As a young pet lover, you’ve probably considered adopting kittens from a shelter. However, many people have illusions about what life with a kitten is like, and which can quickly lead pet owners to disillusionment after they bring the young cat home. Here are seven important things that you should know before considering adopting a kitten that can help you make a better decision as to whether or not a kitten is really appropriate for you and your family.
1. A kitten grows up really fast. A cat will not remain a kitten for long and before you know it, that cuddly kitten has already become an adult cat. While you think it may be fun to have that cuddly little ball of fur lying on the pillow next to you, before you know it, it has grown into an adult cat that is taking up all the space and is likely to tussle with you when you try to get it to sleep on the floor.
2. A very young kitten will initially look like a peaceful infant lying on your lap, but before long, it will start being its playful self and getting into mischief. Kittens have boundless amounts of energy and you should be prepared for this. To keep your kitten from being injured, you should kitten-proof your home, put breakables out of their reach, and protect your curtains and furniture.
3. A kitten is a fussy eater. Don’t think that just because you are providing them with an expensive brand of kitten food that they will eat it. Every kitten has its own taste preferences and you will have to explore what these are when choosing which food to give them.
4. A kitten may not grow up into the cat that you expect him to. An affectionate kitten may grow up into a shy or aloof cat. The personality of a kitten is shaped during the first few weeks of his life due to factors such as how much he is handled, his own inherent predilections, and the feelings his mother has toward people.
5. A kitten may not be the ideal pet for every member of your family. There may be family members who are allergic to cats or who simply don’t like them. Unfortunately, your new cat will likely insist on befriending them by rubbing against their legs or sitting on their laps.
6. It is possible to housetrain a cat, contrary to common belief. But you will have to spend time with your new kitten, to socialize him and to teach him things such as using the scratch post rather than furniture to sharpen his claws and not to jump on counters and sofas.
7. Kittens are so adorable you’ll want to take more than one home. Experts recommend that, if possible, you should adopt them in pairs so that they can amuse each other when you have to leave them alone, and they’ll be less inclined to get into trouble. If you can only take one, however, be prepared to steel yourself as you’ll be tempted to take that other kitten that looks so lonely!