Finding Your New Kitten: Where to Look
Before you adopt, it’s important to consider your responsibilities and know where to get a kitten.
Should I Get a Kitten?
Because bringing a kitten into your home is a huge obligation, there are several questions to consider before you make the leap:
- Is my home ready for a kitten? A kitten will want to explore every inch of their new home—climbing on bookshelves, exploring tiny spaces, and playing with anything they have access to. You must be willing and able to make changes to keep your kitten safe and your home intact.
- Is my family ready for a kitten? You may be introducing a kitten into a home with small children or other pets. Young children who have never been around pets may not yet understand how to treat them. If you do have children and they beg and plead with you to get a new kitten, it’s important to never merely “cave in,” but rather be sure that both you and your kids are ready for the new responsibility. While children may promise to feed, care, and clean up after the cat, you will certainly still have a role in teaching your children how to properly care for the kitten.
- Do you have other pets to consider first? If you already have animals in your home, it may take a while for them to get used to a new pet. Introduce them slowly and don’t leave them alone until you’re certain they are ready. Remember, current pets are used to receiving all of your attention and can be territorial of the house and you, so it’s important to continue to show the same amount of love to your other pets to help make the transition easier.
- Do I have enough time to spend with a kitten? Kittens are furry, micro-sized balls of energy who are eager to play with and get to know you. When left alone too often, kittens are more likely to develop behaviour problems later. They need abundant exercise, training, and time to bond with you.
- Do I have the patience to train a new kitten? It’s also important to consider if you have enough patience to train a new kitten. Just like children, kittens require a lot of attention and education about what is acceptable behaviour. Ensure you have patience to train your kitten for things such as litter box use, scratching and jumping on furniture.
- Can I afford to care for a kitten? The decision to adopt a kitten is a long-time commitment that begins with spaying/neutering, vaccination, and identification, and continues for years with food, litter, and regular veterinary care. This also includes the cost of health conditions your kitten could develop later in life.
- What kind of kitten should I get? Research different breeds before you decide on a particular kitten. Think about how much time you’re able to spend with them, how much room you have, allergies you have, and what kind of lifestyle you lead.
Choosing the Right Cat for Your Family
If you’re not sure what kind of cat is right for you, ask for some advice. Research shows that owners who seek advice and support from family, friends, or a vet after adoption are 3 times more likely to keep their pets.
Where to Get a Kitten
Animal shelters, rescue organisations, and humane societies are filled with loving, healthy cats and kittens who are longing to find a good home. Be prepared to receive a home inspection request, as many rescues want to make sure their kittens are going to good homes. If you want a purebred kitten, ask your vet to recommend a local breeder.
Check out our kitten supply list article to prepare yourself for your new furry little friend. Whichever kitten you do decide to bring home, remember to love and care for them like a member of the family.