An Adoption Controversy – Shelter vs Breeder

DORI: Welcome evfurrybuddy to our fourth episode of Kick the Litter, a brand-new feature here on It’s a Wonderpurr Life where members of the Wonderpurr Gang, comprised of cats from varying backgrounds, generations, and breeds, gather each week to mix humor with intelligent debate over Hot Topics that pertain to not only us, but to cats in general all over the world. 

I’m yoor host, Dori, and I will be today’s meowderator for today’s Hot Topic.

Adopting a Purebred Over a Shelter Kitty

DORI: Today’s Hot Topic really set fire under our tails, and not because it’s unseasonably warm here in FloryDa. Out of 100+ rescues our momma has only once adopted a purebred from a breeder. (Looks at Rabbit with disapproval).

: What? It’s not my fault I’m a pricey pussycat. I didn’t ask to be born. Joining me in this severely one-sided debate is my big brofur Herman who is a mystery mix of Turkish Van and probably some kind of Purina breed.

: You might be thinking Persian. There is no such thing as a Purina breed. However, I’m part Van and part Turkish Angora. Mom says I represent the BEST of both breeds.

RABBIT: I’ve also asked Candy, a pretty calico, to join me on my side of this debate. While calicos are not technically purebreds, I’m pretty sure from her appearance she would be high on the list of cat owners who want a showpiece.

CANDY: Thank you, Rabbit. Right up until this very moment I harbored ill-thoughts of you. Purrhaps I was mistaken.

DORI: Or easily seduced by a handsome face. *coughs Floozy into paw*  To represent the Shelter Kitty side of this debate I’ve asked Fwank, Jesse and Gidget to join this panel.

FRANK: You promised lunch would be served. I don’t see no lunch.

DORI: You can eat lunch after our panel discussion.

FRANK: Shudda known there would be some kind of loophole.

: Was I invited to participate because I’m black? I don’t mean to make this a race issue, but because black cats are the last to be adopted from shelters, I think we should forget about discussing purebred adoptions and thoroughly explore human psychotic behaviors when it comes to the color or our furs.

JESSE: Ah think dat will be a Hot Topic for anudder time, honey. Today we represent shelter cats, even though neither of us ever set foot inna shelter.

FRANK: Me neither. Never set foot in any kind of shelter. Can I go now? *moves to leave*

DORI: No! None of us are technically shelter cats since we came from neighborhood colonies, but most humans adopt from shelters or buy their cats from breeders. They weren't as lucky as our mom to have us literally drop into her lap. Now sit down or I will throw a hissy-fit.

HERMAN: Let’s explore why some humans want to adopt from a reputable breeder. They could be concerned about taking a chance on an unknown health risk, like last week’s Hot Topic of adopting an  FIV-positive kitty. Also, purebred kittens are supposed to be better behaved. Kittens have a two to fourteen weeks-of-age socialization window where they need to be handled to ensure they will be comfortable with human interaction.

*Everyone turns to look at Rabbit who, instead of paying attention, is casually licking his foot.*

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HERMAN: You were adopted at fourteen weeks, right? Last one to be adopted out of your litter?

RABBIT: What’s your point?

HERMAN: You behave like you’ve never been socialized in your life. Auntie Carolyn was here for a week and for the first two days you acted like she was here to steal your soul.

RABBIT: How was I to know she wasn’t? I’m easily tempted to indulge my dark side.

CANDY: Why again am I here? I’m not a purebred or a shelter kitty.

HERMAN: Did you know the Calico cat is thought to bring good luck and fortune to the homes and families that adopt them? They are also considered to be a little magical because of their three colors. In the 1870s, Calico cats were named the official symbol of fortune in Japan.

CANDY: Okay I’ll stay, if only to bring you all magical good fortune. *pulls out a bag of Friskies cheezy treats and pops a few into her mouth*

DORI: Aren’t yoo going to share?

CANDY: I recall a rude remark you made about my bottom on our very first show. You aren’t getting a single treat, Miz Cattywampus.

DORI: I don’t recall saying anything about yoor bottom!

