As mentioned before, buying a kitten is a lot different than buying an older cat. Before you rush out and buy or take the first kitten that is offered to you, there are a few things that you should know. As with any animal, there are certain things that you should look for to make sure that the kitten is healthy. By paying attention and looking for these different things, you might be able to save yourself and your family from picking a kitten that is going to be quite sickly or even die.
Below is a list of things that you need to look for in any kittens that you are considering buying.
- Make sure that the kitten has clear, bright eyes
- Look to see if the ears and nose are clean and not gunky
- Look for a thick and shiny coat
- You don't want any skin that has fleas, scabby patches, or any types of lumps
- Open the mouth of the kitten and look for firm, pink gums
- Observe the kitten to make sure that they are attentive and playful
Next comes the asking of the pet shop or breeder who is trying to sell you the kitten. You need to ask them certain questions that they should have no problems answering. If they try to avoid you or put your off it might be a good sign that you need to move onto a different pet shop or breeder.
Below are lists of questions that need to be asked before you buy a kitten.
- Ask about the kittens vaccinations
- Ask about parasite checks
- Have them tell you the age, gender, and breed of the kitten
- Do not buy a kitten that is not at least six to eight weeks old
- Ask about their diet and nutrition
- Have them provide you with the Veterinarians name, number, and address
- If you are looking at a purebred, ask about the kitten's registration papers.
- Ask if you can have your own veterinarian check the kitten out before the sale if final.
If the pet shop or breeder is reputable they should not have a problem answering any of these questions or letting you take the kitten to your own veterinarian for a checkup. Just remember that you can always find another pet shop or breeder that has the kitten you are looking for if something doesn't seem quite right.
Because you are choosing to buy a kitten there will be quite a bit of training to do, just like with a baby, the kitten has to learn. The first lesson that will make life a lot easier for you and your kitten is litter box training. This really shouldn't be too hard of a lesson for either of you since most kittens take to the litter box quite naturally.
What is important to note is not to be in your kittens face while he or she is trying to do their thing. Patience is the key to any type of training, and this is not different. Of course, there are a few things that you can do in order to help this be an easy experience for your kitten.
- Make sure that your kitten can climb in and out of the litter box; sometimes they will have trouble in a litter box that is too big.
- Put the litter box in a quite area that is always accessible.
- Clean the litter box on a daily basis and keep the litter changed regularly.
- In order to establish a pattern, make sure you put your kitten in their litter box when they wake up and after they eat.
- Everyone benefits from being told they did a good job, kittens are no different, make sure to let them know when they have done a good job.
- Keep the litter box in the same place, don't move it around.
- If you have more than one cat, make sure they all have their own litter box.
You might have heard your friends or family talk about baby proofing their home when their child began to be mobile, if you plan on getting a kitten you will find yourself doing the same thing. A kitten is in essence a baby, but of the feline persuasion, as such they are just as curious as any other type of baby. You need to take the time and look at your home from a kitten's perspective, find possible hazardous items, and remove them accordingly.
You aren't going to be able to anticipate everything, but it is quite advantageous to the health and well being of your kitten to take some precautions.
- Kittens can be quite clumsy, make sure that all of your windows are secured and keep your kitten off of anything high such as a second story house walk out.
- Move all cleaners and anything else harmful in an area that your kitten can not access. This goes for any harmful plants as well, just as with a baby, kittens will chew on whatever is handy such as a plant.
- After you use the restroom, close the toilet lid. This is a handy piece of advice if you have kittens or small children in the home.
- Don't leave plastic materials such as trash bags or plastic storage bags lying around, again helpful for kittens and children.
- After you have finished your six pack of beer or soda, cut up the plastic ring containers so that your cat doesn't get caught up in them. This is also an environmentally kind thing to do so other animals don't share a bad fate.
- Anything electric, sharp, or pointy needs to be responsibly stores so your kitten doesn't decide to make a dangerous object its next chew toy.
If you have children or other animals in the house you will need to make sure that your kitten is introduced to them slowly and properly. Older children are not as much of a concern as small children are. You need to make sure that they understand the proper way to treat their new kitten. You need to teach them how to hold it properly and not to pull on its legs, face, tail, or ears. Young children must learn that the kitten is a living thing that they need to treat with love, care, and respect. You can help you kitten feel a little safer by getting down to his or her level when it comes to play time. This will make you not seem quite so huge and scary to the kitten.
You also need to pay close attention how other pets in the house treat the new kitten. It is not a good idea to simply leave a new kitten with an older cat or dog. Take the time to introduce them to one another while being attentive to their reactions to each other. Normally older cats will be tolerant of the new kitten and even tend to it after they are comfortable with one another.
Dogs may take a little longer to get used to the situation of a new kitten in the house. Just remember to be patient and to make sure your other animals in the house gets the love and attention that they need, make them feel just as special as the new kitten.
Below are a few tips that might help you with this process.
- Don't rush your animals to get along, take it slow and easy.
- It might be wise to keep the kitten in its carrier for the first little bit while the others animals can sniff around it without making direct contact with the kitten.
- Get a new toy and put the kittens scent on it, and vice versa with the older cats or dogs, then give it to the opposite parties so they can become accustomed to the scent.
After doing some of these steps for a while, everyone should begin to get along with little disturbance in the house.