Helping Kids To Take Care Of A Newly Adopted Pet Kitten

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Take Care Of A Newly Adopted Pet Kitten

Kids will say anything to persuade you to get a pet kitten in the house. They will make promises which you probably know they will never keep like pledges to clean up their rooms daily for an entire year. But then seeing the twinkle in the eyes of your kids you decide to bring in the cuddly live creature to bring warmth and joy to the family.

But before you decide to make your kids shoulder the responsibility of a pet kitten it is important to prepare your kids to set the right foot when it comes to getting along with the pet kitten. To make your task simpler, we have suggested a few pointers that will help you set the ground-rules so that your kids take the task of taking care of your pet kitten seriously:

Take Care Of A Newly Adopted Pet Kitten

Collect Valuable Information Pertaining To Pet Care & Share It With Your Kids

The very first thing that you need to do is to do your homework. Do some research on how pet owners and their kids comprehend the commitment involved in taking care of a kitten. Although in the initial period, the kitten may sound cuteness personified after sometime this feeling will wither away. Hence, take good advice from your veterinarian, fellow pet owners and even pet supply store experts.

Once you have adequate information pertaining to kitten care share it with your kids so that they can get used to the idea of taking care of a new member of the family. It will also be all about briefing them about the things that they should and should not do with the new kitten. Get some children’s books about pets from your local library or bookstore and share it with your kids. While explaining things ensure that you make the kids aware of how they can be a big part of the process of introducing the kitten to the new home; but under supervision.

Kids to Take Care of a Newly Adopted Pet Kitten

Set Ground-rules For The Kitten & Kids

Sure enough the kitten will be furry and cute but don’t forget that it is a living, breathing and untrained animal and not a teddy bear. Hence, set ground-rules for both kitten and kids before any mishap occurs. For example; before the kitten sets a foot inside the house select the areas where the new pet would be permitted or not permitted to roam. Will the kitten be an indoor cat only or will be permitted to roam outside? Will you allow the kitten to jump on the counters?

As for kids, you should have fixed ground-rules for them too. For example; Only one kid should be allowed to feed the kitten. This rule needs to be enforced so that the kitten is not overfed. Set parameters on when and how to play with the kittens and the way to pick her up. Strictly discourage the kids to tug and pull the kitten’s tail, whiskers or other parts of the body. If you have a boy kid help him comprehend that wrestling with the kitten is an absolute no-no.

Assign Specific Kitten Related Tasks To Kids

Kids would like to take charge of taking care of the kitten. Hence, if your kids are over 6 years of age, give them some cat-related duties like one child would ensure that the kitten gets fresh food and water on a regular basis. While the other ensures that the kitten’s bedding is clean and the toys are always available.

But never assign the task of cleaning the litter box of the kitten to the kids. It should be left to the adults because the pet feces can contain intestinal parasites including hookworms, roundworms and whipworms that can be dangerous for kids. There are times when kids forget to wash their hands properly with soap and water. But litter-box cleaning requires regular hand-washing. Hence, always assign this task to adults only.

Go Slow With The Kitten

When you get the kitten home, remember that it will take some time for the new kitten to adjust to the new surroundings. So, take it slow and easy. It has been observed that kittens need time to get comfortable with the new surroundings especially when they are coming from a shelter home to a house or apartment. Although your kids might be excited to play with the new pet it is important to give space to the kitten. The first few days the kitten may hide under the bed. So, it is advised to make the children understand that the kitten may need some time to get used to the new surroundings. Take a few weeks to introduce the new kitten with the kids slowly and gradually. Make the kitten and the kids spend short span of time together to make them adjust to each other.

Keep A Watchful Eye On Your Kid’s Behavior In Front Of The Kitten

After doing different things like: reading kitten care books, laying ground-rules, dividing the responsibilities and gradually making the kitten part of your household, it might seem to be normal to leave the kids alone with the kitten. But that is not advisable. One primary reason for that is that the kitten might play rough. Scratching and biting is the way of interacting between kitten siblings. So, they might do the same with kids. Kittens need time to grow, develop and learn to play nice with the kids.

The same goes with the kids. If your kid is younger than 5 or 6 years of age, you should never leave him/her alone with the kitten. If you have an older kid then he needs to establish and prove that he/she knows how to behave gently with the kitten. With time and guidance, your kids and the new kitten will develop a special bond with each other. Till that time give the space required by the kitten and go slow.

So, how do you plan to help your kids take care of a pet kitten?

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