CANDY: *to director* Playback please.

RABBIT: l can’t help it if people are entertained by my irascible, fun-loving nature, and social media is willing to pay me for it. In fact, people are putting in orders for my book, Diary of an AssRabbit, and it’s not even finished yet.

CANDY: Your book? You’re going to publish details of your wicked behavior and make money off sales? *jerks off microphone* I feel a hissy fit coming on. And I’m hungry. I’m done with this ridiculous discussion. I’m going to go raid the treat jar. *leaves in a huff*

DORI: *shakes head* Cod help her, with her apple-round bottom, she doesn’t need another calorie.

CANDY: *offers Rabbit, Jesse and Herman treats from her bag*

DORI: Can we just continue with this discussion? Wabbit, give me three good reasons why someone should adopt from a breeder.

RABBIT: *leans back, chewing thoughtfully* Well, like I was first saying, kittens that are responsibly socialized from birth will be easy to handle and live with—”

JESSE: Dude, that ship pretty much sailed from our purrspective. No offense, but you are da poster child for reasons to Adopt Not Shop. Now, if Herms was a purebred Ah’d have to go with your line of reasoning. He’s a great example for buying from a breeder.

HERMAN: Except I’m not a purebred. However, since I’m on this side of the discussion panel, another reason to choose a purebred is genetic health conditions. Certain breeds are often at risk for genetic conditions such as heart problems. Most diseases are passed from parent to kitten.

DORI: Like my momma passed feline herpes to me, and because it’s easily transferred, now evfurrybuddy in my family has it.

HERMAN: Exactly. Many breeders will have their cats evaluated and tested for disease and ultimately “certified” by a veterinary specialist to be disease-free. By adopting from a reputable breeder your kitten is – or should be free from any common genetic problems.

GIDGET: What happens if a breeder has a kitten that has a genetic problem?

HERMAN: Uhhhh. Better left for another Hot Topic conversation. Rabbit, what else can you add about buying from a breeder?

RABBIT: You get full disclosure about the kitten’s family history if you buy from a breeder. For example, how long the cats have lived and what they have died from. This may be important for monitoring your pet as he gets older.

DORI: All good points, that’s true. Now, Jesse and Gidget and… Fwank? FWANK? Somebuddy wake up Fwank.

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JESSE: *reaches over Gidget to pinch Frank’s ear.*

FRANK: What? I’m listening. Is lunch here yet?

DORI: Fwank, please give me a reason to adopt from a shelter.

FRANK: Look, sweetie. I ain’t never been to no shelter. I was born on the hard streets of Southaven, Mississippi. I was scrounging for food from the moment of birth. I never had a nice bed, or toys, clean water or a decent meal until I was four years old and our mom took a huge chance on adopting me. Especially after I tried to attack her.

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Frank sleeps beside his first real bed, exhausted from the effort it took to finally get a Forever Home. It took a few nights before he realized he could be comfortable lying on the bed.

JESSE: Ah remempurr that. You were trying to kill dat sickly orange cat, Joshua, and Mom used a broom to sweep you back. You were getting madder and madder, until you turned on her. You tried to get around da broom to attack her.

HERMAN: I watched from the window. She kept sweeping you back until finally, you shuddered and collapsed in defeat. Then she invited you up to the house for lunch.

FRANK: *heavy sigh* I could really go for some lunch right now.

CANDY: *offers Frank her bag of treats*

DORI: If yoo had attacked anyone other than our momma, yoo would have been picked up by the police and put in kitty jail. And… probably worse.

FRANK: My hips weren’t in good shape back then. Still aren’t, but they’re better now. The veterinarian told Mom I probably got kicked by someone. I was in pain. No excuse for behaving badly, but that was nine years ago. I’m not the same cat.

copyright KimberleyKoz

When Kim's chiropractor suggested sleeping with a pillow between her knees due to hip problems from sitting at desk for years writing blogs and novels, she figured Frank would also benefit from a pillow.

