Would you like to purchase a kitten? Realize that a cat costs attention, love, time and money. Asylum is unfortunately full of cats because not everyone realizes in advance what caring for a cat entails.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have enough time to give the animal enough love and attention and to care for it (such as grooming the coat)?
Will I be able to maintain a cat financially if the cat suddenly needs treatment at the vet’s? Can I then pay for this? (Read here what an average cat costs).
What do I expect from a cat? (Realize that every cat is unique in his personality and that not every cat likes to be petted or sit on your lap).
Do I have enough space available? (A one-room apartment is less suitable for a cat if he would only stay indoors. If the cat also has the option to go outside, this would be an option).
Can a cat stay in my house? Are you renting a property? Some landlords have stated in the lease that no pets may be kept. Check this well in advance.
How do my housemates like a cat? How do other family members like a cat? Do they also like to take care of the four-legged friend? Are there any other pets present? Is it realistic to introduce a new cat to the current pets? (Read here how to introduce a new cat to a cat who has been living in the house for some time).
Is one of my housemates allergic to cats? It would of course be a shame if someone in the house is allergic to cats. If there is a suspicion of allergy, have it tested by your doctor to prevent you having to say goodbye to a kitten later because a family member cannot stand it.
How much value do I attach to my freedom? Cats are fairly easy, however, you have to keep in mind that you cannot pack your bags spontaneously and you can go away for a weekend. You will have to arrange a catsitter for your cat. If you go on holiday in the high season, make sure you have arranged a catsitter for your cat on time.
If you have answered the above questions for yourself and you have made the well-considered choice to purchase a kitten or cat, you may make even more choices.
An adult cat (from the shelter) or a kitten? A purebred cat with a pedigree or one without a pedigree? Long or short hair? And will it become a cat or maybe even more cats? A male cat or a female cat?
You will probably have a preference for certain external characteristics of a cat. Such as the color of the coat, the build and size of the cat. Consider how the external characteristics influence the care for the cat. A long-haired cat needs more intensive coat care than a short-haired cat. A larger cat needs a larger scratching post and litter box. You can also have a preference for a certain breed. Every cat is unique yet breeds have certain behaviors that are very characteristic of that breed. Read well about the breed. For example, Bengal with their tiger fur are very popular, but they do need a lot of exercise and not everyone is aware of this before they purchase a Bengal.
Diseases in cats
Purebred cats are tested for hereditary diseases before they go to a new owner. The parents of purebred cats have also been tested for these disorders (A purebred cat is also a bit more expensive to purchase, read here how this is done). A non-pedigree cat and its parents are usually not tested for diseases. For non-purebred cats, try to find out as much as possible about the parents. Have they had all the vaccinations? Have they been sick? What are the other kittens from the litter like? Do they look healthy, have they all been born alive? If something is wrong with one of the kittens from the litter, this may be an omen that something is wrong with the other kitten.
Gender of the kitten
Whether you go for a male cat or a female cat is a personal choice. If kittens are neutered / sterilized at the age of 6 months, they are unlikely to cause any inconvenience. A non-castrated cat can sometimes cause some problems when spraying. Keep this in mind.
Stay away from breaders who are only interested in money, this is how you recognize an unreliable breeder
Because there are few guidelines, it is sometimes somewhat difficult for potential cat buyers to determine whether you have a reliable breeder. For breeders you can check whether they are affiliated with cat associations and whether they can submit the correct documents. Try to stay away from breeders who are only interested in money.
Are there many litters and doesn’t the breeder have enough staff?
Chances are that you are dealing with an unreliable breeder. He will not be able to invest enough time in socializing the animals.
Is the mother cat present?
Do not purchase a kitten if the mother cat is not present. Does the breeder not want to show the mother cat? Then that is not a good sign. The mother cat, just like the kittens, should look clean and healthy.
Is the nest in the house?
Then there is a good chance that the kittens will also be well socialized. If the nest is in a shed, there is a good chance that the kittens will not be socialized. It is best if the kittens are already in a similar situation during the socialization process to which they end up later. Do you have children yourself? Then it is to your advantage if the socialization process also takes place in a cattery in which the kittens are also exposed to dealing with children.
Is there a clean litter box and is the nest clean?
The mother cat will clean the nest but the breeder must have taken care of a clean litter box.
Check whether the kitten is healthy.
If you have the possibility to lift the kitten, check if his eyes are clear and open and if the kitten reacts alertly. A kitten must feel firm (not too thin). A healthy kitten has clean ears and a clean nose from which no moisture flows. He doesn’t sneeze either. The anus should also be clean, no signs of diarrhea.
A clean coat without any signs of parasites such as flakes or scabs of bald spots or flea pooches. (You can recognize a healthy cat from this).
Does the breeder ask you to disinfect your hands? This is something positive, the breeder tries to ensure that the kittens are not infected.
Have the kittens been socialized?
How do they respond to you? Can you pick up the kitten? Are they not scared but investigative? Play with the kitten to see how he reacts to you. Does he crawl away and can’t you pick him up? Then he is probably not well socialized. It is also more difficult to take care for a frightened kitten later. It is then more sensible to look for a better socialized litter.
When can the kitten leave the nest and is he then vaccinated?
A pedigree kitten can only go to his new home with 13 weeks. They already had the first vaccination with 9 weeks and the second with 12 weeks. The vet has provided proof of this in the vaccination booklet. You get this. Non-purebred kittens often leave the nest earlier, then check carefully whether the kitten has had its first vaccination and is chipped.
Read the purchase contract critically
And discuss with the breeder if there are things in it that you do not want. (It is customary for a breeder to include in the contract that no further breeding may be done with the purchased kitten). If you do not buy the kitten from a breeder, you can still draw up a purchase agreement or ask for proof of payment when you come to collect the kitten.
Are the above points correct but do you not have a good feeling with the breeder or the person offering the kitten? Then it is wiser to look for a breeder where you have a good feeling. This is to prevent regret.
Have you decided to bring a kitten into the house? Read more about how you can make your home catproof.