If you acquire a cat from the shelter, or rescue center, you will be bound by their rules, and most will require that any animal leaving their kennel be neutered or spayed, regardless of age. In the United States, veterinarians are now neutering and spaying kittens as early as eight weeks of age.
However, in Britain, this is not commonly done until cats are six months old. If you buy a cat from a breeder or a pet store, ask about a health guarantee. The ethical person will give you a certain number of days during which you should have the cat examined by your veterinarian. If he is not healthy, you may be able to return him and receive a full refund.
Before a kitten is sold, he should have received at least his first vaccination and instructions should be given as to when others are due. If selling him at a pet price, not for breeding or showing, you do not need papers.
Often, though, papers will be given upon proof from a veterinarian that the cat has been neutered or spayed. At other times, breeders will issue the papers and check the space to indicate the kitten is still to be neutered or spayed.
If you are selling him as a breeder or show cat, then he will command a higher price and you are bound to provide his papers as well. There is no reason why you should not have all documents ready, so a buyer should never accept him unless all relevant papers are available at the time of sale.
Make provisions for your cat in case of your unexpected hospitalization or death. Any animals confined in the house may suffer from neglect, so be sure to leave written word with a friend, relative or neighbor so they can gain entry and take care of your pets should the need arise.
You should always take your new kitten or cat to a veterinarian for a checkup, regardless of where you acquire him. He should be in good health and free from any parasites. However, if you have had him for more than ten days, and he comes down with a cold or something similarly minor, do not worry as this is to be expected and is no cause for concern.
If you are moving to another country, you cat may need to be quarantined. Check with the relevant authorities about the quarantine laws in that country.
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