Ah! The joys and stresses of having kittens in the house! We’ve always had cats living with us, but these kittens are something else. Caring for kittens is no joke. It’s been 14 years since we’ve had kittens – and back then we did most everything wrong. Attempting to be the purrfect parent to little babies can be quite a journey. Here’s what we’ve learned over the past 6 weeks with kittens…
What we’ve learned NOT to do with kittens in the house
- Don’t ignore the other cats. When you have kittens in the house, it’s easy to get distracted by them and pay them more attention. This doesn’t always bode well for the other kitties. Jealousy is a real thing for some cats. Our 13 year old, Oliver Twist, started spraying around the house in areas where the kittens had been – trying to preserve his territory. No bueno.
- Don’t expect kittens to understand your language without time and training. I thought that I could tell the kittens that the baby gate isn’t secure and not to try and climb it – and they would understand. You can imagine, this didn’t go well. I turn my back for one minute and the whole gate is falling on top of them. Sometimes we all learn the hard way.
- Don’t leave kittens unsupervised with easy-to-access cords. No brainer, right? Wrong! It’s such a surprise to us just how many cords we have in our lives. Not just simple lamp cords. For example, my sister left her phone and portable charger on the bed one day and we went downstairs to grab lunch. When we came back the charger was chewed in half. Other casualties include two sets of earbuds and an entire mouse’s tail. Ok, not a cord. And not a real mouse – it was a small rope-like tail on a catnip mouse. Which leads me to…
- Don’t give them access to anything small enough to swallow. People think it’s only puppies that chew and eat inedible objects, but kittens do too. Zorro ate part of a plastic bag, carpet wool and the rope tail of a toy mouse. We’re fairly certain Friday helped eat stuff too – she’s just too ladylike to do it in front of us. Anyway, I freaked out and called the vet. Figuring out how to handle possible blockages is a whole different blog, but apparently it can be helped with the right amount of pumpkin, olive oil, and of course our awesome supplements. Scary stuff.
- Don’t take these days/weeks for granted. These crazy babies are only kittens once. At first we were stressed because we weren’t feeling as productive with their distractive cuteness around. But none of that really matters. Kittens need love and they will take some extra time. We want to soak up all these kitten moments. They deserve it.
What we’ve learned TO do with kittens in the house
- Stay calm – perfection isn’t needed. Sometimes they’re going to run around like crazy cats. These little ones get the zoomies and will actually run into their own cat tree. Or the wall. Really hard. We worry they will hurt themselves, but we need to let them learn and grow.
- Kitten-proof as much as possible. We have an open landing in our home that has a 13 foot drop-off to tile below. The first time we let them roam free, they wanted to tight rope that thing. So scary. Luckily we saved Friday from a terrible fall. Right now they’re not allowed out of their kitten room without supervision – while we work on a fix for that. If you have suggestions, please comment below.
- Take pictures. Even if you’re not a photographer, kittens grow up so fast and you’ll want all these early days documented.
- Soak up each moment. Sometimes it may feel like being a cat parent is a little boring. Unless you have a plethora of cats at different stages of life, adult kitties tend to sleep and rarely demand your undivided attention. It’s nice to be wanted and loved, so sometimes you gotta stop for a bit, take a break and just spend all the time you can with your little ones. AND big ones. 🙂
- Feed them a LOT. We are currently on a feeding schedule of 4 times per day. Kittens will eat as much as their bodies need, so make sure that you supply them with the nutrients they crave. Friday and Zorro are eating a raw-only diet and are blossoming so well!
So that’s some of what we’ve learned so far when it comes to having kittens in the house. We’ll continue to learn and keep you updated here and on social media (links below). If you have any tips, please leave a comment!