Thinking of adopting a furry feline friend? Here’s what you need to know before welcoming a kitten into your family.
Have you thought it through
While cats can be fairly independent, they do require a level of care and maintenance, including regular veterinary check-ups and medical care, ongoing preventative parasite treatments, such as flea and worming control, appropriate nutrition and, in some cases, regular professional grooming. It’s important to do your research and understand the monetary investment and also the lifelong commitment to this new little family member.
Cats need their own space
Some cats are more social than others. Either way, it’s important to ensure that their environment has their own space – somewhere they can retreat when they want some alone time. It’s also good to put their litter tray in a low-traffic area of the house as they need their privacy, too!
Felines are smart
Don’t underestimate cats, they’re a lot smarter than you think… and they will try to outsmart you if they get the chance! They have an innate ability to learn quickly, solve problems and adapt to their environments. This can often be incredible to watch as they use their smarts to navigate their lives around your home. That said, it can also get you into trouble at times.
Not all cats are the same
While some cats are lap-lovers, others like to be free agents and will genuinely be happy in their own company. While they will often come to you when they want affection, most cats are impressively individual and independent – doing what they want, when they want.
The power of playtime
Environmental enrichment is very important for our feline friends, particularly indoor cats. You’ll need lots of fun toys to occupy them, especially when you’re not around. Interactive toys that allow you to get involved in playtime are also important and provide a balance of physical and mental stimulation that will help to avoid your kitten developing behavioural issues.
Scratching is a natural behaviour and helps them keep their claws neat and tidy. In saying that, you’re probably not going to bubble wrap your entire house so your best bet is to get a scratching post for your cat to play on and sharpen their claws, this will help to save your furniture.
Introduce other pets slowly
While cats adapt to new surroundings quickly, they don’t always warm to other pets at quite the same pace. If you already have another pet, like a dog, you should know you can’t force pets to like each other, so it’s best to go slow in the introduction process. For animals, smells are far more important than appearances, so try getting your pets used to each other’s scent before they meet face to face. Try swapping the blankets or beds they use before meeting.