Meet Lucky, Dusty and Ned. I am pet sitting for these cute little kittens. They are 6 months old and have lots of energy. The kittens are siblings. If you look closely, they all have the same nose.
HOW TO INTRODUCE YOUR CHILDREN TO A PET KITTEN
Nine Tips for Introducing a Kitten into Your Home
If your children are under 6 years old, and you want to add a kitten to your family's collection of pets, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
- Take charge. "Young children can't be in charge of a pet," says Gail F. Melson, Ph.D., and Professor of Child Development at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. Children should not be expected to feed a cat or monitor its intake – only an adult can do this.
- Introduce carefully. Be sure to introduce your kitten gradually to your other pets.
- Involve your child. Being in charge doesn't mean excluding your youngster from helping out. A young child can help with shopping, naming, feeding and changing the litter box, as long as a parent supervises. Visits to the veterinarian also are an excellent way for children to learn about kitten care. In fact, Dr. Denish says, "your children should be present at veterinary examinations to learn about their friend."
- Share information. If you're thinking about adding a cat to your family, find out about feline health and behavior before adopting. Share the information you learn with your whole family.
- Provide proper nutrition. It's especially important to feed a high-quality food like Eukanuba® or Iams®Kitten Formulas, since the most growth occurs in the first 9 to 12 months of life. These premium foods are specially formulated to supply energy for growing cells, support high activity levels and meet the demands of small mouths and teeth and a smaller stomach capacity.
- Be realistic. A new kitten won't be low maintenance. Kittens have high energy levels. As they explore their new home, they may use a plant for a toilet or knock things over in their enthusiasm. If such bedlam is too much for you, think twice about adopting.
- Set ground rules. Hailey and Grace were taught not to pull Cricket's tail or bother her while she ate. They also learned how to pet the kitten properly. Children should also learn not to corner a kitten.
- Find the right toys. Kittens are more likely than cats to bite, nip and scratch while playing. The best toys are those in which your hands aren't near where the cat will pounce. Some safe choices include soft toys, such as feathers or balls – the bouncier the better. Avoid toys that have sharp edges, strings or parts that your cat might swallow. Cricket enjoys swatting at objects such as feathers and balls.
- Monitor carefully. Nora Jones wouldn't allow Grace to be alone with Cricket when the pet was a young kitten. Experts agree that you shouldn't leave a child and a kitten alone together until you're sure they'll play appropriately.