Let’s face it, most of us love kittens – especially kids. They’re fluffy, playful, self-reliant and generally fun to both interact with and watch. Getting a younger cat means you get to see your children grow up alongside them. But cat ownership can be a big responsibility. Your children need to understand that pets aren’t toys, and you need to budget for food, litter, accessories and, most importantly, insurance and veterinary bills.
Plan in Advance
Make sure you’ve got everything kitty needs for when they arrive. It’s a good idea to get started on this before you even choose your new feline friend. Stock up on kitten food, get hold of a cosy cat bed, a litter tray and a cat basket… then take your kids on a fun trip to pick out some toys for their new friend.
Adopt, Don’t Buy
So you want to splash out on a special breed of kitten? Stop for a moment and think of all the beautiful moggy cats out there who need a home. Many of them have lovely markings and excellent temperaments, ideal for introducing to the younger members of your family. Check out the ASPCA website for a list of shelters in your local area.
The One Room Rule
When your kitten arrives, they will be a bit nervous about their new surroundings. It’s strongly suggested that you keep them in one room for the first couple of weeks at least. If you have a garden, try and wait until your kitten is at least six months old before allowing them supervised outdoor visits.
Gently Does It
Make absolutely sure your children know that being rough with any animal is wrong. Remind them that it’s easy to get carried away but they should always be aware that a kitten is much smaller than they are, even though they can be quite boisterous!
Keeping Kitty Healthy
Even young and previously healthy cats can succumb to the sniffles… or worse. Make sure you keep an eye out for weeping eyes, runny noses, sneezes, lethargy, sticky fur, limps and excessive vomiting. Adequate pet insurance covers veterinary bills and helps to lower the cost of treatment, so be sure to seek medical attention if you’re worried about any health problems.
Having a kitten can be an enormous stress reliever, whatever your age. Cats are generally some of the most characterful, entertaining pets around and often even bring a family closer to one another.
Still not convinced? Well, why not consider a dog?