5 Things That Everyone Should Know Before Adopting a Kitten

Perhaps you visited a friend with a cat – or several cats – and immediately decided that you must have your own. Or maybe you simply stumbled across a cute picture of a kitten online and now want to add a feline member to your home. Regardless of why you are – understandably – excited about the prospect of adopting a kitten and bringing it home with you, it is essential that you take a moment and consider these five things before you take that next step.

1. Ensure That Everyone is on Board

Make sure to discuss this with those you share a space with to ensure that everybody is on board with the idea of bringing home a kitty. In a family setting, it is important that everybody is ready and willing to help talk care of the new member of the family while those living with roommates will want to ensure that others are okay with a new cat joining the home.

You will also want to consider the feelings of any animals that you may already have at home. In particular, adult cats would need to be very carefully and slowly introduced to a kitten. Also note that the energy levels of an adult cat and a kitten will likely be quite different.

If you do not own your home, you will also want to make sure that having a cat is okay with whoever you are renting from and to take care of any pet deposit that may be necessary.

2. Will the Kitten Get All Your Family’s Species?

Cat and Dog Together Getting AlongIf you are looking to bring home a feline friend who is used to human contact, which you will want, find out if it was introduced to people and was handled by them during its first couple months of life.

Kittens born to a feral mother and who grew up in a place such as a basement with no to minimal human contact are not going to be nearly as receptive to living with people – now or in the future – as other kittens will. This is doubly important if your household has living thing that are of a different species.

3. Does Your New Family Member Have Space and Time to Itself? Too Much Time?

Although your kitten will surely want to spend time with you, having a safe place to go when the mood strikes is essential to its happiness. It is best if this area is away from the hustle-bustle of other places in your home. This is especially important if you already have other animals to allow your kitten a chance to get its bearing and become comfortable before exploring. In fact, it is usually best to keep it completely separated with no contact possible with your other animals for a time period and then gradually introduce them.

Conversely, if you live by yourself and do not work at home, you may want to consider adopting two kittens as a pair of cats are a lot less apt to be bored. Also, two kittens will continue to learn from each other as they further develop socially, emotionally and physically.

Note that it is a lot easier to adopt two kittens now than it is to get one now and then decide later to introduce a kitten into the living environment of an adult cat that is now used to living by itself.

4. Taking Care of Kitty’s Medical Needs

If you are adopting from a shelter, vaccinations, health exams and the implementation of a microchip for identification purposes may or may not be included in the adoption process. However, if you answered an ad offering kittens to loving homes or are getting one or more from a friend, you will want to make sure that your new furry friend has all of those things taken care of as soon as possible. It is also important to be financially and otherwise prepared for any medical needs that arise down the line.

5. Are You Prepared to Take Care of a Cat for 15 Years?

Of course, there is quite a bit of variety in terms of how long cats live, but rest assured that in most cases your loved one will be with you for at least 10 years, especially if she is kept indoors where it is safer. For this reason, it is important to look at the big picture when deciding whether or not adopting a kitten and the long-term commitment that doing so entails is something that you are ready to do.

Considered these five things and still looking to adopt a kitten? Learn more on our cat adoptions at our New Orleans location page.