You walk into a pet store, and one of the local shelters is holding adoptions. You walk over to the cages, just to say hello, but once you see the kittens you are hooked. You impulsively decide to adopt one (or two!).It’s so easy to fall in love at first sight when you look into the eyes of a kitten. The sweet little face, tiny paws, boundless energy all captivate us and bring out our parental instincts.
But there are some things to consider before deciding to add a kitten to your household and before choosing which one (or two) to adopt.
- Make sure the kittens look healthy. If there is discharge from the eyes or nose, the kitty probably has a cold or an infection. This doesn’t mean you cannot adopt the kitten, but just know she might require some special care and perhaps medication for awhile when you get her home.
- Is the kitten playing with her litter mates or is she sitting by herself? A kitten that sits alone might be less social than her litter mates and may prefer a quiet household without other pets or young children.
- Do you have an older adult cat at home already? If so, you would have an easier job if you adopt two kittens instead of one. Kittens learn social behavior from each other. During rough play, they teach each other acceptable behaviors and they expel that high kitten energy on each other. Your adult cat might not enjoy being the center of these antics, but she might enjoy watching the two of them rough house.
- If you work long house, a kitten might not be the best choice for you, again unless you adopt two. If you want just one kitten, an older cat might be a better choice if you are away at work most of the day.
These are just a few of the things that should be considered before you add a kitten, or any pet, to your life.
And one more thing, perhaps the MOST important point of all: Animals are a lifetime commitment of 10 to 15 (or more) years, and along the way they will need food, toys, vet care, and plenty of love and affection. If you are not prepared to provide that many years of care, perhaps just saying “hello” at the adoptions, or volunteering with a shelter or rescue, or becoming a temporary foster pet parent, would be a better choice for you.