10 Common Questions For New Kitten Owners
I am what I humbly like to consider a new cat owner connoisseur. Kidding of course. But as someone who has brought five cats into my household (and one into my parents), adopting a kitten is a walk in the park for me.
BUT! Was it that way in the beginning? Absolutely not!
If you knew how many questions I had when I adopted Phoebe, you would be shocked! And I was spoiled with her because my grandpa had found her and she was desperate for a home!
Even with Wobbles, I found myself asking different questions and feeling comfortable in other areas. So if you are just about to start adopting a kitten. Check out some of these common questions that new kitten owners tend to need answers to!
And hey, take a breath! We are in this together! You got this!
1. Can I do anything to prepare for adopting my kitten?
The first of the most common questions for new kitten owners. Can I prepare for my new kitten? Of course you can!
So not only can you read countless articles from other people, but you can also read some great articles that I have that talk about the things like Introducing a New Kitten To Your Home, Should I Adopt a Kitten, and more!
You can also get my Complete Guide to Adopting a Kitten which takes you down the path of what kind of cat you should get, where you should get the cat, the supplies you need, the first 30 days, and more!
But if you don’t feel like spending 7 dollars on that, I totally get it! (I mean, it is only seven dollars though!)
I also have a free checklist which is included in the guide that you can down here. This new kitten checklist has all of the main supplies you will need for your first night with your kitty. (Honestly, like your first month or two really).
There are loads of different things you can do to get ready for a cat. But the biggest one that every should really know is just be patient and relax.
Cats feed off of our energy, so if you are stressed and nervous, the cat is going to be scared and nervous. If you’re relaxed and happy…the cat may still be scared and nervous. However, they will probably warm up to the new environment faster if you have happy and welcoming.
Which leads me into the next common questions a lot of people ask….
2. Will my cat bond with me right away?
Onto the next question for new kitten owners…Cats and bonding. One of my least favorite topics to write about.
This honestly is because every single cat is different. Which means how they bond with you or any other human will be completely different from cat to cat.
Some important factors you need to take into consideration with any new kittens and bonding are: Ferality, how they were adopted, how old they are, their history, and their personalities.
Feral cats are not going to be trusting of humans. You could be the kindest, sweetest, person in the world who has read every kitten adoption book in the world.
A feral cat will not trust you right now in most cases. They are fearful of humans and you have to earn the cat’s trust before they start to let their guard down.
Take Wobbles, she was a feral cat. Her foster home was such a wonderful woman, and she still was a scaredy cat for most of her foster career…even once we adopted her.
Then you have to take into consideration how they were adopted. If they were like Phoebe and dumped on the streets, your cat may bond with you right away. Or in the same breath, the could take a while to warm up to you…which we will touch on later.
Their ages also play a big factor in how quickly cats warm up to new owners. Kittens are going to be more likely to bond quickly with humans and see them as their ‘moms’ or ‘dads’ since they are young and don’t know any better. Older cats may again be less trusting of humans especially if they have a negative history with humans…which then leads to the second to last piece of the puzzle.
How your kitten got to an adoptable state will also tell a lot about their personalities. If they came from a neglected or abusive home, you may need to work a little harder for them to snuggle up with you. If they go lost but had the most loving home before, you could have an immediate bond that’s formed from you saving them from the outside!
And finally, it’s also going to go into the personality of the cat. We have two cats from the same litter…adopted them at the same time. One is extremely bonded to me, and the other is attached to my fiancé’s leg 24/7. Neither of us did anything wrong with the other kitten, there was just a bond that was formed to certain humans based on their own unique personalities.
Cats will eventually bond with you. No matter what.
Keep in mind though, their bonding may look different from cat to cat. One may sleep up next to you every night and other could run up the stairs to be held every time they see you up there.
There are no right or wrong ways for cats to show their affection for you…and they all do it in different ways.
3. How long will it take my cat to feel comfortable?
Comfort and bonding go hand and hand with cats. But time is again unique to each cat.
If we were to look at all the same scenarios that I mentioned above (I’m going to rewrite them all here because I figured you’d hate me), the time it takes a cat to feel comfortable with vary.
Like I mentioned with my cats, Phoebe was so happy to have a warm home the bond was immediate. Wobbles was a feral cat and we still can’t pick her up but she sleeps next to us every time.
So don’t get discouraged if it’s been a week, a month, or even a year and you don’t feel like you’ve made enough progress with your cat.
Little baby steps turn into giant leaps as time goes on!
4. What supplies do I need?
This is probably the most common of the questions of new kitten owners that I almost always get. What are the basic supplies needed?
The very basics that you need to bring a cat home at litter, litter box, food and water.
Your cats need a place to go to the bath, food to eat, and water to drink.
Honestly, everything else just makes your life easier and their lives more fun.
Like I mentioned earlier, I have a completely free checklist that has a list of all of the supplies you need for the first month of adopting your cat.(Actually it’s probably longer than a month…but I don’t want to tell you what your kitten needs for fun).
5. Will my cat get along with my family?
What’s funny is as I was working on this post, I had someone email me asking this exact question!
