What to expect when you’re expecting… a kitten

by Kelly Inglis, manager

  • <p>Kelly Inglis PHOTO</p><p>Eight-week-old Rum Tum Tugger was brought to SHAID with his two brothers.</p>
  • <p>Kelly Inglis PHOTO</p><p>Striking feral momma Tiger Eye recently gave birth to three kittens. This will be her last litter.</p>

SHAID Tree Animal Shelter

You have been planning for months to bring home a new furry family member; you are confident in your ability to make this 20-year commitment to her. You've been watching SHAID Tree Animal Shelter's Facebook page and have done your research as to what features you want in your new kitten.

You have researched and plan to sign up for pet insurance once you bring your baby home. You know that clumping litter is not recommended for kittens because they can ingest it and suffer an internal blockage – so you have a big bag of wood pellets waiting with your other kitten supplies: a small litter box, a cat carrier, a cat tree or scratch pad, canned and dry kitten kibble, heavy-bottomed food and water dishes, a kitty comb, nail clippers, and kitten toys.

You email your fully-completed kitten application to info@shaidanimalshelter.com and wait patiently; you know that if you are the successful applicant, you'll be notified within a couple days, and if not, you'll try again next time. Finally, you get the call that your application was chosen and you can bring home your baby in a few short days! It's time to kitten-proof your home!

Kittens are babies. They learn about the world around them eyes, paws, and mouth. Pull out your furniture and scour the floors for string, twist ties, hair ties, ribbon, small toy pieces – all of these things can be harmful if ingested. Another thing you want to pay attention to is electrical wires. Kittens are known for chewing these, and unfortunately, it can be fatal. Make sure all wires are out of kitten reach or taped down. Don't forget curtain ties and blind cords – they are also irresistible to curious kittens.

While house plants add beautiful greenery to your home, they too can be toxic to your new furry friend. Poinsettia, lilies, philodendron, daffodils and mistletoe are just a few plants that are toxic to cats.

You'll want to keep the toilet lid closed and your dryer as well. Keep all chemicals and medications securely locked up. One of the single most important safety tips is to check your window screens! Cats can rip open some screens with a single swipe of the paw – the last thing you want is for your kitten to escape, or even worse, suffer a devastating fall.

There is nothing like kitty companionship! Snuggles, unconditional love, endless antics, and knowing that you're providing a loving and responsible home to a little kitten in need makes for an incredible experience. We would like to thank our community for your ongoing support in providing loving homes to the unwanted and abandoned pets on the south shore, and giving them the life they deserve.

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