Ask the Vet’s Pets: Free Kittens

Dear Christopher Cat We would like to add a kitten to our family, and we are thinking about taking one of the many free farm kittens advertised locally. Do you see any problem with this plan? Christopher Responds For starters, the “free” farm kitten will cost you more than a kitten from a shelter or rescue organization, after you pay for vaccinations, deworming medicine and spay/neuter surgery. In addition, you may inadvertently perpetuate the cat overpopulation problem by taking a kitten off the farmer’s hands. As long as farmers and others can avoid having their adult cats surgically sterilized by giving away the unwanted kittens, the cat overpopulation problem will continue. On the other hand, humane societies and cat rescue organizations encourage spay/neuter surgery, and they educate the public about reducing pet overpopulation through sterilization. August 19 is National Homeless Animals’ Day. Celebrate by adopting a cat – or two – from your local shelter or rescue organization. That’s where our last three cats – Dougie, Cali and Carlie – came from, and they are my best friends. Ask the Vet’s Pets is written by our own: Dr. Lee Pickett