If you are thinking of purchasing a kitten, you will hopefully find some
useful information here to guide your decision.
Cats as family pets.
Cats can bring families together and provide endless laughs and a warm family
feeling of completeness. They give love, warmth and a comforting purr when you
are feeling low. Often, physicians prescribe the introduction of a pet to
people who have high blood pressure and other ailments. Cats are often chosen
because of their very clean nature, or because they can be left indoors for
longer periods than dogs. They don't dig up the yard, seldom smell, and can
pretty much take care of themselves. Cats are intelligent, playful, and yet
independent. Cats love being a part of the family and usually make the humans
their slaves in a very short time
Where will you cat live?
Most registered pedigree cat breeders will require that your kitten be an
indoor pet. There are many benefits in this. Indoor cats are less independent
than outdoor cats, and usually prefer humans as friends. They get fewer medical
conditions and injuries and often make better overall pets. On the other side,
they demand more of your time, must have their litter boxes cleaned more often,
and you are responsible for most of kitty's entertainment. Outdoors cats come
and go, usually coming for food and an occasional petting, and then off they
go, not to be seen for another day. They fend for themselves and require little
of your time. The drawbacks are that neighbours often complain about your cat;
you can become responsible for their mischief; and vet bills are higher because
of fights and other injuries. Pranks are often carried out on outdoor cats so
the chances of mistreatment or death are much greater. Accidents on busy roads
are also commonplace. It's hard to make an outdoor cat an indoor cat. It is
much harder if you go back and forth. This must be decided when getting your
cat and you must stick with your decision. However, if a breeder sells only to
indoor homes, you must be truthful about your intentions.
Male or Female cat
Both are great pets but different personalities. Males tend to be more
affectionate and kind, and more willing to share their new home with others,
particularly other females. They have the tendency to be less moody than
females but, unless altered (desexed) at an early age, they can spray the
house, thus marking their territory with a very foul smell. They also become
aggressive in fights. Females can be more moody, attract males if not spayed,
and are more independent, although they also display a lot of affection. Again
both make excellent pets.
When bringing a new cat home
Chances are kitty first will find its new "safety house". This is important;
as this will be your cat's hiding spot when kitty is scared. It usually will be
in a cabinet, either in the bathroom or kitchen…or under a bed. Once kitty
finds the spot, an old towel or shirt that you have worn and that has your
scent should be placed into the cabinet for kitty to lie on. If a cabinet
becomes that spot, remove any poisons such as cleaners, plant food and bug
sprays from that cabinet. Make a point of making sure kitty sees where you put
its litter. Cats will remember this very well. Next kitty will find its spot
for feeding. Cats like to be fed in the same area. They feel that area belongs
to them. Food should be in a clean dish. The same is true with water, Cats
drink a lot of water throughout the day and night and it is very important to
keep their water fresh and clean. When kitty is ready, it will start exploring
its new home. It is important to let kittens explore the area freely. They want
to know their surroundings and how secure they feel it is. This also gives them
the opportunity to find other secret hiding spots in case their main spot is
unavailable. Once he/she is comfortable with the surroundings, the kitten will
come to you and begin bonding. Allow it to make the first move. Cats do things
ONLY when they are ready. This is the nature of cats. When cats come to you,
they are accepting you. Cats do nothing they do not feel like doing. When
petting your cat, be gentle; kitty is not an 85-pound dog. When kitty wants to
sit on your lap, if you allow it, let the little one jump up and find its
Your cat has now accepted you, and now OWNS you. If you decide on having an
outdoor cat then be a responsible owner. Your outdoor cat will rely on you for
its food, health, love and, most of all, safety. Your community requires no
litters of unwanted kittens populating the area.
What sort of kitten should I buy?
Choosing a breed involves the use of library books, website, and visits to
shows. Of course, you may have a family history of a certain breed, or a friend
with a lovely cat which determines your choice from the outset, though it is
still worth asking whether this breed will fit into your home. If you are
starting from scratch you should look at your own lifestyle and environment. Is
there a lot of space? Is there a large garden? Is the house full of precious
items? Are there young children, a dog, birds or fish? Do you work and, if you
do, is there time to maintain the grooming a longhair cat will need? Is it to
be an indoor or outdoor cat? If you would like it to spend time outdoors, is
the environment safe? All of these will influence your choice of temperament,
even before you choose on appearance.
Consider your budget. Some pedigree breeds are very expensive and all are
moderately so, but remember that the outlay is far outweighed by the upkeep. It
is most likely that there will be more than one breed that will fulfil your
requirements and that they will differ in price.
What should I expect?
