Well last week we welcomed home a new kitten – Sophie. She is a delightful Russian Blue kitten and is 16 weeks old. It has been a number of years since I have had a kitten and I have to admit I had forgotten just how much work they are (and this is from someone who has a 6 month old baby)!
She is very affectionate and ever so smart. She is already playing ‘fetch’ with me, a game I have previously taught other cats, but Sophie started it on her own. She will bring a toy, drop it at my feet, I throw it, she runs after it and returns it to my feet. If I don’t throw it again straight away my feet get a gentle little tap! Very funny and very clever, however, I get bored of it long before Sophie does.
My 6 month old baby hasn’t yet started to crawl so we have been sparred of the baby proofing of the house. That is what I thought anyway, till we brought Sophie home. Having a new kitten is just like a baby, there are a number of dangers in your home that you need to ensure are taken care of for the safety of your cat. Kittens are essentially dumb and need you to ensure that they are safe as they may not identify dangers.
A big one is the toilet. If you leave the toilet seat up and the cat jumps on the toilet, they could fall face first into the bowl and drown. You also need to be mindful of things that they can eat that may cause a bowel obstruction. Rubber bands, hair ties, bread ties etc can all cause huge issues in their bowels that can be life threatening. Plastic bags are another danger. They could climb into a plastic bag and suffocate.
What I have realised is that baby proofing for a kitten is similar to that of a baby. Sophie is essentially our practice baby – we have needed to go through and start fixing things in the house for Sophie and the baby at the same time.
If you already have children your house is probably safe for the kitten, however, if you haven’t then you may need to do a few things to prepare for the arrival of a kitten.
Just another note on safety and children. Children and animals should never be left unsupervised, they are a danger to each other. My 6 month old baby adores Sophie – and LOVES to pat her. However, a gentle pat can turn very nasty when he grabs her with his hands. He is very strong and she is very little! On the other hand when I have the baby in my arms asleep Sophie wants to get in on the action and has tried to climb onto his head. They are both in love with each other in their own way, but because they are both babies they do present some issues for each other so it is best to ensure that kittens and children are always supervised!