So, you heeded my advice and adopted a cat, or maybe even a kitten. After all, it is Adopt a Cat Month and there’s no better time. Now you’re thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” Don’t stress. With these tips, you will have your home cat and/or kitten proofed in no time.
Protect your newest family member with an id tag and a pet insurance policy. When your kitten is getting used to his new digs, he is more likely to wander off and get lost. For options for identification, check out PetMD’s slideshow, Five Common Methods of Pet ID.
Rid your home of potential dangers. Think about how you’d childproof your home. Secure loose cords, window shades, and/or broken window screens. Kittens and cats like to hide in tight spots, so make sure they will not get stuck. Also make sure to cover outlets. Remember that certain plants, such as poinsettias and lilies, are poisonous to cats. Kittens like to chew on plants to aid in their digestion, so make sure you do not have any plants in or around your home that would harm your kitten. For more information on the plants to avoid see PetMD’s interactive slideshow.
Engage your family. Adopting a new furry member should be a family affair. Get your family involved in playing with your kitten, feeding him, and giving lots of cuddles.
Play, play, play! PetMD’s article, How to Exercise and Play with Your Cat recommends playing with your cat with toys for at least 10-15 minutes a few times each day. Never let your cat or kitten play with your hands directly, always with a toy.
Ask an expert. Your veterinarian is the best person to ask for advice on how to prepare your home for the curious nature of a kitten. Your vet can inform you of the food that is best for your kitten and let you know foods that are dangerous for him to consume. You can also consult PetMD’s article, What is a “Balanced” Cat Food for more tips.
Reach out to neighbors and friends. My neighbor just adopted a kitten and is going to the beach for a few days. She called a friend to come over twice a day to play with her kitten for at least 15 minutes so she will not get bored and into trouble. Rolan Tripp, affiliate professor of applied animal behavior at Colorado State University Vet School says that after the first three days of life, “handling the kitten on a daily basis is a good idea. Having the kittens bonding to human scent and human handling is very important, especially during weeks 3 through 7.” For more tips on adjusting to life with your new kitten, check out this article, Bonding With Your New Kitten.
Educate your family. If you have children, let them know not to bother your kitten while he is eating. Encourage interaction between your children and the kitten, but remind them to be careful when handling him. Tripp says when it comes to holding your new kitten, gentleness is the key.
Dish out the adoration. This is especially important if you have other pets or children. Above all, kittens and cats need to feel safe and loved.
And what does that spell?
PREPARED. If you have done your part to be prepared, there is nothing left to do but to sit back, relax, and enjoy your new kitten!