How to Select Just the Right Cat

Want to adopt a kitten from the pet store, animal shelter, or from a breeder? Yet don't know how to choose just the right one? This article may be for you.


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    Go to the pet store/neighbor's house, or wherever there is a litter of kittens that need adoption.
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    Ask the owner how they have been treated, and if they have any medical conditions. If the cat is old enough, ask to see documents confirming that it's had its shots and tested negative for FIV and other such viruses. Depending on the cat's age, you should also ask whether or not it's been spayed or neutered, and if not and you're adopting from a shelter or rescue, whether or not they will do so before placing the animal. Most good reputable organizations will not adopt out a "whole" animal that still might reproduce and create more unwanted pets.
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    Watch the cats or kittens play and interact with each other for a short time. You should get an idea of which ones are mellow, and which ones are friendly. Enter the area where they are kept and sit down. Again, the friendly, curious ones will probably come up to you, and the shy, mellow ones will hang back. A tail between the legs is a sign that a cat or kitten is afraid - if so, don't push things. Try playing with them with a simple toy, and see which ones are energetic and playful, and which ones look like their future will consist of long naps in the sun. While hyperactivity may be cute in a kitten, consider what kind of cat you will want 10 years in the future.
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    Ask when the kittens were born to see if they are old enough for adoption. If they are, pick the one that seemed to like you the most, check its gender, and pay for it (or maybe you don't need to pay for the kittens). Kittens are usually best adopted out after 12 weeks of age, although there's no upper limit on how old a cat can be when you bring it home (shelters are often full of adult cats, and they're usually already litter-trained, too!).
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    Find out whether the cat you're interested is one of a bonded pair. Cats sometimes come into shelters with another cat with whom they have already bonded, or form a bond while in the shelter. If separated they may suffer emotionally and have difficulty forming future bonds with other pets. If you are looking to adopt two cats, an already bonded pair is a good choice, as they will comfort each other through the stress of relocation.
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    Here comes the fun part: Naming your new kitty! Pick out a name that fits your little bundle of furry joy.
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    If you don't have kitten supplies, or if it's still too young to take home, make arrangements concerning when you can come pick your kitten up. While you're waiting, you can make sure to purchase everything you'll need for it.
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    Buy a collar and tag with your address, phone number, and your cat's name. You can order a tag online. Collars are available at any pet store in your area.

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    Take the kitten home, and introduce it to its new surroundings. If it already knows how to use one, make sure the first thing it finds is where the litter box is. Also, if your house is large, consider allowing the kitten to only explore one room at first, followed by another, and another until it knows its way around the entire house.
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    Enjoy your cat.


  • Buy yarn, a litter box, cat food, cat food bowl, water dish, a cat brush, and cat litter.
  • Pet your kitten often.
  • Look up your breed on Wikipedia to check for certain medical conditions, and what climates they can live in (may be cold, may be warm, may even be really, really hot. For example, Africa or Hawaii).
  • Be sure to know how often you need to groom your cat.
  • Sphinx cats need to live in warm climates, due to very, very thin coat of fur.
  • Set up a budget for vet vaccinations.
  • Know if you live in a flea and/or tick-prone climate.


  • Don't let your cat eat chocolate or sugar.
  • Don't use floor cleaners with chemicals in them because the pads on the bottom of your cat's paws absorb chemicals, and that will make your cat sick.
  • Don't leave your cat unattended with yarn, string, rubber bands, or so on - your cat could eat them, causing serious intestinal problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Collar
  • Tag (which will be attached to the collar)
  • Litter box
  • Cat litter
  • Cat food
  • Water dish
  • Food dish
  • Cat Brush (for grooming)

Article Info

Categories: Getting a Cat