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How to find a healthy kitten?

zxhw78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Jan 19, 2012
17
1
Texas
I'm trying to find a healthy female kitten to adopt, but I'm really not sure how to go about finding one. Any ideas?
I previously adopted from the SPCA, but it did not work out. The first one I adopted turned out to actually be a male, and they still didn't know why he had stitches on his stomach. I exchanged him for a female. Unfortunately she became extremely dehydrated a day after having her, brought her to the vet for her free examination and she apparently had complete kidney failure. I'm too nervous to adopt another kitten from the SPCA. I know it is the norm now to get a kitten spayed as long as they're 2lbs. However the vet said that due to her weight and kidney issues, that is what probably caused her to have complete kidney failure. I would like to be able to adopt a kitten who has already been spayed for a while, or where I can get her spayed at a later age 5-6 months.

Thanks
 

speakhandsforme

TCS Member
Super Cat
Sep 11, 2011
1,173
42
Orlando, FL
Wow! That is a strange situation indeed. I've never heard of a shelter confusing the gender on a kitten, but I guess it can happen, especially if the kitten is VERY young -- but if they're more than 8 weeks old, you should be able to tell the gender... and if they're not more than 8 weeks old, they're far too young to be adopted out. :/

Have you tried other shelters, or Craigslist? Craigslist can be scary, but there are also people who genuinely want to find good homes for their pets without putting them into shelters first. I got my kitten, Boots, from Craigslist.

I guess as a last resort, you could go back to the SPCA -- but with the caveat that you take her to the vet immediately after you get her, and if the kitten isn't the right gender, or dies due to complications from something (spay surgery, whatever) that THEY did incorrectly, you can get your adoption free back? Maybe modify the adoption contract to include those things? I don't know if they'll agree to that, but it's worth a shot.

In the meantime, I would try other shelters or Craigslist. :)
 

Willowy

TCS Member
Top Cat
Mar 1, 2009
23,513
14,387
South Dakota
LOL, I never see any shortage of kittens, so it can't be too hard. Right now it's not kitten season, so probably most kittens available right now will be 5-6 months old (although this might be what you want). Kitten season starts soon (most cats get pregnant January-March) so if you wait about 4 months you should have plenty to choose from. If you keep checking the SPCA, you should be able to find a girl that was spayed a while ago. A private rescue may be able to give more individualized attention to their cats, so that might be worth checking out. And vet's offices frequently have kittens available for adoption. Otherwise, check out craigslist, newspaper ads, posters on bulletin boards, etc. and try to find a litter raised indoors by a caring family--someone whose cat got pregnant accidentally or who took in a pregnant stray.
 
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feralvr

TCS Member
Veteran
Dec 30, 2010
18,473
676
Northwest Indiana
WOW- what a situation.... :(. It is true that it is not kitten season right now - but you should be able to find at least some kittens.. check on Petfinder.com in your area too. AND maybe there are other shelter's in your area that you haven't found yet. Good luck with your kitten search :cross: :vibes::vibes:
 

mrsgreenjeens

Every Life Should Have Nine Cats
Staff Member
Advisor
Aug 13, 2009
12,771
2,733
Arizona
I think your REAL issue here is that you want a guarantee that your new kitty will be healthy, isn't it?  You don't want to fall in love with another kitty, only to lose it?  Sadly, there are no guarantees in life in that aspect.  Most of us  here have felt the heartache of losing a kitty (yourself included
).  All you can do is take a chance.  As everyone above says, try local vets local ads, etc.  Good luck!
 

redvelvetone

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Nov 26, 2011
597
28
Pennsylvania, USA
I found my kitten through petfinder.com and adopted him from a rescue. They neuter them and have them checked out by the vet ( as well as foster them) before adopting them out so you would know a little about the kitten before you adopted. This may be something you want to look into. Also, this is just my personal choice, but I got a  little older kitten at  6 months because they are a little hardier than a very young one.

