Thinking about getting a pet and wondering if a kitten is right for you? Kitten shopping is tons of fun, assuming you like the idea of falling in love over and over again. One look at those big blue eyes in that little furry face and there’s no turning back. Add in some “I’m-so-glad-you’re-here-please-take-me-home” purring and it’s even harder to resist. It’s best to take a few minutes BEFORE you start looking at kittens to think about the pros and cons of your new pet.
Whether you buy a kitten, adopt a cat or discover one in your backyard (like we did) here are some important considerations before deciding to make one of these easy-going, adaptable, adorable pets part of the family.
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Tip #1: Consider the cost.
You may not have to pay for the kitten, but you’ll have the expense of buying cat food and kitty litter, plus veterinary care. While these costs are quite reasonable for a pet, they do add up over time. You’ll also want to be sure you’re in the position to pay for any medical needs, should they arise.
Tip #2: Do you rent or own?
Be sure your lease agreement allows for cats and kittens. If you are planning on moving soon, consider waiting until you get settled in. Cats are very territorial; it takes planning and patience to help your pet adjust to a move.
Tip #3: Does everyone living in your house agree to have a cat in the house?
It’s best to wait until everyone is on the same page. You’ll enjoy your kitten more if all are cooperating to make it work.
Tip #4: How old are you?
Add 15-20 years (yikes!). Yep, that’s how long you could have your amazing companion. Plan ahead. There’s nothing harder than getting attached to an adorable kitten and then having to find it a new home or take it to a shelter because you are moving, getting married, etc., etc.
Tip #5: Yes, cats are low maintenance and can be left at home alone for longer periods than dogs.
However, they are not just another piece of furry furniture. They know when you are around. It matters to them. They look for your daily dose of affection. They won’t be happy if you are boarding them, asking others to check on them or taking them to a friend’s house. And, yes, they will let you know they are not happy. We’ll talk more about behavior issues later.
Tip #6: Ah-choo!
More people are allergic to cats than dogs, which can be miserable and even life-threatening. Please give this serious consideration before bringing home a kitten. It’s not even the fur that causes the problem, so suggesting a hairless breed is not a solution. That being said, it is certainly possible to manage the environment and the symptoms and thoroughly enjoy living with a cat.
Tip #7: Where there is a cat, there is fur.
There is no way around it: cats shed. Longhaired cats require the extra care of being brushed often because they mat easily. And you’ll rarely find urine and feces caught in the hair of a shorthair cat. But no matter what type of cat you welcome into your home, you may as well stock up on lint rollers, too.