If there’s a new kitten in your life, it may seem overwhelming at first as you figure out what supplies you need, how to get to know the furry new family member and how to keep him healthy, safe and happy. If your new cat could talk, there’s a good chance these are the kind of tips he’d try to give you about his needs:
1. Don’t declaw me. My claws are a vital part of my physical and emotional health. To remove my claws is the equivalent of amputation of the first joint of your own fingers. I should matter more than your furniture. Very often, the reason I end up scratching the sofa is because I don’t have a good scratching post. I need something tall, sturdy and covered in a rough material such as sisal. I’d also like the post conveniently located so I can easily get to it when I have the need to scratch.
2. Help me become comfortable with people. I may be timid at first but with patience, kindness and humane training, I can blossom. What you teach me while I’m a kitten will have a lasting effect when I am fully grown. I’m a social animal but I’ll need your help in gradually exposing me to people and experiences to raise my comfort level.
3. I am an obligate carnivore. It’s not a want, it’s a need. You may be a vegetarian but I must receive protein from meat sources. Please feed me good quality food.
4. I should be neutered. It will reduce my desire to roam, will help avoid behavior problems, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and make me a better companion to you. There are also way too many cats out there without homes who are dying in shelters or on the streets. I don’t want to add to the number of unwanted cats.
5. I can be trained. You may have believed only dogs could be trained but I’m smart and willing to learn. Take the time to understand what I need and how to best communicate with me. I respond to humane, positive methods of training.
6. I have a few extremely important requests concerning my litter box. Please keep it clean because I’m a very clean animal. It’s very stressful to have to use a dirty box. I also need a box that’s the right size for me. Don’t ask me to wedge myself into a small or covered box just because you want to fit it into a particular location. Also, if I’m going to be living with other cats in your home, please have enough litter boxes.