When you are ready to include a magnificent feline into your family and life the question arises whether to purchase a cat, or to adopt one who is looking for a safe loving home. You can purchase a kitten or a retired breeder for a reputable breeder, or you can adopt a cat from the shelter or from a family who for whatever reason needs to relinquish their cat.
If you are interested in showing your cat, buying a purebred cat may seem like the only option, but in fact the major cat organizations such as ACFA also have a household category where you can show off your pretty kitty regardless of origins.
Purchasing a cat from a breeder or pet store comes with some benefits. Many of these places offer guarantees and documentation which allows you to not submit your cat to shows and to use your cat for breeding purposes, but for some people it's a matter of status.
Some cat owners swear by certain breeds with regards to a good temperament or healthy constitution, and the only way these folks can be guaranteed that they are getting exactly the breed of cat they want is by purchasing one that has accompanying documentation. For some people, this is the only way they would consider bringing a cat into their home.
Choosing to adopt a cat means that your options are wide open. An added advantage is also that cats waiting for a home will already have lived in one and information about their behavior will most likely be available.
Some cats at shelters come with a full history, such as if they deal well with young children or with other pets. There is also a great feeling that can come with adopting a cat since some cats that are never adopted wind up euthanized by the shelter. There simply isn't always enough room for all the cats in the shelter, so sometimes there is no other choice. By adopting a cat, you're saving the cats life.
Not all adopted cats come from shelters. Some people have to give their cats away for whatever reason - allergies develop, moving to another city, financial problems - so if you peruse the pet ads within a local newspaper you'll probably find an impressive selection of cats looking for new homes.
The advantage of adopting a cat from another family is that there usually isn't any charge involved unless the cat is a purebred with documentation. The disadvantage is that unless you take the cat to a veterinarian beforehand, you can't ever be quite sure if the cat has some underlying health issues that may wind up costing you quite a bit of money.
Some struggle with the decision of whether to rescue a cat at the shelter, or to purchase one from a breeder. Rest assured that once you do decide to get a cat, one will find you. Cats are just like that. You can start your search, investigating your options, and before you know it "your" cat will appear.