Choosing a Kitten

by catfood

You have choosing a kitten into your home and raise it till it is an adult.

Your promise might extend for the following 14 to 15 years or longer. Since this is a big task, you want to finish it successfully.


You can choose from a variety of places to purchase a kitten (click here for more information on where to purchase your cat or kitten), but once you’ve decided, you must choose just one person.

We tend to focus on appearances—a particular favored color or marking—most of the time. But much more will come to light depending on what you search for and what you ask about. You are curious about the kitten’s personality, desires, and general health.

What factors affect a kitten’s personality?

Think about all the different cats you have ever seen. Others have been nervous or afraid, brave, or even aggressive, while some have been more extroverted than others. Among the cats we encounter on a regular basis are house cats, neighborhood cats, and wild or stray cats. Those cats’ origins were influenced by their parents, their birthplace, how much handling they received as kittens, and their experiences as adults. These elements could all have a substantial effect.

The majority of us want pets, thus a cat that is content to hang out and interact with people could be considered one. On the other hand, the feral cat is a remarkable creature that, despite looking like a dog cat and belonging to the same species, can behave very differently—indeed, more like a cat of a wild species (more of this later).

Cats have a wide range of personalities. How fearless or confident a cat is as an adult depends on what occurs to it when it is a kitten. Many aspects of our cat’s potential “personality” have already been formed before we even get her. A cat’s ability to appreciate human company develops relatively early in infancy, between the ages of three and seven or eight weeks. The kitten’s mind is open to building relationships with other animals or people and learning how to deal with new experiences without being overcome by them at this period because it hasn’t yet learned to fear everything. Consider how fearless toddlers in humans can be; they’ll run off without a care in their mouths, taste everything, trip over themselves, and get back up again. However, as kids age, they start to worry and seek reinforcement anytime they behave.)


Inquire about any tests for inherited illnesses if the kitten is a pedigree (go here to check at individual breeds and what they could be tested for) (click here to look at individual breeds and what they could be tested for). The feline learns to avoid and dread objects that are foreign to it during the first few months of mental development, and this behavior afterwards appears to be fairly fixed going forward. As a result, a kitten that has never been handled by a person, met a dog, or encountered commonplace sounds like vacuum cleaners, doorbells, children laughing and yelling, etc., may intuitively perceive them as being very dangerous and respond appropriately. The cat could try to avoid any interaction with the items it finds unpleasant, running away or acting violently if it is pursued for a pet. This commonly occurs in kittens that are born to stray or feral cats and don’t meet people until later in life. People often cause a lot of stress when they try to foster or “tame” such cats, thinking they are being kind in the process. Because the neuronal connections weren’t created when the cat was young enough, its thoughts aren’t actually capable of responding. Cats do continue to learn when they turn eight weeks old, but if the foundational skills aren’t there, there might not be much to build on. Therefore, no amount of love from a parent is likely to have a significant impact on a fearful kitten’s likelihood of becoming a fearful cat.

The goal of this discussion on cat personalities is to assist new owners in better understanding how a cat’s potential personality may change as a result of being kept as a pet and spending a lot of time around people. The majority of cat owners desire a cat that enjoys spending time with them, their family, and their friends. If you choose a fearful cat out of sympathy and believe that being nice would make it feel better, you may have a protracted and unsatisfying relationship. The fact that you’re forcing the kitten to live in a setting with so many intimidating hurdles for it could potentially result in it growing up to be a very anxious adult. On the other hand, if you lead a very tranquil life and desire a cat that is not very demanding and will gradually get acclimated to you and won’t be disturbed by loud music, rowdy teens, banging doors, or lots of visitors, a somewhat less robust temperament may suit you. There are certain less people-oriented kittens who may grow into cats that will be very content to live this type of life if you merely want to respect it as a cat, enjoy its mousing activities, and feed and care for it at a distance it feels comfortable with.

With this knowledge, you can approach a rescue or rehoming organization, a breeder, or respond to an advertisement in a newspaper and ask questions to see whether the kitten has had the appropriate early experiences to fit in with your needs and lifestyle. When choosing a kitten, use your head as well as your heart. Choosing a kitten out of sympathy or a desire to save it from an unsanitary environment can lead to years of grief and unintentionally promote poor breeding practices (by rewarding the breeder because you have bought a kitten) (by rewarding the breeder because you have bought a kitten). Therefore, do some simple telephone inquiry about the litter before viewing. It could be best to explore elsewhere for another kitten if none of the responses to your inquiries satisfy you; this could also cut down on your trip time.

