Friday, June 28, 2013

Why A "Free Kitten" is NOT Really Free

How Much?

By far the largest expense of taking in a "free" unaltered kitten is the cost to spay or neuter that kitten. Taking your new kitten to the vet for surgery should be a "no brainer". Here are a few reasons why this is important:

Females should be spayed because they:
  • Reach sexual maturity at 4-5 months of age
  • Go into heat every 2-3 weeks with only 2 days between cycles
  • Are pregnant for only 67 days
  • Can have up to 5 litters a year averaging 4-5 kittens in each
  • Can get pregnant again while they are nursing
  • Will mate with brothers, fathers and sons if able
Males should be neutered-nuetered mailed: 
  • Are less likely to spray urine to mark their territory
  • Are more accepting of other pets
  • Roam less and hence decrease their risk of injury from other cats, cars and animals
  • Fight less over females and hence have a reduced chance of contracting Feline Leukemia and FIV which sadly is incurable (unspayed females can also contract these deadly viruses during mating)
Both male and feamle kittens benefit from "early" spay and neuter ( at less than 6 months of age)

  • Less mammary cancers in females
  • Less aggressive behavior development in males
1+1= 420,000
One female cat and one male cat and their offspring resluts in 420,000 kittens in 7 years. The solution to the problem of pet overpopulation is for you to spay or neuter your cat.

The Cost of a Free Kitten
Adoption Fee: $0
Office Visit*: $40--> this is per visit for 3 sets of shots add $80
Testing for Feline Leukemia and FIV: $35-->Viruses transmittable to other cats
Vaccinations** (FVRCP and Feleuk): $35--> Boosters given 3 weeks apart to kittens
Fecal Testing: $17--> Common issue in kittens up to 6 months old
Ear Mite Treatment: $12-->common in stray kittens
Worming (not tapeworms): $10 -->eliminates/prevents round and hook worms
**Rabies vaccine: $20--> Required by law at 13 weeks of age then annually
Neuter (males) : $100 --->for females add $50 more
Total Cost of a "free" kitten: $269.00

*Office Visit: It is always advisable to take every new pet you acquire to your veterinarian within 6 weeks of adoption for a wellness exam. This first exam establishes your new pet as a patient, sets their schedule for future vaccines/recommendations your vet may recommend and serves as a check to make sure the stress of an environment change hasn't triggered any underlying issues.

**Vaccinations and Rabies: FVRCP and Feleuk vaccines are given at 3-4 week increments, minimum of 2. Rabies is required by law at 13 weeks of age (earliest) or immediately for cats/kittens with no vaccine history then annually. Additional visits to your vet for these scheduled vaccines may incur additional office visit charges.

OKC Area rescue organization adoption fees range from $65 to $75 
MOST of these items are commonly included in the adoption fee at local rescues and shelters where kittens are 13 weeks of age or older

SOME rescues also include microchipping in the Adoption Fee

Ask for a medical record on any pet that you adopt. This record should detail all procedures and vaccines and when presented to your vet, prevent costly duplication of efforts.

Cost of vet care may vary from the example cited here: This should be used as a guide only.

Consider ALL the costs!

Immediate Financial Costs

Sure "free" sounds like a bargain but what other "freebies" might come with this cute little kitten? Does she also come with free diseases? Free fleas and parasites? Free deadly viruses? More importantly, will she also provide you with more free kittens when she is 5-6 months old that you'll need to feed and find homes for? All these additional "freebies" will take a toll on your wallet.

Cost to Your Existing Pets

When you bring a free kitten in to your home it may carry unknown bacteria and viruses if it hasn't seen a vet. If you have other pets in the home, they will be exposed to illnesses, worms and viruses your free kitten may carry.

Emotional Cost

It is easy to get attached to those cute little kitten faces very quickly. Your whole family will fall totally in love in just a few days! Protect your heart, and those of your family's by ensuring the kitten you adopt is healty. A sick kitten or one who dies could leave long term scars on those you love.

Kitten Behavioral Cost

There is no replacement for a momma cat's discipline and training. Kittens weaned from their mothers before they are 10-12 weeks old often become biters, play too rough, don't easily accept other cats and have nursing withdrawals.

Don't Believe Us? Check out these other references

This information is brought to you by Pet Adoption and Welfare Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

Local Feline Adoption Options

Pet Adoption and Welfare Services (PAWS-OK)
PetSmart Adoption Center at Rockwell and NW Expressway
On Facebook at

Community Cat Coalition of Edmond
Petco Adoption Center in Edmond at 324 S. Bryant
405-294-CATS (2287)
On Facebook at www.

Hands Helping Paws, Inc.
PetSmart Adoption Center in Norman at 666 Ed Noble Pkwy
Find Them on Facebook

Ms. Kitty's Cat Rescue
Two PetSmart Adoption Centers 63rd and May and 1-40 and MacArthur

All Hours Animal Hospital--Veterinarian
Adoption Center: 609 NW 8th St., Moore
Adoption Hours: 8am to 6pm daily
Specializing in adult cats and special needs cats for adoption

An added benefit of adopting from a rescue is their "return policy" in the unlikely event that you can no longer care or keep your cat, the rescue organization will take them back and find them a new home.

No comments:

Post a Comment