How do I choose a kitten?

When choosing a kitten from a litter, there are several factors you should consider including the kitten's health, personality, and breed-specific traits. Here's what you should look for:

**1. Physical Health:**

- Bright, clear eyes: The kitten's eyes should be bright, clear, and free of any discharge. Cloudiness, redness, or discharge could suggest an eye infection or other health issue.

- Clean ears: Check the inside of the kitten's ears. They should be clean and pink. If you see a lot of dark, crusty material, the kitten could have ear mites.

- Healthy coat: The kitten's fur should be clean, shiny, and free of fleas and bald spots. Fleas can indicate neglect or a poor living environment.

- Proper weight: The kitten should not be overly skinny or obese. You should be able to feel its ribs but they shouldn't be overly prominent.

- Clean rear: Check the kitten's rear end to make sure it's clean. Diarrhea can be a sign of parasitic infection or other health problems.

- Nose: The kitten's nose should be clean and not runny. Discharge or constant sneezing can be a sign of respiratory issues.

**2. Personality:**

- Active and playful: A healthy kitten should be active, playful, and curious. If the kitten is lethargic or unresponsive, it may not be healthy.

- Comfort with handling: It's a good sign if the kitten is comfortable with being picked up and handled. This can indicate that it has been well socialized.

- Interaction with littermates: Notice how the kitten interacts with its siblings. A kitten that is overly aggressive or too timid might be a challenge to socialize.

**3. Breed-specific traits:**

If you're choosing a purebred kitten, research the breed to understand common behaviors and potential health issues.

**4. Temperament:**

Try to observe the kitten's temperament. It's often said that a kitten who's a good fit will choose you. Spend time interacting with each kitten and see which one seems to connect with you.

**5. Environment:**

Look at the environment where the kittens are being kept. It should be clean and the kittens should have a safe place to sleep, toys to play with, and plenty of food and water.

**Common Bad Traits:**

Here are some red flags when choosing a kitten:

- Lethargy: If a kitten is lethargic or indifferent to its surroundings, it may be unwell.

- Aggression: While some play fighting is normal, excessive aggression could indicate a problem.

- Fearfulness: If a kitten seems overly scared or skittish, this could indicate that it hasn't been properly socialized.

- Health issues: As mentioned above, look out for signs of health issues such as a runny nose, discharge from the eyes, a bloated stomach, diarrhea, etc.

Remember, the goal is to find a healthy kitten whose personality meshes well with your own. Be patient and take your time, the right kitten will come along.