JESSE: Ah was borned until da neighbor lady’s deck. Ma birth momma, Peaches, did her best to give me and Jack and our littermates a protected place to spend our first weeks of life. But then da lady gave away all but me and Jack and kicked us out. Sealed up the hole under the deck, so we had nowhere to live. Thank Cod momma Peaches knew about da lady next door who gave us food and shelter. We cudda ended up in a shelter if dat deck lady had called the ASPCA. But she didn’t. Just kicked us out.

copyright KimberleyKoz - Jesse

Jesse's first visit to the vet was a little overwhelming for him. He played with Mom's phone
 and took his first selfie.

GIDGET: I don’t remember where I came from. I just remember following you to the yard where you lived.

DORI: Wait. What? Jesse brought you to our momma?


JESSE: Ah thought Ah recognized you! It’s been so long. Ah’ve been a garage cat all these years while you were taken indoors after being rescued.

copyright KimberleyKoz

Gidget spent a couple days in the porch tent before going to the vet.

GIDGET: The vet lady told Momma she was afraid I’d get picked up by a hawk or owl because I was so tiny. Momma immediately made me an indoor kitty. But before I met Jesse, I have vague memories of hiding in the woods, eating whatever I could find. I have no memory of my littermates or birth mommy. Just of Jesse, looking so big and handsome with the sunlight shining on his black furs. He said nothing, just gave me a look of reassurance and started walking toward his home. I followed and the rest is history.

HERMAN: That’s a beautiful rescue story, Gidget. What about you, Candy?

CANDY: Like Gidget, I don’t recall much of my littermates or birth momma. I was a dirty, skinny little girl trying to survive in a colony of cats being fed by a nice lady at the office park by the dumpster. One day a big black mancat named Noah showed up. He didn’t look starved or dirty like the rest of us. I shared my lunchmeat with him, even though I was starving. And when he was done eating, he whispered for me to follow him because he knew of a better place for me to live. I remember it was quite a long walk, but when we arrived he took me to the porch and introduced me to the lady who became my human momma. Sadly, Noah was sick and didn’t live much longer. He looked so healthy and yet he was terribly sick with diseases that were incurable.

copyright KimberleyKoz for
Candy 2015 looking for a Forever Home.

DORI: That’s a sad story.

CANDY: You know, Dori, I did starve for a long time before I got adopted. Maybe that’s why I overeat today. Something inside me still fears I will go hungry again, just like I did for the first eighteen months of my life. Please think about that before making rude comments about my apple-round bottom.

DORI: I’m sorry! I like to overeat too, and if it wasn’t for Wabbit chasing me around the house, I would have an apple bottom too.

HERMAN: I think everyone knows my story, but I’ll repeat it for this panel. I am clearly not a purebred, but I was a cute lil kid and I’m pretty sure I was adopted by a trucker, but somehow jumped out of the truck and ran. Years later while traveling with Mom and Dad I would get excited when they pulled into a truck stop for gas. I loved looking at the big trucks with their lights and I would sniff the gas-filled air. But that’s speculation. I showed up in Kentucky during a winter storm, covered in tree sap. Clearly, I’d been on the road for a long time. My chin was stuck to my chest, and I could hardly move my arms and legs, my fur was so hard, like a turtle shell. The vet had to shave me naked to free me from my ruined fur. I was small and shy back then. I remember Mom’s other cats – Buddy and Holly – looking at me from the other end of the couch. I didn’t know how to make friends, because I’d never had any friends. But they were nice and made me a part of the family right away. I’m not a purebred, but my looks are the reason why I probably got adopted by whoever it was that I lived with before I showed up on that Kentucky hilltop during a snowstorm.

copyright Kimberley Koz for
Being naked in winter looks pretty good when you have a comfortapurr pink bed.

RABBIT: *pats Herman’s back* Did any of you ever wonder why I don’t act like I’m some snooty purebred with a fancy name on my TICA certificate? *hangs head* Here’s something I’ve never confessed to anyone. Only Mom knows. When Mom saw my photo on Facebook, she said she fell in love immediately. Yah, I was adorable. 

copyright Kimberley Koz
The photo that got Rabbit adopted.