This is a real common question for new kitten owners that usually happens with first time cat owners is that they are afraid the new kitten isn’t going to like their kids, their current pets, or their home.
What I told this person and what I will tell everyone is there is a lot of things to consider when adopting a pet but the biggest thing is temperament.If you have a crazy loud family, you don’t want a shy, quiet cat. Chances are you either need a rowdy kitten who will run around with the dog and kids, or a super chill cat that doesn’t really care if kids pick them up.
The great thing is that each cat has their own unique personality. Which means if you adopt either from an online cat option service, or go into a shelter, you can find the cat who’s personality fits best with your animals.
It is also important to call out that new pets need something that I like to call a cool-down period. Your kitten is going to need time to adjust, not only to the new house but to the other members of the house.It took a solid week of giving our kittens a safe space away from the kittens to really start to see their personalities shine through and start bonding with our other kittens. So give if you adopt a cat, don’t except them to come home and have an immediate normal bonding hakuna matata.
Let the bonding happen naturally. It took one of our kittens probably over a month to really bond with my fiancé. And now, they are inseparable. She’s actually sleep on him as I type this.
6. Do I need to spay or neuter my cat?
Another one of the questions for new kitten owners that is asked a lot is about spaying and neutering your pets.
At the end of the day, it is your decision. However, if you’re asking me…I’m going to say YES! YES! YES!
I have an entire article about why you need to spay or neuter your cat. Which will explain in much more detail about the importance of spaying and neutering.
The biggest thing is you need to think about what you want from our kitten. If you want to breed cats or start with one with the intention of having them have kittens. Then I would not spay your cats right away.
If you are just wanting a kitten but don’t want to cough up the cost to spay your cat, I challenge you to check out the article.
7. How often do I need to go to the vet?
The vet is something that most people don’t think about when they get a kitten. To be honest, it was one of the last thing that I thought about when I first got Wobbles.
Especially if they are all up to date on their shots.
Age and adoption type are the biggest indicators of how often you will need to go to the vet.
If you just found your cat, I would recommend taking them to the vet within the first month of getting them. That way you can make sure everything is good healthy-wise and then have the discussion with your vet as to what shots they need and when they need to come back.
If you adopted your cat in a more traditional way, you can probably wait a few months before you take them to the vet unless you notice a reason that they need to go prior.
Once you do decide to take them to the vet, you should have an open and honest conversation with your vet about how often they need to come in. With Phoebe, she only needs to go every other year to get her booster shots. But with our kittens, they had to go three times in the first year, and then they go around once a year now.
8. Should I declaw my cat?
Continuing on with questions for new kitten owners is an important one. Declawing cats. I know, cats scratch.
And until you start to figure out ways to get your cats to stop scratching the areas they shouldn’t, it can definitely be frustrating.
However, and I mean HOWEVER! You should never declaw your cats.
Read my post about why you should not declaw your cats here.
I’m going to go to go into a ton of details in the article. I get very heated, and I will start venting. And then next think you know, you have been reading this article for 20 minutes and low-key hate me for ranting.
9. Will my cat know how to use the litter box?
If you find a kitten, I know a lot of people are fearful to bring them inside because they are afraid they cat won’t know how to use a litter box.
The great news is that cats instinctually know how to use a litter box.The only time you really have to “train” a kitten to use the litter box is if they are neonatal kittens that are right in between the stages of needed stimulated to go to the bathroom and going on their own.
However, if you have a kitten or a cat that is older than 6 weeks old, they will naturally know how to use the litter.
So do not fall for anyone trying to sell you something about litter training a cat. Cats know!If you notice your cat is going outside of the litter box, there are going to be underlying issues that you can tackle then. (Hopefully something you won’t ever have to encounter).
10. What is my cat trying to tell me?
Last but certainly not the least important of the questions for new kitten owners is understanding your cat I know a lot of people when they first get their first kitten, don’t understand what their cats are trying to say to them.
Luckily, I have so many articles that should help you understand your cat better.
First, we have Why Does My Cat Meow? This talks about, well the obvious, reasons why your cat will be meowing at you and what they are try to “say” to you.
Next, and important one is Understanding Your Cat’s Tail Language. Cats can say a lot with their tails, and not in the same way that a dog does.
Finally, if you’re thinking about adopting a cat, you want to make sure that you understand the ways that cats show their love for you. When you are feeling frustrated with your cat, looking at they ways they are actually trying to show that they love you, will hopefully put a smile on your face.
Hopefully if you are thinking about getting a cat, these questions for new kitten owners have helped you.
It doesn’t have to be incredibly daunting to adopt a cat, and there should be some fun that goes into it.
So take a breathe, because you and your future kitty got this!
And if I didn’t answer your question here, ask me below!
Hi. I would like to adopt a bonded pair of kittens but I’ve never had kittens.
1. If kittens are bonded, will they still attach to us?
2. If I want to train the kittens to walk on a leash and do other things, is it possible to train both kittens or would one kitten be better if that’s what I have in mind. I’m worried one kitten might not be interested in a harness but if the other one is then do I only take that kitten and the other one stays inside every time?