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How Much Is A Free Kitten?

July 7, 2010

Its that time of year again when free or inexpensive pups and kittens are available but many people don’t think beyond the purchase price when it comes to costs of adding a new pet to the home.

Recently I went on the search for a free kitten and as luck would have it I found a great one to join our home that was sadly missing the recently lost 20 year old cat.

The former owner was quite shocked as we parted when I said, ‘Oh, I expect a free kitten to run about $200 the first week.”

I had some definite criteria when looking for a kitten. I wanted a male. I wanted a slightly older kitten 3-4 months old. I wanted one that had been in a home and been handled. Early handling and training is what helps make a kitten friendly and gentle as well as interested in people.

I felt fortunate to spot one that was the light color we prefer here to help reduce allergic responses in the resident cat lover. As an added bonus this kitten was already wormed once and Frontline treated once though he had never seen a vet.

When I went to the home I saw that he had no ear mites (another big plus) was friendly and gentle and showed no signs of upper respiratory infection commonly seen in unvaccinated cats. And he had no missing spots of fur which reduced chances he had ringworm.

He was a little love even when handled by a stranger and the 2 year old in the house had not a scratch on him which told me the kitten was gentle most if not all of the time and all those were indicators he’d fit in our house.

So the first thing I did after packing him up to go home was call my vet. They were too busy so I called my other vet and found I could get the new kitten seen in an hour or so.

Why was this important? I didn’t want to bring home any illness or parasites that I hadn’t been able to spot on my own!

So off to the vet with the free kitten for an exam, first shots, worming pill to clear the tapeworms as I saw segments under his tail area, a second check for skin and ear parasites, a double check on his age as he was huge but still had all his baby teeth, a check for ringworm with a black light, and shots including distemper and rabies! I did one more thing to make sure the kitten was safe to bring home and that was to run a blood test to check for FeLv, FIV which also included a heartworm test (he was too young for that last to be positive but it comes with the three way check for disease). The vet office offered a complimentary dose of Revolution which would clear fleas, ticks, ear mites and worms but I declined that and opted to worm again at home and use Frontline instead.

So one ‘free kitten’ with first shots etc was $117 (my vet as they’ve known me well for years gave me a break on part of the fee too that saved me $35 or it would have been more). He still will need second shots and to be neutered in the next couple of months which will be more money. Not bad for this extra wonderful (of course!) new family member! And of course we aren’t even adding up the costs of toys, food, and cat litter!

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