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Responsibilities Of Owning A New Kitten - Are You Prepared?

Jan 29, 2008
The decision has been made - you're going to adopt a new kitten! The excitement level is high but have you really thought this through? Newborn kittens are so cute and fluffy that few people can resist giving them a home but their lifespan can be as long as 15-20 years and you will be responsible for their health and well-being throughout the entire period. Are you prepared to take on that responsibility?

There are additional factors that need to be taken into consideration and one of the most important is the ongoing expense of owning a kitten that will very quickly grow into an adult cat.

Obviously food and good nutrition will be needed but have you properly allowed for the cost of vaccinations and other veterinary expenses? Many people rely on pet insurance to cover unexpected medical bills but do make sure that you read the small print first - often the level of cover reduces as your cat ages whilst the premiums remain the same.

Also, just as people have different personailities, your growing kitten will develop its own character. No matter what your hope and expectation is for the nature of your cat, you must be ready to accept it as it comes.

If you want to get an idea of a particular cat's personality before you choose a kitten, there are many excellent books available that will list the character traits of different breeds of cats. This should enable you to select a breed whose natural personality closely matches your expectations.

Some cats require a lot more attention than others and this is particularly true of those cats that live inside. Will you be willing to keep a litter box clean on a daily basis? Do you have a suitable place to put the litter box? Important questions that you will need to address before making your decision to give a kitten a home.

How about grooming your pet? Will you have the time to spend keeping the coat of your companion in good condition? Cats with longer fur will need more attention than shorthaired ones and you must also consider whether you will find shedding a problem. Confirmed cat lovers tend to see stray cat hairs as an inevitable part of the cat owning process but others may find the ongoing need to clean it off clothes and furniture too much to bear.

If you spend long periods of time away from your home, you will need to make sure that your cat has reliable, regular care. A willing friend or neighbor may be able to call in twice a day to feed and spend time with you pet or you might prefer to use the services of a commercial 'home visiting' service. If neither of these options are available, you can always arrange a stay in a boarding cattery. Each option has its own advantages, disadvantages and costs but whichever you choose, the wellbeing of your cat must always be paramount.

Once you have considered all the negative aspects of giving a kitten a home and if you feel that you are able to meet all these needs happily, then the fun part of sharing your home with a kitten can start.

There is nothing better in this life than coming home after a long day's work and sitting contentedly with your gently purring feline companion on your lap. Owning a loving and loyal cat has been shown to have positive health and life benefits but for me, just sharing my home with my cat is reward enough.
About the Author
Discover the responsibilities of giving a home to a new kitten. Learn all you need to know about caring for your kitten's needs and subscribe to Jane Tompsett's free Cat Owners Confidential newsletter by following these links
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