After debating the pros and cons of getting a furry friend to welcome into your home, you must then decide whether to adopt or shop.
This decision is never an easy one to make, with many potential concerns associated with both.
There are an abundance of articles and social media pages out there that give their opinions on what is morally the right and wrong thing to do, with many arguing adopting an animal from a shelter should always be preferred. However, the answer is not this straightforward and is entirely your decision.
While many animal charities reported surges in adoptions at the beginning of lockdown, the return to normality saw rehoming centres inundated with unwanted pets once again.
According to Google search volume data, from February to July of this year, total searches for adopt a puppy were up 234%, buy a puppy up 230%, and dog rescue centres near me up 309%. When comparing July this year to last year, searches for kittens near me were up 662% and buy a puppy near me up 504%. This is a clear indication that the period over lockdown has resulted in more people interested in buying and adopting animals.
Are you one of these people? If so, this article will help you make your decision. Here, we debate the pros and cons to adopting or shopping for a cat!
Rescue Animals: The Rewards and Challenges
As previously discussed, rescuing an animal over buying is a concept many people consider the ‘morally correct’ thing to do. Although this is purely your decision. We’ve recently witnessed people giving up their cats as lockdown begins to curtail.
Naturally, rescuing an animal from a shelter is a rewarding feeling, knowing that you’ve just potentially saved the life of an adorable furry friend. As sad of a thought it is, many animals that aren’t adopted from shelters are unfortunately put to sleep, so by giving them a fresh start at life and welcoming them with open arms into a new family is something they will forever be grateful for.
Although it is assumed that rescue animals have already had their infant years, this isn’t necessarily the case. Puppies and kittens can also be found in rescue shelters. For those that want the best of both worlds and want to adopt an animal that is also at the beginning of its life, perhaps this is the ideal scenario for you.
With this said, it’s important not to forget the potential challenges of rescuing a cat from a shelter. Since many animals have been abused or abandoned by their previous owners, they may struggle with behavioural or mental issues as a result. Many animals that have experienced this may lack knowledge of basic house-training rules, such as knowing to go outside when they need the toilet, or not to chew and destroy items in the house. Others may suffer anxiety, especially when in unfamiliar situations. This could cause them to act timidly and fearfully, or sometimes aggressive if this is how they have been accustomed to reacting.
With all of these potential issues considered, rescuing an animal is not as easy as picking it up from the shelter. A lot of time, patience and understanding need to be invested in order to give your pet the life it deserves.
Shopping Animals: The Pros and Cons
For a lot of us, the main reason for buying a kitten from a shop is so that we can raise it from its very earliest days and watch them grow and develop over the years knowing no one else has played their part in this. Not only that, being able to train it to be a well-mannered pet that can do all the fun tricks it desires is a rewarding feeling.
Buying a kitten from a shop, however, can present ethical issues, mainly in that they don’t always come have the best upbringing, coming from commercial breeders or kitten mills. “Responsible breeders do not think of kittens as merchandise, and they do not entrust the well-being of their kittens to strangers.”
These places depend on the ‘cuteness’ of the kitten to ensure a sale and often fail to take proper care off them — tearing them away from their mothers far too early. The kittens can often be put up for sale long before they’ve developed properly. .
Other than kitten mills, you also need to be aware of pet scammers when shopping for a pet. This is when someone advertises an animal they are selling but doesn’t actually have the animal to sell. So, if you do plan on shopping for your pet, make sure you have seen it in person first before paying your deposit or any other additional expenses that are attached.
Another thing to consider about shopping for a pet is the fact it has not been trained or socialised at all yet — which means it is your responsibility to do so. This is a big challenge to take on and requires a lot of time and patience to do so. In addition to this, although financial cost shouldn’t in any way be the main determinant over whether you shop or adopt a pet, adopting is a lot more affordable than shopping.
Young vs Old: Animal Trait Edition
Perhaps one of the biggest considerations when choosing to shop or adopt an animal is deciding whether you would prefer an old or young pet.
With young pets, regardless if you have shopped or adopted one, teaching them the basic principles and behavioural manners is no easy task. If you haven’t had a pet before, additional time and money may need to be invested in training classes for them if you are unsure the right way to do this.
On the other hand, adopting or buying an older pet that is already trained may require less time towards doing this. However, that’s not to say no time at all will be needed. As previously mentioned, animals that have come from rescue shelters may not have been trained at all, or worse, have been socialised with the wrong ideas. Therefore, an older animal doesn’t always mean that the hard work is all done.
Regardless of the age your animal is at, all pets require a lot of time, energy, and love dedicated towards them — not to mention the financial expenses too. Other than food, insurance, and toys to play with, your pet will ideally need good preventative healthcare, such as flea and worming plan. There are several options to choose from with both over-the-counter preventatives or prescription preventative products, including Advocate for Cats depending on what suits your financial decision best.
Check Your Schedule
Probably the main factor to consider before adopting or buying a pet is to decide whether you actually have the time to raise it. The idea of welcoming a new pet into your home is an exciting concept, however, life can sometimes come in between. For those that work during the week or spend large amounts of time out of the house, buying a pet may not be the best decision.
Although older animals that are trained, well-behaved, and are used to being left to their own devices for a few hours during the day are okay, the likes of younger pets who are not house trained need your devoted attention in the initial stages.
The same concept applies for adopted pets too, regardless of age. It’s important to remember that in some cases, animals have been put into shelters because their previous owners were struggling to cope with them — it’s not always because they have been abused or abandoned. It’s found that a proportion of animals who have behavioural issues such as being noisy, destructive, or untrained become too much for their owners to cope with. These problems can of course be worked on and fixed, however, having the time and patience to do so is a must.
Regardless of whether you choose to adopt or shop, knowing that you’re providing the best life you can for your cat is something to feel good about. Cats do more than just make for a cute family photo — they provide a lifetime of love, enjoyment, and happiness into your home.