Animal Information

What should we look for in a new kitten?

Thinking of getting a new kitten? When you get a pet, the responsibility towards it is no less than that of caring for a child. If you are wondering getting a new kitten there are things to wonder before you bring it home.

Some cats can live as long as 20 years so it is not a decision to take lightly. Besides being able to commit to taking care of the cat for its lifetime, there are a few other important decisions that you will need to make.

  • Allergies are an issue for many people. An allergy to cats can be brutal when there’s a cat in the home. Noting can break the heart of a child quicker than introducing a new pet then, finding out that it cannot stay. Make sure that family members have had at least some exposure to a cat prior to brining one home.
  • Many cats live to be around 20 years old. That’s a long time to be obligated to a pet. For most of those years, the cat will be be mature and be a welcome member of the family.
  • Kittens are babies too! Introducing a kitten into a home with smaller toddlers can be an appealing idea. Keep in mind that babies learn from their play. While both a toddler and a kitten are still babies, they play very differently.

Reasoning with a toddler is a challenge, but it is much easier than trying to reason with a kitten. You may find that your kitten will learn some unacceptable methods of play. Kittens naturally use their claws during play. Toddlers naturally bang and chew everything in sight.

This difference in their natural methods of play could be an issue if the toddler will unknowingly teach the kitten to play roughly. If you choose to introduce a kitten into your home with a toddler, be prepared for a kitten that plays by scratching and biting.

  • Kittens grow quickly. That cute baby that caught your eye will be tearing through your home, climbing the curtains and clawing at the furniture. This will leave you looking for alternate ways for them to play. Consider some options early and save yourself some frustrations.
  • Kittens are tough to train. This is not because they are not smart enough to learn. You may have a great deal of luck teaching your kitten to do one or two things. Cats have a natural attitude. They seem to know what you want from them, but they have their own way of doing things. You are there for their convenience and you should know it.
  • Kitten-proofing your home. The items that attract a kitten are different than the items that attract a child. Kitten proofing is a matter of protecting your home as well as the kitten. Look around at the type of things that may look like a toy to a kitten.

Anything that may be hanging, or trailing, if it moves then it’s a toy to your kitten! Any and all loose wire and cables need to be secured. You may choose to use cable tacks and attach them firmly to walls or along the baseboard, countertop, up desk legs, etc. This is particularly important with any items that may harm your kitten if they should fall.

Trailing plants such as ivy may also need to be secured, although if kitty is attracted to a plant, that could be just as hazardous to the plant as the kitten!

These days, mini-blinds come with two cords instead of one continuous cord. This change was due to the hanging hazard presented with the single cord. Check window treatments, lamps, and any other corded features in your home to ensure that they won’t attract the attention of your new kitten.

Small shiny objects that can be that can be batted around will also attract your kitten. Keep things like jewelry, paper clips, rubber bands, thumb tacks and tread and yarns put away out of kitty’s reach.

Kittens are small and fragile. Like toddlers, they have no concept of danger. Also like toddlers, they are fearless. Taking the time to limit the potential hazards in your home will create a safer environment for your kitten.

Yet, to avoid any heartache of heft vet bills late, you need to be sure you are bringing home a healthy cat. There are some key things you should look at before bringing your cat home:

  1. Coat: You cat or kitten should have a smooth or unmated coat. There should be no fleas, ticks, or other pests in the coat.
  2. Ears: Your cat should have clean and dry ears with no waxy buildup, redness, or black powdery substance.
  3. Eyes: Your cats eyes should be clean and bright. There should be no discharge. The third eyelid, known as the haws, should not protrude.
  4. Nose: Your cats nose should be mildly moist, but there should be no discharge.
  5. Mouth: The teeth should be clean and white, and there should be no bad breath. Your cats gums should be pink and there should not be any inflammation.
  6. Anal area: The cats anal area should look clean. There should be no signs of diarrhea, not should there be any inflammation.
  7. Abdomen: Feel underneath your cat. The abdomen should feel rounded and firm, and there should be no lumps (which could be a sign of a hernia).
  8. Breathing: Listen to your cat breathing. Breaths should be even and there should be no wheezing.
  9. Movement: Watch the cat for any signs of lameness.
  10. Size: If you are getting a kitten, the smallest of the kittens usually will exhibit more health problems.



  1. Rachel

    October 21, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Very good tips here! The small, shiny objects tip is spot on, too! Even my adult cats are still drawn to shiny objects.

  2. Hindy Pearson

    October 22, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Lots of helpful info. Too many people make rash decisions when it comes to bringing home pets, when they should be giving it more thought so they’re prepared for the care required.

  3. Robin

    October 22, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    When it comes to bringing home a new kitten, it can be so easy to forget what a difference their lack of life experience will make. I just got a new kitten back in June. He is a wonderful little guy! It had been 9 years since I had a kitten in my home and there was so much that I had forgotten. Having my 9-year-old cat around to help me has been a huge blessing. Kittens come with a ton of energy and curiosity! Trying to stay a few steps ahead of them is not as easy as one might think!

  4. Talent Hounds

    October 23, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Good tips- I think people often look at an adorable little kitten and forget that they need a lot of attention, training, and care- for 19 years in our case with our cat Nala (a tiny rescue kitten).

  5. Sweet Purrfections

    October 23, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I remember bringing Truffle home 5 years ago after no having a kitten in 15+ years. There were a lot of challenges.

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