When a new kitten joins the family it doesn’t mean just a ton of playful evenings (nights you can’t sleep because it sounds like a string of ponies is running up & down the stairs), bedtime snuggles (mixed with soil Pippin dug out from the nearest plant pot) and gentle kisses on the nose (whilst kicking you mercilessly in your throat). It also comes with a bunch of grown up tasks that you need to deal with. Here’s a list of top 5 most important things you must do when you get a new kitten. Like, right now. GO!
🐱 An introduction to the tribe
A very important step that must not be underestimated. No matter how sweet and adorable your kitten is, when you’re introducing them to the rest of the family – be it another cat, pet or a child, even a grown up – you must be ever so careful and very patient. Although Cookie is le boss and owns the place, he struggled. We had to introduce new toys and bonding sessions (read more here). Cookie even got poorly from all the stress! Looking back maybe we could have been more patient on day 1 when we literally let them out lose together. Yeah, that didn’t go down well.
🐱 Register your kitten at your local vets
Even if your kitten is going to spend 100% of their time indoors they need a proper health check and vaccinations (yup, someone needs to stick a thermometer up their butt from time to time and you don’t want that to fall on your shoulders). Some vets offer plans if you register multiple cats/pets or even kitten plans which give you a huge discount on all the key things your kitten needs from vaccinations and boosters to food and microchipping.
🐱 Regular worm, flea & tick treatments
Not many people know that worm, flea & tick treatments must be done on a regular basis (even if your cat is a couch potato & doesn’t venture into the wilderness outside). Did you know that 95% of a flea problem is not on your cat – it’s in your house. Flea life cycle is incredibly complex and each flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day – most of them end up in your carpet where they can live up to 4 months (holy what?!). And as they grow your cat can pick them up again and again and again. Cookie absolutely hates taking flea tablets (or any tablets) so when Pipps brought in a bunch of fleas (thanks Pippin) we used Fronline Plus – a new double action flea & tick treatment (comes in a pipette – find out more here) and also the HomeGard spray to treat the carpets. Obviously Pippi is too little for a treatment so we had to comb them out of her fur. The fleas were literally gone from Cookie & the house within 24 hours. We didn’t see a single one the following day! Now we are keeping them in bay by using the treatment every 4 weeks – despite both Cookie & Pipps being indoor cats they can pick up fleas & ticks everywhere – from the cattery, from the vets, you can even bring ticks in on your clothes after walking outside in the nature.
🐱 Stock up on new toys
Cats are kinda like kids (I would know – I have cats & no kids) – they are very protective over their own toys (Cookie growls when I try putting Mr Foxie in the wash – FACT). Don’t live in a blind hope that they will snuggle up all cosy in one bed on their first night – you wouldn’t do that with a stranger either would ya! Get them two separate beds, a separate basket full of toys and separate bags of treats. Pippin is obsessed with his soft mice toys from RSPCA and Tiddlers from Katzenworld (they look like creepy little fish – look here!), Cookie adores his Mr Foxie (old Pets at Home collection) and thinks Go Cat dry food is a treat, bless!
🐱 Get a pet insurance
I’ve already mulled over this so many times – yet people don’t seem to think that pet insurance is all that important. Think of it as a car insurance – you are not allowed on the road without it just in case something happens. Well, don’t let your kitten roam around uninsured – just in case something happens!