Tips to help you choose a kitten that’s right for your home or situation
Welcoming a new kitten is so exciting! It’s a big step, but it’s a rewarding time filled with lots of snuggles, learning their unique personality, and lots of playtime!
Making the decision to get a cat or kitten is a big step with a lot of responsibility. Even at a young age, cats have big personalities. It’s important to be prepared for the amount of time, care, and attention required, especially for a kitten.
When you are researching adoption opportunities, it’s important to consider the age, personality, and health of the cat. Considering that most cats live to be 15 years or older, you want to make sure you are making the right decision for both of you.
Consider the kitten’s age
Typically, kittens are weaned before 8 weeks of age; however, we recommend they stay with their mother and littermates until they are 12 weeks old. The extra four weeks gives the kitten time to develop socially and eliminate the potential for bad behaviors like suckling on objects and fingers.
As you are on your search, consider where you are visiting these kittens. We like to think every mother cat and kitten come from a loving, warm home, but some breeders don’t care enough for the health of either animal.
You should always ask the current owners about the weaning process of the kitten and any other questions you may have. Aside from shelters, owners should be able to answer these questions easily.
If the answers don’t add up, or your gut gives you an uneasy feeling, trust your instincts and report the property if necessary.
Check for Personality
As much as you would love a kitty with a particular coat, personality is everything!
When you are visiting, observe how the kitten and its littermates interact and engage. This gives you a glimpse into how you can expect the kitten to behave when you bring it home.
Generally speaking, kittens who are more active and playful are healthy kittens. They should have a lot of energy but tire out quickly, especially after feeding.
Look for a playful and confident kitten with a personality that suits you. More timid cats may be uncomfortable with a playful owner or small children.
Well-socialized kittens should respond to your presence in a comfortable way. They should not shy away, scratch, or hiss when you pick them up or try to play with them.
Check their health
To avoid any surprises, it’s best to have a vet check the kitten’s health before bringing them home. Skipping this task could result in unpleasant surprises or health expenses you cannot afford.
In most cases, the current owners will have some paperwork from a vet visit; however, we encourage you to have a vet of your choice confirm the examination.
The vet will check their skin, coat, ears, teeth, and general health for signs of infection. While curable ailments might not prevent you from adopting, it’s important to understand what you are getting into so you can plan for expenses and the care your kitten needs.
If you have more questions about what you should look for in a kitten, contact our office today. We’d be happy to speak with you!