How Do I Choose a Healthy Kitten?

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If you are going to get a new kitten, it is important that you know how to choose one that is healthy. 

There are lots of adorable felines in shelters and pet stores, but you will need to narrow down your options. In this article, you’ll learn which signs to look out for.

1. Spend Time With the Kitten

One of the best things that you can do to determine the overall health of a kitten is to spend time with it. Does the kitten willingly play with you or does it completely shy away? You probably don’t want to choose a cat that hides away and doesn’t even acknowledge your existence.

2. Be Patient

Keep in mind that not all kittens will instantly play with you; it might take a little bit of cajoling. After all, they aren’t familiar with you at all. A healthy and properly socialized cat will eventually open up and start interacting with you. If this does not happen, there is probably something wrong with them.

3. Observe the Cat

You can also learn a lot about the mental and physical health of a cat by simply observing it from a distance. Pay close attention to what each cat is doing. You want to focus on kittens that freely interact and associate with other cats in the litter. This is a sign of good socialization, which is very important to say the least.

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4. Examining the Cat

You don’t have to be a veterinarian to examine a cat and check for signs of illness or health problems. In fact, it is highly recommended that you do this before choosing to bring home one cat in particular.

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The Eyes

Take a look at the cat’s eyes to make sure they are bright and not milky or foggy. Their eyes should look straight at you.


You don’t want to get a cat with a swollen belly, as this can indicate a parasitic infection or malnutrition.

Skin and Coat

A healthy cat’s coat should be shiny and smooth. If the cat’s skin is flaky and dry, it could have a serious health problem. You shouldn’t see any bald areas on the cat whatsoever.


The kitten’s ears should be clean and not have a particular smell coming off them. If you happen to notice a brown-colored discharge from the ears, the cat could have mites. There is a medication that can treat this, but it is not ideal if you are getting a new kitten.

5. Vaccinated or Not?

Make sure that you ask the breeder or shelter if the kitten has been vaccinated before taking it home. It is never a good idea for young cats to be introduced into a new home before they’ve gotten all the necessary vaccinations. You will want to get proof of this as well. Ask for the proper paperwork to confirm this.

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6. Consider Your Options

You should take the time to look at numerous litters of kittens before deciding on a certain cat. This will greatly increase your chances of finding the perfect kitten in terms of its overall health and personality. With so many options to choose from, you don’t want to limit yourself too much.

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7. Choosing the Right Age

A cat that is twelve weeks old will typically be fully socialized, which is why it is such a good age to get one at. Socialization starts at around two weeks old with these animals, and it goes on for a few months. If the cat is older than twelve weeks old and doesn’t seem properly socialized, you will want to strongly consider choosing another one.

Rehoming a Problem Cat

You will also need to know when it is time to rehome a cat you have gotten that just isn’t working out. It is not a good idea to find your kitten a new home until it is at least 12 weeks old. If they are fighting with other pets in the house or being bullied by one, you should strongly consider doing this.

While it is never easy to admit that you have to give up your beloved feline friend, you will need to be honest with yourself. If the cat is causing problems or they are in danger from another pet, you aren’t doing it any favors by keeping it in your home.

Try to find someone you know who can take the cat. Make sure the person is aware of all the cat’s issues before handing it over to them.

Getting Two Cats Together

You should consider bringing two cats from the same litter home instead of just one. This will provide your cat with additional companionship, which is always a good thing. The fact is that they are both far more likely to be well-adjusted in this scenario.

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Taking just one cat from a litter comes with all sorts of risks. There is always the chance that the cat will start acting out because it doesn’t have any of its littermates around. While not everyone can take in two kittens at once, it is something to consider.


  • Make sure that you spend a good amount of time with each cat before choosing one to bring home.
  • You can learn a lot about how healthy and well-socialized a cat is by simply observing how it interacts with its littermates.
  • A cat is usually fully socialized by the time it is twelve weeks old.
  • It’s okay if a certain cat doesn’t come right over and play with you instantly. Some cats take a little while to open up.
  • If a cat absolutely refuses to interact with you, they are properly not socialized very well and should be avoided.
  • Perform a thorough examination of the cat’s ears, eyes, coat, and other body parts.
  • A healthy cat will have a shiny coat and normal skin without any bald patches.
  • If your new kitten is having serious problems adjusting to life in your home, you’ll want to consider finding another home for it.
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