When you first think about getting a pet, there is so much to know before making the decision, so I’m going to tell you things you need to about getting a kitten. If you’re armed with this information beforehand, it will help you make the right decision about whether getting a kitten is for you.
Luna is a beautiful Calico cat who is a year and a half old now, and she’s still nutty as ever! You’ve probably seen posts on social media from me, but this is a post I kept meaning to write and I realised I never formally introduced her – rude! She is my first real pet – excluding a crayfish I had in uni! Ryan and I spent so long considering whether we could get a kitten and how we would be able to give one a good life while being so busy. It took a lot of research and I have no idea how people decide on children if this took us so long!
However, I think I finally qualify as an actual pet mumma, rather than clueless owner!
She is the best part of our home life and we’re both besotted with her, but I wanted to share the realities of having a kitten.
Things you need to know about getting a kitten
They have loads of energy!
Like you can’t imagine. Think never giving you a free moment to relax, and getting into messes you can’t make up. It’s like having a two year old on Smarties!
They look cute, but can be vicious.
For the first few months, we were covered in scratches! Some deep, some long. I had to shake with scratch covered hands in work, and explain each time that I have a kitten. Everyone gave me a knowing look. Nobody tells you that beforehand! Now that she’s older, it happens less, but definitely still happens and we have to give her regular claw trims.
They bite too!
Doesn’t fancy being stroked, bite. Doesn’t want you to walk past, bite.
I’m pretty sure Luna knows what she’s doing most of the time. For example, she jumps if I see her go near the wires, because I’ve moved her from them so many times. But even so, every time I look away she edges slowly towards them!
Feeding them is a minefield.
There are so many different types of kitten and cat food. Everyone has a different opinion on the ‘right’ way to feed them. I had no idea for so long how often and how much I should feed Luna. Now she’s on a diet as I clearly got it wrong and she’s a lazy little kitty. You have to make your own choice really.
Naming them is super hard!
A minor one, but how do people name children? It took us so long to find something we both liked. Ryan’s suggestion was ‘Cat’ because he’s really creative like that.
They cost a lot.
Especially at first. If you have a kitten from the earliest you should have one, you have to pay for the vet bills and vaccinations, checkups, spaying if you do that, all the accessories such as food bowls and toys, food. The list is endless! I spent hundreds getting Luna all set up, and after that there is still the ongoing food and cat litter costs – which to be fair is cheaper than a dog or human so she wins there.
Sometimes you’ll feel exhausted just looking after them.
Once they’ve run around, chewed another expensive cable, made a mess with their cat litter and scratched the sofa plus your wrists, pulled your hair, you can lose the will to continue sometimes. Even watching tv became difficult at times. Now it’s much easier, but at first they’re so teeny and playful and at 1am, its less fun! I have honestly wanted to cry at times!
You have to think about what you will do when you go away.
Indoor cats especially can’t be left for too long (or they can, but you’ll worry) – they will usually be okay with plenty of food and water. We have been away for a weekend, and while I felt guilty, she was fine. Other times a friend has popped round, but there are petsitters, etc. if you would feel comfortable with that.
They might not go outside.
I tried to lure Luna outside for the first few months, but she never made it past the door. I do live on a busy road so I’m glad really. Some cats go out all day and some stay under your feet. Cat litter trays are pretty gross, but luckily they at least usually know how to use them when you get them.
You’ll need to clean more and especially vacuum!
My cat makes such a mess on a daily basis. I haven’t vacuumed so much in my life, but she has an adorable habit of carrying food around and dropping it, and kicking cat litter bits!
You will lose them/they will get stuck.
Even if you have an indoor cat like us, you will lose them at least a few times a week. They’ll also get stuck in ridiculous places. The worst was definitely hearing a tiny meow behind the fireplace! We couldn’t get to her so had to encourage her to jump and grab her at the same time! She has also ended up in the back of drawers, on top of open doors that I can’t reach because, hello, short.
The breed matters.
it can apparently make a difference, and I didn’t know at the time that Calico cats are known for their liveliness (that’s what we’ll call it!).
You’ll need a lot of spare time.
They will need attention and play time, plus regular feeding times help keep a routine, so it’s important to have time some spare time. It’s also useful to have a few days to settle a kitten in at first.
You don’t have to have two for company.
It is suggested that you get two at the same time, but little Luna was all alone and I wanted to give her a home. She has been fine, and is a happy little cat. We’ve considered getting a second kitten, but won’t yet.
Adoption is better when possible.
Ideally you should adopt pets. They will have been taken into the care of people who care about animals and want to re-home them, rather than bred for money. However, it’s not always possible, so be wary of who you purchase from.
They will be worth it.
Despite the fact that my cat is still hard work sometimes and wears me down when scratching the bedroom door at 5.30am after I kick her out for keeping me up, or chomping on my wires, or ruining the carpet, I wouldn’t change her.
Cats are great for wellbeing and known to help with depression, anxiety, and other illnesses where you could do with some silent company too. They’ll often sleep near or on you and make you happy. There is nothing like a little fluffy ball of energy to keep your spirits up. Even on the worst days, Luna brings us together and makes us smile.
Have you ever considered getting a kitten or have you had one? What is the most difficult part of having one or deciding whether to?
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