RABBIT: When she contacted the breeder in Michigan, she was told I was the last one out of the litter to not be adopted. She wanted me gone right away, but Mom couldn’t arrive until after Thanksgiving. The day she picked me up I was exactly 3 months old. Mom was told she had to get me neutered right away, and had to sign a paper saying I would not ever be bred. She told Mom I wasn’t… *chokes* show cat material.

HERMAN: *pats Rabbit on back* Any idea why?

RABBIT: Probably because I didn’t like to be held or was a little too rambunctious. Maybe the notorious Turkish Van Thumbprint of God on my back was off kilter. Or maybe because I have a second thumbprint on my one ear like God had reached out to grab hold of me. Maybe my markings weren’t perfect, or my personality was too crazy. For whatever reason, I was the last to be adopted. Despite having a cute face, I’m thinking anyone who met me in person didn’t want me. You know Mom never got to meet my birth mother. I was handed off in a McDonald’s parking lot. One minute I was howling in the backseat of my breeder’s car. The next I was howling in a new cat tent in the rear of a strange mini-van. I was scared. And yah, I was crazy. But no one had ever taught me how to behave.

DORI: Oh Wabbit. *gets up to throw her arms around him* We love yoo just the way yoo are.

RABBIT: *wipes tears* Really? You love me, Dori? Even after all the times I’ve hunted you, and jumped on your back to put the bitey on your neck?

DORI: *hugs him tighter* All is forgiven, Wabbit.

RABBIT: *hugs her back* I’m so happy to hear you say that, Dori. *rubs his face into her neck and opens his mouth.*

FRANK: Annnnd we’re outta time. *hauls Rabbit out of Dori’s arms to hustle him from the room*

HERMAN: Thank you everyone for joining us for this week’s Kick the Litter program.

DORI: What happened? What did I miss?

GIDGET: You are so clueless.

CANDY: Once an AssRabbit, always an AssRabbit.

JESSE: If you are on the fence about whether to adopt from a shelter or from a breeder, please visit these links that may help you answer your questions.

Fifteen QuestionsYou Should Ask Cat Breeders

Take It From a Vet: Don’t Buy a Purebred Cat

CANDY: Let us know in the comments your opinions or experience with adopting from either a shelter or from a breeder.

HERMAN: To everyone joining us today, thank you for your time. If you’ve enjoyed today’s show, I invite you to share it with those who may also enjoy our panel discussions. And please consider adding your email to our list – located on the sidebar – so you don’t miss next week’s Hot Topic: Adopting a Senior Cat.

JESSE: Looks like you’ll be joining us again next week.

HERMAN: Me, ChauncieMarie, Frank, Opie, Peaches…you…

JESSE: *heavy sighs* It took me forever to become an indoor cat, but Ah’m here now and Life is Wonderpurr!

DORI: Thank yoo evfurrybuddy for joining us today. We are excited to finally get our collective acts together to join Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop. Squee! 


  1. Dori, another terrific show. I, Precious, was adopted from the orphanage when I was about 11 months or older. I was skinny and scared. I was starved and no one there knew if my first home, who did actually name me Precious, were good to me. I have a crooked left hind leg that came from some kind of accident. Being mostly Blue Russian with my grey onesie, I am a one hooman cat, Lynn's. I only let the man here rub my belly and my ears at breakfast, so he will feel good enough to eat his breakfast. Me, I always feel good enough to eat, and have an apple bottom too. Like Candy, I need to make up for the unknown even 10 years later. Lynn had 2 Maine Coons, registered, but all cats before have been us "left over-give aways".

    1. Yoo would've been adopted by my mom. I'm so sad yoo started yoor life off getting hurt and scared and hungry. I'm so glad yoor meowmy rescued yoo. Love, Dori

  2. Thank yoo for taking the time to read our family blog. We know there are so many great blogs to read and are Thankful that yoo visit us. Love, Dori and Mom Kim and the Wonderpurr Gang

  3. We all need to be loved ~ great post ~

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  4. I have never had any cats from a breeder or a shelter, they all seemed to find us. The most we had at the same time was when my MIL's 10 cats moved in with us and our 1 cat. They already all knew each other so there were no problems apart from when we tried to get into bed at night. We got Eric and Flynn from a nearby farm when they were 5 1/2 weeks old because a tom cat was stalking and killing the kittens there.

    1. Oh gosh, I'm so relieved yoo rescued Eric and Flynn. Momma has always lived where stray cats find her. She says if God puts an animal in need before her, she will help it to the best of her ability. Dogs. Birds. Insects. Raccoons. All will be rescued.

  5. i wuz homeless, found with a sisfur when i wuz rescued an now i haz a mum who luvs me eben tho i haz attitoodz.

    1. Oh Gidget, I bet yoor attitoodz would fit in wonderpurrly with our gang. I have the toodz too. Especially when it comes to sharing my meowmy.

  6. Calico cats may be a highly desired type of cat (I have sought them out three different times myself, but in all three cases they were in rescues.) but you can't really get them from a breeder - because there is no way to guarantee the offspring will be calicos. And since they are usually female (and often any calico males are infertile) you can't breed true as you might with two Persians or two Siamese. In fact, early on in the cloning of cats, a calico was cloned and the resultiing kitten was not calico. Sorry Candy - I love calicos dearly but I have to argue against Rarrebit on this !

    1. Squeee! Yoo called him Rarrebit. I LOVE THIS! Candy says she appreciates yoor input on her being a Calico and says she is happy to be special without any guarantees. Love, Dori

  7. Really enjoyed reading this and learning more about all of you.

  8. That was a wonderful discussion everyone! We are in the adopt don't shop camp here but we don't get upset with someone buying from a breeder, at least a kitty gets a home! Thanks for joining our Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

    1. We agree. Even a purebred deserves a good home.

  9. Awww adopting a shelter cat is heads and shoulders above getting a cat from a breeder. Shelter cats need adoption and they will show you so much love, Hugs to all!

    1. Absolutely, Miz Kathe. It would truly be a wonderpurr world if there were no need for shelters because everyone got adopted.

  10. Nice to learn more about you all. but I am sorry many had a rough start. I am glad you have such a loving home now. Most of my kitties just showed up in our yard- we have a barn so people tend to drop them off. I also have 4 I planned to TNR, but didn't do that R part, I kept them. XO

    1. When Daddy sees Mom rescuing another cat, he always asks "Is this the last one?" Pffft! As long as there is breath in her body Mom will rescue.

  11. Gidget you would have been the first to be adopted here in Japan as they consider you as lucky!

    1. Gidget is applying for her pussport. She's downloading Japanese onto her pawPhone and moving this weekend. Squee! She's a pain in my patootie.

  12. I did not come from a breeder or a shelter. I was abandoned and ran into a lady's yard looking for food. I was starving and had patches of fur missing. The lady's sister saw me and said "ohoooo! a black cat!" then she took me home and I have been enjoying a great life ever since :)
    Purrs, Julie

    1. Dear Mickey, yoor story is so like our stories. I have two black sisfurs and a black brofur and my daddy is black. We love black kitties at my house. So very happy yoo were rescued. Love, Dori

  13. You’re pawsome Rabbit but we vote shelter cats all the way. Love Ya, Foxy and Fendi

    1. We think yoo are all pretty pawsome too, even if yoo are friends with Wabbit. *shakes head with despair.*

  14. I came from a shelter. I think shelter cats rock!! ~Ernie

  15. It's a worthwhile and interesting discussion but one that too often gets too fractious. For years, I had only Abyssinian cats but quite a few of them were rejects from the breeder who would never have found a home otherwise. I loved the look and the character of the breed. Now I have just one Aby left (a toe missing on one front paw and atrophied toes on her other front paw) and my other two are not from shelters but were "accidents" and it was me or being drowned in a bucket. Benny arrived with terrible problems in his ears that costs more than the price of a purebred cat to fix. Momo's father is unknown but suspected of being a Turkish Angora as that is what he looks and feels like.

    1. I'm sad to hear yoo have such problems. Sending love to all.

  16. *** eating popcorn without looking away from the action ... err ... debate ***


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