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Want to get a kitten but do not know what type of where to start...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi people,

New here, from London UK

I'm 22 - I live with my family and have a neice who is 3 years old also.
I'm big into animals.

I was thinking of getting a dog but I do alot of work and am quite busy as I work for a company and also freelance as a web designer and have a lot of things in the pipeline. I spend alot of time at home and feel if it was a dog, I wouldn't be able to give it the time it needs with walks and such.

I do think I can handle a cat though - I would like to get a kitten, both for myself and my neice to grow with.

Are there any tips or advice you guys can give me?

I want a clean type of breed and also playful, I'm not a fan of the cats that just sit there and look around, lol...I like the ones that are playful.

Any advice on this?
post #2 of 7
I highly recommend getting two kittens at the same time if that is at all possible. They will keep each other out of trouble and they will always have a friend.

As for breeds, I really don't know too much about cat breeds. All of my cats are domestics (moggies), and they are great.
post #3 of 7
If you get one or two please, please, please consider adopting a shelter cat. The fees are minimal (compared to the price of a pure-breed cat) and you'll be saving a life. You can also go the the shelter and play with all the cats/kittens and pick one that seems to fit what your looking for. Of course, sometimes the kitten will pick you!
post #4 of 7
If you decide on a cat from a shelter, in London you have a good range to choose from, depending on which part of London you're in - try the Cat's Protection League, the RSPCA, and Celia Hammond Animal Trust. You could also ask at local vet offices, they often know of kittens needing homes.

2 kittens are better than 1, they keep each other entertained, single kittens are extraordinarily hard work!

In terms of breeds, if you are after an energetic cat, I highly recommend Siamese or Oriental. They are definitely not couch potatoes, very playful, intelligent, and inquisitive. They do love to be the centre of attention, and as well as being playful and active are also a true lap cat and love affection and cuddling.

Although I can't think of any one particular breed of cat known for being good with children more than another, a lot of Siamese and Oriental owners that I know say that their cats tend to adore the children in the family. If your neice can be gentle and learn to be respectful of a cat (children of that age can differ enormously in that respect!) then I think they'd be a good choice. I can recommend breeders by PM if you are interested - only for Siamese or Oriental though, I wouldn't be able to help with other breeds.

Make sure not to get a kitten too young - a good breeder won't allow them to leave their mum any younger than 13 weeks old, which is the right age. Although you see plenty of 6 week and 8 week old kittens looking for homes, they are way too young, and can develop some (quite painful) behavioural problems, as they haven't had the opportunity to learn not to play rough by experience with their mum and siblings. I wouldn't recommend taking on a kitten any younger than 13 weeks if you have a child in the house, as the kitten won't have learned that claws and teeth hurt. A kitten of a more appropriate age will have much better social skills! Prices are in the £350-£400 range, cheaper than many other breeds due to their popularity.

I hope that helps!
post #5 of 7
Whether you adopt from a shelter or buy a purebred here's some basics:

1. Adopt a kitten no younger then 10-12 weeks old. Ideal is 12-16 weeks because a kitten has to learn social/behavioral things that only mom cat and siblings can teach them. Its more then just knowing how to eat solid foods or use a litter pan.

2. You want a good social kitten. If adopting a young kitten (under 6 months old) its better to get 2 so they can keep each other company. Since you are not in the US, you probably won't find a vet to spay/neuter till 5-6 months old, so if possible and you want a male and female then adopt ones older then 6 months and already spayed/neutered so you won't have to worry about kittens.

3. I recommend males over females as they are more social, more outgoing, and more accepting of new animals.

4. Look on the net at descriptions of different breeds and narrow it down to a few that you might be interested in. Decide if you want a shorthair or longhair. Longhairs require daily to 2-3 times a week grooming (combing, etc.)

5. Attend a cat show if interested in purebreds so you can see the adult cats, talk to breeders and get a chance to know the pro/cons of the breed.

Also, cats are a commitment - if you don't have the time, money or not committed to 15-20 yrs of a companion, please don't adopt.
post #6 of 7
Almost all kittens are going to be playful, so you may want to choose an older cat, maybe a year-2 years old that already has its personality traits set in, my parents cat is 13 and absolutly crazy, still acts like a kitten, and my cat Mellow is just over a year old,and I can get a moments peace, he is always bringing his toy to me to play with LOL

Think about how much you want to pay for a cat, most breeds are going to cost well in to the hundreds of pounds, a shelter cat should be around 100 and will already be fixed, and will be in desperate need of a good home.

If you decide with an active playful cat and you know you wont always be around make sure you have plenty of climbing trees and scratching posts that will provide a fun place to play or consider a second cat.
post #7 of 7
Shorthairs are generally more active and playful then longhairs
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