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                  Choosing a Cat or Kitten

Cats can live for many years - sometimes for 16 years or more - so it is crucial that you find one that will grow up to be healthy and happy and one you will be happy with.

Do not be tempted to buy a cat just because you feel sorry for it as it weak and sickly as you may end up spending a lot of heartbreaking times looking after the cat, not to mention the vets bills.

Do you buy a pedigree or a moggy? Well the choice is yours really. We bought Walnut who is a pedigree British Blue Shorthair as we love many of the typical features of these cats - very soft coats, rounded faces, stunning eyes and the blue coat. However, do not expect to buy a pedigree cat from an ad in your local paper as the breeders tend to be very selective about who they sell the kittens to. Also, the price may put you off - we paid over 200 for Walnut. We have two other moggy's though that we love just as much and treat no differently to our pedigree cat. If you are looking for a pedigree British blue then see my links page.

When considering a kitten, you should always look at the mother and, if possible, the father and the other kittens in the litter to check their overall health. Ideally kittens should not be separated from their mother until they are at least 10 to 12 weeks of age so be wary of buying a 6 week old kitten. Although everyone wants to get a kitten as young as possible, you should appreciate the reasons for not selling kittens until they are old enough to leave their mother (and their brothers and sisters), and they are completely weaned, litter trained and in good health.

Things to check for:

Should be clean with no discharge - constant scratching may be a sign of mites

Should be clear, bright and free from discharge

Should be cool and damp without any nasal discharge or crusting around the nostrils

Mouth & Gums
Should be pale pink in colour and the breath odour-free

Should be slightly rounded but not pot-bellied (this could indicate roundworms)

Should be glossy with no signs of fleas

The Rear
Should be clean, with no signs of diarrhoea or any discharge