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Adopting A Kitten From A Shelter

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Adopting a kitten requires planning. Hopefully, by this point you have accounted for the fact that you're bringing a new life into your home. First and foremost you should be confident that the responsibility is something you can take on. Next, make sure your budget can accomodate cat food (and other catcessities) purchases and veterinary visits. Assuming the decision is set in stone, it's good to keep a checklist of all that is needed to ensure a smooth transition for you and your new companion.

Nationwide Adoption Agencies

Find A Shelter

Evidently cat fertility season is springtime. March, April, and May are the months to wait for if you're the market for a kitten instead of an adult cat. The first thing you should do is make a list of shelters in your area, their respective hours of operation, and their adoption requirements. The SPCA says you should allot an least an hour for the adoption process, perhaps two.

Consider Taking Home More Than One Cat

Adopting a kitten from a litter can be tricky. Which one to choose and how do you choose!? Aside from the cost concern, adopting a pair of sibling kittens can be preferable to adopting just one. If you spend most of the week at work, your kitten will appreciate having a companion to lounge around (or be destructive) with while at home.

Decide On A Vet

Since it is recommended that a newly adopted kitten be taken to the vet within 3 days following adoption, it's to schedule the first appointment ahead of time. This will involve doing some research, reading some reviews, and figuring out which clinic is most convenient for you and your new pet.

Kitty-Proof Your Home

Kittens, compared to adult cats, are much more energetic and rambunctious than adult cats. Kittens will tend to hide in dark rooms or corners, at least for the first few weeks. There are several ways you can kitty-proof your home:

  • Close off any holes in your house or apartment (such as ventilation points) as kittens will try and crawl into them.
  • Store away all food items that can be harmful to kittens and keep them out of reach. Remember that kittens will explore and jump onto counter tops when left alone.
  • Store away all medicine. Ingestion of human medication can be fatal to a kitten, including cold medicine or anything containing caffeine.
  • Move items on high surfaces that might break should a kitty decide to swipe it.
  • Hide rubber bands or anything a kitten could get tangled up in.
  • Cover wastebaskets. Kittens love to poke around trash and will likely make a mess.
  • Should go without saying, but all other toxic materials (cleaning products, nail polish remover, etc) should be kept out of kitty-reach.

Meowify Your Home (Make It Fun!)

Kittens need to feel comfortable and excited when coming into their new home for the first time. All supplies should be purchased ahead of time to ensure a smooth transition. Aside from basic catsessities, your home should be equipped to handle an active, excitable kitten.

Consider adding some of these features to your home:

  • Scratching post to teach your kitten not to claw at furniture and curtains.
  • Kitty jungle gym to provide a Chuck E. Cheese world of fun.
  • Kitty toys such as balls, faux mice, fishing poles, and catnip.
  • Safe spot (a closet, box, etc) designated for kitten privacy.


Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on April 20, 2012:

Simone: It turns out kitty-proofing is an ongoing process. Attn future kitten owners: HIDE ALL CORDS.

And thanks, timmathisen! I feel like cat owners develop a hybrid human/cat language. How can you NOT use "meow" in all parts of speech?

timmathisen on April 06, 2012:

The people at the Oxford English Dictionary should read your hub and add "catcessities" and "meowify" to the dictionary -- as wells as "meowification." Great words.

I wish I would have adopted sibling kittens. Maybe that would have kept mine from being such a holy terror and getting into everything.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 03, 2012:

Hehee, meowification!! I'm all for that- as well as some serious kitty proofing, of course. I'm now imagining your place as like... a huge hamster cage, but for cats. Please do not dispel my fantasy.

Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on April 02, 2012:

Thank you for catching this (and on my other Hub), homesteadbound! :)

Will file those DMCA complaints...

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on April 02, 2012:

This hub was copied: