Firstly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, they were also inexperienced once, and are usually only too pleased to help. If possible ask to see the whole litter so that you can watch them play and assess character. Do not choose the runt of the litter, if there is one, just because you feel sorry for it, but look for an outward, friendly kitten who is inquisitive and not too nervous.
The kitten should look clean and healthy. The backbone and hips should be well covered, but there should not be any signs of a pot belly which could denote the presence of worms. The eyes should be clear and bright with no signs of discharge, and the third eyelid (known as the law) should not protrude at the inner corner. The ears must be spotlessly clean with no black grit-like particles, which indicate ear mites. The coat should be clean and soft, and when parted behind the ears and at the base of the tail, must be free from tiny black specks which indicate fleas. Check that the teeth and gums are healthy, and there should be no discharge from the nostrils. Finally check for any yellow staining under the tail, as this means that the kitten may be suffering from diarrhea. If the kitten of your choice passes these tests, then it is probably safe to take home.
Before buying, ensure that you are satisfied with the conditions in which the cats and kittens are being kept.