It’s kitten season, and we’re welcoming adopters a plenty! Besides lots of love and a warm lap, here are 5 things you should have before adopting a kitty.

1. A safe space

Kittens need a safe space to acclimate in prior to being given access to the entire home. You’ll want to make sure they’re comfy in that space before giving them keys to your whole house.

2. Litterboxes – plural.

Be sure to have plenty of litterboxes for your little friend once they’re out of the safe space. Tiny cats have tiny bladders… they need to be able to find a litterbox quickly and easily, which can mean offering a number of boxes in the home until they’re a little older.

3. Toys!

Always use toys to play with your kitten, not your hands. Using hands in play only encourages kittens to nip and bat at hands, but if we use long wand toys and toss rolling or soft toys for them to chase, they’ll have a great time and learn that hands are not toys. Offer lots of interactive and fun toys during the day to keep them engaged and moving.  Also, help your kitten to learn when to be awake and when to be asleep by keeping them awake and active during the day as much as possible, and winding them down at night with an energetic play session followed by a meal.

4. More toys!

The importance of playtime with kittens can’t be underestimated!! A bored kitten is a frustrated kitten, and that’s when we see kittens acting out in mischievous ways. Managing that energy is key to a great relationship with your kitten.

5. A playmate?

Consider adopting two kittens!! All of that energy and spirit can be a lot to work with, but if you adopt two, they can wear one another out and build a lifelong bond that can’t be beat! And if you have and older, adult cat at home already, make sure that he or she is ready for the energy a kitten can bring into the home. A single adult cat might prefer living with another adult cat over a kitten, especially one that’s never lived with another cat before. Really assess your cat’s personality and habits before bringing a kitten home.