Nada Farhoud: Why adopting an adult cat is so much kinder than buying a kitten
During lockdown one of the most Googled phrases was: “puppy/kitten near me”.
As demand soared, many flocked to the internet in search of a pandemic purchase after animal shelters and pet shops were cleared out.
But charities have warned that many have unwittingly purchased sick animals from unregistered dealers posing as responsible breeders.
According to Cats Protection, lockdown created the “ideal conditions” for unscrupulous sellers to dupe the public into buying kittens that are ill, poorly socialised or too young to be safely parted from their mothers.
The average price of a cat or kitten on popular sites such as Gumtree, Preloved and Pets4homes also soared by 40% between July 2019 and July 2020, from £235 to £329.
Kittens removed from their mother before they are eight weeks old can develop life-threatening illnesses or be so poorly socialised they are not suitable as pets. It is a similar story for puppies.
As a result some of these animals are given to shelters as owners struggle to cope. Others are sadly abandoned – left to fend for themselves.
In October the RSPCA in Cambridgeshire said it had seen 30% of its usual annual total for abandoned animals in just three months.
There is also concern figures could rise as families struggle to cope with the economic impact of the pandemic.
I should at this point declare the lockdown 2 addition to our household.
Domino, named after the takeaway chain, was dumped outside a pizza shop in Dubai.
Last month, she made the 3,420 mile journey to Heathrow with five other brave cats.
When Domino, a two-year-old Arabian Mau, is not trying to climb up the Christmas tree or play fetch like a dog with a wine cork, the rest of her day is spent curled up under a lamp next to my laptop – just as she is as I write this.
Domino was rescued by Marina Cat Angels, just one of the many organisations out there trying to give a better life to abandoned animals.
She has even won the heart of my other half, who was a dead cert for getting a tiny kitten but now feels guilty for not suggesting we adopt a rescue first.
Rescued greyhound from China finds home in Somerset.