If you are thinking of adopting a kitten or have just welcomed one, this article will be useful! We tell you about the most common mistakes when you welcome this cute little ball of fur into your heart and your home.
ADOPT ON A WHIM
Do you find yourself making decisions impulsively? It’s hard to resist looking at a kitten who just wants to be loved. Make sure you have thought about compromises such as adapting your home to meet their needs, the costs associated with this responsible adoption, the daily time needed to build a beautiful relationship with your feline companion, pet sitter during your vacations, etc. It’s easy to get caught up in feelings, but this little living being will change your life for many years.
ADOPT AN UNWEANED KITTEN
We’ve all heard of food withdrawal, but what about educational and emotional withdrawal? Separating your kitten from its mother and siblings too early may cause it to have difficulty with emotional management, reduced coping skills, and poor acquisition of bite and scratch inhibition. It could also impair their cognitive development and promote the appearance of future problems. When possible, numerous studies demonstrate the importance of respecting this crucial period which can extend until the 14th week.
NOT DOING ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
Before the arrival of your new companion, it is essential to secure your home. This will allow your kitten to explore its new environment while avoiding injuries caused by electrical wires, household products, plants, small objects it could ingest, etc. Do not neglect the barriers if there is a risk of falling, as well as scratching posts if you don’t want him to scratch your sofa.
NOT BEING UP TO DATE WITH HEALTH CONTROLS
Having an up-to-date health record is essential. Be sure to take the first vaccinations, dewormers and antiparasitics recommended by the veterinarian. Also plan to sterilize your kitten. Beyond the positive impacts on health, this also helps prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the number of abandonments. Finally, do not neglect the annual examination which allows you to quickly detect a potential health problem.
NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO FELINE LANGUAGE
It’s quite a challenge to control the urge to hold, cuddle and kiss the cutest little one in your house. But as the expression goes, “too much is like not enough”. Your kitten will need time to adapt to all these changes. It will need your presence and comfort, while having the opportunity to explore and rest at its own pace. Do not force the contact and pay attention to the signals it sends you by using feline language! In this way, emotional exchanges will be positive and you will build a relationship based on trust and respect.
EDUCATE THROUGH PUNISHMENT
Our knowledge of animal welfare continues to evolve. More and more studies show that punishment, in addition to negatively impacting your relationship with your kitten, will cause stress which will be counterproductive to its learning. Choose positive education based on understanding, taking into account their needs and redirecting undesirable behaviours. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to make a list of your questions and contact your veterinarian or a feline behaviourist.