ALL ABOUT DOGS and CATS   Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
Acquiring A New Cat (or Kitten)
Declawing Cats: More Than
Just a Manicure
Too often people believe that
declawing is a simple surgery that
removes a cat's nails, the equivalent
of a person having her fingernails
trimmed. Sadly, this is far from the
truth. Declawing  involves the
amputation of the last bone of each
toe and, if performed on a human
being, it would be comparable to
cutting off each finger at the last
knuckle.
Declawing leaves cats with a painful
healing process, long-term health
issues, and numerous behavior
problems. This is especially
unfortunate because declawing is an
owner-elected procedure and
unnecessary for the vast majority of
cats. Buy or make a scratching post.
Educate! Don't Amputate!
The Declaw Menu
Sharing your home with a cat can be one of life's greatest joys. However, the
decision to make a cat or kitten a part of your home should not be taken lightly.
Adopting a pet just because the kids have been begging for one usually ends
up being a big mistake. Cats may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years. If you
have kids under six years old, consider waiting before you adopt a companion.
Pet ownership requires children who are mature enough to be responsible.

Do you have time for a pet? Cats, and other animal companions, cannot be
ignored just because you're tired or busy. They require
food, water, exercise,
care, and companionship every day of every year. Many animals in a shelter are
there because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to care for
them.

Are you prepared to keep and care for the cat for his or her entire lifetime?
When you adopt a pet, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for
his or her lifetime.  Companion animals are members of your family, not toys  to
be  disposed of because it is no longer convenient

Make sure that the costs associated with having a cat fit into your budget.
Cats require regular
veterinary care such as vaccinations as well as food. Be
prepared for unexpected medical costs such as emergency care or treatment for
a chronic health problem.  

If you already have a cat, and are looking for a second one,  make sure that the
two cats will get along well together.  

Where to acquire your cat or kitten?

Animal Shelters are the best source when looking for a pet. They have a great
selection of adult cats for adoption, and they often have kittens. You can even
find purebred animals if you are looking for a
specific breed.  Animal shelters
have trained staff that can determine the behavior of the cat (especially if it is
an adult cat, kittens are far less predictable about what personality they will
develop). You will have the added satisfaction of knowing you have given a
home to a cat or kitten that needs you very much.

Purebred Rescue Groups are run by people that have fallen in love with a
specific breed, and will set up a network of rescue people for that breed. This is
far more common with dogs, but there are some
purebred cat rescue groups as
well. They are an excellent place to look for your new cat.

Pet stores are
not good sources for animals, including kittens, as many of these
receive their pets from cat breeding farms, which are similar to
puppy mills. Stay
away. Many do not take proper precautions and  care and often buy cats and
kittens from sources you would not, yourself, purchase from if you saw the
situation in which the parents and kittens were kept.

Some of the larger pet store chains, like PetSmart and  Petco have now joined
forces with local shelters and humane societies, holding adoption days for
rescued pets instead.

Breeders tend to be more reputable than pet stores, but this if far from a sure
thing. Some breeders are in it only for the money and do not breed to enhance
the breed and don't try to match the kitten with the new household he or she
will be going to.  Good breeders will  "interview" you to make sure that you are a
person that is likely to provide their kitten with a good home. Don't be offended
with this approach as they love their babies and want only the best for them.  
The best place to find a good breeder is a personal referral from
satisfied customers of the breeder.

Cat Fanciers guide to finding a good breeder

Which sex should you get?

Male and female cats  make equally  great companions. Cats’ personalities are
not dependant on their gender and neither is more affectionate, loyal or playful
than the other. Select a cat based on its individual personality. The most
important factor is that they are spayed or neutered. Un-neutered males will
spray foul urine on the walls, roam and fight with other cats  Females in heat
will howl incessantly and will attract male cats to your home, which will result in
unwanted kittens, adding once again to the overpopulation problem which fills
North America's
shelters with homeless and abandoned pets.

Which Breed is right for you?

Each breed of cat has its own special characteristics and needs. Some need more
care than others. For a quick guide to personlaity, size, grooming requirements,
activity level, and the breed's average child-friendly and pet-friendly rating,
please see the chart
Cat Breed Characteristics
A Cat  is for Life
Many of the  homeless animals in a
shelter are puppies and kittens,
victims of irresponsible people who
allowed their pets to breed. But there
are at least as many dogs and cats at
the shelter who are more than a year
old—animals who were obtained by
people who didn't think through the
responsibilities of pet ownership before
they got the animal.

Please, don't make the same mistake.
Think before you adopt. Sharing your
life with a companion animal can bring
incredible rewards, but only if you're
willing to make the necessary
commitments of time, money,
responsibility, and love—for the life of
the pet.
Your Purebred Kitten:
A Buyers Guide
(Paperback)
by Michele Lowell (Author)
Recommended by Cat Fanciers
When your cats rubs up
against you, she is  
marking you as "hers"
with her scent.
If your cat pushes his
face against your head,
it is a sign of
acceptance and
affection.
Help shelter cats and kittens through Save a Cat on Facebook