When choosing your new kitten, whether
you have answered an advertisement in the local newspaper or have been
recommended to a particular breeder, you should visit the kitten at its
home. Many breeders have their cattery as an extension of their home but
some breeders have the cats and kittens in a cattery outside. When
visiting the cattery, it is usual and desirable to see the mother cat with her
kittens. However, you may not be invited to handle very young kittens
that have not been vaccinated and are vulnerable to infection or you may
be asked to disinfect your hands. This is not a reflection on your
personal hygiene, but a simple precaution against infection. However,
you will be able to assess the general condition of the cats and
kittens, and decide if this is going to be the breeder of your choice. I
personally would choose a kitten that has been living inside the home. I
believe that these kittens tend to be
cleaner (as in the use of kitty trays) than a kitten living outside.
Inside kittens have already adjusted to the home environment and the
normal day to day hustle and bustle that happens in a home.
If all goes well and you choose a
kitten you will probably be asked for a deposit against the cost of the
kitten. This works both ways; you are now assured that your chosen
kitten is definitely booked for you, and the breeder knows that your
intentions are honourable.
You should tell the breeder the reasons
for buying a kitten: is it purely for a pet, or do you wish to show it
or maybe even breed from it? No breeder would wish to see an example of
their breeding exhibited on the show bench if it is not up to standard
as it would reflect on them their breeding program. If the kitten
is for breeding you will need the breeders permission to do so. A pet
quality kitten will be just the same as one sold for showing or
breeding, but may have some small fault such as the eye colour is not
intense enough or the coat pattern or colour is not correct.
Some simple health checks for your
ears should be clean and free from
eyes should be clean and bright with
mouth and gums should be a healthy
coat should be clean and free of
fleas, flea dirt or bald patches
anal region should be clean with no
trace of faecal matter (pooh)
if a kittens
feels light but has a pot-belly, this may be a sign of worm
the kitten should not feel bony but
should have a light padding of body fat
the nose should be clean and free of
the kitten should be used to being
handle from birth, and should not be frightened of humans
If the kitten hisses or spits at you,
or seems timid or nervous you are better off looking for another
Have a look at the kittens litter
tray. Is it clean too? A strong smell along with runny excrement
could indicate some infection
Choose a kitten
that has been bought up in the breeders home. To make sure that it has
been living inside and not just bought inside especially for you, check if there are any cat toys
lying around and if the kittens are playing with them and note how
the kitten/s act with the other cats in the house.
This can be done when the
kitten is between 8-12 weeks old and is normally arranged by the breeder
before you bring your new kitten home.
Below are the benefits
of having your female kitten desexed:
In 7 years a female cat and her young can produce 420,000 cats.
There is no benefit to your
cat to allow her to have a litter. It does not make her more placid or a
Breeding only adds to the
unwanted cat population.
The spey operation involves
removing the entire uterus and both ovaries via an abdominal incision.
Advantages of speying
- No unwanted kittens to
find homes for.
- No disturbing behavior
associated with heat. This includes howling, trying to escape and
- No smelly, noisy, tom
cats hanging around.
- Avoids diseases of the
reproductive tract and mammary glands.
- Entire female cats are
more aggressive and are more likely to fight. Fighting spreads Feline
And of having your male
Male cats can be neutered
(castrated) and involves removing the testicles from the cat. This
operation can be done from eight weeks of age. Castration will not ruin
your cat's personality. Castrated males are usually more friendly and
are less likely to roam.
Advantages of neutering
- Castrated males are far
less likely to spray and the smell of the urine is greatly decreased.
- Castrated males don't go
out looking to mate and therefore are less likely to be run over by a
car or attacked by a dog.
- Fighting spreads Feline
Aids and a castrated cat is less likely to go out fighting.
- Prevents your cat from
yowling all night keeping you and your neighbours awake.