When my beloved Coco died 2 months ago I was bereft. She had been my constant companion at home. She jingle jangled her way down the stairs to greet me, she hopped up on the couch as soon as I sat down to relax, ran into the bathroom upon hearing the faucet run, eager for a drink of water. These were the moments that I missed most terribly, the mundane everydayness of having a pet. Well, today I'm bringing home Coco's 10 week old grand daughter and I'm getting prepared.
It's been years since I had a kitten at home so I'm a little concerned that I might be rusty at it but I've done my research and I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be. I'm following these guidelines:
1. Give them a space of their own. She'll be overwhelmed in a new space so I plan to keep her in the bedroom for the first day (or week) depending on how she adjusts. I'll keep her food and litter box in the room as well (though in separate corners).
2. Remove the things you love. Kittens are curious and this Abyssinian will be ready to play with anything she can find, especially inanimate objects that I love. So I'm moving things off counters and shelves so that everything stays safe.
3. Toys and games. Since I'm removing non-toys from the realm of play, I need to add back in something for her to get tired out with. And as wonderful as Coco was, she wasn't much of a player. She'd wack at a toy a few times and lose interest. She preferred to play with the water dribbling out of the faucet. So I've stocked up on just a couple of kitty toys but plan to make my own with stocks/yarn/tape as soon as the first batch breaks. I'm also considering some kind of jungle gym or fun place to help her play.
4. Keep 'em safe. We have a deck and a balcony and are up on the third floor. A new kitten will be curious enough to get into harm's way so I've made sure everyone in the house knows not to leave the doors open for her to escape.
5. Litter Box. I put in an order for the litter box of my dreams but it won't be available until September, so for now I'm making due with a cheapy one from a pet store (but if you're looking for something stylish, check out our favorite litter boxes including a robotic one.). I bought a hooded one because too many cats have kicked the litter into the next room. I buy unscented litter (some people swear by the wheat based litter) and add baking soda to it to keep odor down. The litter box is one of the cons of having a cat, but I swear this time I will be a dedicated scooper. And if we move, I'm going to look into hiding it in furniture.