Feb 23, 2010

A Kitten in the Family

Looking for a new kitten?  Time spent meeting and playing with a prospective new kitten is time well spent.  After all, your kitten will be part of your family for up to 20 years.
Kittens are optimally socialised if they are left with their mother and siblings in a cat-friendly family for at least the first 8 weeks of life.  In the rough and tumble of litter life they learn to temper their play  responses so that they are much less prone to aggressive play with people later on.
 Suki's kittens, pictured on the right, have been well-handled by a variety of people including children and men.  A big labrador dog loves to 'mother' them and they are gradually meeting other species such as horses as well.  With this broad spectrum of experience in the impressionable first 8 weeks of life they will no doubt fit into any family situation.
Because they have a more uniform genetic makeup pedigreed kittens are more likely to take after their parents.  However, any calm, laid-back parents will usually produce calm and confident kittens.
Steer away from shy kittens because shyness in cats is partly genetic in origin and may never be overcome no matter how much you work on it.
Avoid feral kittens or kittens that have not been handled by humans in the first 3 months.  They have a far greater chance of remaining pathologically anxious for life.
Above all talk to the family that has raised the kittens.  They will know the budding personality of each kitten and you can choose one that will fit best into your home.

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