Adopting your new baby

If you’ve decided to adopt a new kitten (and I hope you’re adopting, not buying to save a life), you need to know how to care for the little darling.

Having a kitten is like having a new baby in the house. She needs to eat and visit the toilet several times a day. You need to play with the kitten and keep it entertained and distracted from your furniture. And sometimes, just like human children, they can be naughty and do precisely what they shouldn’t; only on general principles.

Your new kitten, like a human baby, also needs plenty of sleep. When the kitten is sleeping, try not to disturb it, and if you have children, teach them to respect the baby’s sleep time. Once they’re old enough to be adopted, they’ll sleep most of the night, but for extra insurance, a play session right before you want them settled (so you can sleep!) is a good idea.

Cats are generally considered to be nocturnal by nature. However, I recently learned that cats are not so much “nocturnal” as crepuscular. Now there’s a word for you for five bucks! It means “active dawn and dusk”.

Now we have the real explanation for the evening “crazy cats”: running on your bed and peering into your face at 5:30 in the morning. They think it’s time to go hunting and feed themselves. But if you’re starting with a baby, it’s possible, with patience, to transition them into more of a daily routine.

Before you adopt, you need to be prepared

It’s not a good idea to get a kitten (or any pet, for that matter) and then go shopping to take care of the little darling. Of all the things we should never buy on the spur of the moment, pets top the list.

Think about what you’ll need and have your supplies close at hand in a safe place where the kitten can find some “alone” time when needed. Then, when you bring your new baby home, it will be easy to settle them.

Items needed for your kitty

  • Cat food: Make sure it’s high quality and full of nutritional ingredients.
  • Bed: There are many options available, but even an old blanket will work, and it is easier to wash.
  • Toys: both interactive toys for your playtime with kitty and toys that are safe for her to play on her own
  • Litter Box and Litter Box: Using the litter box is pretty hardwired into their brain, so it doesn’t take much training other than showing them where it is.
  • Food and water bowls: preferably without a top to save messy cleanups
  • Scratching mat or post: Scratching is a mental and physical necessity for cats, so make sure they have suitable permissible surfaces to use.

Once you have at least these minimum items and a place for the kitten to call her own, you are ready to look at available kittens for adoption.

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