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The pick of the litter


The pick of the litter

If you are choosing your kitten from a litter, a few simple tips can help you pick well.

Take your time and ask lots of questions. Have the kittens seen the vet, had health screens, been vaccinated and wormed?

What sort of environment is the litter being kept in? Be wary of choosing a kitten who has had little human contact, a kitten who has been raised in a shed or pen far from the house, for example.

Cats have a very short socialisation phase between 4 to 16 weeks of age. Ideally, a kitten should therefore get used to being handled by people very early on, preferably several people so they don't just learn to accept a single carer. A kitten who doesn't become used to the sights, sounds and smells of normal life, may have problems later on.

However heartrending a sight it may be, be careful about choosing a kitten that seems particularly nervous. This can be a sign of poor early socialisation. Equally don't be tempted to take the smallest, weakest looking kitten out of pity. This could be a very expensive mistake.

You should not take a kitten from her mother or her litter-mates too early. She needs to be at least six or seven weeks of age.

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