Adopting Kittens, Some Words Of Advice
Kittens are adorable, fun and unique, but it is important to remember that providing a home for a kitten is a commitment for its lifetime, which may be 15 to 20 years. Before you take on a new kitten, there are a few things to consider. Kittens are very mischievous, full of energy and often time consuming. If you are particularly keen to protect your curtains, sofa or other furniture, then you may like to consider adopting an adult or older cat.
Kittens are often rehomed around 8 to 10 weeks of age and will be started on their vaccinations. Kittens that are with us at around 16 weeks of age will be neutered prior to rehoming.
Download the CP leaflet on "Neutering" here
If you adopt very young kittens that are not yet neutered then you will need to agree to neuter kittens when they are old enough, as this is part of Cats Protection rehoming procedure. You will also be responsible for having the second lot of vaccinations due three weeks after the initial vaccinations, this can be done at your local vets. Please be aware of the financial responsibility of taking on kitten/s its actually quite alot and gets more expensive almost yearly.
We generally like to rehome kittens in pairs mainly for companionship, but as with people, some kittens show a personality whereby they like being the centre of attention. Kittens are hard work and generally if you have a job that involves long hours and you are not home much, kittens lose out from companionship.
Unlike some rescue organisations, our branch does not have an objection to placing suitable kittens (or cats) into a home with young children who are respectful of animals. The soft, unformed and malleable bones of kittens are very vulnerable in rough hands and without doubt rough and thoughtless handling can adversely affect an animal’s temperament and kittens and young cats will scratch and bite and puss may find himself back in our care, or even worse taken to the vets to be put to sleep (yes it does happen!). We are thus very careful that none of this happens, but you should be prepared that kittens will get up to all kinds of mischief and badly socialised kittens turn into badly socialised adult cats.
Equally, giving any kitten to somebody as a gift (even with the best intentions) is something that we don't particular agree with. Surprise birthday gifts are a recipe for disasters and some of those unforunate cats end up back in rescue because no one wishes to take on the responsibility or welfare of them when they fall ill, when they go on holiday or when someone moves house. Everyone in the family should be in agreement when you take on a kitten (or a cat) as it could potentially be around a very long time, long after your young children get older and maybe become a bit bored with it or when a teenager moves house and leaves cat behind for you to take on the finacial and welfare responsibilities?.
Equally rehoming a kitten as a companion to an elderly cat isn’t always the best thing. Senior cats like the quiet life and they may not take kindly to having a bouncy kitten in their home. We therefore don’t normally recommend rehoming a kitten with a senior cat. Think of it this way, how you would like it if you were 92 yrs old person and someone thought to bring a toddler into your house! Not just to visit but to stay forever!
Also do think about your existing cat (if you have one). Kittens need to be kept indoors until they are neutered (baring in mind female cats can become pregnant at around four months of age!). The logistics of keeping a kitten indoors (especially if you have a busy family, children do leave doors open!) while maintaining access for your existing cat, isn't something people think about.