What inquiries should I make over the phone?

  1. What have the kittens gone through in their first eight weeks?

This stage of a kitten’s learning is sensitive, as was previously mentioned. The ideal situation is for kittens to have been raised in a home context (or to have moved into a home environment well inside the first 8 weeks of life) and be accustomed to all the elements of a human’s daily life, including people, sounds, scents, visitors, kids, and dogs. The worst case scenario is that because the kittens have been cut off from everything connected to everyday life, when they do encounter it in a new environment, it scares them and they never really adjust to it. This can occur in rehoming/rescue facilities if kittens are kept in a pen without being handled or exposed to daily life. Many effective rehoming/rescue organizations ensure their kittens are introduced to these things and are handled by different persons. This can also occur in the case of pedigree breeders when too many cats are being bred, frequently in outdoor enclosures, and each litter isn’t receiving the handling and exposure it requires to develop into good, confident pet cats.

It is also a risk for kittens born to wild or free-living cats, such as those that live on farms, where they are once more not exposed to people directly until it is too late.

  1. If the father cat is known, what is his temperament like?

Genes can affect a trait called “friendliness,” and cats’ responses to the outside environment will also have a hereditary component, much like those of people. Some people are naturally nervous or shy, while others end up being assertive.

A sociable mother will give her kittens sociable genes as well as set a positive example by being unhurried and engaging with people. There is an opportunity to breed from amiable cats for pedigree cat breeders that manage the matings of their cats to pass this on to the following generation. If you wish to visit, you should always be able to see the other kittens.

  1. Is there a breed propensity for a specific kind of behavior if I choose a pedigree breed?

The personality of cats vary greatly; some are loud, some are energetic, and still others are really laid back. However, some breeds are more prone than others to exhibit certain personality traits. Siamese cats, for instance, are noted for being talkative, while some types are particularly needy. There is no guarantee that it will happen, but it is more likely where this behavior is seen in this group or breed of cats, so it is essential to determine what you might be taking on or what you need your cat to perform.

  1. Enquire about your specific needs.

If you have a dog at home, integrating the kitten is much simpler if it has already interacted with a dog or dogs and is not afraid of them. In the same way, if you have kids, find out if the cat has ever been around kids. Those who have will be able to handle the high-pitched voices and occasionally erratic or unexpected movements of kids. Ask the question once again if you think the cat might be afraid of loud, deep voices if it has only ever been around ladies and hasn’t encountered any guys.

You can get a sense of the level of care the kittens are receiving from the replies to these queries. The next step is to go see the kittens in person.

Looking for signs of the health of the kitten

When selecting a kitten, keep an eye out for symptoms of illness, such as runny eyes or noses, dirty ears, and a dirty or painful region beneath the tail that could mean the cat is experiencing diarrhea. The kitten should have a decent appearance, clear eyes, a healthy coat, and be mobile.

To ensure that the mother and the other kittens in the litter are healthy, ask to view them.

Don’t be misled by tales of how that runny eye had just happened, etc.; instead, trust your senses. Many folks leave with a kitten that isn’t perfect since the breeder or rescue assured them everything would be great.

Be extremely cautious if you arrive and discover that the shelter, breeder, pet store, or other establishment that is rehoming the kittens is filthy, offensive, and home to numerous other cats and kittens. The health of kittens must be maintained by good cleanliness because they are particularly weak.


What inquiries should I make in order to determine a kitten’s needs?

1. Could I hold the kittens, please?

For moggies or non-pedigree cats, the genetic makeup of each parent is typically unpredictable and the father of the kittens is frequently never visible.

To determine how comfortable the kitten is among humans, ask to handle it. Is it sociable and outgoing or is it frightened? Spend some time with it to determine whether it is simply trying to hide or whether it is initially frightened of new people but quickly adjusts. Ask to see the entire litter so you may see how they interact with one another, the environment, and you. An ideal kitten would be one that reacts to each of these in roughly equal amounts.

