|Rescue kittens - Photo by Roy Montgomery|
This is because the purchase price of the kitten or the adoption fee price at a shelter or rescue center is a tiny fraction of the cost over the lifetime of the kitten. And that excludes your unpaid time. A lot of cat maintenance is not necessarily fun; cleaning the litter daily, buying cat food, buying litter, taking your cat to the veterinarian etc.
Let's say the purchase price is $100 or the sterling (GPD) equivalent. The cost of maintaining the cat over his or her lifetime may be over $10,000 and more. The purchase price or adoption fee price will therefore be 1% of the total cost of buying and caring for a cat.
I think that conclusively undermines the idea that you can get your hands of kittens for cheap prices.
It is the same as buying a car. These days (2011) people pay a lot of attention to the running costs of cars. What is the miles per gallon? How reliable is it? It is uppermost in the mind other than the appearance and performance of the car. Yet almost no one thinks about the "running costs" of maintaining a cat in good health and contentment. You should. Note: a cat is a living, sentient creature not a car!
Two last points. (1) People looking for cheap kittens encourages breeding of kittens by back street breeders, doesn't it? We don't need back street, cowboy breeders neither do we need to encourage careless people breed their unneutered cats because we have more than enough cats on the planet already to supply people who are looking for kittens for cheap prices! (2) the travel costs to collect the kitten must be factored in.