Acquiring a cat as a new family member involves a number of different available avenues. The process might entail visiting a commercial pet store, engaging with an animal welfare agency, seeking out a reputable cattery or breeder, or considering adoption from friends or acquaintances. An additional option could involve perusing the pet sale section of your local newspaper, to find individuals in your community who may be selling or rehoming cats.
Despite the numerous options, it’s important to adhere to two key principles while navigating the process of bringing a new cat into your home:
- The first principle concerns the importance of trust in the individual or organization from which you intend to acquire a cat. It is crucial to ensure that they maintain a reputation for treating animals with respect and honesty. This aspect becomes particularly significant given the unfortunately common practice of selling kittens that are less than six to eight weeks old, despite the fact that they should remain with their mother until they reach a more mature age. Always verify that the seller is knowledgeable about and abides by this crucial developmental stage for kittens.
- The second principle to bear in mind involves ensuring that the cat you bring home is in good health, has been well-cared for, and displays a friendly disposition. This is not merely a matter of avoiding future medical expenses; it is about ensuring the well-being of the animal. It is recommended to inspect the conditions where the cats are kept, as unhealthy or unclean environments can be indicators of potential health problems. It’s advisable to steer clear of sellers who don’t maintain adequate living conditions for their cats.
Inquire about the cat’s pedigree registration, immunization history, and deworming certifications. Take note of whether the cat appears lively, nourished, and healthy, and ask if its parents reside in the same place. Seeing the parents can provide insights into the cat’s lineage and potential future characteristics.
Exercise caution and keep an eye out for signs of ill health in the cat. Cats exhibiting symptoms such as sneezing, colds, or diarrhea, even if they seem temporary, may have underlying health issues. To minimize risk, consider seeking the seller’s permission to have the cat examined by a vet before finalizing your purchase. This step will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the cat’s health status.
Also, be wary of sellers who seem uncomfortable or evasive when answering your questions. Transparency is a key quality of a trustworthy seller; those who are hesitant to share information may have something to hide.
Lastly, when purchasing from a cattery or animal shelter, thoroughly review their policies. Some establishments may require you to return the pet if you find you’re unable to care for it adequately. It is advisable to avoid organizations that won’t accept cats back, as this could indicate a lack of commitment to the long-term welfare of the animals.