Many homes are completely suitable for a cat, or even a couple of cats that can be accompanied, but it is important to consider the effects that a cat will have on the home. Although they are known for their independence of character, cats need care and attention. A normal healthy cat can live for 14 years or more and you must consider whether you can stand such a long-term responsibility and commitment. All cats can have approximately the same size and shape but vary greatly in temperament, interests, and needs. Before choosing a cat, it is advisable to observe your lifestyle and your home and consider the type of cat that will happily fit with it.
Why Choosing A Cat Is Important?
The adaptability and independence of the cat make it a very practical pet for modern homes. It is not necessary to take the cats for a walk, they self-clean and self-exercise. Some can happily adapt to a totally indoor life in a high-rise apartment. Depending on their character and type of breed, they can also learn to live with other pets. For many people, however, it is the beauty of the cat that is so alluring. A cat on watch at a window, playing in the garden, or simply as a soothing and sleeping presence, is a grateful and rewarding asset for home and family.
The choice of a cat depends a lot on personal preference for a particular type of cat, for long or short fur, or for a particular color coat and pattern. An important determining factor is how much you want to spend. At the top end of the price-scale are cats whose parents and grandparents can be traced through long pedigree back to the late 19th century.
At the other end of the scale, there are unplanned litters of pedigree cats that can be picked up for free. In between, there are cross-breed cats, a random or deliberate result of a mating between different breeds, or the unplanned mating of a pedigree partner with a non-pedigree. At the fraction of the cost of a true pedigree, you could have a cat with the aristocratic qualities of its purebred mother and the resistant health of its father or vice versa.
Size is not a problem. Unlike dogs, domestic cats do not vary much in size and there is no feline equivalent of Great Dane or tiny Chihuahua. Restrictions of living space generally do not present a problem since cats are very adaptable. Some active breeds have to be taken into account, but most cats can be settled in a small apartment as happily as in a large house.
Choosing A Pedigree Cat
Buying a purebred dog from a reputed breeder has long been accepted. However, it is relatively recently that interset has been established in pedigree cats. Until about 30 years ago, there was a shortage of breeders and, with the exception of Blue Persian and Siamese breeds, pedigree cats were not readily available. This situation has been radically corrected by the cat’s fantasy being much more active in its publicity. The showing and breeding of cats with a known ancestry have become a popular hobby, which makes a much larger range of breeds available.
A key advantage of buying a pedigree kitten from a well-known breeder is that there are woven safeguards in the transaction.
Choosing A cat From The Street
Cats that have been abandoned by their owners, or that have been born in the streets, make their lives like strays. They revert to a wild state, form colonies with other cats and breed prolifically. It is perfectly possible to adopt a stray or wild cat that you have found in the streets. One could even adopt you. However, they have been exposed to a large number of infections and diseases, so complete medical examination and inoculation are particularly important. You will also need to spend more time with a stray cat to help it bond with you and adapt to an established lifestyle.
Long-haired Or Short-haired cat?
Having a long-haired cat requires you to spend some time every day to groom it, to keep the coat free of tangles. At the other extreme, the almost hairless sphynx cat needs additional care, since it is very susceptible to temperature change and skin problems.
If you live in a hot and humid climate, a longhair cat is not a good choice unless it is living in an air-conditioned home. The fur of a sphinx does not adapt at all to climatic changes, and the cat would need to be kept in a centrally heated environment in cold winters.
If you are allergic to cats, there will probably be no difference if you have long or short hair. Most human allergies to cats are due to the proteins present in the scurf or in the dry saliva that covers the hair.
Gender And Age
If cats are neutered (altered), there is little difference in terms of behavior between a male and a female. However, a neutered male maybe a little more indolent than a female. If you already have a cat in your home, it may be worth going to the opposite sex in your new cat. The established resident is more likely to aggressively defend their territory against a cat of the same sex.
Once the neutering process has quelled sexual urges, cats are likely to exhibit their true breed characteristics with more force. The attachment of the Siamese cat to its owner is accentuated, for example, and the Persian cats become even more placid and comfort-loving.
