Kitten, adult cat or senior cat?
The first question to ask when you want to adopt a cat concerns its age. It is a question of questioning the advantages and disadvantages of taking on a kitten, an adult cat (from 1 year old) or a senior cat (from 7 years old).
To adopt a kitten, it is necessary to respect a period of 3 months in order to allow the kitten to socialize and to be more receptive to the education that you will try to provide him. Compared to an adult cat, a kitten will be much more malleable and the assimilation of the principles of education will be simpler. Taking on a kitten is also a great way to see it grow and appreciate the progress it is making day by day.
By adopting a kitten, it is also an opportunity to give him a taste for adventure by taking him everywhere with you. Put it in acat backpack and go with him on vacation, on weekends or even visit Grandma Huguette. In the future, it will be natural for your cat to travel and this will prevent him from being stressed every time he goes outside his home.
Very lively, the kitten will require a lot of energy and time to play with him. It's not about picking up a kitten and not taking care of it. It is important to teach him cleanliness, forbid him to scratch the sofa or even chew your feet. Taking a kitten also means the risk of facing a lot of nonsense. Indeed, the kitten tends to be clumsy and it is not uncommon to witness many breakages. It is also important to pay attention to the dangers of the house such as electrical wires, the washing machine or even open windows.
If you don't have time to educate your cat and teach it the basics of cleanliness, I advise you to turn to the adult cat. Indeed, the latter will have already acquired the codes of life and the rules of cleanliness. It may be more consistent with your lifestyle.
Also, it can be interesting to know the history of the cat in order to offer him a framework similar to his former life. For example, it will be complicated for a cat that has been used to going outside to live in an apartment.
Once the adoption has been made, it is important to be attentive and vigilant about the behavior of your cat. Indeed, the return home can be experienced as an upheaval in the life of your cat. Having lost all his bearings, your cat may hide behind the first nook he finds. In this case, do not hesitate to leave it 2/3 days in a room so that it gradually gets used to its new home. Let him explore the new rooms of the house when he feels more comfortable in his new environment.
Getting an adult cat is a great way to give it a second chance. You will feel complete satisfaction by giving him all the love he needs.
Some people refuse to take a chat because the commitment is too important. In this case, I advise you to adopt a senior cat which can be a good compromise if you are afraid, for example, of not surviving your cat or if you know that you will have to go live in a house. of retirement.
Of course, you will have to take him more regularly to the veterinarian because the senior cat is more fragile, but he is still a real ball of love. Indeed, the senior cat is overflowing with affection. He is very fond of cuddles and constantly seeks contact with you. Indeed, he needs a human presence in the home in order to feel reassured. Above all, he seeks calm and tranquility in order to satisfy long periods of rest. The mature cat is ideal for calm people and is quite tolerant of hugs and kisses.
If he has an appetite for naps, the fact remains that he needs to maintain his physical shape. If your cat does not have access to the outside, do not hesitate to set up a playground for it according to its abilities so that it can play sports.
Male or female: which sex to choose?
The male is often more dominant than the female. Rather protective, he wishes to protect you. When he is not neutered, the male seeks to reproduce. He will therefore often be outside, attracted by the smell of a female in heat. He will not hesitate to fight against other suitors who are a little too present and will often come back injured. Another disadvantage of an unsterilized cat is that it marks its territory with very smelly urine. This smell quickly becomes unbearable, especially if you live in an apartment.
As for the female, her amorous meows will certainly prevent you from having a good night's sleep. An unsterilized cat is also more frequent diseases of the reproductive system.
To remedy all these constraints, it is better to sterilize your cat. In this case, the differences between cat and cat become minimal. The castration of the cat is generally lower than the sterilization of the cat. Also, the male cat will tend to be heavier and more greedy than the female, which will result in a higher weight and a slightly higher food budget. The female, on the other hand, will always remain lighter than a male. For example, a Main Coon male will weigh on average 7 to 9 kg against 4 to 6 kg for the female. Think about it if you want to take your cat everywhere with you.
Playful, cuddly, talkative, calm, each cat has a different temperament. His character will depend on his race, the character of his parents, the place where he grew up, his past experiences as well as the work of the breeder..
It is therefore important to learn about the different breeds of cats. A short-haired cat will tend to be more active than a long-haired cat. If you want to adopt a talkative and extroverted cat, I advise you to turn to Siamese-type cats. On the other hand, if you are looking for a rather calm cat, I invite you to go to Persian type cats. Nevertheless, the best is to go for a walk in a cat show to meet breeders.
Breed is not everything and other criteria come into play. The temperament of the mother and father can play a role. Thus, the more the kitten has been in contact with its mother, the more it will be inclined to be handled easily. The father, meanwhile, is not very present during the first days of life of his offspring. Its genetic imprint, however, influences the character of the cat. The first days of life are also influenced by the work of the breeder who will provide a good living environment and many cuddles.
His first experiences will also forge his character. He will learn to control his impulses, to be independent, to understand feline rituals, to get used to his environment and to socialize.
Purebred cat or alley cat?
Many differences distinguish the alley cat from the purebred cat. Your way of life as well as your availability and your regularity to maintain your cat are essential in the choice of your cat. In France, to be recognized as a purebred cat, the cat must have a pedigree issued by the Official Book of Feline Origins (LOOF). There are about sixty breeds with varied profiles recognized in France by the LOOF.
