A Random-Bred from the Pound or Registered with Papers and a Crown?


Which is better: a registered kitten with papers or a random-bred kitten who sleeps on your paper? They both have advantages. I love the elegant beauty and dignity of a Maine Coon or a Turkish Van, but I also marvel at the intricacies in the coat of the blended kitten.

Picking a pedigreed kitten

When you buy a purebred kitten, you know to some extent how your new friend will look and behave. For instance, if you want a cat to fetch, get a Maine Coon or a Turkish Van. If you want a kitten you can carry on a conversation with, get a Siamese or an Oriental type. When you buy a registered kitten, you have a good idea of what you’re getting in the temperament department (although you do run into exceptions). Persians like to lie around, and Abyssinians will climb the walls.

Although pedigreed kittens could run up to a $1,000 or more, you can buy a pet-quality kitten — a pedigreed kitten whose appearance disqualifies him for show, but who can make a great pet — much cheaper. Because only one or two kittens out of a litter meet the show standard, your breeder should be able to offer you some very nice pet-quality kittens.

Some breeds have a higher tendency for certain health conditions than random-bred cats.

Is it a boy (:) or girl (i)

Trying to decide whether you’re looking at a boy kitten or a girl kitten can be challenging, even for those of us who do it regularly. Lift up the tail and check out those little privates. You’ll see the anus, which is easy to spot, and then below that you should see another opening. Comparing the openings of two different cats, you’ll see that a boy’s part looks like a colon (the punctuation) with two dots. The girl’s bottom will resemble an upside down exclamation mark. There will also be a little more distance between the boy’s dots because that’s where his testicles will be when they descend when he’s about 7 weeks old. The following figure helps you tell the difference.

All mixed up: Getting the best of all breeds

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a loyal companion. Moggies, or random-bred kittens, make great pets. Granted, they’re a little like buying a dime store grab bag: You just don’t know what you’re going to get until later. But if you’re just looking for a companion and you don’t need to dictate the personality, a moggy may be just the kitten for you. They’re way cheaper than registered kittens, they’re just as loving, and you’ve got an endless selection of colors, patterns, and coat lengths to choose from.

If you plan to adopt a moggy, check your local humane shelter before heading to the pet store . Most humane shelters offer you kittens who are fully vaccinated for rabies and common virals, tested for diseases, and possibly even altered. Shelters are full of healthy random-bred kittens. Plus, you save a life when you adopt one of these little guys.

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