Good luck and sorry about your bad luck so far. I would not adopt from the SPCA again as my family got a kitten there years ago and he had a fatal disease that we didn't know about and passed it on to our other cat. Our other cat, being older, got very sick, but luckily did not die. The kitten was not so lucky. Ever since then I've been reluctant to get a pet from the SPCA.

Also I think breeders have certain guarantees about the heath of any adopted animals (they at least guarantee they are healthy when you adopt them I think). I'm sure one of the breeders here can verify that. That may be another option if there is a specific breed you are looking for and you don't mind spending some money.
 
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mrblanche

TCS Member
Veteran
Jan 28, 2008
12,578
110
Texas
Where are you located in Texas?  I'm in the Dallas area, and I volunteer at a shelter.  I know of a very good rescue in the area that almost always has kittens that have been in foster homes for a while, so the fosterers can vouch for their health, to the extent anyone can.
 

p3 and the king

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jan 10, 2012
1,831
124
Branson, Missouri (USA)
The thing about kittens is that their health can turn in a short amount of time with very little warning.  So, they can appear healthy one minute and a few hours later, be deathly sick!!  Maybe they didn't get to nurse as long as they should have and their immune system wasn't built up enough?  Lots of reasons.  The younger they are, the more critical it is. 

Not that I am against adopting from a shelter but it seems like each time I did adopt a kitten, something would be wrong.  I never took them back.  I hate it when people do that.  But, about half the time, it was something they didn't catch or didn't show up in time and by the time I got the kitty to the vet, it was too late.  So now I adopt older cats from shelters if I adopt.   And I advise people to do the same. 

I am not ashamed of this, either, but I went to a breeder for my Persians and my Birman girls.  I was on cat sites that belittled me for it.  I was appalled at that!!  I'm all for rescuing and I do it all the time.  I had always wanted a Persian growing up and I went to a breeder to get it.  Breeder gave me a guarantee.  And the kittens were never sick.  Ever.  Healthy as can be.  Because, I think, they allowed them to stay with momma as long as they needed her and then some.  And they made sure it was clean and they had the best care. 

So, my belief is, for kittens... Breeder.  For older kittens or cats... Shelter.  But a reputable and clean shelter.
 

northernglow

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jan 3, 2009
2,061
30
Finland
I am not ashamed of this, either, but I went to a breeder for my Persians and my Birman girls.  I was on cat sites that belittled me for it.  I was appalled at that!!  I'm all for rescuing and I do it all the time.  I had always wanted a Persian growing up and I went to a breeder to get it.  Breeder gave me a guarantee.  And the kittens were never sick.  Ever.  Healthy as can be.  Because, I think, they allowed them to stay with momma as long as they needed her and then some.  And they made sure it was clean and they had the best care. 

So, my belief is, for kittens... Breeder.  For older kittens or cats... Shelter.  But a reputable and clean shelter.
 Back when I was still 'toying' with the idea of having a cat once my living arrangements would allow me to get one (yes one, hahahahah) and browsing through adds and stuff I just didn't find what I was looking for. The moggie kittens were never de-wormed, vaccined or checked by the vet and I knew nothing about their possible hereditary issues. Then it just hit me: a breeder! And so I got hooked on Brits (and Foldies). And I do not feel guilty because of it and no one can make me.

 
 

rad65

TCS Member
Top Cat
Oct 2, 2010
1,539
46
 Back when I was still 'toying' with the idea of having a cat once my living arrangements would allow me to get one (yes one, hahahahah) and browsing through adds and stuff I just didn't find what I was looking for. The moggie kittens were never de-wormed, vaccined or checked by the vet and I knew nothing about their possible hereditary issues. Then it just hit me: a breeder! And so I got hooked on Brits (and Foldies). And I do not feel guilty because of it and no one can make me.

