People should never buy pets as gifts for loved ones as they may not want the responsibility of buying pet food and caring for the animal.
Gosport Cats Protection gave this advice after a woman contacted them as she had been given a cat for Christmas that she did not know how to look after, reports portsmouth.co.uk.
The charity said she was right to contact them and they advised her on vaccinations and other costs such as cat food.
However, Chris Scott-Reid, branch co-ordinator, told the news provider: "My message to anyone thinking about buying a pet as a present would be not to do it.
"If you're going to give a cat as a present I would talk to the person first. We have had people ring up to say they were given a cat as a present but they don’t want it."
Cats Protection was founded in 1927 and is the oldest and largest feline welfare charity in the UK. It helps over 140,000 cats every year.