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About buying little kittens…

Too often we hear from potential buyers the following: “The kitten is three months old already? Oh, it’s so big already!! We want a little one so that it will get used to us from its very first days…” And then they usually proceed with a long and pretty touching story that once in the childhood, in the trash… in the garbage chute… (well, somewhere…) they found / rescued a kitten and hand-fed it with a pipette. And they have never ever in their lives had a more attached and faithful cat. “And now we want again a little but this time pedigree kitten so that we could nurse and bring it up. And yours, which is three and a half months old, will never get used to us, and so we need a baby kitten”. And they are perfectly aware that the kittens cannot be sold unvaccinated and promise to get them vaccinated themselves and they realize all the responsibility, but they are REALLY LONGING to get a very little one… A familiar story? And once again I’ll try to explain why in the world you should NOT take a kitten under three and a half months old. On average a female cat has three or four kittens in the litter (though there may be more, of course). Up to one month old the kittens live only on the mother’s milk and thus develop immunity. When they stop getting enough milk, the kittens gradually switch to self-feeding (wet food) and only at this particular moment their small organisms start to form their own immunity. The kittens are extremely susceptible to any infections, draughts and stresses. By the age of two months the kittens already eat by themselves (but nevertheless they tend to have an additional snack of the mother’s milk). Ten days before the first vaccination the kittens are given anthelmintics. And then comes the day of the first vaccination against infectious diseases! Ok, so the kitten may already travel to a new home? No, too early yet! Again this notorious immunity? Yes, just so! And we keep on waiting until the kittens succeed to develop protection against infections and twenty-one days later (according to the veterinary regulations this is exactly a three-month age – and not even a day earlier) we do the revaccination and at the same time the rabies vaccination. And now, is that all? Can we finally take the kitten? Yes, if the kitten stays in the same city. But in case it leaves for another city or country, you’ll have to wait one month more, because the quarantine after the rabies vaccination lasts 30 days and during this period you won’t receive a veterinary certificate necessary for the kitten’s travel. And even if the kitten moves to a new family on the other side of the road, it is recommended to wait for at least a couple of weeks more, just to let the vaccinations work without creating any additional difficulties! And finally, at the age of three and a half months your long-awaited kitten is ready for a new home. In addition I want to note that this all-too-common “it is already too big and will never get used to us” is just your desire to feel needed for this baby, but in fact it needs not you, but its mother and its native nest! You cannot go straight from the maternity hospital to school. There is a big risk of losing a kitten by curing it to death or leaving it disabled. It will surely get used to you; cats are very affectionate by nature. The thing is that when a tender domestic cat loves its owners and trusts them, she even gives birth to kittens in their presence. And this greatly contributes to activation of kittens’ socialization when their mother’s smell and the smell of human hands are blended and perceived simultaneously. These babies will trust humans at any age; this mechanism is activated for their entire life. But if a female cat tries to run away and hide herself to give birth to kittens, if she hisses when the happy owners discover an addition to the family… and they make a mistake leaving the mother cat alone with her babies and not disturbing them… The cat gives birth to the kittens of a like nature in the sense that she and her mother were also once left alone and not socialized, they were not shown that a human doesn’t mean danger, but gives warmth and comfort just like their mother and there’s no need to avoid him. The kittens whose socialization has been activated by the breeders at birth will have a lifelong trust in people!