If You’re Really Brave, Adopt a Kitten!
It’s spring again—green grass, flowers and kittens.
In spite of our valiant efforts to control the cat population
with spay/neuter programs we always seem to have a bounty of fluffy
babies in the spring. Maybe this is our reward for enduring
a long, boring winter. Kittens are never dull or boring. They
are enthusiastic and energetic—the embodiment of spring.
Now if you are in the market
for a new feline companion,
we have some guidelines that can make this experience unique
and wonderful. It will take a little work at first, but the
reward for your efforts will be a benefit to you for many years.
- Your first important decision is to determine the proper
time to adopt the cat. If the kitten is under 8 weeks of age
it should stay with its mother and litter mates. Conscientious
breeders keep their kittens until they are at least 10 weeks
old. Kittens learn valuable social skills from
the mother cat and the siblings such as how to inhibit biting
and important litter box etiquette.
- Kittens live to play and hunting is their game. If
you don’t want to be the prey, then take out your fishing
pole toy or laser light
and let the games begin. If it moves, kitty will chase it.
- If you are really clever, adopt two kittens at the same
will naturally bond with each other and play together—giving
you and your household a break. When it comes to kittens,
2 is better than 1.
- Another popular kitten sport is climbing Mount Everest aka
your drapes. This muscle-building activity drops off when kitty
learns to high jump.
- Now if this doesn’t sound like fun to you, then race
down to your nearest
animal shelter and select a sweet older cat that will be thrilled
to sit in your lap and purr your troubles away.
- If you are still beguiled by kittenhood, here are a few more
tips that will keep your kittens safe and healthy.
- Like small children, kittens need to be protected from injury. Kittens
love to explore and can get into dangerous places. Know
where your kitten is before you start any appliances or even
sit down on the couch. Kittens can get wrapped up in cords and
choke on small items in the house. When you are
not able to watch them,
put them in a kitten-proof room.
- Plan to have your kitten spayed or neutered before 6 months
of age or you will
have urine marking problems. This surgery
is healthy and necessary.
- Declawing surgery is destructive and can result in biting
problems and litter
box avoidance. Scratching problems
are easily solved. See www.catsinternational.org
- Everyone wants a cat that is friendly and sociable. This
may be the most crucial lesson of all. It involves confidence-building
and trust. Ideally the kittens will have experienced gentle
handling from birth. It is your job to introduce your
kittens to a variety of experiences and people and other friendly
animals. You are there to protect the kittens and make
sure the experience
is a safe and positive one.
- It is also important to introduce you kittens to a variety
of foods including
dry and canned foods. Cats that are
brought up only one
type of food may later refuse to eat anything else, rejecting
more nutritious foods.
- Most of all, your kittens need your attention. You are their
security.Pet them and
play with them but never let anyone play with the kittens
with their hands and feet. That type
of play encourages
biting and it can be dangerous when they are older.
- Cats have a need to hunt and play so it is important to
select safe toys that can amuse your cat while you are gone. www.esmartcat.com offers
a wide variety of cat-appealing toys and products.
- With the proper up-bringing you will enjoy your cats for many