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I think if people are looking for a general cat, they shouldn't look anywhere for one other than a shelter. If they are looking for a purebred, make sure you find a good breeder, not a kitten mill, or someone who has different kinds of cats & other animals they breed often, find someone who is ethical. There are purebred cat rescues if you are looking to rescue a purebred for those who are more peticular, but also wish to adopt as well.

http://www.purebredcatrescue.org
a Purebred breed hmm? I, personally, would go ask a friend if they know a shelter with purebred cats. or just go to an animal shelter get a cat, female, and let it have kittens.
Yes, of course, you can get purebreds from shelters. Lots of them. I am a volunteer with Siamese Recue and there are many Siamese and snowshoes there and are killed. The comment about getting a cat from a shelter and letting it have kittens is a very uneducated thing to say. There are too many kittens and they are being killed in shelters!!! Also, shelters always spay and neuter before release thankfully. I f you don't believe there are purebreds, go to facebook page "Siamese Angels" and you will see all the purebreds in shelters waiting to be euthanized esp in Los Angeles. Our org rescues as many as we can and then foster and adopt. Southern California Siamese Rescue
Yeah, you can, but it's a lot harder to get a purebred from a shelter because some might be purebred and just not have their papers, and who would just randomly give up a purebred cat to a shelter? Most people would sell it directly to some buyer. I think your best bet of getting a purebred cat would be to check all the local shelters often and also look in the news or on cat blogs/sites.
I picked up my russian white from a shelter by chance, didnt even know she was a relatively uncommon purebred until my vet told me.