Free Kittens Vs. SPCA/Rescue Kittens - Which is Better? - ⭐️Purr. Meow. Woof.⭐️

Free Kittens Vs. SPCA/Rescue Kittens - Which is Better?

4-5 minute read

We are cat lovers, and have three of our own. We got all of our cats as kittens, and two were free kittens and one was from the SPCA. We want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into by looking for a kitten by whichever means.

While it can be tempting during kitten season seeing all the available free kittens on social media, we outline whether is this really the best option overall. Free kittens have often been raised with a lot of handling from people, and can come very socialised and litter trained. SPCA/rescue kittens do get handled by people, but not at the level of a kitten who is raised in someone's home.  

We outline the options when it comes to free kittens verses the cost of adopting one from somewhere such as the SPCA/rescue or a pet shop, and tally up which is cheaper and better for peace of mind overall.

NOTE: We do not outline adopting from a breeder information, as this is entirely different - breeders quite often have specific requirements, and will often include similar to the SPCA/rescue including vaccinations, de-sexing, and microchipping before allowing their kittens for adoption.

Let's look over the  COST Free Kittens Well, it is in the name - they are free, or a minimal cost of often less than $40, and are advertised on places such as social media.

SPCA/Rescue Kittens

These kittens cost a flat fee on average of $250 (this may vary locally) from the SPCA, and from pet shops they range from $160 to $300



Well, according to their website, the SPCA kittens include the cost of a microchip insertion and registration, de-sexing, and vaccinations. It does not include the cost of deworming which ranges from $30 to $100.

Free kittens do not include any of these, however if they are a minimal cost say $40, this might include deworming, and any flea treatments completed. If we tally up the cost of microchipping and registering, de-sexing, and vaccinations this would be:

  • Vet consultation - $60
  • Microchipping - $40
  • Microchip registration - $30
  • De-sexing male - $90
  • De-sexing female - $125
  • Vaccinations - $60
  • De-worming - $30 to $100

This adds up to between $310 and $415 - considerably more than the cost an SPCA/rescue, or pet shop kitten.

NOTE: These are average costs of New Zealand veterinarian websites that we have looked at, and overcall cost may be different depending on where you go.



SPCA kittens have been given a clean bill of health from a veterinarian prior to being put up for adoption, and any that are not healthy enough are not put out into the adoption pool. This can give you some peace of mind, that the kitten you have adopted is healthy, and free from any health conditions that are known at the time, they will also let you know if there are any recognized at the time or any future issues they suspect.

Free kittens have not necessarily been given this rigorous check, and depending on where they come from can have an array of health conditions including Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD), fleas, tapeworm, feline aids and eye problems. These conditions can rack up a costly vet bill for treatment ranging from $200 to over $1000.


Overall the choice is up to you, but we have been there with the extra costs of a free kitten verses an adopted kitten from SPCA or a pet shop, and wanted to outline this for you so you don't get surprised down the track. When you do decide to add a furry edition to your home, we have collars, tags, and toys available to make the transition easier!

You can find out more info on adopting a kitten or cat from the SPCA

Thanks for reading the Free Kittens Vs. SPCA/Rescue Kittens - Which is Better? | ⭐️Purr. Meow. Woof.⭐️

Share your thoughts below if you've had similar experiences.

1 comment

I had always got my cats from the SPCA — until one time when none of the cats available showed any interest in coming home with me. I ended up with a cat from a pet shop who was not a rescue kitty. And I was amazed at her confidence. She greets strangers, leaps up on the shoulders of tradesmen, and rode out the waves of aftershocks like a surfer. I realised that all my other animals had been traumatised before coming to us, and that trauma stayed with them all their lives. Our last rescue cat died of a congenital heart defect at 2 years old. Might have happened to any kitten, but odds were that his mother did not have good nutrition and was either very young or had had several previous litters in quick succession. He had presumably passed a vet check at 8 weeks old, but still died of congestive heart failure at 30 weeks. Now we have a TradeMe kitten whose mother has been well fed and not overbred. He came well socialised and confident. He cost more than a rescue cat, with more to pay for vaccinations and desexing, but we think the odds of a long and happy life, with lower long-term health costs, are greater.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.