For many years I was a crazy cat lady without any cats until I took home my two grey kittens Misty and Mochi this weekend. I was searching for sibling kittens to adopt for several months and everyone insisted I should rescue stray cats who were most in need of a home. I might add, most people who volunteered their opinion didn’t own pets of their own. From the moment I first met Misty and Mochi I knew they were to be my kittens but nonetheless, I have spent an inordinate amount of time defending my decision to adopt home bred kittens.
It is almost like telling a married couple they should adopt an orphan from Africa rather than have children of their own, since there exist children in this world who need a home. Owning a pet is an important decision because they become both your dependent and closest companion for at least the next 10 years. I am living abroad in temporary accommodation and given my modest income, I needed to factor in the associated costs and implications of housing two cats and transporting them across countries. It was important for me to find a couple of kittens that didn’t have any psychological or underlying health issues and which I felt a good bond with.
Having a pet in Singapore is not cheap. I had the following up front costs when I adopted Misty & Mochi:
- Cat carrier bag $34
- Scratching post $200
- Training guide and clicker $27
- Tinned food $1.30 per can
- Chicken biscuits $60 per bag
- Kitten snacks $4.50 per pack
- Kitten milk $3.20
- Kitty litter tray with scoop $20
- 10 kg bag kitty litter $11
- Ceramic food bowls $30
- Steel water bowl $10
- Kitten socks $10
- Walking leash $20
- Cat brush $10
In addition to the above there are vaccination, sterilisation and veterinary bills as well as cat grooming and cat sitting services to consider. The cost of quarantine for relocating pets to Australia starts at approximately $4,000 per cat. Pet relocation costs are lesser for the UK, USA and most other Asian countries, but higher for New Zealand.
When I was looking for my two kittens I visited several adoption drives and browsed adverts on the Cat Welfare Society website. Many of the stray cats in Singapore have tabby, black or ginger fur with skinny faces and kinked tails. Members of the community will feed and care for the cat if it lives near a HDB block of flats, and if the cats ear is cut it means that it has been sterilised. I could not find any stray kitten siblings without problems or which I felt connected with, however I did not want to support unorthodox kitty mills that treat the cats poorly.
I broadened my search to include selected home breeders. Cats that are home bred by responsible owners are less likely to have health problems. They can spend sufficient time nursing with their mother and grow strong in a stress free and safe environment. This was the most important factor for me when deciding to adopt Misty and Mochi. I first saw their picture on a Singapore Facebook Group and arranged to have a home visit. Misty and Mochi were even more cute in real life than their photos! But more importantly, it was clear they were from a loving home. Misty and Mochi came across as well adjusted and playful kittens, which was in stark contrast to some of the poorly treated kittens I had visited earlier that would shake in fear every time a human came near. Their breeder was knowledgeable about cats and on subsequent home visits I got to meet their mother, aunty and cousin as well as learn more about their biological father.
I paid $2,000 per kitten to adopt Misty and Mochi and it was worth every penny. Most home breeders charge between $1,500 and $3,000 per kitten in Singapore, which typically includes one veterinary checkup and round of vaccinations. Although Misty and Mochi are not thoroughbreds, they have a good pedigree as their father was handpicked as a suitable match for their mother to breed with.
The kittens upbringing and pedigree came out true when I took them home with me for the first time this weekend. When they arrived, they were not afraid and did not hide under the couch. The kittens were very excited and spent hours bounding from room to room and exploring every nook and cranny!
If I owned my home and was settled in a country with permanent residency, I would love to adopt as many cats in need as I could possibly manage. However that is not the case. So please, welcome Misty and Mochi to the Bossy Flossie household and do not hold it against them that they are not rescue cats.