Guidelines for Health Screening Kittens for Adoption

Due to the large number of kittens born to stray cats every year, many owners opt to select their new pets from a shelter or other kittens for adoption center. This is an excellent way to help reduce the number of homeless cats that are born every year, and is a much cheaper alternative than contacting a breeder. However, without the medical history that a pedigreed cat has available, it's crucial that you ensure that your new kitten is healthy and stable. Use the following guidelines to help determine if your kitten of choice is sufficiently healthy for adoption.

The Skin and Fur

When you are screening a kitten for adoption, the first thing that you should take notice of is the quality of his skin and fur. Cats that are raised in or brought to animal shelters have exposure to a wide range of parasites and diseases, and it is important to check for your kitten's health in that regard. Carefully examine him for signs of mites, lice and fleas. Even if your kitten has a parasitic infestation, it's important to keep in mind that this condition is not a serious or incurable one. Rather, you should be more on the lookout for signs of other diseases or conditions. Look to make sure that your cat doesn't have thinning or patchy hair, open sores or lesions, discolored gums and nose or other signs of potentially serious conditions.

The Legs

Be sure to examine the kitten's back legs for signs of feces. This may be an indicator of diarrhea. Although diarrhea in kittens is somewhat common and may be the result of a mild intestinal parasite, it can also be a sign of a serious underlying health concern.

The Eyes

Check your kitten's eyes for the marks of irritation or redness. A healthy kitten should have shiny and clear eyes. If the kitten has red or inflamed eyelids, cloudy eyes or if the middle eyelid is visible, this is a sign of infection or a potentially fatal disease.


A healthy kitten is playful and active. Like any other pets, however, some kittens will tend to be shy or somewhat removed. Watch your kitten play with other animals around it and see how it plays with you. Sick cats are often sluggish and lethargic, preferring not to move or play. A kitten's behavior is one of the most important aspects to check for while making your selection.

The reasons for conducting a complete and thorough health screening before adopting a kitten are many. Adopting a healthy cat helps to ensure that your pet will not suffer an early death. Many feline diseases are particularly dangerous to kittens, and the first few months of life are a critical period for any cat. Furthermore, a sick kitten can introduce new diseases to other animals in the home. Avoid putting your other pets at risk by selecting a healthy and lively kitten for adoption.