Every home is different, and everyone has their own lifestyle. So it’s important to choose a kitten who’ll settle in comfortably with your routines. That way, she’ll be happy in the long run – and so will you!
Pedigree or moggy?
A good way to find out about the 32 registered UK cat breeds is to use the Whiskas Breed Selector – an online tool designed to help match the right breed of cat to your own lifestyle.
You can also visit the website of The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy [http://www.gccfcats.org/]. The GCCF is an independent organisation which governs the registration of cat pedigree breeds.
Pedigree cats often have particular temperaments or needs – some can be difficult around children, for example. If you’re interested in a particular breed, read up on it to find out if it’s the right cat for you.
A pedigree cat can cost several hundred pounds. If you want to buy one, first check with your vet or the GCCF that the breeder is reputable. During the purchase, make sure the breeder gives you the necessary paperwork to prove your cat has a healthy pedigree.
On the other hand, remember that four out of every five cats in the UK are cross-breeds. So, if you choose to buy a moggy, you’ll be in good company,
You might also consider adopting a kitten or cat from one of the many rescue centres around the country. By doing so, you’ll be giving a deserving pet a loving home.
Some charities to consider
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home - www.battersea.org.uk
Edinburgh Cat & Dog Home - www.edch.org.uk
Mayhew Animal Home - https://themayhew.org
Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter - www.dogandcatshelter.com
Ashbourne & District Animal Welfare Society - www.ashbourneanimalwelfare.org
Grooming and hair length
Long-haired cats – such as Maine Coons, Persians or the Turkish Van – need daily grooming to keep their coats healthy and free from tangles.
If you’re looking for a lower-maintenance cat, you’ll want one with shorter hair. The great thing about short-haired cats is that they groom themselves. However, you can also help them to groom as it is a good way to bond with them as well keeping away hairballs! Learn about cat grooming and get closer to your cat.
Male or female?
This is really down to personal preference. Neutering is recommended for most kittens before puberty, and neutered male and spayed female cats generally display similar personality traits. If you’re raising two kittens from the same litter, it’s best to take two of the same sex, although early neutering makes this less of an issue.
How many cats?
Generally speaking, cats like to be the only feline in the home. But if you have enough space, raising two kittens together can be very rewarding. Not only will they keep each other entertained while you’re out, but you’ll get double the enjoyment! If you do raise two kittens, it’s a good idea to take them from the same litter. That way they’ll already know each other, and will be more likely to have similar personalities.
Introducing a young kitten to an adult cat also needs careful handling. Take your time, be patient, and make sure each cat has individual space, feeding and sleeping areas.
You’ll find more details in our article Introducing other cats and animals.
Do I have young children?
Some breeds of cat don’t like being around children. The same may be true of a kitten with special needs, or who’s had a troubled start in life. So it’s important to check on the kitten’s background and breed characteristics before taking her home. The best thing to do is take your child along to meet your prospective kitten. How does the kitten react? Is she sociable and energetic, or nervous about meeting new people or being handled?
Once you’ve got your kitten home, don’t forget that little bundle of fur has sharp claws and teeth like needles! Biting and scratching is a natural part of boisterous kitten-play, even more so if she feels threatened. Young children may need help to understand that your new kitten is not a cuddly toy, but a living animal who can easily get hurt or upset. Take things slowly, and supervise your children until they’ve learned how to handle your kitten safely.
You’ll find more details in our article Kittens and children.