You’ve probably heard the sad stats about pets who are adopted at Christmas in a bid to surprise loved ones only to be abandoned in the weeks that follow by couples who were not prepared to provide for their new family member. Because that’s what pets are; family members. Living things are not gifts; they deserve a home and a family who are prepared for their arrival and who are able to provide them with the love and care they need. A live animal should not be purchased on a whim. The choice to adopt a new kitten, puppy, hamster, or anything else needs to be discussed between two informed adults.
The winter holidays are over, but there’s still one holiday left that many use as an opportunity to bring home a new pet; Valentine’s Day. Don’t get us wrong; bringing home a new pet can be an exciting time, and a pet can be a great addition to a home. But for all of the reasons listed above, we want to provide you with an accurate depiction of what your new kitten will need from you prior to and after you bring it home. Additionally, we will provide some tips on how you can still achieve the “surprise” factor you’re looking for this Valentine’s Day while still being considerate of your new furry family member.
Factors to Think About Before Bringing Home a New Kitten
As mentioned above, bringing home a new kitten can’t be a spur of the moment decision. Bringing home a new kitten needs to be discussed thoroughly between you and your partner prior to your kitten’s arrival. Here are some key points you’ll need to cover during that discussion.
- Are we willing to devote the time needed to litter box train our kitten?
- Are we financially able to afford all of the supplies needed to raise a kitten?
- Are we financially able to afford the cost of our kitten’s vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and continued vet care?
- Are we willing to commit to this kitten for the 12-15 years of our lives?
- Will we be able to make arrangements for someone to care for our cat while we are away?
- Do we have any pets or family members that will not tolerate the addition of a new pet due to physiological or medical reasons?
- Are we willing to kitten-proof our house for our kitten?
- Should we get our kitten from a breeder or a shelter?
- Does our current place of residence allow pets?
Supplies Your Kitten Will Need
While the kitten will definitely be the most notable new addition to your home, you’ll need to add quite a few additional kitten supplies to keep him or her happy and healthy. Here’s a beginner’s list to help you get started.
- ID Tag
- Engraved with your name and number in case your kitten gets out
- Food and water dishes
- Scratching post
- Nail trimmer
- Cat Bed
- You’ll need to continue feeding your kitten whatever they were eating at their last home, be that a breeder or a shelter, before slowly transitioning over to your new food of choice. Your vet will be able to give you some great recommendation for cat food to best complement your kitten
- Litter boxes
- It’s recommended to have one more litter box than kittens in your household. For example, if you have one kitten, we suggest getting two litter boxes; two kittens need three litter boxes, and so on, and so forth.
- A cat carrier
- For trips to the vet and for the car ride home
- Disinfectant spray
- For when your kitty is first learning how to use their litter box
- A pooper scooper
How to Prep Your Home for Your New Kitten
If you’ve made it this far, then you’re seriously considering bringing home a new kitten for Valentine’s Day. Here’s the next step in your process: kitten-proofing. While most know that they need to puppy-proof, for some reason, people fall short when it comes to kitten-proofing. Here’s a quick guide to get your home kitten ready.
- Put away any loose cords, or minimize cords where possible with zip ties or velcro strips.
- Move valuable and breakable items away from the edges of furniture
- Vacuum to remove any dangerous small objects from your flooring
- Seal any kitten-accessible crevices such as open ductwork or vents
- Take stock of your houseplants and remove any that pose a risk to your kitten
How to Responsibly Surprise Your Loved one with a Kitten on Valentine’s Day
It’s easy to surprise your loved one with a kitten responsibly. Here’s how we recommend you accomplish this feat. When Valentine’s Day comes, you have a few options:
- Surprise your loved one with a beautifully wrapped kitten collar and the news that you’re going to pick out a kitten together as soon as you’re both ready.
- Create a “Free Kitten” coupon and gift it to your loved one in their Valentine’s Day card. Then you can both go and choose your kitten together when you’re both ready.
- While your loved one is out, set up all of your new kitten supplies throughout your home. When your loved one comes home and sees the new additions, surprise them with the news that you’re getting a kitten for Valentines Day. Later, you can both go and choose a kitten together when you’re ready.