Before deciding to buy a kitten, make sure your family is ready for a cat. Cats can be difficult to own, they may have behavior and training issues such as not using the litter box, scratching, jumping up onto kitchen counters and aggressive tendencies.
Cats can be expensive to own. Not only will you have to pay for the food, but for a litter box and litter, immunizations, veterinary care and perhaps geriatric care when your pet is older.
In addition, many people are allergic to cats. Some people can handle short-haired breeds while others can't handle any type of cat in the house.
You can buy kittens from breeders or from your local shelter. Most shelters do have fees that cover the veterinary costs of housing the kitten and other adoption fees. The following tips will help you buy a kitten.
- Decide what you want in a cat. Long hair, short hair, big fluffy tail? Some people know they want a gray tabby, a calico kitten, or an orange tabby. Do you want a cat that will purr and curl up in your lap, or do you want a mouser for a farm?
- Decide whether you want a show cat, a cat for breeding or simply a pet. If you want a show cat, you will want a purebred cat from a breeder. A purebred cat will have 'papers' that will show who the kitten's mother and father were. Purebred cats are not necessarily prettier or better behaved than a mixed-breed kitten you can pick up in a shelter. If you just want a pet and aren't attached to a particular breed, consider getting your kitten from a shelter.
- Go to a breeder, or your local animal shelter. As cute as they are, it is not recommended you get a kitten out a cardboard box in front of your grocery store or from a child going door to door.
- Do not buy a kitten off a picture or description on letter, website or e-mail. This is a great jumping off point for to find the kitten you want, but you will want to take some time to get to know the kitten before deciding on it.
- Find out how old the kitten is. Kittens should never be taken away from their mothers before 5 to 6 weeks old.
- Ask the seller for your kitten's immunization schedule. Most shelters immunize the pets before they send them home. Many breeders do too. If your seller hasn't, it's not a huge deal, but you will want the needed immunizations done sooner rather than later.
- Decide whether or not to spay or neuter your kitten. Remember if you are not using your cat for breeding, they should be spayed/neutered to help prevent health issues in females and aggression in males.