Cats and kittens can make great pets. Kittens especially look so cute and cuddly; which they can be, but they also come with a good set of claws ready to scratch if they are not happy about a situation!
Always supervise children around any animal. A kitten (or any other pet) can sustain a nasty injury if squeezed too hard or dropped by a child. Another thing to be aware of is the cat litter tray. Empty it often, and keep out of the reach of children (and away from pregnant ladies) Saying all this; if treated correctly, cats can make wonderful pets for both children and adults.
I have had several amazing cats in my life. The first was a tabby; we namedwas actually a stray, who appeared in our garden one day totally out of the blue. He was so hungry that he was eating the stale bread my mum had thrown onto the lawn for the wild birds.
Being a soft touch, we immediately fell for his charms and bought some cat food for him. That was it; he then moved in. Tiger was a great cat and we had him as a member of our family for many years, even bringing him with us when we moved from just outside Liverpool to North Devon. He travelled in the car with us in a cardboard cat carrier that we purchased from our vet.
One morning while, myself and my two sisters were still asleep my dad who was an early riser discovered a dead tabby cat which had been run overt at the bottom of our drive . Thinking it was our beloved Tiger; he dispersed of the cats body in a nearby field to save us from seeing him. Later that evening when he came home from work dad went into the living room to discover our cat warming himself in front of thewasn’t Tiger who had been killed at all!
As an adult; before having children, my husband and I decided to get a kitten. I chose a beautiful Tortoiseshell. We called her Purdy, she was my substitute baby and I loved her with all my heart.
As we both worked full time we installed a cat flap into the back door. It took Purdy a week or so to learn how to use her special door; but once she did it meant she could come and go as she pleased while we were at work.
Being responsible cat owners we got her vaccinated and she was neutered at 6 months of age; she recovered quickly from her operation but alarmed me when she managed to remove all her own stitches! I rang the vet in a panic who assured me that as she was so young she would have healed already so everything was fine. Sadly Purdy was killed by a car a year or so later; it broke my heart but we knew she had, had a good short life.
My next cat was a handsome black and white kitten. My son Adam (who was 8 at the time) named him “Socks” as he had four white feet which looked like he was wearing socks. Socks was 8 weeks old when we collected him from a farm and was very playful; his favourite toy was a ping pong ball. My son also made him a ball from scrunched up kitchen foil, which he skimmed across the floor. Socks would fly after it. There are many commercial cat toys on the market; but you can easily make your own from a simple piece of wool or even an empty cardboard box.
Socks liked to sit on top of my fridge freezer while I was a child minding so he was out of reach of the children; but had a good view of things going on, plus it was warm up there! Cats like to go outside and hunt, so ensure they are regularly treated for fleas and worms. Avoid using flea collars, as any collar can be a hazard to a cat who likes to climb trees. There are elastic collars available which are said to be safe; but personally I wouldn’t risk them. Socks did come home one day, wearing a collar that someone had put it on him with a note attached containing a telephone number. I rang the number and the receiver explained that Socks had regularly been visiting them and they wanted to check that he wasn’t lost. I told the person, that he was my cat. We later discovered that Socks was in fact visiting many neighbours and walked into their homes uninvited as if he owned all the houses! Socks lived to the grand old age of 15 and became a bit of a legend; all the other cats were afraid of him and he even bossed my German Shepherd dog around!
If reading this has inspired you into getting a cat or kitten; please consider getting one from a rescue centre such as the RSPCA or the Cats Protection League as there are many animals looking for loving homes.
As always comments/ questions are welcome