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Some Advice before you adopt a cat

Important : Since september 2014, in Belgium, only agreed catteries may still buy non sterilized cats. Any person, from a cattery or individual who gives or sells cats, for free or not, is legaly OBLIGED to identify then with electronic chips and sterilize them before they leave their mom.

Here some advices for people wanting to acquire a kitten. There are many traps when adopting a cat, the first of all is that to crack on a blow of heart without to have thought beforehand about the consequences of this acquisition. This is often true when you are confronted with a nest of pretty small kittens to give at a neighbor's, a class mate of your child or on the square of the church close to the market.

On the other hand, when you forecast to buy a cat, the choice of the preferred race, the research of the breeder and the price make it possible to take a little time that you will also devote to the think about it. The first questions to be asked are:

Will I let the cat go outside or keep him inside?

The question arises of course only if there is a garden. There are races of cats which will put up better with an assignment to residence that others; Persan is often less excited of freedom than Norwegian are. In general, a kitten which will have known the garden as of its youth will have difficulties staying inside.

There are advantages and disadvantages with each solution.

Remaining inside

The greatest advantage of remaining inside, is of course that you have much chance to keep your cat several years more than if it goes outside. And when you are home, he will be there also. If the company of the cat is wanted, it is a advantage compared to the cat-like practices to spend all the night outside and sleep all day long.

The disadvantages are multiple; You'll have many arguments with the spouse/husband and the children in connection with the doors and left windows left open and you'll spend long periods of research of the cat in the neighbourhoods for finally, generally, finding him asleep on a chair under the dining-room table. A vat will have to be cleaned regularly and there will be litter outside and surely more hairs everywhere in the house. Finally and it is very important, a cat at home, left all alone all the day, is likely to be bored and make damages to keep him busy or because that stresses it. It is thus important to know if you’ll be sufficiently home to hold company to him or if there are other animals with which it will be meant (not certain that he appreciates the German shepherd!).

Going outside

It will initially be necessary of course to install the cat-door or to decide which window will remain half-opened all the year even when it freezes. Already there, some time, it blocks and it should be decided that the cat will only go in and out when somebody opens and closes the door. The large advantage is to think that you let your cat have a "true life of cat" even if the price to be paid is rather heavy; He can be killed by a car, fight with other cats, be biten by a dog, be stolen, could remain locked up in a garage or in a yard, etc...

It is also more prone to diseases of which all do not have vaccines and with the parasites which are transmitted some times to humans and are propagated in the house. It will perhaps also bring back of the mice and birds so that the setting with death takes place in the kitchen or better, on the bed! I do not speak about the traces of wet feet on the tiling, it is a detail compared to what precedes. In exchange, you will probably not have to change the vat and the guard during the absences is facilitated. If you choose this solution, it is even more important to vaccinate, vermifuge and to treat your cat against the parasites like making him carry a microchip and probably sterilizing it.

In the near future, in Belgium, all domestic cats will need tobe sterilized.

Am I sufficiently home so that it is not bored ?

As indicated above, if the cat goes outside, it will always find what to occupy itself and will not be bored. You should not fear damage or depresses. On the other hand, if he is locked up home alone, and that you work 18h a day, I am not sure that it is a good idea to take a cat at the house for the moment. Or then, take 2, so that they are held company. If he is bored, he will keep himself busy and you will undoubtedly not like that: curtains, plants, armchairs are damaged and I do not speak about markings of stress in all the corners, which will perhaps not even stop after sterilization. Up to you to see whether, while returning at 9PM, you still want to spend one hour to give in state the apartment!

Who will take care when we will be on holiday, on professional travels?

You never leave on holiday? When you leave you go at the Belgian see-side or there remains always somebody at the house to keep the store open? No problem then! Does your neighbor have a cat and you take care of him when he leaves? Super, it will be able to return the service to you!

If not, you should know that the cat is better home than in pension, especially if it goes outside. It will be enough that a neighbor comes to give him food and water once a day and you will find him fine when you return, even if he is sulky. You can entrust him to a relative or to a friend if he is accustomed to this other environment since always. It is not at 10 years that one puts his cat in pension at aunt Gertrude's who has a barking poodle whereas your cat is not accustomed to the dogs.

I take along all my cats to the seaside, they know the apartment and adore to sleep with me what is not allowed home. They are the holidays for them too!

It is decided, one takes a cat!

Here the following questions:

Race or gutter?

I preach against my vault: by idealism or financial limits, the refuges are full with adorable cats, you will make a good action and will be grateful to you.

Unless wanting a cat to get your garden mice-free, I do not advise you to take a kitten born in the countryside. They often had contact with human only tardily (when the mom let leave the barn where she had hidden them, sure that they are too old so that the farmer drowns them). Don' dream he will be a hughy companion !

Advantages of the cats of race? In the majority of the cases, they live the lack of garden better, are thus more present at home, are accustomed to be handled and support better the a little abrupt treatments of the children. If there are dogs at the breeder, the adaptation with a dog will be facilitated. The kitten is "delivered" vaccinated and the law protects your purchase . The breeder will be able to advise you the kitten which is best appropriate to you and you choose the race which is best appropriate for what you seek.

Which race? There are many Internet sites which describe the races of cats. Throw a blow there and see that which makes you crack.

Some important points are to be kept in mind; The long hair cats require a regular brushing and they should be accustomed to that very early in life to prevent that they refuse it later. If you do not plan to take time to brush him, choose a race with short or semi-long hairs (i.e. long but without the undercoat which is gotten mixed up).

Some races define a standard which can be harmful for the animal. The "most beautiful" Persans have a so short nose than the lachrymal channels are atrophied and cause many problems of health to the animal. Some white cats races are often deaf. It is a question of ethics, up to you...

