Picking a Healthy Kitten

Picking a Healthy Kitten

Are you and your family ready to pick out a kitten that will become your beloved family pet? Before you choose the cutest one you see, it’s important to make sure you’re bringing home a healthy animal. Here, a Woodland Park veterinarian provides you with a general checklist.


Step back for a moment and watch your potential kitten move on its own. At about 10 to 12 weeks—the ideal age for purchasing a kitten—the animal should weigh about two pounds and have a sound skeletal and muscular structure. It shouldn’t look overly fat or skinny, and should have a normal gait. Kittens should run and pounce quickly, so any kitten that seems to be limping or swaying unusually should be examined before purchase.

Body and Head

Examine the kitten’s head and body. The eyes should be clear, bright, and focused. A kitten’s nose should be clean and cool, and the ears clean and free of waxy buildup. Excessive brown wax in the ears could mean ear mites or an ear infection.

Look at the kitten’s fur. It shouldn’t have any tangles, burrs, bald patches, or knots, and should instead look smooth and glossy. A dull, dry coat or a lot of tangles could be a sign of poor nutrition or improper grooming.


It’s important that kittens are socialized to humans properly—an improperly socialized kitten could turn into a fearful or aggressive adult cat, which can be time-consuming and expensive to correct. Watch the kitten you’re considering to determine his personality and temperament. A normal, healthy kitten should be eager for attention and curious. Try dangling a piece of string in front of him; most normal kittens will be quick to bat at it and chase it down.


Look around the environment your possible pet is living in. Does it seem clean and sanitary? Does there seem to be enough space for the amount of kittens living in the cage? Unclean conditions can lead to various health concerns, and overcrowding could lead to behavior or socialization problems later in life.

Remember to take your new kitten to your Woodland Park veterinarian for a full-health checkup after you’ve brought your pet home. Make an appointment today!

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