This means that you should take the time to become aware of what’s involved.
Ask yourself some questions about any kitten you are considering:
Do you want a male or female?
Do you prefer long of short hair?
Will the kitten be indoor only, or outdoor?
Whatever you do, it is important to do everything possible to make sure you wind up enjoying the results of your decision. In some cases, you can wind up disappointed or in a terrible fix if the decision you make turns out to be wrong.
For example, a longhaired cat that requires lots of daily brushing may be hard to fit into your hectic day-to-day schedule. Or a cat that turns destructive or is not litter trained can be even more disastrous if you live alone in a small apartment and work long hours. Or do you have small children? Some kittens can be moody and irritable around youngsters. Or a child can unintentionally hurt them by squeezing them too hard.
For help in answering these questions, you may want to start by checking out books on kitten care and characteristics at a local library. Also, there are plenty of books, including inexpensive paperbacks, at bookstores, which can be very helpful. For that matter, you should feel free to ask us any questions that are on your mind.
Once you have decided what kind of kitten you want, check the potential kitten for the following points:
• Eye brightness
• Clean ears
• Clean, shiny hair coat and healthy-looking skin
• Good state of nutrition
• Nasal discharge
If you are selecting a cat from a litter, ask to see the entire litter and the mother. The most active and curious are the ones that make the best pets. One that hisses or resists your handling is not a good prospect. Do not let sympathy sway your judgment.
Also, remember that veterinarians make good, friendly advisors. We will be glad to help you make the best possible decision In fact, if you wind up buying a kitten, ask to bring the kitten in for a complete check-up before buying, this trip that can save you lots of money and sorrow later.
“Kitten-Proofing” Your Home: Kittens are lively and curious, which can get them into serious trouble. Remember that your young cat sees everything from a much lower vantage point than you – like a baby who has begun to crawl – and may be attracted to things you do not see while standing up.
It is impossible to totally “kitten-proof” your home against accidents, but here are some recommendations:
• Securely screen all windows to help prevent falls, and keep your kitten off of balconies, upper porches, and high decks.
• Securely store cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, bleach, paint, paint thinner, pesticides, fertilizer, disinfectants, mothballs, roach & rat poisons, medications, and antifreeze. Make sure you keep these in tightly closed areas to which your kitten cannot gain access. Keep all cabinet doors closed securely.
• Remove poisonous house- plants, or place them in hanging baskets completely out of reach of all kittens. Some plants that are poisonous include amaryllis, English ivy, narcissus, dieffenbachia, mistletoe, poinsettia, holly, philodendron, azalea, rhododendron, daffodil Daphne, foxglove, bleeding heart, potato, iris, ivy, oleander, rubber plant, tobacco, tulip, clematis, morning glory, and weeping fig.
• Keep toilet lids down. Young kittens may decide to play in the water, and the lid could close and trap them; also, toilet bowl cleansers are harmful if swallowed.
• Store plastic bags where the kitten cannot get inside them and suffocate or chew/tear them and swallow bits of plastic. Plastic six-pack holders used for packaging beverages should be cut apart.
• Keep exposed electrical cords as short as possible, or tack them against a baseboard so the kitten cannot play with or chew on them.
• Never give your kitten any medication without first consulting with your veterinarian. Never use over-the-counter products on kittens without first checking with your veterinarian. Veterinarians are the true pet experts. Guard against potential exposure to human medications. Even in small doses, aspirin, acetaminophen, diet pills, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers can all be fatal to your kitten.
• Keep all dresser drawers, trunks, and closets closed. Always check to see where the kitten is before closing refrigerator doors, the oven, washer, or dryer.
• Always be sure your kitten is secure before leaving the pet alone. We strongly recommend the kitten be confined in a plastic travel crate for at least the first few months.
• If the kitten is allowed outdoors, always be sure to blow your horn and hang on the hood before starting and moving your vehicle. Kittens especially like to crawl up under the hood to keep warm.
• Keep sewing supplies out of your kitten’s reach. Buttons, needles, pins, and thread can hurt his mouth or cause intestinal obstructions if swallowed. The same goes for nails, staples, screws, brads, earplugs, and aluminum can tabs.
• Do not use electric blankets for the kitten’s bedding.
• Never put anything other than the appropriate collar around a kitten’s neck. Ribbons can easily choke the kitten if they should get caught on anything.