Getting a Kitten
It is always exciting choosing and then getting a kitten.
There are many places you can be getting a kitten from such as a breeder, a rescue centre, an ad in a local paper, from a friend or neighbour or even a kitten that you may have found and nobody owns or wants. Some you may pay a lot of money for (such as a Pedigree) and others it may be a donation to the charity that you are adopting the kitten from.
Wherever you are getting a kitten from it is important that you are prepared when it comes time to taking him or her home. You should have at least the basics and these should include
- An appropriate sized litter tray (one that is easy for your kitten to enter and exit). You can get a bigger one later when they grow up a little more.
- Cat litter (a clumping one is best to start with) Kittens taste everything and some litter may be swallowed so if you use a wood chip litter it could swell in their stomach and cause a blockage
- A small shallow but wide bowl for water. Some may prefer a drinkwell as this has running water but be careful as this has to be plugged into an electric socket and kittens may chew trailing wires.
- A small wide bowl or saucer for food. A ceramic or glass dish is a better choice as plastic can taint the food and a stainless steel bowl can throw back their reflection and deter them from eating.
- Somewhere warm, safe and quiet for your kitten to sleep. This can be an expensive bought bed or can just as easily be a cardboard box with a warm jumper put into it. (If you put in an old jumper of yours with your scent in it will then help to bond the kitten to you.)
Getting a Kitten – it should ideally be at least 8-9 weeks old.
your kitten may be 14 weeks or older if you are getting a kitten from a breeder. This means that your new kitten will have how to be cats from their mother from the ages of 5-7 weeks of age and they practise on their littermates. If they have been taken to early they will usually have difficulties later in life when it comes to dealing with other cats as they do not know how to read the signs correctly and this can get them in trouble.
Kittens learn very quickly and everything that they do is a lesson in life. They are very playful but will sleep a lot. It is better said that they will have burst of play in between bouts of sleep.
The signs for a healthy kitten are:
- Bright clear eyes ( no discharge or inner eyelid showing as this can be a sign of illness
- Moist cold nose ( a dry warm nose may be a sign they are feeling a little under the weather(
- Clean ears ( ear wax in cats is naturally brown but if they shake their head after rubbing them it could be that there is ear mites present)
- Soft fur with no feeling of grittiness (If there are small black specks present in the fur it could be the evidence of flea dirt and you don’t want to introduce them into your home as this can be a large problem)
- An interest in exploring anything new ( they should have a little bit of a hesitation but over all they should investigate new things and people)
- A healthy appetite (They should show an eagerness for the food with out being ravenous)
- It is important not to give your kitten milk to drink as they can develop intolerance to the lactose in the milk and this will result in health problem such as vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
Try to feed them the same diet that they are use to so check with the person whom you are getting a kitten from. They may even give you a diet sheet but check that it includes kitten food either wet or dried.