You should look for a healthy, clean, calm kitten that is fully weaned and old
enough to leave home. (FCCQ inc has an age suggestion of a minimum of
You must be provided with a vaccination certificate signed by a Veterinary
Surgeon proving that the kitten has received at least one 3-in-1 (flu and
feline enteritis) vaccination. Breeders will use F3 or F4 or F5 vaccinations.
You must also receive a Kitten Care Guide Chart, indicating what the kitten
eats, when it was last wormed, grooming information, what further vaccinations
are due, information on desexing etc., and the breeder's name, phone number,
and email address.
For a pedigreed cat, you should also receive a copy of the kitten's pedigree
or an official registration certificate, including pedigree, from FCCQ Inc. (or
another governing body).
A kitten purchased for showing/breeding must be registered. You should be
clear in your mind at the time of purchase whether the kitten is to be simply a
pet or if there is a possibility of it being shown or bred from at a later
date. Breeder will always want only a show-quality kitten on the bench under
their Prefix, so it is essential that this is discussed if a possibility. A
breeder will only sell a breeding cat to another breeder so, unless you are
prepared to go through the steps of becoming a Registered Breeder there will be
no possibility of changing your mind at a later date and letting "Fluffy" have
a litter of kittens. There can be quite a significant price difference between
the price of a pet kitten and those sold for other reasons. Many breeders have
a Contract that they require the purchaser to sign. These contracts are
enforceable by law. If there are to be any restrictions on the use of a
breeding cat, or the sale of its progeny for breeding, this will be made quite
clear to the buyer at the outset and included in the Contract. Buying a
registered kitten does not automatically give you the right to show or breed
from it without the breeder's permission.
How can I tell if the kitten is healthy?
The first consideration in buying any kitten is the environment from which it
comes. The cattery must be clean and all kittens and cats should all be in good
Some breeds unfortunately have genetic defects, e.g. PKD in Persians. It is
important that you research your breed and only buy from those catteries that
test their parent stock on a regular basis. A responsible breeder will inform
you of any problems with their breed and what steps they have taken to ensure
that the kitten you are buying will live a long and healthy life.
A quick check of eyes, nose, ears and coat should be made discreetly while you
give your new baby a welcoming cuddle. What you are checking for are any nasal
or ocular discharge that might indicate the kitten has/is coming down with an
upper respiratory infection, conjunctivitis, or even one of the more serious
cat flu viruses. Ears should be clean or just (normally) slightly waxy. The
coat should be clean, and there certainly shouldn't be fleas scurrying all over
the place. The general condition of the kitten should be sleek-coated with a
bit of a shine; the backbone and ribs should be smoothly covered with flesh,
and the tummy nicely plump. A longhaired kitten should have a clean, soft.
Fluffy, baby coat, with no bald patches, or knots. With the best will in the
world, even the most careful breeders occasionally sell a kitten which comes
down with something; it may only happen to yours too, as the ones still at home
have not been stressed by a change to a new environment. The breeder who takes
your phone number, and makes sure that you know that you can ring in case of
any problems — and return the kitten if necessary — can be considered a good
person from whom to buy.
What else should I look for?
The second consideration is the socialisation of the kittens. This hinges on
how they have been reared. Some breeders have outside catteries and some raise
kittens in their homes. Either way, the kittens should have they had lots of
handling and be people-orientated. If possible meet the parents; this is what
your ball of fluff will grow into. If the kitten is friendly and not timid with
strangers, you probably have no worries. However, some breeds are shyer and
need a bit of patient and quiet cajoling to show themselves. Here you as a
buyer have a responsibility. Do NOT take a mob of noisy children with you. Just
because a kitten is hesitant at first doesn't mean that it won't make a good
Is the kitten show quality?
Whether you are buying for showing or for breeding, you need a very thorough
understanding of the Show Standard of your chosen breed. Needless to say you
should be buying the best kitten in the litter, or if the breeder is keeping
the best, the second best. It is most desirable to buy a kitten that is
moderately good overall, with no serious faults, and perhaps one or two really
good features. The kitten must look like a good breed specimen, with balance,
head, body, eyes, coat and colour well within the breed specifications laid
down for the breed. The breeder should be anxious to ensure you have the best
kitten to represent their breeding to the broader Cat Fancy.
What if I have problems?
Any problems should be referred back to the breeder as a first course of
action The answers are usually simple and these are people with vast
experience, especially with the breed of cat you have bought. Remember their
reputations usually rely on word of mouth so of course they are always anxious
to ensure all their customers are happy but they can't help if you do not
inform them of any difficulties.
Secondly, even if your kitten is going to be the family pet and you do not
intend to show or breed, you should join a suitable club. Not only are you
mixing with other cat lovers so you can swap stories and experiences, but also
that Club will have a delegate to the Council and can raise any concerns to
representatives of the Cat Fancy. FCCQ Inc. has a number of clubs listed and
membership fees are usually around $10 or less a year.