1. When choosing a kitten you must check it thoroughly to ensure it is in good condition. Part the hair to look for signs of parasites, particularly the fine “coat dust” that indicates the presence of fleas.
2. You should also inspect the ears carefully. Ensure that there are no discharges and that the ears do not contain dirt that may indicate infection or parasites.
3. The eyes should be bright, cleat and free from discharges.
4. It is important to look at the mouth for evidence of plaque build-up, teeth. Hold the kitten’s head from behind as shown here and gently prise open the mouth.
5. Beneath the tail should be clean and dry; free from evidence of diarrhea or urine scalding.
6. The cat should be alert and interested, show no evidence of pain when handled and react amicably when picked up. Remember to be gentle when picking up a young kitten as its ribcage is delicate and can be easily hurt.
A Cat should:
* Be alert and interested in its surroundings.
* Move around readily with its head held straight.
* Spring to the ground easily from table height.
* Have clear, bright eyes without any white film (the “haw”) showing.
* Have clean ears, mouth, and nose without discharges.
* have clean white teeth without accumulations of tartar, and salmon-pink gums and tongue.
* Have a smooth, clean skin, with sleek fur composed of a full bushy undercoat and a glossy topcoat.
A Cat should not:
* Suffer from diarrhea.
* Sneeze, cough or wheeze.
* Appear to be in pain when touched or handled.
* Show any trace of blood.
* Have any holes, breaks, or blemishes in its coat.
The average house is full of potential hazards for cats and you should think carefully about the risks before the pet’s arrival.
House plants should be of non-poisonous varieties. Don’t allow access to the following species, particularly if your cat is prone to nibble plants:
- Tree lovers (Philodendron spp.)
- Dumb canes (Dieffenbachia spp.)
- True ivies (Hedera spp.)
- Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
- False Jerusalem cherry (Solanum capiscastrum)
- Oleander spp
- Rhododendrons and Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.)
- Common or cherry laurel (Prunus laurocherasus)
* Keep cats away from hot ovens, boiling liquids, and fires. Use a safety guard around an open fire.
* Keep washing machine, refrigerator, freezer, and oven doors shut.
* Ensure that trash cans are inaccessible to cats.
* Don’t let your cat chew electric cables and disconnect power when not in use.
* Place valued objects such as fragile ornaments out of the cat’s reach – remember how they love exploring shelving.
* Don’t leave sharp kitchen utensils out.
* Don’t leave toxic household products in accessible places; beware of antifreeze-contaminated puddles of water in the garage.
* Don’t have polythene bags out; if a cat climbs inside it may suffocate.
* Don’t leave small objects where your cat may chew and swallow them.
* Don’t put a hot electrical iron where a cat could knock it over.
* Don’t allow cats onto a high balcony or windowsill.
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