 
I think as long as you go to a reputable breeder who does it for the love of the breed rather than a BYB who is in it for money, and as long as your pedigreed cat is neutered (unless you yourself are a breeder), there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You aren't really contributing to overpopulation since reputable breeders don't breed hundreds of cats, they only breed a select amount. There is no reason to feel guilty about getting the right animal for you. If you really want a certain breed, settling for an adopted moggie is like settling for a dog when you really wanted a cat.
 

ziggy'smom

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Feb 15, 2010
659
38
The best way to go is to get a kitten or cat from a good rescue group that keeps their cats in foster homes and take good care of their cats. My rescue takes all new cats to the vet to have them examined, tested for FIV/FeLV and tested for internal parasites. They are all dewormed and deflead too and of course they are also fixed and fully vaccinated before they go. We do not put the cats up for adoption until they are healthy and we always keep them for a few weeks before they are placed for adoption so we know if they have any health issues and also to get to know their personalities so we can place them with the right family. We know our kitties well so we can tell the adopter exactly what they're getting.

Shelters are great and they fill their function but they normally don't know much about their animals and because they have so many that come and go there are often diseases going around. There are some very good shelters that do a great job but unfortunately some do the bare minimum, if even that, and the animals go out without even being wormed. Rescues tend to take better care of the animals as they usually have fewer animals and more people to care for them. It is possible to rescue a kitten without taking risks. You don't have to go to a breeder to get a healthy kitten. Sure, you don't know anything about their heredity but that doesn't mean that much anyway. Any cat can get health problems in the future. But if you adopt from a good rescue you will at least know that you are getting a healthy, well cared for kitten now. We will not put a kitten up for adoption if they are sick and if they have some chronic problems we let potential adopters know.

With their being so many kittens out there that will have a miserable life or no life at all if they are not adopted I think people should rescue and not go to a breeder.

Another benefit with adopting from a rescue is that you will help two cats by doing so. You will help the cat that you give a home to and you will help the cat that gets to take the place of the adopted cat in the rescue. Whenever we place a cat we get another one off death row. 

You can find good rescues by going to Petfinder.com and go to "Find animal welfare groups" on the left side of the screen. You can also search for kittens there. Contact the rescue and ask questions. Good rescues often have a more rigorous adoption process. It's not like a shelter where you go in and walk out with the kitten. Some people think that's jumping through hoops but it's necessary for the sake of the animals. We have to be sure that the cats we've put so much into will go to a good home, not just any home.
 
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  • #12

zxhw78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Jan 19, 2012
17
1
Texas
Thank you all for your help. I looked at local foster groups and stuff online but really didn't find anything. I was looking at classifieds and stuff online and found one. :-) The lady that had her said her cat got out and got pregnant, cat was in good health, and she had been caring for the kittens til they were old enough to find a home.
 

hobo08

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Feb 1, 2012
408
14
South Central, Iowa
Thank you all for your help. I looked at local foster groups and stuff online but really didn't find anything. I was looking at classifieds and stuff online and found one. :-) The lady that had her said her cat got out and got pregnant, cat was in good health, and she had been caring for the kittens til they were old enough to find a home.

Glad you found a kitten! Can't wait to see pics!
 

mrblanche

TCS Member
Veteran
Jan 28, 2008
12,578
110
Texas
Sadie looks like a little cutie darling!

How is she doing?  Any problems?  What kind of personality does she have?
 

ann phoenix

TCS Member
Young Cat
May 17, 2013
56
10
Thank you for that information as I am looking for a kitten now and had no idea.  I am on this site today trying to find information as to how to find a healthy kitty as I adopted one years ago from a Humane Society and he died of FIP at a year old--it was a horrible experience.
 
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  • #20

zxhw78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Jan 19, 2012
17
1
Texas
Sadie is doing well! She is perfectly healthy and up to date on all her shots and she's been spayed and recovered well. :-) No problems, aside from trying to bite occasionally. We're working on it though, tried a bunch of things I've read, but still have issues, sometimes. For the most part though she's full of energy and loves to be snuggled. She's very sweet and loving.

Ann I would recommend looking online for local ads and stuff for one. There always seems to be someone who found a cat and they are trying to get rid of, before turning them over the the shelters. I've also heard you can ask vets as well if they have any they are trying to find homes for. That's just my opinion. I hope you can find what you're looking for!

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