Male cats are generally larger than females. On average, a neutered and adult male cat tends to be slightly heavier than an entire male, with an average weight between 5 and 7.5 kg (10 to 15 lbs). the female is usually about 1 kg (2.2 lbs) lighter. The largest pedigree variety is the Maine Coon cat from the northeastern United States. It is known that Maine coon males reach about 10-12 kg. (20-25 lbs) weight. The smallest or most delicate breed is the Singapura with approximately 2.7 kg (6 lb), but breeders ensure that their cats fall within the minimum weight range to ensure successful breeding.
Choosing An Adult Cat
It may be easier to give an older cat a new home than a kitten. This is especially true if the cat is obtained from a major welfare source that has carried out rigorous health checks. An older cat will be more settled in its path and will certainly have an established temperament, a bad temperament due to the cat comes from an environment where it was not happy, it can improve with changing circumstances, but you do not have the new beginning you would have with a kitten. Male cats that have been neutered recently may have some battle scars from their fighting days, but this is a purely aesthetic consideration.
Where You Can Find A Healthy Kitten?
It is essential to choose a healthy kitten. One picked up from the street should be approached with caution.
Despite the pro-neutering campaigns of welfare agencies, un-neutered cats roam freely. This together with the rapid maturation of the cat makes it possible for a four-month-old female to become pregnant, resulting in the next generation. It is possible that these kittens are not physically strong, that they have been separated from their mothers too soon, and it is unlikely that they may have had veterinary attention or inoculations. Diseases such as feline influenza and feline enteritis can affect a very young kitten and kill quickly. In addition, feline immunodeficiency diseases (feline AIDS) may occur.
Some owners allow their cats to have a litter before neutering them, and then offer kittens free to good homes. They can ask search questions about your ability to take good care of kittens. Take this in good grace, because these are people who want the best for their kittens. In the United States, it is quite common.
If you want to give a home to an unwanted cat or kitten, go to a social welfare agency or human society. There are several large and well-known national organizations, as well as many smaller charities that serve homeless or unwanted cats.
In general, cats are not given to a new owner until they have had a veterinary check-up, but it is possible that the organization has not had the time or resources to conduct full investigations. This is particularly the case of feline AIDS immunodeficiency disease, the test of which is quite expensive. However, coats are routinely checked for parasites and fungal conditions, and regular vaccines are often given.
The main welfare organizations generally investigate thoroughly, including blood tests to ensure there are no feline aids or leukemia. In addition, once an animal has been chosen, they visit the house of the possible new owner to ensure that it is adequate. Such attention to detail means that they can charge for the kitten, which can make the prospective owner think twice before buying it. But whatever the cost, it is certainly less than the cost of bringing a street cat in doubtful conditions to their maximum physical condition.
Some pet stores offer kittens for sale only after the necessary veterinary checks and inoculations have been performed. However, for the kitten, the stress of leaving its mother, being in the store and then being sold to another new environment in a very short time can delay his development. By law in the United Kingdom, kittens should not be sold below six weeks of age. If they seem tiny, it is advisable not to buy them.
Where You Can Find A Pedigreed Cat?
Some breeders advertise in the local newspapers. This is a very unpredictable source since there are no guarantees that they have a good reputation. Some unscrupulous breeders produce kittens of the most popular breeds for profit. They may show little concern for the future welfare of the offspring or for the breed in general.
A much better idea is to request information in the clinic or local veterinary surgery about those in the area who specialize in several breeds. Often, if once the breeder has no kittens available at the time you want one, he/she will recommend another. Some breeders operate on a large scale and have large catteries, while others are breeders of “front parlor” in the breeding of a single pet queen.
Either can be a good source, the best way to get to know them is through recommendations through a veterinarian or a local breed club. It is also valuable to visit cat shows well before you actually buy. Here you will find enthusiastic owners and breeders who will explain the advantages and disadvantages of their favorite breeds and inform you about the available stock. Find out about cat shows in one of the specialist cat magazines.
