Being a new Cat Mom

Life

There is so much that goes into owning a pet, and being a new cat mom after so long really brings back memories! When I first got Marble, my first ever true love, I was turning 5 years old, so I didn’t really know much about the logistics of taking care of a kitten. Now, being 24 and a half years old, with a new kitten, there has been a lot to learn and re-learn. Of course, I still spoil her, because she’s too cute to say no too.

Things that you need to think about when adopting a kitten:

  • A litter box. There are different sorts, do you want a covered litter box? Will your cat like/use a covered litter box. Cats can be picky and that goes for litter too. Some cats don’t like the smell of scented litters and certain granules can bother those little soft paw pads that we all know and love. 
  • Training. Kitten’s can get crazy and jump all over everything. For example, I’ve had to move my figures up onto the higher shelves of the book case where she can’t reach them, and we’ve had to move things around so she would stop going behind the TV. She still jumps up on Alex’s desk and knocks everything over, and we are working on fixing that. A spray bottle helps, but it doesn’t seem like she is really learning. Alex is certain that she acts up just to get attention, like a child. 
  • Cat food. There are different types of cat food: Kitten vs adult cat vs senior cat. Dry food vs. Wet food. Etc. We are very picky about the food that we give Yuki. We always read the ingredients and won’t pick a food unless the first ingredient is actual meat, not meat by-product. We also feed her wet food once a week, as a special treat. You also have to be careful how much food you give your kitten, cause you don’t want him/her to get too fat. Fat cats may be cute, but it’s bad for their health!
  • Claws. I urge everyone to NEVER de-claw your kitten. It would be like cutting off your fingers at the second joint. I know no one likes to be scratched, but it’s cruel to stunt your cat like that. 
  • Cat’s are all unique. Every kitten is different. They have different personalities and like different things. Yuki likes being cradled like a baby and she never learned how to play-fight so you have to be careful when playing with her. She also lays on the ground funny and doesn’t seem to know how to use a bed correctly. 
  • Outdoor vs. Indoor. Cats still have three feet in their feral roots. Although the life expectancy for outdoor cats is drastically different compared to indoor cats. I mean, just today I witnessed a vicious brawl between strays in my backyard and had a mini panic attack over what to do about it. Yuki saw it and got really disgruntled, her tail poofed up and she was running all around. Not to mention, fleas, worms, and etc. If your cat does go outside, make sure that they are up to date on shots and have protection measures against all parasites. 
  • Cats are work. You might not need to walk them, but they do need to play or else they can act up. You also need to constantly make sure you are scooping their litter, cause cats will act up if you don’t do it often enough! Watch My Cat from Hell and you’ll understand. They need attention and love, just as much as dogs do, even if they aren’t as showy about it. Granted, Yuki is very showy about it. 
  • Is Two better Than One? Okay, so cats are not pack animals. The only time they stay in a group is a mom and her kittens. Male cats never stay in groups. Not all cats want to be around other cats and those kinds of preferences are formed when they are in the litter. Yuki, being hand raised by humans at the shelter and being adopted with kittens from a different litter made her not a fan of other cats. Introducing her to another kitten or cat would probably be impossible, she thinks of herself more like a human than a cat, which is just what happens when kittens are helped by people when they are very small. If she would have never seen people as a kitten, she would have turned more feral and probably not liked human contact. That’s just the way cats are.
  • The vet. It’s not exactly cheap to have a cat, and it’s selfish to get a cat without considering the monetary commitment. I want to care for my kitten and I want to make sure I can give her the best care. Case in point, Yuki is only 8 months old or so and already we’ve had to take her to the vet, get blood work done, and get her some medications. You can’t assume that things won’t go wrong, you need money set aside for things, sudden things, to happen. 
There is a lot of think about and consider when getting a cat to join your family. Also, remember, always consider adopting first! It hurts my heart to go to shelters, since I want to adopt all the cats and hold them tight and love them hard, like they deserve to be!!

By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!