Purebred vs. mixed-breed is one of the first things to consider when getting a kitten. The greatest advantage of choosing a purebred kitten is that their appearance and, to a lesser degree, personality, is likely to fit the breed profile. This way, you can get a better sense of what the kitten will grow up to be like. For example, a well-bred Siamese is more likely to be vocal, mischievous and demanding of your attention.
Mixed breed cats are just as wonderful as purebreds. They often have beautiful, one-of-a-kind colour combinations and certain distinct personality traits inherited from a purebred parent. Mixed breeds can possess the best characteristics their lineage has to offer – like the raucous meow of your cat’s Siamese father and the gorgeous coat of her Persian mother.
Male vs. female? Regardless of gender, almost all kittens are cute, curious and cuddly. After a year, they’ll be full-fledged cats and even take on some adult characteristics before the year is up. This is when gender makes a difference. Male cats are usually very cozy and friendly, and show trust at an early age. Female cats are more cautious. Once you’ve earned their trust, they too are very affectionate.
What to Watch out For
Be sure that the kitten you choose appears healthy. Look for bright, clear eyes, white teeth with no excess tartar, ears clear of thick brown or black wax, smooth nails, and a thick and shiny coat. While this may be less of an issue in a private home, it can be a problem in some group-housed cats. Most private owners and some shelters will allow you to take your new pet to a veterinarian for a physical examination before making a final commitment. This includes having tests for feline leukemia and feline immune deficiency virus. Mild problems such as ear infections or parasites can easily be treated.
(Link to Kitten Health Check)
Naming your Kitten
Choosing a name can be tricky. You want to find the perfect one. Once you do, use it right away so your kitten can learn it. If you choose a long name, be sure to have a shorter nickname to use during training.
You’ll want your kitten to get used to the sound of your voice too, so use her name often. Talk soothingly while she eats. Always praise her when she uses her litter box. Hold and caress her when she responds to her name. It won’t be long until she learns and associates your call with love.