Finding a Family-Friendly Feline Fellow
If you are planning to bring a purebred kitten/cat into your family you should do your homework before the decision. Sudhakar Katikineni, WCF Judge, President of ACF (Alliance of Cat Fanciers) in conversation with Cats & Kittens, tells about finding the one with right personality and energy level for you and your lifestyle.
Cats & Kittens: Can I buy new kitten from pet store?
Sudhakar Katikineni: We generally suggest people not to buy cats from the pet stores. You don’t meet the breeder at pet stores. You don’t know where the kitten came from, how long she has been there… anything like that.
C&K: What questions should I ask to determine if someone is a professional breeder?
SK: How long have they been breeding? Do they show their cats in cat shows? Do their cats have any titles? Is their cattery registered with any organisation? Does the kitten given with a valid Pedigree and a microchip?
C&K: Breeders often ask a lot of questions. Why do they want to know all this information?
SK: The more questions the breeder asks the purchaser, the better. It shows they are concerned about the type of home their kitten is going to. That will lessen the chance of the kitten being returned. For good breeders, placing a kitten is like placing a child. If the breeder doesn’t ask any questions, if they just want to make a quick sale, I would suggest you to stay away from that breeder.
C&K: Will the breeders give me a health guarantee and agree to take the cat back if I can’t keep her?
SK: Most professional breeders will give you a health guarantee. And most will gladly take a cat back, rather than have the cat given away or, even worse,
taken to a shelter if something isn’t working out.
C&K: How old should my kitten be when I bring her home?
SK: Most professional breeders will keep kittens until they’re four months old. That’s when they’re more socialised. Kittens socialise slower so they need that time with their mother and their littermates. They also have most of their shots by then.
C&K: What should I look into if I want to adopt a cat from a shelter?
SK: Adopting a shelter cat is a great way to build a lasting friendship and give a home to a cat who needs one. Deciding between adopting a young or old cat is more important. A kitten is definitely a bigger responsibility—like a baby they need lots of attention. Adult cats are generally calmer and more experienced with people (and children) than kittens so an adult cat is likely a better choice.
C&K: What arrangements should I do before the arrival of my first cat?
SK: Just like humans in a new environment, your cat will probably be a bit nervous when you first bring her home. To help her get settled in and start to relax, there are several things you can do.
- Cat proof your house
- Beware of poisonous plants
- Secure electrical cords
- Litter box, scratch pad and toys to play
Last but not least, have plenty of patience and understanding. By doing so, your new cat will eventually warm up to you and hopefully realise she has hit the jackpot for a great kitty home!