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By TCA, INC. President, Barbara Erickson
“Remember you don’t choose the kitten, it chooses you! Once you have found a kitten that you are considering purchasing, make arrangements to go and visit the breeder while the kitten is still nursing, and again at about 5-6 weeks. This accomplishes a couple of things. It allows you to see the interaction between kittens and parents and the conditions of the breeding facility and in particular, the condition of the queen’s area.
Look for cleanliness of surrounding area, cat box odor, adequate litter boxes, ventilation, food and fresh water.
At 5-6 weeks, the kittens should start socializing with the other members of the family, both two legged and four legged. Now they are at the cute stage, where they are learning to run, pounce, prance and fuzz their tails. They are also in the process of being weaned, so now there may be litter box odor depending on the size of the litter and the number of boxes available. There shouldn’t be, but sometimes the owner has not yet had a chance to clean. A good clue is to pick up a kitten. The kitten should still smell like a kitten and not have a cat box odor about it. If it does, chances are the odor is a permanent smell in the facility.
During the weaning process, the queen may be a little ragged looking due to the growing kittens, but her eyes, nose and ears should be clean and clear. Her fur should be soft and clean, with no matting or foul smelling odor about her.
When it’s time to get your kitten, plan on going and spending a little while sitting on the floor. That way you can see how the kittens interact with each other, their parents and any people that are around. Are the kittens energetic or lethargic? Do they come running out to see “who’s here” or do they hang back? Do they appear to be afraid of humans or are they immediately in your face? All important things to look for to make sure that your perspective kitten is properly socialized.
Does the breeder answer your questions? If they don’t know the answer, do they volunteer to get the information for you?
If you are getting a registered kitten, ask to see the registration papers for the parents and the cattery. If they can’t provide them, you may not be getting a registered kitten.
If the breeder has said that the kittens and parents have been vaccinated, make sure that you see the records of the parents and that you get the vaccination record for your kitten.
If you feel uncomfortable with any part of the visiting process or choosing process, think about it or look elsewhere.
A few problems with possible solutions.
About cats on counters: Try packaging tape placed on the counter in the exact places that kitty lands, making sure that the sticky side is up.
Place a dish of marbles that will make noise or spill.
Place wads of tin foil that will make noise when landed on.
Place a dish of white vinegar on top of the foil.
For accidents on the floor: After shampooing, place a food dish on top of foil. Cats don’t eat in the same place they use for pottying.
If it’s an accident, blot dry with paper towels, apply white vinegar to the spot, let it air dry and then shampoo.
Oil of eucalyptus works well too in keeping kitty off counters and in taking away some urine odors, especially for young kittens and females.
Did you know, that some females, when in heat, will spray just like a male? A good reason to spay your female if you are not breeding.”
QUOTE: “Keep moving if you love life, and keep your troubles well behind you.” John McCain
All of us have been keenly aware of the dangers of second hand smoke. A study in the “American Journal of Epidemiology” reported that cats living with a person who smokes are twice as likely to develop lymphoma, the most common cancer in cats, as are those in smoke-free homes. Cats living with two people who smoke have four times the risk. This includes fireplace smoke as well. Cats are particularly affected by smoke because they spend their lives indoors and because they ingest particles that have fallen on their fur when they groom themselves. It was suggested to people who smoke to keep their cats out of rooms where they light up. Brushing or bathing the cats also helps.
The Traditional Cat Association, Inc.©1987®TM
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