A kitten will spend the next 16-20 years with you so it is important to select your new friend with care. A visit to the breeder’s quarters will greatly enhance your chances of selecting an outgoing, emotionally stable and well-socialised kitten.
Kittens prime socialisation period is before 7 weeks, which means that you rely heavily on the breeder of your kitten to socialise your kitten. When you visit see if the kittens are encountering the sort of things they would in your home. They must have negotiated with other cats in a non-threatening way. If you have a dog they should have met a dog. They also benefit from gentle, brief handling by a variety of men, women and responsible children.
A good breeder will have gently examined their paws, mouths and ears in a friendly, non-threatening environment for a short time each day. This gets them used to the handling that they will have to tolerate for interaction with humans and for preventative health measures like worming and flea treatments.
If possible meet both the mother and the father of the kittens. A bold outgoing tomcat is the greatest influence on breeding resilient kittens with less problems with stress and anxiety as adults. The mother has more control over raising and training kittens. Kittens hand-raised by humans often have unique behavioural problems as adults because they have not had a mother’s firm paw as youngsters.