If you are asking yourself this, then rescue a cat or kitten from a registered charity!
There are hundreds, if not thousands of unwanted cats in the UK, so do the right thing and rescue! Remember to check the credentials and registration of the rescue as sadly there are many scammers and fraudsters claiming to sell rescue animals, which have in fact been purpose bred in really poor and cruel conditions for profit!
A rescued cat can give you years of love!
Some recognised rescue organisations:
If a rescued cat is not for you then do lots of research and decide on the breed you want. Not all breeds are the same!
Only ever buy from a fully registered Breeder. GCCF, TICA or FiFE.
GCCF is a UK organisation.
Always research the temperament of a breed, not just it's look. Check the health of that breed. Check for known and genetically linked health conditions.
Once you've chosen a breed start looking for 'breed clubs'. Breeders are typically members of GCCF affiliated breed clubs. For example, The British Ragdoll Cat Club (TBRCC) is a GCCF affiliated club. A club founded and run by Ragdoll breeders and enthusiasts. Breeder members sign up to the club's code of conduct/ethics.
Whatever you decide it's a personal choice. Choosing to buy doesn't make you a bad person and choosing to rescue makes you no better a person.
It's about what you're looking for and what suits your circumstances. Some people buy a kitten because they don't meet rescue criteria and don't want to wait for a suitable animal; whereas some people rescue because it's more of an affordable UP FRONT cost.
Whatever you decide, buy or rescue, ensure that the animal is from an ethical source.
ONLY Rescue from a registered charity or known small rescue.
ONLY Buy from a registered and ethical breeder.
A GCCF registered breeder will have a unique 'prefix', eg. MokeyBlue.
A GCCF registered breeder will register their kittens and sell them with their registration certificate.
NEVER EVER be tempted to buy an animal because you are rescuing it from a bad situation or bad breeder. Buying an animal in those circumstances not only can be costly for you in vets bills, but more importantly will encourage and further fund the breeding of many more animals in poor and cruel conditions. If you accidentally stumble across a bad breeder then the best thing you could ever do is walk away and report them. Report them to the RSPCA, local council and if they are registered, report them to the registry (GCCF, TICA, etc)
There are considerations to make for both rescued or bought animals.
ALWAYS be truthful when speaking with a rescue or breeder. Not all rescue animals are suited to working families. Not all rescue animals can live with children or other pets. Many rescue animals come from circumstances which have given them a bad experience, so a cat which was perhaps attacked by a dog would obviously never be placed with a family with a dog. Not all GCCF kittens are suited to living as an only cat. Some breeds need companionship. Some kittens are more outgoing than others. Some breeds have known health issues.
Kittens are much harder work than an adult cat. They are playful and love to run around, playfully climbing furniture and often curtains. They will knock everything over in their race track of play (your home!), like furry little hurricanes.
Adult cats will already have been trained (or not) and may have some habits which you would prefer they didn't.
The decision is yours but whatever you do ALWAYS check that you are either rescuing from a genuine rescue, or from a fully registered and ethical breeder.
Wherever you get your cat(s) or kitten(s) from enjoy, love and treasure them as part of your family.
Good luck with your research