How to Raise a Kitten

Before…

After…

Step 1:  Rescue kitten from certain disaster.

Step 2:  Ensure resident cats aren’t going to eat kitten.

Step 3:  Learn how to SLEEP when kitten thinks sleeping is supposed to be done during daylight hours.

Step 4:  Learn to love kitten despite her really poor sleeping habits.

Step 5:  TEACH KITTEN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FURNITURE AND SCRATCHING POSTS (I simply cannot emphasize this enough)!!

Step 6:  Play with kitten daily (and, when possible, get older kitties to play along).

Step 7:  Stay out of kitty arguments (really, the middle of a kitty argument is no place you want to be).

Step 8:  Take well-deserved breaks when the going becomes more than you can bare.

Step 9:  Cuddle kitten every chance you get (said cuddles will be returned ten-fold).

Step 10:  Be patient, be kind, be loving and KEEP FAITH that the day will come when kitty can get spayed or neutered and peace will return.

Cleo got spayed about a week and a half ago and the transformation has been amazing!  She’s decided (mostly) that sleeping at night is okay, she’s tormenting the older kitties a teensy bit less, and she’s possibly even more cuddly than ever before, which may or may not be the residual effect of having to spend the night in a pet hospital.

I’m continually amazed by how diverse cat personalities are… Trixie has always been a loner, content to see the family for a few minutes every evening then mostly hiding out in her room (a.k.a. the “guest room”) the rest of the time.  Tucker likes to be close to people and even enjoys the occasional cuddle, but it has to be on his terms or else he’s out-a-there!  Cleo is a complete and total people person – she has to be close to somebody at all times and will cry if she can’t find anybody; interestingly, we think Cleo was a wild kitty, so her affection is a very welcome surprise.

I don’t think I ever would have intentionally chosen to have three cats, but now that I do (and now that we’ve crossed that spaying hurdle with Cleo), I can’t help but see the beauty of it.  There’s nearly always a kitty nearby to keep me company and I truly believe they bring their own joyful energy to the picture – each of them, in their way, makes our house a home.

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6 Comments on “How to Raise a Kitten

  1. I laughed while reading your post. I agree with your comments. I have a new cat — she’s a little over a year old and boy, what a challenge to get everyone to *get along*. But, three kitties definitely do make the house a home.

    • Yes – I would use “get along” very loosely at this point, but I’m at least confident no blood will be shed (though hissing and spitting still ensues pretty much anytime Cleo wanders near).

  2. Cleo is an absolute cutie-pie! Love your 10 steps to raising a kitten and congratulations of persevering to such success.

    Now if you could give me some advice on how to make 2 15 year old ex-pub foster cats understand that the resident deaf and almost blind dog is a total softy and does NOT need to be beaten up, I would be most grateful. They turn from being gorgeous kitties to raging lions in the blink of an eye 😦

    • Oh gosh – I wish I could help. I’ve only ever tried introducing cats to cats (our dogs stay outside). With the kitties, we locked the baby in my art studio for the first couple of weeks – luckily, I have glass doors on that room so all the kitties could see each other and get used to the idea before I had to attempt physical mingling. Wishing you luck and eventual peace!!

    • LOL – I guess the only real benefits I can come up with are not having to give them baths or take them for walks. We have doggies too (Hubby is a pet rescue softie), but I’m gonna have to say I’m a kitty-lover all the way!! 😉

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