"How to Choose a Kitten That Will Suit You & Your Lifestyle
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"How to Choose a Kitten That Will Suit You & Your Lifestyle

Kittens are adorable little creatures no matter what breed they happen to be and it's all too easy to fall in love with them. However, taking on any pet is a massive responsibility because these creatures depend on their owners to care for them for many years to come. Choosing the right breed of cat to suit you as well as your home environment and lifestyle takes a bit of consideration. This means when choosing a kitten the process should never be rushed but mulled over by everyone in the household.

The Long-term Loving Commitment

Cats can live a very long time and if well cared for this can be up to 15 years and sometimes even longer. Although nobody knows what the future will bring, taking on the responsibility of sharing your home and life with a cat means you have to be sure you would be in a position to care for them further down the line. If you have plans to live abroad a little further down the line, you need to be sure you can take your feline friend with you. Owning a cat means you have a little furry friend for life and one that will be loyal to you which means you have to be loyal back.

The All Important Age Factor

As previously mentioned, kittens are the cutest things alive which means it can be terribly easy to get carried away when thinking about getting a cat. However, if you are a very house proud person, could you really cope with a very young kitten and all the care and cleaning that's involved in sharing your home with one of these little rascals?

There's a lot of debate over when a kitten should leave mum and their litter mates with a lot of people believing they should be weaned at 8 weeks but should remain with their group for another 28 days which means they should only be re-homed at 12 weeks. After this kittens are ready to go out into the world with a lot more confidence having had the extra time with their litter mates and mum.

The signs that a kitten might have been taken away from their mums and litter mates too early includes them trying to suckle on your fingers which although very endearing is not a good sign of things to come. Very often, it's better to take home a kitten that's slightly older because they will have learnt a lot from their mothers and other kittens which helps them turn into loving, confident adult felines.

You Need to Consider Their Personalities and Characters

You may well have fallen in love with the striped cat you spied on the internet that looked remarkably like a small tiger but do you know anything about their characters or their personalities? With so much information on the internet you can find out about every breed on the planet which has made life much easier for people who are looking to find the perfect cat to share their homes with.

You need to remember that some breeds are real predators so if you have a lovely bird table in your garden and leave lots of titbits out for our feathered friends, sharing a home with a cat that likes to spend every waking moment hunting their prey down, might not be a very good choice and might well result in a few anxious and heartbreaking moments as you pick up scattered feathers around your house and garden.

There are some real couch potato"" cats that would be a far better choice although there's never a guarantee they won't catch a bird or two in the course of their lives. However, the other alternative is to share a home with a house cat which could offer the perfect solution. But you need to know which breeds make great house cats and which don't.

Have You Set Your Heart On Getting a Kitten?

If you have set your heart on getting a kitten, there are certain things you need to think about which includes the following:

  • Try to pick out a confident kitten, one that is not shy to come forward and play with you when you bend down to pet them. This is particularly important if you have children because a timid kitten might find sharing a home with lively, noisy children a little too much. An older, more confident kitten with lots of personality would cope that much better with their new and vibrant environment

  • When you go to see any kittens don't be afraid to play with them and this means getting down on the floor if you have to. Try using something to tempt them to play with you - other than your finger – a keen kitten will show lots of interest and want to interact with you and have a lot of fun doing so

  • Don't be afraid to pick a kitten up so you can hold them and see how they react – a happy, well socialised kitten will love all the fuss whereas one that is not, might just hiss at you which gives the game away

  • Ask lots and lots of questions – you need to ask as many things about a kitten as you think necessary. This includes how they were raised because this always has a serious impact on a kitten's character and personality. You need to have as much background history about the kitten as you can get and to know if their line suffers from any sort of genetic disease so you know you have to keep an eye out for any symptoms as time goes by

Tips & Advice on Things to Check About a New Kitten

  • Always check the condition of a kitten's coat and skin
  • A healthy kitten should feel nice and supple – if they have a distended tummy, it could mean they have internal worms
  • Take a close look at their ears – if they are clean this is a good thing – dirty ears might mean they have caught ear mites – usually from their mother
  • A kitten with a runny nose or that coughs and sneezes are showing signs of not being in very good health – most respiratory infections can be treated but they are very contagious to other cats
  • If you can check the kittens gums all the better, these should be nice and pink in colour
  • Check for a dirty bottom – this is important because a healthy kitten should have a nice clean rear end

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