Did you know the cat is now the most popular domestic pet in the UK? Cats and kittens make great pets but they are a big responsibility. Cats will need lots of love and attention and, more importantly, they will need an owner who will be committed to them for the rest of their life – often 15 to 16 years or more.
If you are thinking of getting a kitten there are a few things you should look out for:
Kittens should be 8 weeks old when they leave their mother. Look for a kitten that is inquisitive, doesn’t shy away from people and is ready to play. Have a look at the mother as many of the kittens future traits may be in her. Is she a lap cat, is she happy to be handled?
A kitten should be nicely rounded. Don’t get a kitten that looks skinny. Also, if it has a bloated stomach there is a good chance it could already have worms.
Kittens should have bright sparkly eyes. If it has runny eyes, is sneezing or coughing then it would be better to avoid getting that kitten.
Check the kitten for fleas. Lots of kittens will have them but they can be dealt with quite easily. Ask your vet about the best treatments for fleas. If the kitten is really fluffy there is a good chance it is going to have long hair. Invest in a good brush as the cat may need daily grooming to prevent hair balls.
Check the ears. If there are brown or dark grey deposits in the ears it could indicate there are ear mites present. Again, speak to your vet about how the problem can be treated.
Look for kittens with a nice temperament. Wild kittens will be difficult to tame. Get a kitten that will happily come to you and likes to be picked up and stroked.
So you have now picked your kitten and will be bringing it home. In part 2 we will talk about introducing the kitten to your home, litter training and health checks.
Do please remember that there are lots of lovely cats available from rescue centres that are not necessarily kittens, but that will make wonderful pets. Their ages vary but there are often younger ones. Getting a slightly older cat has benefits as they are less likely to do things such as run up your curtains and otherwise cause less mess and/or damage.
If you have any questions regarding this subject please feel free to contact us at the clinic or leave a message on our Facebook page