Choose The Perfect Kitten
As you choose your kitten, understand the difference in breeds, cat life spans and how to convince family members.
I am adopting two, 6-week-old kittens. Could you tell me if a brother and sister will get along together, will the male spray, and would it be better to get two of the same gender? My 15-year-old FLUFFY had a heart attack 3 weeks ago and died at home here with me.
She was the love of my life! I am so used to having a female that I am nervous about getting a male. Would two sisters get along better? How soon can they (either gender) have their little operations? Should I have two boxes, one for each? Thank you, Pam Dear Pam,
So sorry to hear of Fluffy's passing. It seems that she lived a long and happy life. I hope the same rings true for and that you equally enjoy your new kittens. It is ok to be nervous. Firs thing, the brother & sister pair should be ok, (the gender will not make a difference). I think it is nice that you are keeping a family intact! Your kittens can be operated on after a couple of months. Spay / Neuter has more details on this topic. As for the litter boxes I think one should do, they are fairly small and can share. Check out Simba's Rules for that and other young kitten care tips. Keep me posted. Simba
Selecting the Perfect Kitten
Hi Simba -
I am looking for a new kitten. My vet will help me out she says. My vet any her team are the best there is. Do you have any advice on picking out a healthy kitten? Keep up the good work Simba (but do not forget to play!) Julie
I have put together some tidbits & tips to help you in your search.
Tidbits - Did you know that…
Choosing a Pure Breed vs. Mixed Breed Kitten
Hi Simba - I am thinking of getting a kitten and I have a couple of questions. Any difference in getting a pure-breed kitten versus a mixed-breed kitten? I want a kitten that will be friendly and follow me around. I know pure breeds tend to have the same types of personality. Also is there a big difference between adopting a 6-week-old kitten versus a 14-week-old kitten in the bonding I could have with him/her? Prospective Parent
Dear Prospective Parent,
How wonderful you are considering getting a kitten! Many factors will influence how you and a kitten will get along, including the kitten's age, the type of rearing the kitten has had so far, the breed and health.
All things being equal a younger kitten will form closer bond. However, the quality of rearing has a big impact as well. A cat that has been raised and cared for by people and/or has lived with its mother for 6-8 weeks will be better adjusted and may be more friendly than one that has lived outside all of its short life.
Breeds are known for their personalities. Since you are looking for an affectionate cat, a Persian or an Abyssinian may do it. These breeds are very affectionate. You can expect the cat to follow you from room to room and purr when with you. Note that cats of these breeds do require a lot of attention and can become depressed if you do not pay attention to them…you may want to consider getting 2 of them so they can keep each other company during the day. Health is very important. Be sure you choose a kitten that is energetic and playful, since these are more sociable.
Check out the tips below for additional information. Also, visit HomeoAnimal for interesting articles on pet adoption. Keep me posted. Simba
Convincing Mom & Dad About Getting a New Cat
I really want a kitten, but I already have a dog. I need to convince my parents to let me get a cat. I need know how I can train it to do its thing in the litter box only, not to scratch furniture, and to get along with my dog. I guess I need to teach my dog to get along with it too. Can you please tell me how I can convince my parents?! Katie
How very wonderful you are considering getting a kitten! Check out the Litter Training section for litter training kittens, Claws for controlling scratching and Kevin’s note for introducing cats & dogs. Best of luck. Simba
Cat Life Spans
I just lost my cat Gizmo. I had him since I was 6; I am now 14. He died from a urinary tract infection. His kidneys failed while he was at the vet's. It came so suddenly though. He was just fine one day and the next day he was sick. I miss him a lot. I am thinking about getting another cat but I do not know if I should get a pedigree cat or a mixed breed. Gizmo was a Persian and died at 8-years-old. I heard that mixed breed cats live longer. Is that true? Heather
So sorry to hear of your loss. Seems like Gizmo was a very dear and loved kitty. My heart goes out to you.
While breeds impact cat behavior, I am not aware that breeds alone can significantly affect life span. The following will help keep your cat healthy for the long term: