No one can resist the allure of a cute and fluffy kitten, even if they don’t consider themselves to be cat people. However, because kittens are so good at being adorable, people may give into impulse and become an owner without much previous thought. Fortunately, to help prepare yourself, here are 9 tips for bringing a new kitten home:
1. Determine if a kitten is really the right pet for your needs
Although cats are more independent than dogs, they’re still not for everyone. Given that the average lifespan typically falls between 12 to 15 years, getting a furry feline is a long-term commitment. They require a lot of space, toys, scratching posts, and attention to prevent destruction from instinct and boredom. They also require knowledgeable owners that will be able to fulfill their every need to keep them happy and healthy.
2. Make sure that your budget allows for a kitten
If you intend to bring a kitten home, you need to take ownership costs into account. While initial costs for food, toys, litter boxes, etc., may come to mind first, you also need to consider the running costs. For example, regular checkups, spaying/neutering, microchipping, and emergencies must also be budgeted for.
3. If you live in an apartment, make sure that you are allowed to get a kitten
Depending on where you live, you may not even be allowed to have a kitten. Apartments that do allow cats typically require you to sign a pet agreement. For example, some pet agreements may state that you will need to pay a pet deposit, keep the cat inside, or have any carpeted surfaces professionally steam cleaned. You may also be able to have one or two cats.
4. Make sure that everyone in the household is okay with having a kitten around
Since a new kitten will have the run of the household, it’s important that everyone feels comfortable with a cat around the home. If the whole family is involved with the pet, it’s important to teach everyone how to treat and take care of the kitten. Posting schedules can help younger children know when to play with the kitten, feed it, clean the litter box, etc.
5. Consider adopting
If you want to bring home a new kitten or cat, please consider adopting from a local shelter. With so many animals up for adoption every day, adopting a kitten or cat can potentially save it from euthanasia. Older and black animals are particularly at risk of being overlooked by people and having to be put down. When adopting from a shelter, you may also be able to earn discounts for spaying/neutering, checkups, vaccinations, and more.
6. Have all of the pet supplies already purchased before bringing home a kitten
Before you bring home a new kitten, it’s important to have all of the basic supplies handy, such as:
- Cat food
- Water and food dishes
- Cat litter
- Litter boxes
- Pooper scoopers
- Scratching posts
- Nail clippers
- Collars, leashes, and harnesses
- Pet first-aid kits
7. Kitten-proof your home
Kittens are energetic and curious, so they are bound to cause a bit of chaos at home. However, to ensure that your kitten is safe, it’s crucial to kitten-proof your home. In fact, here are some basic kitten-proofing tips:
- Keep any household chemicals stored safely away
- Avoid placing heavy items in low areas that can be knocked over
- Keep plants out of reach since they can be poisonous to cats (e.g. tulips, lilies, and poinsettias)
- Ensure that your window screens are secured
- Don’t leave candles unattended
- Keep wires organized and safely out of the way
8. If possible, have the kitten checked by a vet before bringing it home
To lessen medical costs and heartache, you should always have a kitten checked before taking it home, especially if you have other cats in the household already. Once you have a clean bill of health from the vet, you will be able to rest more easily.
9. Make sure to keep your kitten inside
Kittens and cats should never be allowed to roam outside unsupervised. Unfortunately, there are many dangers outside that could prevent your kitten from ever making its way back home to you. If you want to let your kitten outside, train it to walk with you on a leash so that it can be kept safe.
Feral cats are also a threat to local ecosystems and are categorized as the number one invasive species in the United States. If you irresponsibly let your kitten outside without your supervision, it will only contribute to the problem through breeding and hunting.
With these 9 tips, you can bring home a new kitten with less hassle to give it the nurturing and stimulating life that it deserves.