If you are thinking about adopting a kitten or cat, your best bet is to talk to people who are already handling the animal. Does she purr often, or hiss when the food bowl is put down? Is the animal easily frightened? At a shelter, a little conversation with staff or volunteers may help you come home with the most family-friendly pet there.
Then ask for a little time with the kitten or cat in a separate neutral room. “Interact with the kitten, pick it up, and pet it,” suggests Dr. Dodman. Make a little noise and see what happens. You want to bring your child along with you, too. “If your child is, say, three, you can bring him along and see how they interact with each other.”