7 Reasons for Wanting a Kitten

Why do you want a kitten? This is not a judgmental question - just another way of looking at your expectations and level of involvement. Wanting or expecting too much involvement can cause as many difficulties (sometimes more) than low involvement, again depending on the cat. There are, of course, many reasons for wanting a kitten - here are a few:

For the children to learn about animals and caring for them, or because the children want a pet and are pressuring you to get them one:

  • This is a sound reason for getting a kitten, provided you take responsibility for the children learning to handle and care for it correctly. You should also be willing to take over when they get bored or old enough to be distracted by the opposite sex or a new hobby. Luckily, cats are quite easy to keep so this should not be too much of a hardship.

For companionship for yourself, or because you want something to care for:

  • A cat is a wonderful companion and will indulge you in letting you care for it most readily!

You would like a dog but can't keep one:

  • Perhaps you should look at one of the more dog-like breeds. These may be a bit more high-maintenance than moggies or some laid-back breeds, but they may more than satisfy your wish for a dog within the space or time constraints that prevent you from having one in the first place. You will soon become a converted ailurophile (cat lover), and such converts are often the most enthusiastic of all!

To have an unusual breed to show off to your friends:

  • As long as you are a cat lover first and foremost, then there are indeed some unusual breeds that you might have a look at. Unlike dogs, however, cats are more likely to be a private pleasure reserved for close friends and colleagues to meet in our homes - not for attracting glances when walking down the street with a large or strange breed of dog.

For showing and breeding:

  • There is certainly one way of sharing your breed with others and that is to show it at cat shows. There are many local shows and larger ones with moggie categories as well as pedigrees if you have an interest in showing. Breeding is another matter altogether and you need to undertake a great deal of research on the breed, the breed lines, and the individual you choose before you go forward. Some people may think that they can make a lot of money this way. Done properly - avoiding overcrowding, ensuring you have time to socialize kittens properly, providing all the vaccinations, etc. - does not leave much room for large profit. What it does bring is large responsibility. You choose the cats you are mating and are therefore responsible for the inherited temperament of the kittens and for trying to avoid inherited diseases. You are also solely responsible for their socialization. All of these factors contribute to how the kitten tackles life -nervously or with confidence, and whether it is prone to illness or good health. You also have to find them responsible new owners. Quite a responsibility in all.

To give an unwanted kitten a home - the feel-good factor:

  • As we have seen, many, many cats come from an animal shelter - perhaps a third of all cats. Most will be moggies, although many of the breed clubs organize themselves to take on and re-home cats of that particular breed. This does make sense because they know the details of the breed and are perhaps able to match a new owner to a particular cat's needs. Some well-run rescue organizations do an excellent job with cats and they are striving to improve the way they work all the time. There are some, however, who do not and these are to be avoided. Many people like to feel that they have given a home to a kitten that did not have one and have helped reduce the number of homeless animals.

As company for your other cat:

  • This is a difficult one and could blow up in your face! Many cats are very happy on their own and would rather stay that way. If you have had a cat that you know is relaxed with other cats around and has accepted others readily, then you might have an easy time. Otherwise, take it slowly and make careful introductions. Of course, many people do introduce new kittens with ease, but don't expect it. If you feel that your cat may be left alone for long periods, you may want to consider getting two kittens at the outset - siblings would be the easiest option. Quite often owners use the idea of getting their cat a companion as an excuse to get another one. There is no shame in wanting more cats - we all love them. Just admit it is really for you, and don't expect your cat to love it at first sight.

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