By turning to an alley cat, also called a European cat, you ensure a certain peace of mind. Indeed, reputed to be resourceful, it has a certain autonomy and does not need humans to ensure its survival. He will do just fine on his own when you won't be around for a few days. Indeed, his more developed hunting temperament will allow him not to starve to death. Also, he loves his freedom and is attracted to the outdoors. As a result, he may not be able to stand being locked up, especially if he has lived outside for a long time. Nevertheless, he knows how to adapt easily to new environments, which suggests that he will quickly get used to your place of life. Of a strong nature and not very prone to diseases, he will only see the veterinarian at the reminders of vaccines.
The purebred cat, on the other hand, requires a lot of care. His health is more fragile, which requires a larger veterinary budget. It is also important to maintain your cat's coat by brushing it regularly. In addition, we must take into account the requirements of the breed in relation to our place of life. Indeed, some breeds of cats will be curious by nature and attracted to the outdoors while others will prefer indoor life more. Some breeds will be ideal for children while others will be more specifically suited to the calm of a toddler-free home. However, purebred cats tend to be well socialized, due to their early handling by the breeder. Do not hesitate to ask the latter about his family composition. For example, does he have young children or does he have other animals? His answers can guide you in finding the right breed for your lifestyle. In addition, if you buy your cat, count a budget between 600 and 1,500.€.
Where to adopt a cat?
There are several ways to find a cat.
In a shelter, you will find all kinds of cats: purebred, alley, tabby, speckled, long or short haired. In short, you will be spoiled for choice. However, do not hesitate to question the volunteers to know the liabilities of the cats. The best known refuge in France is theSPA, of which there are 62 establishments in France. However, there are many more. Websiteshelter-animals.fr lists all the shelters near you.
Also, it is possible to go through a breeder who will know the specificities of his breed. Nevertheless, before going to a breeder of a particular breed, I strongly encourage you to find out about the specificities of each breed. The Breed Club can help you in your choice and give you the contact details of the breeders.
Another way to find a cat is through ads. It can be an ad placed in a veterinary practice, in your local business (bakery, bookstore, hairdresser, etc.) or even on the internet. It is possible that the chat will not cost you very much, or even be given for free. However, I recommend that you be careful with the classifieds. You will have no guarantee on the good health of the cat and the care provided. In addition, in case of problems, it will be difficult to return to the person who sold you the cat..
Sometimes fate can help you by putting a cat in your way. You know, it's the cat that falls on you, without warning. The one who chose you without you having any other option than to adopt him. Be careful, however, to make sure that the cat does not have another family. To be sure, you can look in his ear or inside his thigh if he is not tattooed or go to a veterinarian who can tell you if the cat has a microchip. This identification is now mandatory since 1er January 2012. The veterinarian can give you the identity and address of his masters.
For information, from 1er January 2024, French pet stores will no longer be able to offer cats for sale or present kittens in the window. This is very good news for the fight against animal abuse. Indeed, buying a cat in a pet store was synonymous with compulsive buying, whereas adopting an animal must be a thoughtful act. In addition, this mode of purchase could cause behavioral problems such as cleanliness problems, scratches or bites. In addition, the hygienic conditions were relatively poor, which opened the field to diseases. Finally, the confinement and passers-by banging against the plexiglass panes tended to develop stress for the cat, significantly impacting its behavior and well-being.
How to Choose a Healthy Kitten?
To make sure that the kitten is in good health, I recommend that you first read his health book and/or his passport. You will find a wealth of information to ensure that the kitten is at least 8 weeks old, that it has been vaccinated, dewormed and has undergone FeLV and FIV tests.
Also, be vigilant about the appearance and temperament of the kitten. Its movements must be easy. He must be agile and lively and allow himself to be petted. Take him in your arms and see how he reacts. If he struggles and tries to run away, there is a good chance that he will have the same behavior as an adult.
Its weight is also an indicator of good health. An overweight kitten is a warning sign of obesity. His ribs should be palpable and you should feel a thin layer of fat. In addition, a 2-month-old purebred kitten weighs an average of 800 grams.
You can also examine its muzzle and mouth. His nose must be clean, moist, fresh, without discharge and without crust. If you have any doubts about the health of the kitten, do not hesitate to take its temperature which must be below 39 degrees. To do this, push a pediatric thermometer about 2 cm into his anus. His breath is also a good indicator of good or bad health. Regarding his teeth, at 2 months, a kitten must have all his milk teeth which are 26 in number. Make sure they are all out, white in color and surrounded by pink gums.
His eyes and ears should also be inspected. To make sure the cat has no hearing problems and is responding well to noises around it, snap your fingers behind its ears. Also, these must be pale pink and clean. If brownish earwax is visible in your kitten's ear then the kitten may be affected by ear mites. This infection is not serious but must be treated quickly. As for his eyes, they should be clean, without redness or discharge.
Another way to make sure the kitten is healthy is to examine its skin and coat. His skin should be clean and clear. It must be without redness, crust, film, chip or other parasite. Make sure that a small lump is not present in the lower abdomen, which could be a sign of an umbilical hernia. Surgery may be considered to remove it. Finally, make sure the kitten does not have any skin diseases. Indeed, areas without hair, slightly red and covered with dandruff can be a harbinger of ringworm. Antifungal treatment should then be administered. Be careful, ringworm is transmissible from animals to humans.