Adopting Your First KittenIf you are considering adopting a new kitten, I hope you will consider the local shelters and rescue groups as your first source. Your local shelters are probably bursting at the seams with cats and kittens, especially at certain times of the year.
If you really want a specific breed of cat and can't find one at the shelters, try a breed rescue group.
By adopting a "shelter" or "rescue" animal, you are giving an animal a second chance, and maybe it's last chance. Overcrowding and lack of resources results in many of these cats and kittens being euthanized.
You can also help to keep the pet population in check by adopting a "pre-owned" animal.
Before you go to the shelter or call a rescue group, you should have some ideas of what you are looking for in a cat or kitten. Are you willing to groom a longhaired cat as often as required? Are you sure no one in your household is allergic to cats?
Is this your first dog or cat? If so, you may want to talk to other pet owners to be sure you have a realistic idea of what you are getting yourself into. Remember that this is a long-term commitment, as much as 20 years for a cat! Look hard at your budget before deciding on a new pet. Don't forget food, vet expense, possible boarding or pet sitting, groomers, kitty litter, etc.
If you are adding to a household of pets, consider the ones you already have. Will they accept another animal? Most dogs and cats can learn to live with each other eventually, but some will have a harder time adjusting than others. Some cats do not tolerate other cats well. Planning ahead for the introductions and potential problems will ease the way considerably.
If you are renting, are pets allowed? Are you planning to move in the near future? Be sure to look at your lifestyle and environment. Once you have reviewed your situation and are certain that this is the right time for a new pet, then the question becomes "What breed of cat is right for us?"
My favorite breed of cat is the "domestic shorthair", a catch-all term for mixed breed cats. Really, unless you are looking to show or breed the animal, there is really no reason to choose a purebred cat.
Mixed breed cats tend to be healthier. Since most genetic anomalies and predispositions to disease are carried on recessive genes, mixed breeds will be less likely to inherit these traits. Often times you get the best of both worlds - or at least the best of both breeds. The animals will usually exhibit the most predominant traits of their breeds so knowing something about the different breeds will tell you something about the animal you are considering. Most breeds of cats differ only in physical characteristics, personalities are not determined by breed. Siamese, for example, are known for their vocalizations.
If you have your heart set on a specific breed, and you have done your research and know that the breed is right for you and your lifestyle, then you might want to consider looking for a rescue group for that breed. The internet is a good resource for finding a rescue group in your area.
When visiting a shelter, remember that cats are usually much more timid than dogs, and are often frightened by large, noisy spaces. Their behavior at the shelter is a response to their environment. They may seem frightened, shy or depressed. Talk to the shelter personnel, find out as much as you can about the cat's normal behavior.
Once in your home, with your love and care, their true natures will emerge. Hopefully they will turn out to be the perfect cat or kitten for you. And don't forget to have them spayed or neutered!
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About The Author: Elyse is the founder of The Original Dog Biscuit Company. She has extended knowledge of pet nutrition and feeding, as well as practical experience in the raising of cats, dogs and other animals. She is a herbalist, specializing in animals. Read more of her articles at: http://www.pethealthresource.com