Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation.

4 Ways to Prepare for a New Kitten

Excited about adopting a kitten? You should be. Caring for a cat can enrich your life in ways no other pet can. And compared to dogs, they’re much more affordable!

Every new “cat mother” makes mistakes, but neglecting to prepare for the new arrival can end up costing you thousands more than you’d planned — or worse, endangering your tiny new friend. Make sure to have this groundwork in place before bringing kitty home.

#1 — Cat-Proof Your Furniture (Before It’s Too Late.)

cat destroying furniture

The sound of tiny paws going to town on your living room sofa would be cute if it didn’t mean a destroyed sofa.

Here are a few ways to keep your cats from destroying your furniture:

  • Scratch guards: Dozens of scratch guards are available to help your furniture survive your newest family member. Try lining your sofa legs with clear anti-scratch tape, like Sticky Paws.
  • Claw caps: Claw caps are another safe alternative to declawing. These disposable guards cover your cat’s claws to prevent them from shredding your stuff. (And, they come in assorted colors that make your cat’s claws look freshly manicured. Fashionista cats love it.)
  • Nail trimming: A cat with shorter nails will cause less damage. Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed will make it nearly impossible for them to get hooked on furniture fabric.

#2 — Reduce Cat Dander — Your Allergy-Ridden Friends will Thank You!

cat dander allergies

When friends or family with cat allergies come to visit, they may not be so excited about the new addition. But with a little extra planning, they won’t feel a thing.

Declare the guest room a “furball free zone.” If you have a sofa bed for guests, make sure it’s made of leather instead of fabric, so dander won’t accumulate as easily.

Stock up on pet-safe dander removal sprays like Aller-Pet that reduce the effects of cat allergens. If you’re feeling extra considerate, install an HEPA filter to eliminate 99% of the dander in your home.

#3 — Set Some Funds Aside for The Initial Veterinary Bills.

cat veterinarian bill

Just like people, kittens need vaccines and regular check-ups to keep them healthy. Contact your local veterinarian for an estimate in your area.

Also like people, vet bills can get pretty extravagant. If you can’t handle the mandatory vet bill, for kitty’s sake, hold off on adopting until you can afford it. While some prefer to go the savings route, other cat owners opt for pet insurance as a backup plan to help pay the vet bills in case of an emergency or unforeseen health crisis.

#3 — Consider Doubling Up on Furry Friends.

cats friends

Kittens have boundless energy! Even if you work from home, your kitty needs a lot of love and attention throughout the day that you may not be able to keep up with. Bringing home a littermate will keep him entertained and happy all day long. (Just make sure they get along, first!)

#4 — Resist The Urge to Play with Your Hands!

cat playing with hands

Kittens that are small enough to hold in the palm of your hand can make anything seem cute — even clawing chunks out of your fingers. Adult cats with full-grown teeth and claws? Not so much.

Teach your kitty early in his life that human hands are not for biting. Invest in a cat tree and plenty of toys, and scold him with an aggressive voice when he confuses your foot for a squeaky toy.

With these preparations in place, the process of welcoming a kitten into the home will be as seamless as possible. Congratulations on your new kitty.

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4 Ways to Prepare for a New Kitten
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Excited about adopting a kitten? You should be. Caring for a cat can enrich your life in ways no other pet can. And compared to dogs, they're much more affordable!
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Pet Insurance U
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  • LilyJ

    That is really good article, thank you for it! In fact, I have never known that you can buy pet-safe dander removal sprays that reduce the effects of cat allergens. Shame on me, but still, thank you! Also, really good advice about furniture – I did a mistake and after 6 months I had to buy a new coach 😀

  • Andrea Robinson

    Great article! Most people don’t realize how much of a handful a little kitten can be. When they start growing, they can jump incredibly high and get over all your barricades. It’s great to bring home two kittens so they can play with each other – just don’t forget that two cats can knock over more decorations and tear up twice as much stuff.

    If you get a leather (or vinyl couch), make sure and spot-test it for discoloration if you use Bitter Apple or some other pet deterrent. Leather and vinyl can be torn up almost as easily as cloth.

    A lot of cat owners provide a transparent tube for the kittens so they can play outside without any fear of being picked up by a hawk or hunted down by dogs. They’re impossible to contain with a normal 6-foot wooden fence, and they can crawl through chain link.

    If a kitty tries to bite your foot, redirect his attentions to a suitable cat toy. I don’t use an aggressive voice with kittens at all. I do use protective clothing and keep them busy biting and clawing things they’re supposed to bite and claw. I want my kitties to come to me when they grow up and I don’t want them to be afraid of me at all.

    🙂

  • Mike

    “when he confuses your foot for a squeaky toy.”

    Ha, so literally every night when I come home from work! It’s crazy actually – I think he misses me, but if I try to pick him up, he just wants to get down. Then he continues attacking my legs and feet! I’m not actually sure what to make of it, but I’ll just assume it’s because he likes me 😉

  • Jim Liston

    When I got my first kitten, I was amazed at how much energy it had! It was a lot of work. Making sure it had plenty of things to play with really is important because if they get bored, things will get torn up. I’ve never had a problem with cat dander so I didn’t have to worry about that but I know a lot of people do so the suggestion about cat allergens is a great idea.
    Having a playmate is probably the best way to make sure they are happy. It keeps them occupied and also gives them the opportunity to interact with another cat. Thanks for the informative post!

  • Caitlin

    Great article! I had no idea there was such a thing as claw guards. That would be helpful for our little kitty! She’s about 10 weeks old and quite hyper (a.k.a. bouncing off of furniture). I know my husband lives in fear for his leather recliner. So I may have to look into those!

  • Amy

    Fantastic advice! People don’t realize, but kittens are a lot of work! They need to be watched carefully and/or kept in a safe place while you’re gone to avoid new habits being formed like playing with rolls of toilet paper and such. They get into everything!

    • Susan Murphy

      Yes, kittens are a lot of hard work at the start, but it’s worth it! 🙂

  • Susan Murphy

    Kittens are the most wonderful tiny creatures on Earth, but they come complete with insatiable curiosity, which can be their downfall unless you stay one step ahead. At the very least, your kitten will need food, a place to sleep, a scratching post or pad, and a litter box and litter. Of course, you won’t be able to pass up a few toys. They will make the coming home experience a little easier on your new addition, especially since he’ll be isolated from any other cats the first few days. The first year of a cat’s life sets the pace for his future development, health, and well-being so it‘s essential that he eats a quality food developed for kittens.

  • john

    Having adopted rescue cats and kittens over the past 35 years, I can say this method work. Patience is needed for the benefit of your new and existing pets.

  • Michael Smith

    Thanks for the useful information! I have noticed that when I have a cat there is no mouse in our house, though we don’t let the cat into the house. Cats have many benefits for children, especially for their growing. I will take advantage of this information in future.

  • Omar Elmokhtar Menazeli

    Thanks for the useful information! i like this 4 preparation ways .

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