All the breeders will say that the race that they have chosen is the most beautiful, softest, nicest with the children, etc... Personally, I believe more in individual nature even if there is broad outline in the characters.

With regard to the allergies, it is wise to know that the races with "point" color like Siamese, Holy Burmese, Ragdolls or Persan colourpoint are more allergic that others. The only which is little allergic being naked cats but is necessary to like that even if they are, appears it very nice.

American developed a low-allergic race. It will cost you about 4000€ and you'll have to wait 2 years.

Male or female?

One often believes that females are softer and males  are absconders and brawlers. It is perhaps true for not sterilized cats which live outside but I often tried out the reverse. The sterilized males are often large teddies with purring and the females are true bitches, especially between them if there are several of them. Once more, it is very individual.

Another criterion: the males are larger, stronger, their hair is longer & more provided. If a small one is preferred, it is better to take a female.

For the people who would like to do breeding, I would say to you; think about it twice ! It is far from being as easy as it does appear to be. But this is another subject, which we can discuss if you contact me.

How to choose your kitten in the nest?

Contact initially several breeders, via their Internet site and by telephone. Discuss a little with them, ask for the prices, if the breeder has the mom or the two parents, ask how many cats it has. Chat a little bit, to get a first opinion.

When one has a very small cattery, one can allow oneself to live with his cats, and to occupy much of each baby. When one has a score of she-cats, several moms, I do not know how one can do as much of it.

Go to see several breeders before deciding to you. Go ahead without one € out of pocket, without check to be sure not to be able to crack. It is almost impossible to resist in front of their small little faces even if you realize that it is probably not the breeding of which you dreams.

Be attentive with several things at the time of your visit;

The cleanliness of the place: it is almost impossible not to have odors at all but if you have evil to breathe because of the odor of urine is so strong, draw the conclusions!

What is hidden to you ??!!! You are invited in the living room and the babies are brought to you, without you to go up where they grew, where they live all the day. You do not see the other adults, where live the males? Why? To put the question is to answer it!

One pushes you by saying that there do not remain much about it, that they are sold very quickly... My experiment is that we never know when the following kitten will be sold. We can remain 3 weeks without only one call or have sold 2 kittens the evening without to have known it the morning. The kittens are reserved or are not. You can ask that you be warned if there are amateurs. In any case, there is not one kitten. If that that you covet is sold, others are still available or will be it soon and the one you will buy, if you takes this advice, will be wonderful.

Remain a sufficiently long time to have been able to take the kitten in the arms and to judge its reaction to handling. Palpate everywhere, be attentive to the fact that he has crusts, plates without hairs, a node in the tail, that it complains because it has some share badly when it is handled.

Look at if his eyes and if his ears are clean, if the anus is clean. Blow slightly in the fur for check that there are no excrements of parasites (black points).

To try to also take the mom, the dad if it is available. There are good chances that the baby is like his parents, on the level character like health.

Ask the breeder to see one pédigrée as that which the small one will have, to see that of the mom and that of the dad. It is not easy to decipher those but you can see if the parents are not brother and sister or father and girl and if pédigrée shown is not that of a cat which should be 37 years old!

In connection with pédigrée, flee as the plague the breeders who propose a reduction in price to you if you do not take the pédigrée. That does not have any sense. The price of the cat is explained by the care given to the parents all the year, the price of the decking, the vaccines, the regular visits of the veterinary surgeon, the products like substitution milk or the vermifuge, the maintenance of an Internet site, makteking, publication of the advertisements. The price of pédigrée turns around the 10€. How to explain a difference in price 50 to see 100? ? It is ridiculous ! If your cat has right to a pédigrée it does not have there financial reason which justifies that it does not have it.

See with the breeder the guarantees that is provided to you. he should establish an invoice with the text of the legal guarantee and specifying the name, date of birth, # of pédigrée if it is already established, your name and that of the breeder. This invoice must be signed by the two parts.

Some, like me, propose to you photographs, a "after-sales service", gives some samples, reduction vouchers and propose advices to you. That does not repurchase other elements.

Ask to see the notebook of vaccination and check that it was carefully filled by the veterinary surgeon and that he indicated the administration of vermifuge. If they were not vaccinated yet, see that of the mom. Possibly note the name of the veterinary surgeon and give him a phone call to ask him his opinion.

When you have seen some breeders, without pocket money until the last visit, made the point and compare, even if it is very difficult.

When you make your choice, give a phone call to the breeder and propose to him to make him a transfer of reservation of your kitten if he is too young to be adopted. The breeder should accept a transfer. Even an amateur breeder has the right, without VAT nor register of trade, to sell a small number of kittens. With less than it does not hide another thing, this money can thus appear on its account.

If the kitten is already old enough to leave his mom and was already vaccinated several days before, take appointment to pick him up.

Be, you also, irreproachable and prevent in the event of delay or in case of last minute problem.

When to go to pick up my kitten?

Not before he is at least 8 weeks and was vaccinated several days before. If possible, rather towards 10 or 12 weeks. It is true that one prefers to have him very small but it is a risk which it is not to better run. The greatest danger to a cat, what weakens him most is the stress. And to leave his mom is one of the greatest stresses of his life. You can help it with Bach flowers for example.

Another thing is to pick him one morning, Sunday for example, so that he has all the day to be accustomed to his new environment and that you are there to show him his new place, to regularly indicate him where is his vat, to rather often nourish him in small quantities, hug him much for this first day. It is necessary that he has a good memory of it, that he has a good first impression: "What a nice place for a cat! " must come to his mind.

The remainder will come from day to day.

There is full with councils, with vocation commercial, but good despite everything, on Internet sites. Type "development kitten" in your search engine.

Good luck!