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SELECTING A CAT
Cats make easy to care and relatively inexpensive pets, but they do need basic equipment, food, shelter and a share of loving attention. Choosing a cat as a pet is a long-term decision in the sense that cats may live for 10 years or more and it involves long term responsibility and commitment. So take your time to research and consider the options before you decide.
Some people may be allergic to cats,( for instance asthma patients) make sure you or a member of your family is not. If you have very young children at home it is not a good idea to get a cat because of the danger of the cat's sharp claws. Introducing a cat while there are already other pets can also cause problems of rivalry, but could be taken care of if you are more careful to the feelings of the older pets.
Whether adopting a kitten or an older cat, or deciding on a male or a female or on one or two of them or a particular breed, the right choice depends on one which suits your personality and your needs and the time you can spare for them, the space you can provide and the money you can spend.
First you will need to consider whether you prefer a pedigree pure bred or a non pedigreed cross breed. Non pedigree cross bred cats ( those cats with no family lineage and do not belong to any of the pure breeds recognized by National organisations) are in no way inferior to Pedigree (Pure bred) cats. The only advantage of choosing a purebred kitten is that you'll have a good idea of how he'll look and the kind of temperament he will have when he grows up by knowing his family lineage and the choice is important if you are going to show the cat.
A kitten is the best bet compared to an older cat, especially if you are new to cat owning as they are easily adaptable and trainable than older cats and it is fun to watch the kitten grow up.Adult cats can also make excellent pets if it has an history of a good home and problem free personality. Male cats tend to be bigger and un-neutered (non sterilized) male cats tend to be more active and destructive than females, but once sterilized, males behave more like females which are generally affectionate towards their owners. If people are out of the home for long periods it is good to consider getting two kittens instead of one provided you don't mind the extra cost and responsibility. In fact some breeds are happier when kept in pairs. But they may bond with each other more, than with you.
Cats come in a wide variety of colors, coats and temperaments. You must have an idea of the different breeds if you are choosing a pure bred cat. The main distinguishing characteristics being body type- head shape and the length of hair. Some breeds specialise in show qualities and others have certain colour or strength or disposition. Though not as common as in dogs, certain breed of cats such as the Persian, Himalayan and Siamese may have genetic problems that can affect their health. Get an idea about breed specific health problems. One of the most practical consideration should be while choosing a cat is its hair care requirements. A beautifully coated cat may be stunning to look at but needs constant care which requires lot of time and patience to keep the coat from becoming messy. Go for an attractive long haired cat, only if you have the time and inclination for it.
Once you have decided on a particular breed of pure bred kittens or a cross breed (moggie), the next thing is to pick out a healthy one from the lot for sale. It is always better and safer to get a pet from families with breeding female cats having a recent set of off springs so that the kittens are not exposed to the array of diseases found at pet stores, breeding farms etc. and you also get an idea about the animals parents. Another option is to get it directly from a good breeder. Good animal rescue centres or cat shelters with litters of pure bred kittens is another option. You can also approach veterinary centres for contacts of reputable breeders for pure bred kittens and owners of queens for cross bred or moggie kittens.
No matter where you get your pet from, have it checked out with a veterinary doctor and make your purchase only on his certification of good health. As far as possible get the necessary papers from the seller like its Pedigree ( a list of the cats forbears say parents, grand parents and great grand parents etc) in case of a purebred cat. The seller should give information about the kittens medical history outlining the shots it has had especially against cat flu and rabies which are dangerous; and its food habits etc.
Kittens should be at least 10weeks old, and preferably 12, before taking from their mothers. Any animal with sore or weeping eyes, a runny nose or mouth or a dull or matted coat or with skin lesions or bad odour should be avoided. The coat should be clean and feel dry. Choose the most lively and friendly kitten of the litter. It should be friendly enough to come up to investigate an outstretched hand and respond to stroking and allow itself to be picked up.
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