As a cat lover or cat parent you know cats and kittens are wonderful, loving companions. You also know cats and kittens require veterinarian visits, food, litter, toys and attention. Caring for a cat or kitten is a decades-long commitment you must be willing to be responsible for.
Also, depending on your age or health, you may want to make arrangements for the care of your cats should you no longer be able to care for them. Many much-loved senior cats find themselves in the frightening situation of being surrendered when something happens to their owner.
If you have a group of cats (called a clowder, in case you’re curious!) are they bonded? Do you think they would welcome a new cat to the family or would the new kitten be an outsider? What happened the last time you introduced a new cat or kitten to the gang? Did it work out well?
Knowing how your cats will react to a new addition is something to consider. You don’t want to upset a delicate family balance, but you can certainly expand your family by taking baby steps to introduce the new kitten to the cat family dynamics.
If you have older cats, chances are you’re only visiting the veterinarian annually for their check-ups. With a new kitten you may need to get him or her spayed/neutered (if that wasn’t done before you adopted), and taken in for vaccinations and boosters. There are usually multiple and many vet visits with kittens and you need to have the money and time to do that.
As you know, there is a cat/kitten ratio per litter box and you need to know whether you have enough room to accommodate another litter box. Do you have the space for that?
Do you have the space to put the new kitten in a separate room during the “getting to know you” and introduction to your current cat family phase? If you travel with your cats, do you have enough space in the car for another carrier to accommodate the new kitten? What about cat trees or other toys or structures you have in place – is there enough room for the new addition?
Will you adopt your kitten from a local shelter or rescue group? Are you looking for a specific breed? Don’t forget to check breed rescues for the one you’re looking for. Do a Google search for “XYZ breed” and “Rescue for XYZ breed” to find a rescue group from whom you can adopt.
Are there kittens roaming your neighborhood that you want to bring in and care for? If that’s the case, we applaud you, BUT we caution you to take the kitten(s) to the vet first to assure they aren’t bringing any diseases or parasites into your cat family.
If you want to rescue a feline and give him a second chance at life, you may want to look into adopting a senior cat. You may find that a senior, or older kitty, may have a few more issues with integrating into your current clowder, but patience may make it all work out in time.