Monday, 8 August 2011

Advice when buying a kitten


We are fortunate in that, having chosen breeding cats for their health and temperament as well as looks, we have on the whole avoided problems and been very lucky with our breeding stock. Vieuxtemps kittens are born in the bedroom and live indoors with us as part of the family. They are NEVER kept in pens or cages. In addition, before leaving home at the age of 13-15 weeks they are all microchipped and have full inoculations including leukaemia plus a full veterinary health check. We think we owe them the best possible start in life, even if it costs us extra.

Always ensure that you are happy with the living conditions of both parents and kittens. Buying a ‘cheap’ kitten from a backyard breeder could end up very much more expensive, and even result in heartbreak.

  • Do you have enough time as well as money to give the kitten all s/he deserves?
  • Will the particular kitten suit your lifestyle?

It's the easiest thing in the world to fall in love with the very first kitten you see. But you have to remember that a new kitten will hopefully grow into a long-term family member; you must be prepared to spend at least twelve to fifteen years with your new companion – hopefully longer! So the choice should be very, very carefully made.
Why choose a pedigree kitten?
 Although they are all beautiful, most moggies are often born into less than ideal circumstances, with no inoculations and little socialisation, making it difficult for the kitten to grow up into a healthy and well-balanced adult. When you choose a kitten it is worth taking time to seek out the right breed for your circumstances. If you buy a pedigree kitten you can also have an idea of how the kitten will look and behave as an adult, though individuals vary of course. If you cannot afford the initial price (usually £400-500 for an NFC), you are unlikely to be able to afford to look after the cat properly in future. Certainly we make no profits from the sale of our kittens - we do it because we love Wegies so much! And we make lots of friends into the bargain. Check out the Norwegian Forest Cat breed descriptions under “articles” on this website. If the breed doesn’t seem right for you, search for information on other breeds on the World Wide Web - there are lots of excellent cat websites around.

Which breeder?
It is important that you should choose a breeder you can relate to happily, and whose breeding methods seem wholesome and caring. We suggest you should not support breeders who over-breed their queens, readily pass on cats that are past their "usefulness", use breeding stock with medical defects or who keep cats and kittens in small runs or cages.  I would NEVER recommend getting a kitten that has been brought up out-of-doors. It is worth doing a little research and asking as many questions as you like before buying a kitten.  The first few weeks of a kitten's life are all-important for a lifetime of well-being. Has the kitten had enough time devoted to her? Does the breeder care enough to provide the best possible diet, veterinary care, inoculation programme and of course constant TLC? Are the parents happy, healthy, friendly and handsome cats?
When a mother cat has been feeding kittens for some weeks she can often look a little frayed, and is sometimes out of coat, but you should still be able to judge if she is basically robust and content. Cats' personalities are often passed on to their offspring, so be sure to meet both parents if possible. The surroundings should be clean, but not over clinical. Kittens should be able to experience all the sights and sounds of a normal busy household, not be shut away and should be happy to be handled. It is a good tip to visit more than one litter of kittens before you make your final decision. However, make sure you visit on different days so as not to spread germs. Good breeders will be happy to allow you to see their cats without obligation, as we at Vieuxtemps always are, but do please make an appointment.

No comments:

Post a Comment