Adopting a new kitten for Christmas may sound like a wonderful idea in principle but, in reality, it can often be anything but.
Without the proper level of research and commitment going in, you could wind up not only shelling out hundreds of pounds on a kitten you end up not wanting, but also having to suffer the heartbreak of having to eventually rehome them once the festivities are over.
So, if you’re in the market for a new kitten and want this to stop happening to you, we thought we’d lend a helping hand.
In this article, join us as we run through some of the key things we think you both should and shouldn’t do when buying a kitten, highlighting what you’ll need to watch out for in order to do it right.
Don’t: Make the decision on an impulse
If you want to give your children a surprise kitten for Christmas, make sure it’s absolutely okay with everyone in the house beforehand.
Don’t just make the decision on an impulse. Make sure the recipient definitely wants a kitten and understands the whole rigmarole that goes into caring for them.
Likewise, think carefully about whether the recipient’s home is actually equipped to look after a kitten. Not everyone has the time, money, space or interest to be responsible for a pet. So don’t force that level of commitment on them as a surprise. The chances are, without prior investigation, they won’t thank you for it.
Do: Let the recipient choose the kitten
If you know full well that the person you are wanting to get the kitten for is ready and 100 percent willing, it’s important for them to be the one who decides which cat they go for.
Initial bonding with a new kitten is imperative, after all, so failing to provide the recipient with that moment would only end up taking away from such a thoughtful gift.
Instead, consider paying the adoption fee or buying a few kitten necessities and giving these as a gift in place of the kitten itself. That way, you can extend the gift giving process even longer, providing your recipient with all the excitement and anticipation of getting to choose their favourite once the holidays are over.
Don’t: Forget to get it microchipped & vaccinated
If your mind is already made up about getting a kitten, make sure – when you pick them up – that they are vaccinated and microchipped as soon as possible. While you may need to wait a couple of weeks depending on the age of your kitten, the sooner you can protect them, the better.
Likewise, it’s important to break your kitten into their new surroundings slowly, introducing them to children and other pets on a one-by-one basis, rather than as a present under the Christmas tree.
You should also provide them with an area that’s calm – somewhere there is little traffic and where they can relax away from the chaos of Christmas and gradually become used to their new home.
Do: Consider getting one after the holidays
The Christmas holidays can be an incredibly stressful period at the best of times, with presents to wrap, people to see and crackers to pull. So, adding the stress of a new kitten on top could end up being the straw that breaks the camel’s back. There are also some important safety considerations with regard to welcoming them into your festive home, with all those low-hanging baubles and tinsel around.
Therefore, it could be worth considering purchasing the new kitten after the holidays are over. That way, you will not only give yourself more time to make an informed decision on which one to get, but you will also help the new kitten settle in away from all the noise and commotion that typically surrounds Christmas.
What’s more, if your recipient has any travel plans around the holidays, getting the kitten when they get back will provide them with more time and freedom to enjoy the initial bonding process with them.
Don’t: Forget to seek advice
Whether it be for yourself or someone else, purchasing a kitten is a big commitment. So, why not seek the advice of others before deciding whether getting one is the right decision or not?
By reading blogs like this one, joining communities over Facebook or speaking with actual vets, you will be able to develop a much firmer understanding of what owning a kitten will entail – from the various accessories you’ll need to buy, to how much food they’ll need to eat.
This, in turn, will enable you to be well informed and less likely for you, or your recipient, to face any unexpected surprises as you move past the festive celebrations.