Kittens 201

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By Lenore Zeuthen

Now that your heart is set on a kitten – or two – how do you choose?  They’re all so cute and cuddly…how do you know which kitty will be the right one for you?

When you spot a kitten that appeals to you, ask a Much Love volunteer stationed at our cat tent about the kitty’s temperament.  Our kitties are cared for by fosters who get to know them very well, and kittens do exhibit personality traits early on.

Much Love volunteers have observed different levels of playfulness and affection in kittens starting around 8 weeks of age – although it is important to mention that cats become noticeably more affectionate with humans around 9 or 10 months, when they complete adolescence and ‘settle down.’  (And of course, the older the kitty the more developed his personality – so consider adopting an adult cat if you feel strongly about wanting a specific temperament.)

A great way to determine which kitten in the litter is meant for you is to ask to visit the foster’s home.  Spend some time getting to know the kittens; this is an especially good idea if you have children, and want to get a sense of how your own kids will interact with the kittens.

Once you choose your kittens (we recommend adopted 2 together so they have company), be sure to kitten-proof your home.  Put away breakable items such as framed photos and knick-knacks, move potted plants outside, conceal electric cords in a cord-wrapper.  Plan to relegate the kittens to a small, controlled space (such as a bathroom or bedroom) while you are out – kittens need supervision, just as toddlers do!

Lastly, one quick note about sex and personality:  many people perceive female cats to be  stereotypically aloof, even reclusive, and believe males to be outgoing and social.  While there may be some anecdotal truth to this, it has not been scientifically proven.  The key factors in determining personality are early human contact, sufficient time with littermates and mommy cat, sterilization (which eliminates unwanted behavior in both sexes) and inherited traits.  So go get yourself a pair of kittens and let the fun begin!

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