2. How old and of what sex is the kitten?

Inquire about the cat’s sex and true age. When they are rehomed, pedigree kittens are typically older than 12 weeks, although non-pedigree or moggies may be as young as 8 weeks.

3. What kind of fur will the kitten sport?

Unless its mother has a long coat, it might be difficult to predict whether a moggie kitten will have long hair (often the father is never seen) (often the father is never seen). On the other hand, if you adopt a pedigree cat, you will be aware of the outcome. Other breeds with a little less undercoat, such as a Persian, will also require routine brushing. Although some Rex breeds (with a sparse wavy coat) and the hairless breeds (such as the Sphynx) require a lot of time and effort to keep the skin clean), lack of a coat does not necessarily mean the kitten will be easy to care for. Some people need to be bathed frequently and leave grease stains on furnishings (click here for information on breed health) (click here for information on breed health).

4. What further care will the kitten require now and in the future?

Breeds with relatively flat faces include Persians and exotics. The natural outflow of tears from the eye may be impeded by making the face this flat, causing the tears to flood across the face. The cats must be in excruciating pain, and it may result in stains or skin issues. Owners must learn how to regularly wash their faces and eyes. Other breeds with more angular skulls could have eyes that are more inset and require attention.

Inquire about immunizations; although most pedigree kittens will have received their shots before to being adopted, it is still a good idea to double-check. Depending on the age at which they are adopted, many kittens from rescue organizations may also have received at least one immunization. If you decide to adopt the kitten, be careful to obtain the vaccination certificate.

Have the kittens received worming and flea treatment? And if so, why?

Do any of the kittens have persistent medical conditions that necessitate medication? If so, seek information on how to administer the tablets, eye drops, or ear drops so that you will know what to do.

Kittens may never be able to see people or human items as a part of “regular” existence if they don’t see them in the first few weeks of their lives.

5. How much care will the kitten require now and in the future?

Some breeds require more care and companionship than others, while others are far more independent. Once more, choose what fits you.

6. What kind of food, litter, etc., is currently being used?

Inquire about the kitten’s current diet, preferred type of litter, and other details. Verify the accuracy of the information you have been given (see here for information on feeding kittens and cats), as often individuals don’t feed kittens the right kind of food for their stage of development. However, if you’re modifying your diet, do so gradually to prevent upset stomach.

  1. Inquire about the kitten’s insurance.

Many breeders, rescue groups, and even individuals who have bred a “accidental” litter will offer new owners insurance coverage for the kitten that lasts for the first six weeks in their new home in countries where it is available, such the UK. The advantages and health-related issues are covered here. The insurance provider will then get in touch with the new owner to ask if they want to keep the policy. The first year of a kitten’s life can be its most dangerous because kittens and young cats can get themselves into all sorts of trouble – the saying “curiosity killed the cat” is based on some truth – and insurance to cover vet fees (and other things) gives peace of mind about payment should problems occur. Being curious is necessary for kittens to learn quickly as they grow, but it can also get them into trouble. Check what the insurance coverage actually covers before deciding if you want to keep it.

Be willing to go.

In order to “rescue” a kitten from its current environment, prospective owners must be willing to walk away and not buy a kitten out of sympathy because it is sick or afraid. Although it may seem very tough, you don’t want to be stuck with a kitten that may have long-term health or behavioral issues and who will probably be challenging and disappointing to deal with.

Finish your homework.

Go visit after finishing your schoolwork. Since the breeding organizations require breeders to keep kittens until they are about 12 weeks old and have received at least their first vaccinations in order to be able to protect them, most breeders will invite you along for a very first viewing when the kittens are still a little too young to rehome. Breeders may be very rigorous about requesting you not to do this in order to preserve the health of their cats. Don’t visit different breeders and hold the kittens because you might have infections on your hands and clothes that could spread to fragile kittens.

A reputable breeder or rescue facility will want to know if you will provide the kitten with suitable care and can provide you a wealth of guidance. If you require assistance or guidance, they should be able to give it, and they will be interested in hearing from you if you encounter any difficulties. In the event that severe complications emerge, they should also be prepared to take the kitten back, although this is not normally the case because new owners frequently fall in love with their new cat and find it difficult to part with it. Knowledge and information may be the answer, and producing or acquiring a sick or inadequately socialized kitten is not an acceptable reason.

READ NEXT: Adding an Additional Cat




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