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Cat Breeders: Choosing the Best Kitten for Your Family

Check out WebMD’s tips of what to look for and how to know if the kitten is right for you.
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Q: Should I go to the breeder’s home to see the kittens? And what should I look for when I get there to be sure the kittens are healthy?

A: Today’s environment has changed a lot and many breeders are hesitant to have someone come to their home. Also, because of the Internet, more and more people are purchasing kittens from longer distances, so it may not be possible to go to a breeder’s home.

But if you can, you should look for a clean home and well cared for cats with no runny eyes or noses. They shouldn’t be sneezing a lot or lethargic. They shouldn’t look sick. There may be an odor, because there’s more cat food in a cattery than a home, and whole, male breeding cats do spray, and that’s a very tough odor to control.

Q: How can I tell if the kitten I like has been socialized correctly?

A: They should have no fear of a person. They may not run up to you like a puppy, but they should certainly seem interested. They should be active. You don’t want a kitten that’s lethargic and just lying there. Most kittens are very playful, regardless of the breed.

Q: How do I choose the kitten with the best personality?

A: People need to think ahead of time what kind of cat they want in their household. One thing you get with pedigree cats that you probably won’t get with random bred cats is a predictable personality and temperament. So if I want a really active cat, I might want an Abyssinian. But an Abyssinian may not be draping itself over me like a lap cat. So if you want a cat that will be with you all the time, then you might look at the Burmese or the Persian, which is a very calm, mellow cat.

There are a lot of breeds that are good for children. The best thing is to ask the breeders if their cats are good with children. The breeder will know which kittens are better with children or dogs. Breeders also can tell you if a cat would prefer to be an only cat. They know the personalities of their cats and kittens.

It’s also not uncommon for a breeder to suggest that someone take a second kitten or cat, and it’s not because they’re looking to make more money. It’s because cats need to interact, they need someone to play with and keep them company, especially if the owner is working all day. Sometimes the breeder will have an adult cat that they’re looking to place that might be a perfect second cat to go with the kitten.

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