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Choosing the right kitten isn't always easy, but it can be a lot of fun. Kitten selection isn't just about finding the cutest one—it's about finding one with the perfect personality for you and your family.
Trust us; we know from experience that making a decision about which kitten to take home can be overwhelming and filled with doubt. Do you choose a tabby or a calico? A male or a female? Long hair or short hair? You might find yourself asking, "What if I make the wrong choice?!"
No need to worry; we're here to help you find your new best friend!
Getting a new furry friend is so exciting! But the search can feel like the world's most important mission. Lucky for you, there are two choices when it comes to getting your purrfect buddy—either an animal shelter or a breeder. Here's how to choose between the two:
Shelter cats: Animal shelters are filled with loving cats in need of a home, so you can give them the happily ever after they deserve! Of course, if you want an older cat that won't cause as much trouble through its kitten-like hijinks, this is definitely the way to go.
Breeder cats: If you're looking for something specific (like a certain breed or personality type), then a breeder might be able to help out. However, it tends to cost more and usually requires reservations in advance—so unless you're okay with waiting, maybe choose something from your local shelter!
Do you want an independent feline who can entertain themselves with a ball of yarn, or are you looking for a cuddly companion who loves nothing more than to be held and petted? Maybe a bit of both? No problem—there's surely a cat out there for every personality type!
Here are some basic characteristics of the most popular breeds:
Persian cats are known for their fluffy coats and laid-back nature.
Siamese cats are active and have unique voices that they use to communicate with humans.
Maine Coon cats have large frames and long fur, making them excellent mousers (not that your house needs one).
Ragdoll cats are known as "puppy cats" because they're extra cuddly and follow their owners around like puppy dogs.
No matter which breed you choose, they'll surely show their appreciation with lots of love!
When it comes to picking a new kitten, age matters! Yes, kittens are cute no matter their age—but it’s important to make sure the kitten you're thinking of adopting is a good fit for your household. After all, young kittens can require more maintenance and attention than adult felines.
First of all: what is the kitty's age? Was it born in a shelter or recently rescued? Is it 8 weeks old or 8 months old? Knowing the answer to these questions will put you on the right path. Here's why:
Newborn kittens (0-4 weeks): Too young for adoption! These little ones require round-the-clock care and nourishment from their mother until they are 8-10 weeks old. You won't be able to take one of these home without their mom—so sorry!
Kittens 4-10 weeks of age: Kittens this age often still need bottle feeding or other care from humans but are generally old enough to start solid food. They're so tiny and adorable but also very vulnerable, so make sure you can commit to being available for them during this stage
Kittens aged 10 weeks – 6 months: This is a great developmental stage for adopting. Kittens at this age usually have had some time with their mother and litter mates, so they may already have some basic skills like grooming themselves and using a litter box.
Older kittens (6 months+): Adopting an older kitten has its advantages too! Since older cats have usually been around humans before, they might already understand basic commands and cues like sitting or responding when called by name.
Here are some other things you should check when picking out a kitten from a shelter or a breeder:
Check Their Nose: The kitty's nose should not have any discharge coming out of it or crust on the outside. A healthy nose should be cool and moist but not too wet.
Check Their Ears: A kitty's ears should be clean, and the kitten should not be scratching them or shaking her head, which are signs of ear mites. Black specks that look like coffee grounds in the ears are also a sign of mites.
Check Their Eyes: The eyes should be clear and bright and free of discharge and redness. If the third eyelid is showing or swelling in one or both eyes, this could be a sign of illness, infection, or injury.
Check Their Mouth: The gums should be pale pink (although some cats can have dark gums, depending on their coloring). Bad breath, salivation, and pawing at the mouth could indicate problems.
Check Their Stomach: The abdomen in a healthy kitten should be slightly round. A potbelly can be a sign of worms, obstruction, or (worst of all) feline infections peritonitis (FIP), a fatal disease.
Check Their Fur: A kitty's fur is a good indicator of health. It should be glossy, not dull, with no bald patches. Check for signs of fleas, like excessing scratching and specks of flea dirt.
Check Their Rear: The rear of a healthy kitten should be clean, with no evidence of diarrhea or parasites. The genitals should be free of discharge, and they should be able to go to the bathroom without any issues
Adopting a kitten may be one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have, but it also brings with it some new responsibilities. Before you commit to your new cuddly companion, make sure you're ready for the responsibility of being their fur parent.
To make sure you're up for this awesome task, there are a few things to consider:
Can you provide enough hours of play or activity each day?
Are you able and willing to give them love, attention, and affection?
Can you afford the cost of food, litter, toys, regular vet visits, and other expenses?
Is your home pet-friendly, and can they have their own special space?
Do all members of your family have time (and love) to give them?
Are you prepared for potential accidents or messes that may occur?
If you've considered all these questions and answered yes to each one, then congratulations! You're ready to bring home a companion who will inject endless amounts of fun and love into your household. Once you've taken your cuddly furball home, consider getting some cat apparel to show off your love!
Kittens need lots of love and attention when they're young, as they're still developing their personalities. As they grow older, playtime with their humans is important to keep them entertained and engaged. Once they become adults, they may be more independent at times but will happily greet you when you return home each day!
When talking to a breeder, make sure to get all the details on their kittens' health, diet, and living environment—it'll give you a good idea about your potential kitty's home life before joining yours. It never hurts to know what other pets the breeder has in order to gauge how interactive your kitten will be when introduced to other animals.
Personality is shaped by genetics, environment, and experience—all of which you can look for when researching different breeds or meeting individual kittens that catch your eye. Genetics give an idea of temperament (e.g., if a breed leans towards being shy or outgoing), while environment and experience are key in shaping personalities as they grow up. If a kitten grows up in a loving and nourishing environment, chances are, it will be playful and love its owner back as well.