Before you decide to adopt a kitten, there are some key points to consider. You’ll need to think about:
1) How a cat will fit into your lifestyle. If you’re elderly, a more mature cat instead of a lively kitten may suit you better — and there are plenty of rescue oldies desperate for a home.
2) Whether you want to get one or two kittens — two may be better than one, as they’ll keep each other company.
3) The cost of owning a kitten — in just his first year, he’ll cost you over £1,000!
1) With a pedigree, you can have a rough idea what sort of personality (and appearance) your kitten will develop as he grows up, which can be very useful — for example, if you’re after a lively cat then an Oriental may be perfect for you. Alternatively, longhaired Persians are quieter — but you’ll need to be prepared to spend a lot of time on grooming. Some breeds are better suited to a life indoors than others, and some are more tolerant of being alone. Research any breeds you’re interested in thoroughly before taking on a pure-bred kitten. You may have to be patient and willing to travel to find your perfect kitten, and should expect to pay anything from £250 up to around £900 depending on the breed you choose.
2) When you welcome a rescue kitten into your family, it’s hard to know exactly what kind of cat he’ll grow into — but finding out is half the fun! Rescue centres around the country are packed with adorable bundles of fluff desperate for a home to call their own, each one totally unique. Check out the charity’s premises before being swept up in all the excitement though — pens should be separated with barriers between them, clean, in good condition, well-ventilated and with minimal smell. If you adopt a rescue, you should be prepared for an interview and home check, and willing to give a donation of between £20 and £60.
If you’ve picked a pedigree, make sure you receive his registration papers, which are vital if you wish to show him. Pedigrees are generally old enough to leave home when they’re around 13 weeks old, and should have already received at least an enteritis inoculation and a full course of cat flu inoculations. These inoculations should be included in the price.
If you’ve picked a rescue, he may be ready to come home with you when he’s as young as six weeks old, if he’s fully weaned by this age.
Remember to ask what vaccinations he will have had by the time you take him home. In addition, whether pedigree or rescue, find out what type of litter, food and feeding schedule your fluffy new edition is used to — this will come in handy when it’s time to settle him in to his new home.