Visiting The Breeder
Some breeders house their animals in an outdoor cattery, others inside their homes. A reputable breeder will not hesitate to allow a potential owner to visit. The advantage of the house-raised litter is that kittens socialize earlier. They have greater contact with the noise of everyday life, humans and perhaps other animals, such as dogs. On the other hand, disinfection and the restricted contact routine of a first-level cattery reduce the risk of diseases and infections. The kittens of a good cattery will be managed and socialized, but this process cannot be as complete as if they were raised inside the home. Beware of owners of unscrupulous cattery who raise kittens for financial gain. Conditions can often be poor.
You should usually make an appointment to see and select from a litter of kittens, but it is also possible to reserve a kitten before delivery if you are looking for a particular cat. By visiting the breeder, you can assess the general environment and the conditions in which kittens have been raised in the first vital weeks of their lives. If you ask the right questions and see the rest of the litter, the mother and possibly the father, you can build a complete picture of the kitten’ss heritage. It is the breeding line, how long its relatives have lived, how large it is likely to grow, what it will see as an adult. In addition, you can lay the foundations for a continuous relationship with the breeder, who, if he has a good reputation, will be available for advice and help in the coming years.
A pedigree kitten will generally not leave its breeder’s house until it is 12 to 14 weeks old. At this time it must be properly trained, inoculated and used to being handled. But it has been raised in an ideal environment, it may already be happy with dogs and children. But if it has not been in an ideal environment, it may have difficulty bonding with a new owner. In this case, it can be more easily adapted if it is taken away at 7 or 8 weeks.
How To Select A Healthy Kitten?
A kitten from a responsible breeder will have to go to the vet to get vaccinated against feline flu, feline infections and possibly chlamydia and feline leukemia. It will have been dewormed and its coat will be free of parasites and fungal lesions.
The cat queen goes through natural immunity to the diseases to which she is immune, through colostrum (her first milk) during the initial few weeks of kitten’s life. This immunity is effective until the kitten is between 6 and 10 weeks old when it must be replaced by artificially acquired immunity provided by inoculations. Before the age of 8 or 9 weeks, it is better not to interfere with the mother’s acquired immunity.
It is not advisable to take the kitten home before inoculation starts if you have other cats. They can be carriers of feline diseases against which the mother of the kitten is not immune and against which the kitten has no protection. The veterinarian’s certificate confirming the first or complete vaccination carries the important implication that the cat is in good health, otherwise, the inoculation would not have been administered.
What You Should Look For?
The prospective owner can make his own immediate checks by selecting a kitten. If you can see the whole litter, look at people with uniform growth and solid muscle tone. It is possible that the male kitten is already showing a larger skeletal structure than females. Kittens will be heavy for their size, and their spines should be well fleshed and not feel ridges and bony.
If you see the litter shortly after feeding, the kitten will probably be sleepy, but if they are willing to play, you can assess sociability. Scared and unsociable kittens rush to hide and show fear and disgust with trembling, bad language or claws or maybe all at once. The sociable but sleepy kitten purrs and almost certainly demands that its tummy is tickled. The playful kitten in good health has stamina and a spring in its step. It is alert and may already be showing intelligence and leadership in play. Instead of you doing the choosing, a particular kitten can choose you, inviting you to play and end up sleeping in your lap.
- The leather of the kitten’s nose should naturally be a little warm and a little wet. It should not be hot or dry or have a discolored discharge from the nostrils.
- Breathing should be clean and bright without discharges, tears, stains or redness.
- The mouth should show good light pink gums without furring on the tongue or ulceration.
- The ear should be clean and without wax.
Checking The Coat
Clean kitten skin has a lively feel; with a warm, naturally wholesome smell, with no evidence of parasites, rough patches or lesions. The most common ectoparasite is the flea, which leaves granular and gritty droppings. Typical sites for these droppings are just above the base of the tail, between the shoulder blades, under the chin, and in the armpits. An excessive infestation of flesh can cause a lack of liveliness and also indicate that the kitten may be infested with worms.
The signs of warm infestation are commonly a harsh coat and a swollen abdomen. In severe cases, the kitten may show signs of anemia and diarrhea. Check under the tail for staining or signs of soreness, which indicate diarrhea.