By Amy D. Shojai, CABC

There are many places to find your dream kitten - shelters, breeders, pet stores, friends or neighbors, waif on the doorstep - and some are clearly better options than others. Of course, your heart can overrule logic if you are smitten by a needy baby.

Take a moment to ask the shelter staff, breeder, or other source these questions. That will give you an idea of potential risk involved in adopting or buying from that establishment.

For each question below, a yes answer receives one point, and a no response gets zero points. Tally the score when you finish to see how the kitten source rates - the higher the score the better.

1) Can you tell me about the temperament of at least one parent (the mother)?

2) Can you tell me about the temperament of my kitten?

3) Has the kitten been 'raised underfoot' and handled, so she's socialized to people?

4) Will you let me visit the facilities and see where my kitten has been raised?

5) If she's a pedigreed, is registration information available?

6) Can you provide a medical history of to-date vaccinations or other care given?

7) Does the purchase price/adoption fee include health guarantee?

8) Do you provide a list of references/testimonials from satisfied adopters/purchasers?

9) Have you ever turn down a potential purchase/adopter?

10) Will you be available to offer help and advice as my kitten grows?

SCORES of 8 to 10 = IDEAL
SCORES of 5 to 7 = FAIR to GOOD

Excerpted from:
Complete Kitten Care
2010 Second Edition, Amazon Kindle Publication
Chapter 2. Looking For Your Dream Kitten

2002 & revision 2010 Amy D. Shojai, CABC

Amy D. Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant, and author of 23 pet care books including Complete Kitten Care and Complete Care for Your Aging Cat. She's also the behavior contributor for and can be reached via


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