So you have decided that you want to have a wonderful feline in your life. You have calculated your budget, have and decided that you are ready for at least a fifteen year commitment for a forever home for your new cat. Congratulations! When choosing a cat for your new feline family, there are lots of factors to consider. We are here to help you make the right decision!
The first thing to decide is whether you want a kitten or an adult cat! Kittens are really cute but they do grow up quickly. In the growing up process they can go through some interesting stages such as climbing up your curtains or maybe even your legs. If you are a little older can you commit to the next 15+ years? Are you ready for a kitten that wants to get under your feet and could make you trip?
The advantages of a kitten are that you can help shape their behaviour to your needs, plus you get all the fun time and wonderfully amusement that they come with! However, you do not know what they will be like when they are grown. Learn more about raising kittens, and what the specific social, medical need of kittens here!
The advantages of an adult cat are that you really get to see its personality! An adult cat may also be good for you if you are older and are worried that your cat may live longer than you will, or if you have small children who might be too rough with a baby cat. Also, please consider than an adult cat is harder to adopt than a kitten, so you could be saving a life! Plus they will be calmer in temperament and that may be more suitable for your lifestyle. Learn more about what the specific needs of adult cats and senior cats here!
You should also consider the possibility of adopting two cats or kittens at once instead of just one. Kittens raised together develop really special relationships that are a joy to watch. They always have a buddy to cuddle and play with! There are often bonded pairs of cats in shelters who need to be adopted together who will bring twice as much joy into your home.
So, the next question where do you go to get your new cat? Here are some options.
Contrary to popular most cats in shelters are given up not because they are “bad cats” but simply that the original owner made a bad decision when selecting the cat. At La Clinique Veterinaire des Chats we often have some great rescue cats up for adoption. Most of these cats are quite simply abandoned due to poor owners. They have great temperaments and are exposed to so many different experiences while staying with us they learn to be very versatile and respond positively to lots of people and stimuli. We also work with a number of different rescue services.
One such rescue we love is Chatopia. They specialize in pure-bred cats so if you are looking for a pure-bred cat you could find the Siamese of your dreams, while still giving a rescue cat a second chance at a good home!
Here are a few questions you need to ask before adopting from a shelter or a rescue:
So you have fallen in love with the look of a particular breed and want to buy from a purebred breeder. Before deciding on your breed, please make sure you are well informed on the breed’s temperament characteristics. If you want a want a quiet cat, then a Siamese is not the breed for you as they are big talkers. Looking for a cuddly puss? Then probably pass on the Persians.
Purebred cats are also more likely to have genetically related diseases than non purebred cats. Familiarize yourself with what breeds are more likely to have which diseases. For example, Maine Coon cats often carry genes that make them have a higher rate of heart disease. It is a good idea to require proof from a potential breeder that the parents have had the appropriate genetic tests and what were the results.
Big breeder or small breeder? If the cattery is too big, the breeder may not have time to properly socialize the kittens. Also, Beware of cheap breeders often found only online. They will offer you a non registered kitten with no papers. These kittens are often not purebred and you could get just as good a cat from the local shelter
You should be able to see both the male and female on your visit to the cattery so you can judge the degree of friendliness of both. You should also be able to have a number of visits to the cattery. Beware of breeders who will not allow you this. A good breeder will be very choosy as to who adopts their cats and will perform some sort of screening of you and your home environment to make sure that it will be a good match.
As with adopting a cat/kitten from a shelter make sure you have asked the questions mentioned above from the breeder, and get everything in paper, including any medical records or vaccination certificates.
Please avoid pet stores that adopt from kitten mills as these poor kittens are often raised in terrible conditions, are non socialized and come with diseases. They also contribute to the overwhelming cat overpopulation in Quebec. There are some pet stores out there who no longer source their kittens from kitten mills, but make sure to verify this before bringing home a kitten from a store..
Also beware of the four day guarantee—most diseases that kittens harbour take at least 10 to 14 days before the kitten looks sick, so this type of guarantee is useless. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to adopt a new kitten and have them pass away within the first month.
Please never adopt a kitten/cat that comes declawed as part of the package. This does not mean that there are not lots of great cats out there waiting for their forever home that were needlessly declawed in shelters, but be wary as soon as a store or a breeder tries to push declawing on to your new friend. Learn more about declawing and why we strongly oppose it here.