Finding Your Dream Cat
If you're going to get a purebred cat, it may be possible to attain one from a local animal shelter. Some purebred cats are put up for adoption by breeders because they are not show quality or do not meet a certain breed standard, but this will certainly not keep them from making a wonderful pet. If you're unable to find the purebred you're looking for at an animal shelter, or if you're interested in a show-quality cat, you will need to find a breeder.
One of the best ways to locate a reputable breeder is to ask friends, relatives, or acquaintances with purebred cats to tell you about the breeder they used. They should be able to answer most questions you have about the breeder and the cats she breeds. If that doesn't get you the information you're looking for, ask local veterinarians or animal shelters to recommend a breeder. Once you've narrowed down your search to one or two breeders, set up a meeting with each of them, which should include asking for references and visiting with some of their cats. A meeting like that should give you a great idea of the personalities of both the breeder and the cats.
Purchasing a purebred cat is a major investment and shouldn't be taken lightly. You should be extremely confident in your breeder before handing over any money. Once you've made your choice and it's time to bring your new cat home, remember that he should come with lineage papers and vaccinations, and he should be well-socialized, since the first weeks of a cat's life are critical in the socialization process.
If you've decided on a moggy, the acquisition process should be much easier. There are several options as far as where to obtain your new kitty. The first option is an animal shelter or rescue organization. Many owners bring their cats or kittens to one of these locations when they can't keep them anymore. At times, you may find quite a variety of cats to choose from at an animal shelter.
If you fall in love with a kitty at a shelter, ask an employee or volunteer some questions. You should know if the cat has been examined by a veterinarian and if he or she has been neutered or spayed. You may also want to ask if the organization has any information as to the cat's background, like the reason the cat was brought to the shelter, vaccination records, or what type of food the cat has been eating. While this sort of information is probably not vital to the cat's well-being, it could be very helpful to you when attempting to transition your kitty to life at his new home.
Pet stores also usually have a variety of kittens and cats for sale. If you spot one that interests you, ask an employee to give you some more information. She should be able to tell you the name of the breeder, give you the kitten's history (including vaccination and medical records), and offer a health guarantee. If you are unable to readily get this information, think carefully before continuing with the purchasing process, as this is usually a sign that the cat is from an unreputable breeder. While you may run into this once in a while, keep in mind that many pet stores sell wonderful, healthy cats, so you shouldn't discount this method for obtaining your feline.
When visiting a pet store in hopes of purchasing a kitten or cat, there are several other things you should look for. First of all, the kittens should be kept in a clean and spacious area. They should be given plenty of toys and regular play time. By the time they are ready to be taken home, they should be well-socialized with both other cats and humans. Also, the store employees should be knowledgeable and friendly, and they should also interact well with the animals.
No matter where you decide to obtain your cat and whether you decide on a purebred or a moggy, it's important to ask lots of questions. Don't be afraid that you're asking too many questions or being a bother. It is their job to answer your questions, and a good breeder or employee should be willing to address all of your concerns. Once you find a reputable and helpful store or breeder, obtaining a happy, healthy kitten should be fairly easy. Before you know it, you and your cat will be home, enjoying your new life together.