Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > How to Spot Online Kitten Scams (8 Signs to Look For)

How to Spot Online Kitten Scams (8 Signs to Look For)

white and gray kitten on couch

If you’re looking to adopt a new feline companion, be sure to watch out for the signs of an online kitten scam. It’s easy to fall in love with a cute photo, but it’s important not to let your heart rule your head when it comes to weeding out potential scams.

Scammers have infiltrated virtually every corner of the internet, including the virtual pet adoption market. But all hope is not lost. We’re here to help you prevent becoming a victim of an online kitten scam. Read on for eight signs to look out for!


The 8 Signs of an Online Kitten Scam

1. Unprofessional Communication

If a seller insists on communicating via text or email but is sending messages that are riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes, that’s a red flag.

Scammers aren’t known for their attention to detail, and you can use this to your advantage by watching out for sloppy communication. Look for signs that the seller may be in a rush when responding or sending messages or if they don’t answer your questions in an appropriate manner.

Moreover, be aware of any seller who uses a casual or overly-personal tone in their messages—this could be an indicator that the seller is not associated with a reputable organization.

If you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask for references or proof that the seller is a legitimate pet adoption center. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

connecting to online community
Image By: Pixabay

2. Poor Quality Photos

We all know a good photo when we see one but be wary of any seller who is sending photos that look as though they were taken on a potato. If the kitten in the photo doesn’t look real, it could be a sign that you’re dealing with a scammer.

Be sure to ask for additional photos if the ones you’ve been sent are of low quality. A legitimate seller will be happy to provide more images or even a video chat so you can get a better look at your potential new pet.

3. Unusually Low Price

It’s normal to expect some variation in pet adoption fees, but if the fee seems too good to be true, it probably is. Unusually low prices are often an indication that the pet is stolen, or in some cases, not even there.

You could be bidding on a non-existent kitten, so it’s important to keep your eyes and ears open to anything that doesn’t feel right. It’s true that some scammers are very good at pulling the proverbial wool over consumers’ eyes. But in most cases, they’re wholly unprofessional and sloppy. Use this to your advantage!

kitten chewing finger
Image By: XINN, Shutterstock

4. Unfamiliar Payment Methods

By now, most consumers know which payment methods to look out for, such as prepaid cards or wiring money. Unfortunately, scammers often try to take advantage of individuals who are new to the pet adoption process by offering unfamiliar payment options.

Be sure to protect yourself by only using reputable payment methods like PayPal or Apple Pay when making your purchase. It’s also important to keep in mind that if a seller is pushing for an unusual payment method, it’s likely that there’s something fishy going on.

5. No Return Policy

Legitimate pet adoption centers will always offer some kind of return policy or guarantee to ensure the safety and well-being of the pets they sell. If a seller doesn’t have one, this could be a sign that you’re dealing with an unscrupulous individual.

Make it a point to ask about their return policy before making any purchase, and make sure it’s in writing. This will give you the assurance that if something does go wrong, you can get your money back without too much fuss.

online consultation
Image By: Tima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

6. Unverifiable Contact Information

Do some research before you make a purchase. If the seller refuses to provide verifiable contact information, that’s a huge red flag. It should be easy for you to find their address, phone number, and even reviews from other customers.

If the seller isn’t willing to give you this information or insists that everything is done through email or text, then you should probably look elsewhere. It’s important to protect yourself and make sure that you’re dealing with a legitimate seller before sending any money or agreeing to anything.

7. Be Wary of Words Like “Free” or “Near You”

When it comes to pet adoption, be wary of any seller who uses words like “free,” “near you,” or even just “kitten.” These are often used as bait to lure unsuspecting buyers into a scam.

In most cases, the kitten isn’t actually free and may not even exist. Additionally, if the seller is claiming that the kitten is “near you,” it’s important to ask for proof before agreeing to anything.

charcoal bengal cat kitten
Image By: Angela Kotsell, Shutterstock

8. Pay Close Attention to the Seller’s Facebook URL

Numerous Facebook pages have popped up recently that claim to specialize in breed-specific catteries. Be sure to pay close attention to the seller’s Facebook URL, as many of these are fake pages set up by scammers.

It’s also important to take a look at the page itself and make sure that it looks legitimate before trusting any information given on it. If you notice anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to ask questions—chances are, the seller won’t have an answer.



By now, you should have a better understanding of how to spot a kitten scam online. Remember to always be vigilant and do your research before making any purchases or agreeing to anything that doesn’t feel right. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding your purr-fect furry friend without getting scammed. Good luck!

Featured Image Credit: Tran Mau Tri Tam, Unsplash

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets