Kitten Selection

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 ( 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.