I hope this has helped in making it clearer that the adoption fee’s charged by Shelters and Rescues are just a small fraction of what it would cost you. No, Rescues do not get free Veterinarian service. They must pay like you or I. That is why they rely so heavily on donations.

The picture that goes along with this blog is of a group of Kittens that my household chose to foster. All five of them were adopted into loving homes. For those of you that are now thinking ” wait a minute there are six Kittens in the picture” Well that cute little grey one in the back, that’s our Princess and she is healthy and happy in the only home she has ever known, ours. We paid her adoption fee and watched proudly as all her Brothers and Sisters found loving homes as well.

Laura Carl

Crazy Cat Lady and Cat Advocate