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Things no one tells you about owning kittens

So you have been considering taking the plunge and adopting a new furry friend into the household? Are you pining for a feline companion to keep you company in the evenings or brighten up your weekends? This I am glad to hear, as I personally love cats and am a little bit besotted with my two kittens, Arthur and Margot.

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However I feel that I am obliged to tell you some things that you don’t really discover until you have taken your furry friend home and they have well and truly settled in. Things no cat owner writes about in the bringing a pet home guide. Sure you know about keeping them in one room until they feel comfortable and safe, and yes you have got them a lot of toys to entertain them in the day. But what about the below:

If you have a new kitten, prepare to never sleep a night through again

When we adopted Arthur at 7 weeks old, he was the tiniest little ball of fluff. He was also as needy as a kitten could be expected to be at such a young age. Most kittens tend to stay with mum until 12 weeks as this is the best age to adopt, though we had to take Arthur earlier.

Eight week old Arthur

Eight week old Arthur

Fast forward 8 months later, and he still wakes us up at least once in the night. Sure you could lock them out of the bedroom but we decided to let Arthur roam.

He is the biggest bed hog, who likes to sandwich himself in the middle with his head on the pillow and body under the bed like a human would sleep. He will then kick out his legs and arms to push me and my lovely husband apart.

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The yawning bed hog

He snores, and so does Margot. I was so lucky to find a great man who slept through the night without any snores or noises, but then I got two kittens who snore louder than tractors. Tractors on gravel playing drum and bass music.

Also, Margot sleeps in front of my husband’s face, and refuses to move because she is so obsessed with him. Sometimes, I roll over to cuddle him at night and she is there, in between us, giving me a glare that says ‘you better back off’.

As kittens, they love to wake up around 3am for a twenty minute madness burst, and cause utter havoc, and then go back to sleep like nothing happened.  As adult cats (both a year and a half old) they tend to sleep through but wake up at 5am and utterly refuse to go back to bed. Goodbye mornings.

You will never go to the bathroom alone

For some reason, kittens love to come with you when you go to the bathroom. Think you can solve this by shutting the door? Think again, you will face a barrage of meowing, paws under the door cracks and scratching if you lock them out.

Arthur even likes to get in the shower with you and sit on the floor. I tried to make it not happen but he is as sneaky as a snake and always end up in there. Now I just deal with it, at least my cat smells nice.

Oh, and if you think you can avoid this by having a bath instead, think twice. I have a furry companion who gets great pleasure from sitting on the side and flicking water in my face at all times.

No glass of liquid is safe

They will drink it, knock it off, stick their paws in it, or sometimes even stick their faces in it. Arthur will knock any glass on a side clean off if you turn your back. I had plastic cups, for children, as my only ‘glassware’ in my house because of my kittens.

It doesn’t matter how often you refill their water either, they only want what you have.

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No one can ever buy you flowers again

Do you love receiving a bouquet of gorgeous flowers from your significant other, or close friend? Does the smell of fresh roses make you happy and think of spring?

This will be a distant memory when you get a kitten, because you can no longer have vases of flowers for two reasons.

  1. They love to eat them, and this makes them very poorly. Arthur had the runs for a whole day before we realised what was causing it when we caught him with pollen on his nose. Yes we had put them in a place we had hoped was out of reach, but he still managed to have a nibble or two.
  2. They will knock them over. Water, plants and a smashed vase on your lovely carpet isn’t great, especially at 5am

Goodbye romantic gestures.

You have to think about everything you bring into your house

You need to think twice about things you used to buy that are no longer welcome in a cat-friendly home. Examples can include:

  • Vases that they can stick their heads into and get stuck
  • Christmas trees
  • Plants
  • Delicate ornaments
  • Expensive bedding
  • New handbags

Margot likes to ‘knead’ her paws on bedding making it all bobbly and ruined. Arthur is a household hazard and likes to pull down trees, knock off ornaments and stick his head into vases.

No matter how many toys we buy, hours of playtime we put in or new exciting things we tempt him with, he loves to knock things off the side.

Oh and think baby proofing is just for children? I would buy many draw and door locks unless you want kitten shaped nibble marks in your bread!

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Stairs are a hazard

One warning – do not go down the stairs fast. A cat will get under your feet. You will break a leg or worse, die. I am not exaggerating.

Mine love to do it when I am carrying down bedding to be washed. Oh the bruises.

They would bite off your right hand for food

Kittens are terribly greedy, and always seem to be foraging for food of some sort.

Goodbye working from home

Remember the days when you had a plumber coming out so you would work from home and get a mountain of stuff done? That all changes when you have kittens.

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I now have to lock myself away into a little private room to work or I am faced with their anti-work attack from the moment I sit down.

What on earth could they do?

  • Sit, stomp and roll over your laptop keyboard.
  • Delete documents, send your boss an email that reads sdjeoifjeofjwiefjwiefj.
  • Find keyboard shortcuts that make your laptop do things you have never dreamed of before, and don’t even start to hope that you’ll be able to find out how to reverse it.
  • Knock your iPhone out of your hand when you are emailing – this has actually happened too many times to count.
  • Both try to sit on you when you have limited room anyway and demand petting.
  • Lay down over your important documents so you can’t actually touch them.

 Think that because of all of the above getting a kitten is a bad idea? Think again. For all their quirks, kittens are such a funny and loving addition to any household. Just make you are ready for all the commitments (and costs) that come with new furry housemates. It is important that you can afford to keep them healthy and happy!

I have learnt that they are lovely, wonderful little critters who enlighten my life and I would never be without them.

 

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