Things to consider before getting a kitten
So, you’re thinking about getting a kitten…congratulations, you won’t regret it. There are many animals in shelters in need of a loving home, and kitten adoption is a fantastic route to take.
However, the selection process can be tough. While you may walk into the shelter and want to take all of the kittens home, you need to find the one that is the perfect fit for you.
There are many considerations you must take into account before getting a new kitten, and we’ve got some helpful advice to help make the process a little easier.
When undertaking the process of kitten adoption, make sure you take into consideration the kitten’s personality. Experiences in kittenhood can influence how it behaves in later life.
Much of their personality development would have already taken place before you take them home. Your kitten learning to interact with humans takes place in the first eight weeks. Kittens have no fear at this age and their mind is open to forming new bonds.
Personality development takes place in the first few months of a kitten’s life. It depends on a number of factors, including:
- How the mother reacts to humans
- How much the kitten is handled prior to eight weeks old
- It’s hereditary disposition to independence or shyness
Despite the influence of genetics and early socialisation, young cats continue to be very adaptable. Behaviour experts advise that careful training with your pet can be used to develop confidence and build better relationships which work for them.
Many people give up kittens as they aren’t what they expected. When looking into getting a new kitten, be realistic about the time and budget you have for your new family member and choose a breed that fits with your lifestyle.
If you’re considering adopting a long-haired cat, make sure you’re aware of the upkeep. In terms of grooming, long-haired cats can require more maintenance than short-haired breeds. This can be a factor that leads some owners to surrender their pets.
Make sure you’re fully aware of the adult size, grooming needs and potential medical issues of your chosen breed of kitten before adopting. We have a number of breed reviews to help you out in our We Talk Cat blog.
How to look after a kitten
While the idea of having a kitten in the home seems great, have you fully considered the time and energy needed for kitten care within the household?
Kittens have tonnes of energy and are always in the mood to play. They do not have set routines and take a while to settle into one, regularly staying up through the night.
Kittens tend to dislike being alone, so make sure someone is always around to keep them company. If you have to leave them for the day to work, think about adopting two kittens in a pair to keep each other company.
Make sure you kitten-proof your home and keep any valuables well out of the way. You’ll be surprised where they’ll reach with a little determination.
It’s also your job to teach your kitten how to behave. While they won’t be learning tricks like a puppy, they’ll need guidance on even the most basic things at first. Litter training, learning how to use a scratch post and proper play habits will come from you, so make sure you have plenty of time to teach them.
Once you and your kitten get to know each other you’ll learn to understand their individual wants and needs, including spotting the signs your kitten is settling in, such as eating regularly, grooming in front of you, playing and (most importantly) cuddles and lap sits with your new fur baby.
Make sure your new kitten is insured in case of any mishaps. Visit Argos Pet Insurance (provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc) for information about our various policies.
Argos Limited is an Appointed Representative of Home Retail Group Insurance Services Limited (HIS). HIS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 314050). Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT (registered in England and Wales, no 04109436). HIS act as an introducer to Pinnacle Insurance plc, who sell, administer and underwrite the policy and who are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register number 110866). Registered office: Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 2XX (registered in England and Wales, no 01007798) . HIS and Pinnacle Insurance plc are not part of the same corporate group.