The Lists

9 Helpful Tips on Lovingly Adopting the Perfect New Kitten

Tips from pet parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies

If you’ve haven’t already adopted a “quarantine cat” as a way to pass the time during the Great Lockdown(s) of 2020-21, you may still be considering bringing a kitten into your household. We’ve rounded up 9 tips from cat parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies. 

kittens and cats are more popular than ever as pets

One of the many things we’ll always remember about our first visit to Istanbul was the cats. They were literally everywhere we went in the metropolis, and they all seemed to be immaculately clean and well cared-for.

It turns out that many cultures throughout history have not just tolerated cats – they’ve embraced, adored and even revered them. The ancient Egyptians considered their characteristics to be like of those of the gods.

Join our community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.

sign up now >

So it should come as no surprise that cat love is spreading across America at a robust rate. And the coronavirus pandemic has actually served to accelerate the trend.

The ASPCA reports that compared to the 1970’s, pet ownership in the U.S. has increased by more than 300% as of the start of this year. There are almost 70 million domestic dogs in America as of this posting – and almost 95 million cats!

Two-thirds of all households in America own a pet, and ninety percent of pet owners describe their furry friends as “members of the family.” The endless number of adorable pics and videos on social media confirm that there is a great deal of joy being generated in these families, with adorable and goofy pets and parents making all of us smile, even if we don’t have one of our own.

If you include shelters, nonprofit rescues, private breeders and pet stores, its estimated that over 6 million dogs and cats will be adopted this year in America. Should one of them be going home with you?

Related Post

what are the best new pet tech gadgets and toys right now?

read more >

tips on what you need to know before buying or adopt a new kitten

Here’s our take on the factors to consider when you’re weighing the choice of bringing a kitten into your home, irrespective of where you decide to find your little darling. And also the items and support networks you need should you decide to take the plunge! It’s expert advice from one pet parent to another. And we hope it will help you make the right decision on whether or not to expand your family by one little cat.

1. Make sure this is the right time.

Kittens and cats are a lot less work than puppies and dogs. But they’re not NO work. As with any other relationship, what you put in is what you’ll get back. So if you don’t have time to invest in really getting to know your new feline, maybe wait until you’re sure you do.

Tips from pet parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies

Tips from pet parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies

2. Choose the right breed (and gender) for you.

We knew we wanted a cat who would basically behave like a dog, if such a thing existed. We’d had friends for years telling us about how their adorable tabby would follow them around, play hide and seek and maintain a jolly and sociable disposition even when fully grown. One person bragged that their cat met them at the door at the end of the day. Every day! What???

On the other hand, we knew from visiting other friends that some cats seem to prefer their own company to anyone else’s. Including the person who is feeding and sheltering them.

We’d seen the cartoons and heard the jokes about cats secretly plotting to kill their masters. We’d heard them described as “mysterious,” which we all know is a euphemism for “unfriendly, aloof and difficult.”

So our number one criteria was a cat who would be warm, playful and loving. A “lap cat” that would let us pet her. A chill cat. We didn’t care how smart the cat was – we would take dopey and lovable over brilliant and mean.

What to know before buying or adopting a new kitten

What to know before buying or adopting a new kitten, Photo Credit: Dandelion Chandelier.

That’s how we came to adopt our beloved Ragdoll. We heard about the breed, which is known for its willingness to cuddle (thus the name). We considered the likely characteristics of boy Ragdolls versus girls. And we opted for a girl. Who is now the great joy of our lives! We’re not sure if it’s the breed, or her, or a combination of the two. All we know is that she’s the cat we’d been dreaming of our entire lives.

Related Post

11 cat trees and furniture for every type of luxury home décor

read more >

3. Meet the litter.

If you can, you really want to meet your kitten and her brothers and sisters. That’s how we found the right personality for our family. We sat on the floor and watched to see which sibling was most lively, energetic and interested in playing with us. There will be marked differences even among siblings, and it’s impossible to know that by looking at a photo on a breeder’s website.

Tips from pet parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies

Tips from pet parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies

If you cannot be there in person, definitely describe your family and your ideal personality to the breeder, who should be able to help make a good match.

4. Get the basic supplies.

Litter box, litter, cat food, scratching post and toys should all be on your shopping list before your bring Kitty home. Disposable litter boxes work really well and are environmentally much more friendly than a big plastic box. The toys are key, and while you can spend a lot on cat toys, we quickly learned that our kitty loves chasing after a simple ribbon on a stick.

