Questions to ask when adopting a kitten (or two)
We’ve just adopted two very cute and precocious 13-week-old kittens. Luckily for us, they were adopted from a shelter that provides clear documentation on the kittens’ health and records. If you’ve adopted cats from a source that doesn’t provide that information, here are some questions you might ask:
- Are the kittens up-to-date on their shots? This is important because a. it tells you whether or not you’re going to need to pay a vet right away for these services and b. it lets you know if the kittens have been well cared for or if they might have medical issues because they’re behind on shots or other treatments.
- Have the kittens been spayed or neutered? It’s recommended that you wait until about six months of age before spaying or neutering a cat, but some shelters have been known to do it sooner.
- Do the kittens have any behaviors we need to be aware of? It’s possible the kittens are wary of strangers, don’t like other cats or dogs, or have behaviors that have developed as a result of being weaned too soon like trying to nurse other cats.
- What type of food have they been eating? Our cats had clearly been eating mostly dry food, because that’s what they seem to enjoy the most. We’ve tried one brand of wet food but will probably switch to another that both cats enjoy. It’s important to remember that a cat’s ancestral diet involved mostly protein, so you want to feed them a high-quality protein-rich food, preferably with raw freeze-dried food included or as a supplement.
After this it’s time to take your kittens home and introduce them to their new surroundings. Some items you will want to pick up before you get home include:
A. A carrier for the cat or cats
B. A litter box and litter
C. A toy or scratching post (or both)
E. A collar and tags. Most stores, like J&M Aquatics and Pet Center, provide tag-making in-store for you so that you can have your cat’s name and phone number on their tags before you leave the store.
Remember that cats love to explore. They’re going to crawl into any corner or tiny space they think they can fit in, and they’re going to jump anywhere they can reach. This is to be expected. If you want to keep them from digging in a plant or clawing the couch, try just using a spray bottle with water as a deterrent.
Enjoy your cats as much as we’re enjoying our two new additions, Monica and Phoebe!