Kittens are cute and playful. Their natural curiosity can get them into hilarious situations. Kittens are wonderful additions to the family, but it is important to remember that a kitten is a big responsibility.
The furry little bundles are full of energy and like to explore everything. Their over-sized eyes will win you over with just one look. Kittens are more than just cute fluff balls, they are baby cats. All babies need specialized nutrition and care.
What to consider when you are looking to get a kitten?
The first thing you need to do before you get a kitten is to decide if you are getting a rescue or contacting a reputable breeder. Next you need to make sure you have the financial and time resources to give a kitten everything it needs. Another important thing you need to do is find out what the laws and policies are to keeping a kitten in your area.
Now moving onto the fun decisions, do you want a pure bred cat or a sweet little cross-breed? Either way your kitten is going to grow up into a handsome adult cat. Depending on your situation it is a good idea to get two kittens. Yes it is double the fees and the cleaning up, but it can make the transition to a new home easier for the kittens. Of course this is not always possible, but it is something to consider, especially if you have to go to work.
Preparing for your kitten
Preparing for your kitten
- Food and water bowl. Your local pet shop will be able to guide you on a starter bowl that is age appropriate. It is a good idea to have more than one, so fresh food and water is always available, depending on the size of your home. Keep in mind if you have more than one kitten they each need their own bowl.
- Bedding. Easy to clean bedding is advisable. Kittens do not always sleep in the same spot, so getting more than one kitten bed is a good idea. Your kitten will spend time sleeping just about anywhere and you might think you don’t need a kitten bed, but when they feel overwhelmed they need a safe warm place.
- Carry Case. Taking your cat home, or to the vet means you need a carry case for a safe trip. Make sure it is stable and can be covered or has its own cover. Keeping the case dim will help settle your cat, when it is in transit. You can get a carry case that will be big enough to transport a fully grown cat.
- Food. It is always best to keep your kitten on the same food as it had in its previous home. At least for a while. If you want to change the food, introduce the new food slowly. Speak to your vet before-hand about the best foods for complete nutrition.
- Litter Box and scoop. Try and get a covered little box. The cover will help minimize smells and messes. There are great sets with a scoop as well.
- Cleaning supplies. Accidents do happen with kittens. For cleaning these accidents you need a scent free and non-toxic range of cleaning supplies.
- Grooming equipment. Grooming your kitten does not only keep them healthy but it is great bonding time. Speak to your pet shop about the right comb or brush and nail clippers for your kitten.
- Oral hygiene. This is one that people often do not think about. You need to keep your little friends teeth clean. Get a toothbrush designed for kittens with the right toothpaste. Your kitten will probably fight you a while on getting their teeth brushed but it is necessary.
- Scratching pole. Kittens and cats scratch at things. It is how they maintain their claws. To avoid your couches and other furniture getting destroyed get a scratching pole and encourage your kitten to us it.
- Cat tree. Especially for indoor cats. A cat tree with more than one branch will encourage your kitty to exercise and stay mentally sharp.
- Toys. Kittens love to play, but make sure you select toys from a reputable dealer which are age appropriate.
Choosing a vet
You have to feel comfortable with your vet. They are a big part of your kitten’s life, especially for the first 18 months. Before taking home your kitten the previous owner should supply you with their medical history. For example, have they had any vaccinations? Have they had any parasite treatments?
Your chosen vet is responsible for microchipping your kitten. Microchipping is not only for your kitten’s safety it is also law in most areas. Vaccinations and check-ups are mandatory in Australia. This is to minimize the risk of spreading feline diseases.
Ultimately the choice is yours, but because mixed bred cats have a larger gene pool the risk of genetic illnesses or defect is much lower.
The most common or core vaccinations include Feline Calicivirus, Feline Panleukopenia and Feline Leukemia to name a few. You need to discuss the required vaccinations and schedule with your vet.
Microchipping your cat is not only important it is law. Cats have a tendency to wander. If they do you will feel a lot better knowing a vet or shelter can scan them and contact you right away.
A cat’s average life span is 12 to 18 years. There are many determining factors including genetics and overall health.