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.)
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.