When looking to obtain a cat or kitten as a pet there are 3 main sources to consider.
Many breeders of pedigree cats also show their cats and so breed towards producing a good robust, healthy show cat with a view to keeping one or two kittens themselves so quality and temperament is of vital importance when planning their breeding.
Although breeders of show cats specialise in breeding pedigree cats, there are also owners who have bred their pet cats and produce cross breed or pedigree kittens. These may be the result of a planned or unplanned pregnancy but the kittens have usually been well cared for and brought up in a family environment and so most often make very suitable pets and will be less expensive to purchase than a pedigree kitten bred from show cats.
Buying a kitten directly from the breeder means that there is the opportunity to see the parents of the kittens offered for sale and know the date of birth of the kitten that it is intended to purchase.
Many cats, both kittens and older cats, unfortunately become abandoned or homeless through no fault of their own every year.
Rescue homes usually assess the cat's or kitten's health and behaviour on arrival and ensure any required treatment or remedial training is carried out before offering for re-homing. Therefore cats and kittens offered for re-homing are usually healthy and loving pets.
Rescue homes often have both pedigree and cross breed cats and kittens available but the cat's or kitten's background or exact breeding details are often not know. However, unless the intention is to show or breed then rescue cats should be considered.
Depending on the rescue organisation they may require the completion of a series of forms, interviews or even a home visit to assess suitability as a potential cat owner. Their primary concern is to ensure the correct placement of the cats and kittens in their care with a suitable new owner.
Sometimes kittens are offered for sale in pet shops. These kittens are most likely to have come from a cat owner with an unplanned pregnancy or from commercial kitten farms. There is some risk as to whether these kittens will be of good temperament or health as the parents cannot be seen and often little or no information can be given about their background, breeding or exact age.