We also inadvertently learned that there is no need for a really fancy place for the cat to sleep (when she’s not sleeping on your bed, that is). Ours found her way into an empty box we’d left on the kitchen table and was as happy as a clam there. A little cat just wants a small dark cozy space to sleep in – if it’s too large and fussy, it’s not fit for purpose.

Tips from pet parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies

Tips from pet parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies. Photo Credit: Dandelion Chandelier.

5. Invest in a cat tower. And a cat cave.

Having said that, our kitty loves to climb so we invested in a cat tower that she would love and that we wouldn’t be embarrassed to have in our living space. Happily, there are several companies who design “luxury cat furniture” with an eye toward aesthetics as well as kitty contentment.

Especially if you live in an apartment, the aesthetics of the cat tree are paramount. Of course you want your kitty to be safe and comfortable, but it’s also a major piece of furniture in your home. We found this one, which is both a tower and has a little “cat cave” at its base. Visitors often mistake it for contemporary home décor. Which is the whole idea.

6. Consider a high-tech litter box.

The other item we found that is definitely worth considering is a high-tech litter box. Cats are famously fastidious, but there are still chores to be done: raking and refilling the litter box, for example. And then there’s the odor issue.

Tips from pet parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies

Our vet says he’s had good success with the Litter Robot ($99). It looks quite a bit like a spaceship. Or a washing machine.

It’s a WiFi-enabled automatic self-cleaning litter box that separates out the waste from the clean litter quickly and quietly. No more dirty little cat feet, and no more litter box smell to try to disguise with some other fragrance (which never works anyway).

7. Go one room at a time.

We kept our kitty secured in one room at a time for about the first 10 days after bringing her home. You have to take a cat’s eye view of each room in your home, and remove any potential hazards, whether it’s dust and clutter or a dormant mouse trap.

A kitten will squeeze into any available opening, and crawl under even the smallest crevice in her curious perusal of a new room. So be sure that it’s really ready for her. Over time, we gradually expanded how many rooms she could access at any one time.

8. Find a good trusted local veterinarian.

Trust us – you will not want a long car ride between your home and your vet’s office. If your kitten is like ours, she won’t much like being in a pet carrier in a car. Do both of you a favor and make it a short commute.

And rely on your vet the way you would your pediatrician. No question is “stupid,” and you’d be amazed how much wear and tear you can avoid by just asking the vet instead of trying figure everything out on your own.

We’ve asked our vet about everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, including how much food we needed, and what kind (wet or dry). What toys are best. What house plants are toxic. Your vet has seen it and done it many times before. Take advantage of their experience and don’t be embarrassed to tap into their wisdom.

9. Play, play and then play some more.

If you want your kitten to stay active and curious, make sure to interact with her as much as you can so that she becomes a part of the social fabric of your household. We stationed our kitten in the kitchen so that everyone in the family would interact with her, even if only for a few moments a day.

Cat toys are easy for anyone to use to engage their feline friend, and they don’t have to be fancy or over-engineered. Just a strip of cloth on a stick or a feather on a string will give you hours of playtime with your kitty.

Tips from pet parents on what you need to know to buy or adopt a new kitten, including breeds, timing and essential toys and supplies

Kittens are independent and self-motivated, and the good news is that if you invest time in getting them engaged and interacting with other people, you’ll reap the reward of lots of laughter and contentment down the road. On the other hand, a bored cat may nip or bite or otherwise act out. (If you need further proof of this, Google “why is my cat attacking me at night?“)

As relatively new parents of both a kitten and a puppy, we can definitely confirm that cats are a lot less work to bring into your household. The happy surprise is that they can bring a lot of the buoyancy and playfulness that we usually associate with dogs, too. Win-win!

Tips from cat parents to know before you buy or Adopt a New kitten

Those are the 11 expert tips for new cat parents from experienced pet owners we talked to about what you need and what you need to know before adopting a new kitten, including timing and essential supplies. It’s our collective take on how to successfully (and gracefully) find a new kitty and bring her home with a minimum of stress. And a maximum of joy.

What do you think, dear reader? Is kitten cuddling in your future? 

join our community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

Forward This Article

Join our community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.

sign up now >