A kitten is going to grow into a cat that could be with you for more than fifteen years, therefore do not buy any kitten on impulse.
AGE: The kitten should be at least eight weeks old and have had its first vaccination (Inoculation). The paperwork, which may include the vet health check, vaccination certificate and booster requirements along with any written guarantee will be provided with the kitten.
DESEXING: Your kitten should be desexed as soon as possible. Consult your vet for advice on this, there are now more vets able to “juvenile desex” companion animals (you don’t have to wait for six months) and this early age desexing is to be encouraged. If you would not call yourself a cat breeder, get your cat desexed – it’s the right thing to do for you, your cat and your community.
HOUSE TRAINING: A kitten will usually copy its mother and will use a litter tray if one has been provided. A new kitten should be kept inside the house for several days after arrival, and always kept in at night, so it will need a litter tray even if you have a garden. Responsible cat owners never allow their cat to stray off their property – day or night!
CAT SCRATCHING POST: It is a natural and instinctive behaviour for a cat to scratch, scrape and exercise its claws. They really enjoy doing this on a thick doormat or a wooden scratching post. Insist from the start that your cat uses these and not the furniture; your persistence here will produce a socially acceptable cat.
REST: Kittens, like all babies, need a lot of sleep. Nobody should ever be allowed to wake the kitten up to play with it. Constant high activity is not good for your kitten.
HOLDING THE KITTEN: The correct way to hold a kitten is to cradle the hind legs with one hand and hold the front of the body under the chest and behind the forelegs with your other hand. This way, the kitten will feel more secure, particularly if held close to your body and therefore it is much less likely to struggle and/or scratch in an effort to free itself.
NAMING YOUR NEW KITTEN: Give the kitten a distinctive short name and call him before you feed him. He will soon learn to respond and come when he’s called.
OTHER ANIMALS IN THE HOUSE: If the kitten is to be introduced to other animals in the same household, if at all possible wait until the kitten has investigated the whole house whilst the other animals are out. They should then be introduced very carefully and gradually, preferably with one on a lead. There is no reason why all animals should not become good friends if properly introduced.