We often have people say to us that they cannot afford to have their female cats neutered, and yet to look after the mother cat and her kittens properly take much more money.
Kittens need a special form of kitten milk and kitten food when they're beginning to wean from their mother's milk and this is very expensive. The mother cat and kittens need regular worming which needs to be done only through vet prescribed products - another expense.
If you ever decide to get a kittens from a friend/neighbour/pet shop/free ad, make sure to ask if the kittens have been properly weaned with kitten food, as most will have only had the cheapest of adult food. You may feel sorry for the kitten, but you must be prepared to pay for any vet bills as it may be prone to illness through lack of proper care.
Some people actually encourage their females to have litter after litter to sell the kittens for cash. Most people who live in rented property would be breaking their tenancy agreement and people on benefits can get into a lot of trouble for not declaring extra income.
The only way that someone can make a profit on a kitten in to economise on the essentials!
A large litter will need a full box of kitten food pouches per day, the mother will be eating twice as much as normal and needs high quality food and biscuits to support the whole family. This is on average around £9 per week.
The kittens should have been vet checked for heart murmurs (or anything else which may end up costing vet bills later in life) and they should have been wormed 3 or 4 times prior to being re-homed which, costs around the same as having the mother cat spayed!
Once kittens born with us reach 8 weeks old, you would only have to compare them to kittens who have been brought up in household which haven't bothered with the above. Very often people will ring us to get us to take the kittens as they haven't been able to find homes for them as they look so scrawny or they've been turned away from a pet shop because they wouldn't sell.
The lucky ones end up in rescues, the unlucky in the canal or taped up in a box. Thankfully if we get there in time, we can usually undo the harm done, by doing what should have been done, but it all costs money! If we take kittens in we always insist that the mother cat is spayed - such a simple solution!
There are far too many kittens being born and to care for them in expensive and sadly, all too easily to get wrong!