From the time I was born to the present day, there has been a cat in my life. My experience with cats began with the one my mom adopted when she was eighteen and is now defined by the kittens I adopted at nineteen.
In between those nineteen years, I have lived with a total of six different cats. I definitely don't lack feline experience, so what do you need to know before completing an adoption?
Bottom line, my kittens are my favorite part of my day. They wake me up with their content purring as we snuggle. They make me laugh when they try to play with the blanket I'm folding. They greatly reduce my anxiety and increase my happiness. They are a light in my life and absolutely worth every bit of care they need. For more information regarding new kitten needs check out this list for a complete checklist.
Purchase basic cat supplies before you visit a shelter.
This is the first thing you need to know when going through the adoption process. Even if you are convinced you are "just looking around" at kittens. Trust me, you are not just window shopping, better yet, cage shopping.
I made the mistake of convincing myself that I was not coming home from the shelter with a kitten.
And I was right, I came home with two. Do yourself a favor and purchase food, food and water bowls, litter, a litter box, and maybe a few toys.
Because if you think you are going to be able to leave the adorable kitten you bonded with to be adopted by someone else, you're wrong.
Set your cat up with a veterinarian as soon as possible.
If the shelter does not provide basic services to the cat, the list of things he or she will need can get long.
Cats need to be vaccinated, spayed or neutered, dewormed, treated for fleas, routinely checked up.
A veterinarian will also provide important information such as how much food your cat should eat, how much weight it should gain, what the stool should look like, and which behaviors are abnormal.
A veterinarian is an essential role in a happy and healthy life for your cat.
Establish a routine for your kitten.
The care and routine your kitten experienced at the shelter may have varied weekly or even daily.
The importance of establishing a routine for your new pet cannot be overlooked.
After consulting the veterinarian for portions and amount of feedings per day, give your cat fresh water and food at the same time of day consistently. Clean the litter box in the morning and at night.
Change the litter entirely, trim your cat's claws, and groom your cat on a weekly basis.
This shows your cat that you are devoted to their care.
When he or she can expect food, water, and cleanliness daily, it improves mood and lessens behavioral issues.
Invest in a scratching post and scratching tape, the more the merrier.
Declawing kittens is becoming a procedure of the past. Many shelters and veterinarians are strongly opposed to onychectomy due to the risks of anesthesia, post-operative issues, infections, excessive bleeding, and pain.
Cats will pull and stretch their claws to exercise hunting muscles and to relieve stress.
It's inevitable and they will scratch at everything. If you want to save your kitty these risks and preserve your home, a scratching post and scratching tape is a great way to do so.
It's easier on you and your furniture if you establish a specific post for them to scratch.
The scratching tape is proactive for any furniture they may scratch while learning what is and is not acceptable for them scratch.
Don't spend a great deal on toys.
While it is a good idea to gift your pet with a few toys that are specifically his or hers, your cat will find many homemade toys that he or she prefers to the pack of fake mice.
My kittens will play with everything including my hair, hair ties, pens, fake plants, cords, blankets, rugs, shower curtains, and the list continues. By all means, treat your cat to a catnip infused, mesh avocado.
But don't be surprised if they find enjoyment in your everyday items instead of the $15.00 bird on a stick.