Choosing a new kitten may not sound like a difficult task, but there are a number of important things to consider before purchasing one . If you have never owned a cat before, for example, you you may want to read up on different breeds of cat and their characteristics ; basic daily kitten care ; cat grooming requirements and techniques ; kitten vaccination recommendations and more. Do you want a kitten for a pet? To show and possibly breed? A long haired or short haired kitten? Mixed breed domestic kitten or purebred glamor puss? It’s a good idea to figure these things out and do your homework before you venture out to choose your favorite furry friend.
If you decide on a pedigree kitten, you will obviously need to find local cat breeders that sell your kitten breed of choice . If, on the other paw , you opt for a mixed breed, your local ASPCA, animal shelter or cat rescue is your best destination to find kittens for adoption.
There are pros and cons to owning either type of cat, but with pedigrees you will at least have a good idea of the cat’s eventual size and temperament. Either way, cat ownership has many rewards, so you really can’t go wrong in inviting a feline friend to share your home. If you are going to be out at work all day, you may want to consider getting two kittens at the same time so that they can keep each other company while you are away.
Take your time choosing your cat or kitten when you visit the shelter or breeder. Kittens are generally very active, inquisitive, playful, and friendly, but not all kittens are comfortable around people. You should then try to interact a little with the kitten to see how it reacts towards you. Be watchful for any signs of shyness, aggression (scratching and biting), or ill-health, such as lethargy, eye and nose discharge or signs of diarrhea on the kitty’s rear end. If you are viewing several kittens at the same time, it is best to opt for the friendliest one, rather than the one that has the most appealing color.
Signs of a Healthy Cat or Kitten
A healthy kitten should possess the following qualities:
· A glossy coat – bare patches, or dry, flaky skin could signal an infection, or parasite infestation.
· Bright and shiny eyes – excessive tearing and any discharge could indicate infection .
· Clean ears – a tar-like discharge could be a sign of ear-mite infestation, and a pus-like discharge could mean that the cat has a bacterial or yeast infection. (Although these problems are fairly easy to treat and cure).
· A cool and damp nose – sneezing or nasal discharge could be signs of a respiratory infection, distemper, or worse.
· An alert manner – a listless cat or kitten could be suffering from a serious illness, and it is possible that it could eventually spread to the other kittens in the litter.
· Pale pink mouth and gums – no ulcers or sores should be present.
· Clean rear end – any staining or cling ons on the fur in this area could indicate diarrhea .
Be sure to ask about the health history of the cat or kitten you intend to adopt. You want to know about any tests, vaccinations, deworming that the kitten may have had, and, if an adult cat, whether the cat has been spayed or neutered. Finally, be sure to get your new cat or kitten thoroughly checked by your veterinarian soon after you bring it home (and before you bring it home if there are other cats in your home.)
When you are ready to bring your new cat or kitten home, make sure that you have all the necessary equipment in place At the bare minimum, you’ll need a litter tray and a supply of kitty litter , some dry cat food, a few tins of wet cat food, a brush and some cat nail clippers. If you want to really put on the dog for your cat, you can provide a comfy cat bed, a scratching post, a supply of catnip, some unique kitten toys, a collar, and more. You should also keep your kitten indoors for a while too, until it has had any necessary vaccinations and got used to its new surroundings. If you already have any other cats at home, and your kitten’s past is not known, you may also need to keep your kitten isolated until any necessary tests have been carried out on it – otherwise it could spread a disease to your other cat/cats.
Before long you will find that your new kitten begins to bond with you and comes to you when you call its name. Kittens are great fun to play with too, and they make the perfect lifelong companion for people of all ages.