Learn a Kitten’s History & be Observant


We recently had to put our beloved cat to sleep after 16 years. This cat was so loving to us, sat in our laps, talked to us, he is a tremendous loss.  How do we find another cat that will be loving to us?  Should we be looking for a younger or older cat?


Dr. Nichol:

I understand the grief you feel over the loss of your fine boy. Our 18 year old family cat “Raoul” passed away a few years ago. It took us a long time to feel ready for a new kitty in our lives. You have our sympathy.


There are some fairly reliable tests and observations that can help in selecting a cat with a good personality but none are guaranteed. You are more likely to get the cat you want if you can learn a prospect’s history. Kittens who stay with their mothers and littermates until age 12-16 weeks, and have gentle play with a variety of people, are the best bets. Interestingly, it is the father’s personality that has the greater influence on the character of the kids. Unfortunately meeting dad is seldom possible; most lack character and are off to the races after the honeymoon is over.


I recommend the article “Choosing the Greatest Kitten for Your Life” on my website (www.drjeffnichol.com). It worked pretty well when we chose our new kitten, Tony. He’s far from perfect but he’s ours and he’s no worse than the rest of us.