In our previous article we wanted you to ask several questions before making your decision of getting a kitten a final. Now we want to discuss with you several places where you could get a good and healthy kitten. Are shelters good places to go, are reputable breeders only ones who are able to guarantee that their kittens will be healthy? Or is bringing a kitten from the street a good choice? We’ll find out.
First, let’s try to identify a good kitten. When trying to define it, we usually think we want it to be healthy. But, also, we want it to grow up as a friendly, outgoing and non aggressive cat. You’ve probably heard it as being individual for every cat, so it’s called a “personality”.
But did you know, that this so-called personality is actually highly dependent on what experiences the kitten had in his early life? What was his relationships with humans, other pets and even household items during this period? It is also called a socialization.
Bad news here is, this period when kitten learns about good and bad in this world, is at the age between two and eight weeks. Normally kittens are rehomed after this has ended, so, unlike dogs, it’s hard to work upon your kitten’s fears when he’s already past socialization age.
This means – when you look for a kitten, keep in main, the majority of your kittens personality must already be formed. Check, how your chosen breeder, shelter or pet shop was able to rise him in a good company.
Places to go for a good kitten
Now, let’s take a closer look at places you could get a healthy kitten, and what are things to be aware of.
- Breeder. If you are looking for a purebred cat, the only place to go is the reputable breeder. Even, if you want just a regular cat, reaching for a responsible breeder is an excellent choice. However, there are so many breeders out there nowadays, that their quality and responsibility varies significantly. Talk to your nearest cat club, visit cat shows, communicate with other owners who have purebred cats, and most importantly, visit your chosen breeder at home to check how kittens are kept. If the breeder refuses, he’s not a good breeder – it’s ALWAYS true no matter how good excuse the breeder has. Also, breeders who rise kittens in a household environment are way better choice than those operating large catteries.
- Shelter. Shelters are risky. You can have no guarantee that the kitten had good early life experiences, and, in many cases, even the staff of the shelter may not know how kitten ended up there. Above all, shelters are good cause, however, if you are up to it, you must leave a possibility to care for a “problem” cat. However, if you are intending to do a good thing, do not get a kitten in a shelter, but go for an adult cat. He has significantly smaller chances being picked up than a kitten. In addition, you get what you see – already developed personality… almost.
- Responsible cat owner who had “accident”. While there’s a slight disagreement with words “responsible cat owner” and “litter of kittens”, you may notice if a person offering kittens is taking care for them, or just had an accident and want to get rid of them. Bets thing to look for is cleanliness of the house and overall health and behavior of the litter. If you know a person who is offering kittens, it really is a nice place to look for a healthy and good kitten. Remember, kittens risen in a household environment have higher chances of being well adapted to life with humans.
Cat shows. It’s actually not the best example where to get a kitten. However, it’s a place where to meet a good breeders. Those who are in cat breeding business for pure money, do not invest a lot of time and money in visiting cat shows. Other breeders, that are interested in maintaining and improving the specific breed, are trying to visit most of the largest events. Also, if you are looking for a certain breed, you may visit a breed specific cat show organized by a cat breeder’s club. Here you can have a look at many “similar” kittens and see what makes them apart. If seeing kittens separately, they always look cute. When you see them all together, you can easily tell which ones are better. But remember, do not buy kittens there, make contacts and visit kittens at home.
And that’s it. List of “where to get a good and healthy kitten” has ended. Other places, like pet shops, on-line stores, the street, unknown “old lady” who sells kittens at the front door of the church are no good places to go.Unless you want to care for a problem cat, that is.
Also, remember, there’s never a guarantee that the kitten you choose will grow up well behaving and healthy, no matter how accurately you pick. It’s still a lottery, but, with the knowledge from the above, you can increase your chances in it significantly. And, if you want to increase it even more, please read our next article, which tells you how to determine, whether the breeder or other kitten sources is good and reputable.
This article is part of series for beginner cat owners.