22 May How to Pick a Cat or Kitten
Once you’ve decided to add a cat to your family there are a number of decisions to be made. Whether you decide on a pedigree or non-pedigree, kitten or adult, male or female, or one cat or a pair is purely a personal decision, although it is sometimes based on convenience.
Pedigree vs. Non-Pedigree:
If the main goal of owning a cat is companionship then a non-pedigree or “pet-quality” pedigree is the way to go. Non-pedigree cats can be obtained for a nominal fee from shelters, pet stores, and even thru your local newspaper advertisements.
Pedigree and “pet-quality” pedigree cats are obtained thru breeders and will be much more expensive. Also keep in mind that some pedigree cats can be more demanding and more vocal than others.
If you are looking for a cat to show or breed, then a pedigree cat is what you should buy. Some ways to cut costs are to make arrangements with the breeder, if they will agree to it, to have a breeding agreement. You can usually find local breeders by obtaining lists provided at veterinarian offices, thru advertisements in newspapers, as well as thru the Internet.
Kitten vs. Adult:
When shopping for a cat a kitten may win the cuteness award but keep in mind it will be more demanding of time and energy and may need to be house trained. Although an adult cat may take a little longer to adapt to it’s new environment then a kitten, it will be a better choice for those that are out of the house all day or don’t wish to spend the time that is needed with a kitten.
Male vs. Female:
If the cat you are adding to your family is already spayed or neutered there really is no advantage to a male over a female or vice-versa.
If you choose to add an unaltered cat to your family then there are a few things to keep in mind. An un-neutered male will spray pungent urine, fight more with other cats and tend to wander farther then a neutered male. An un-spayed female will go thru heat several times a year (which will include loud, whining meowing, wandering, and attraction of other male cats to her) and unless kept indoors may have unwanted pregnancies; also, if there are other altered or unaltered cats in the household then this may start a ‘marking of territory war’ between them.
Ultimately, an altered cat is the way to go. Also, if the cat is altered at a young age the cat is typically more affectionate.
One Cat or a Pair:
If you are on a budget then one cat is your only choice. If you live in a small apartment then you’ll want to stick with one cat. However, if you are out of the house a lot then you might want to consider a pair of cats so they have another cat to play with and thus won’t become as lonely.
Other Things to Consider:
The cat you pick should be healthy. It should be up to date on all vaccinations, the coat should be smooth, unmated and free of pests (including fleas and tape worms), the ears should be clean and dry, the eyes should be clean and bright, the nose damp, the mouth pink, the teeth white, and the gums should not be inflamed. Also check the abdomen and anal area. Make sure there are no lumps in the abdomen and that it is rounded and not hard. The anal area should be clean and there should be no signs of diarrhoea.
When selecting a cat you should choose one that is friendly and alert. If choosing a kitten it’s always best to pick one that is also playful and approaches you readily. Kittens, as well as adult cats, that are smaller and shy may be sickly or have temperament problems.
If choosing a pedigree cat then the cat should be registered and have the appropriate papers. If not then they will not be eligible to be shown and you will not be able to paper any babies bred.
Never rush your decision when buying a cat. Always check the source you are purchasing from and make sure you take the time to check the things listed above about health, temperament, and pedigree registration.
We alaways recommend adopting a cat and there are plenty of charities across the UK who can make this possible!