We Got a Kitten!

Yes, you heard me right! A gorgeous little bundle of furry, four-legged purr-fection has joined the Paul family.  It’s taken nearly TWO YEARS of mature adult discussion, pleading, crying, tantrums, bribery and not-so-clever manipulation to get my other half to come to the kitten party, but he finally agreed!  Now I’m going to share with you a little personal moment that shows what a great husband I have.  Not that I like to admit it, but lucky for me he’s not an avid Creature Clinic reader!  After being 100% adamant we categorically would not be adding any more animals to our little family, and after me having miserably resigned myself to this unbelievable fact, check out the card I opened on our fifth wedding anniversary…

anniversary kitten

We were out on a very rare child-free excursion, and what does Darren do? He makes me cry into my salmon entree.  Right there in the middle of a restaurant.

Granted, it wasn’t a kitten with a big bow around it’s neck, but a very special gesture nonetheless from the man who is “meh” about animals (yet knowingly married an animal-mad veterinarian).

For a long, long time I’ve been especially besotted with  Burmese cats.  This breed has a well known reputation for being incredibly affectionate and loving.  Some people describe them as little cat-shaped dogs, as they aren’t usually aloof at all, instead being super interactive, fun, and overflowing with personality.  While they are as soft as could be, they aren’t delicate.  I remember examining one sturdy little Burmese at work once and his owner aptly describing him as ‘a brick wrapped in silk’.  That summed him up nicely, and definitely brought a smile to my face.

Choosing the Purr-fect Kitten

burmese cat chocolate

Look at him, with those innocent eyes… Don’t be fooled, he’s plotting his next trick!

My advice for anyone considering adding a kitten to their home is to think carefully about not only the attributes they are looking for in their furry friend for the next 15 – 20 years, but also to look at their situation at home honestly and then try to choose a cat who will fit in most comfortably.

For me, having two young kids at home meant choosing a cat with confidence around little people.  The last thing I wanted was a poor terrified cat that hid under a bed all day, only emerging after the children were asleep for the night.  My personal preference was also for a playful cat that also enjoys cuddles – and boy did I hit the jackpot!  It took us a while to name this cheeky kitten, as I wanted it to be just right.  He started off as Kevin, but it just didn’t quite seem to suit him.  After much deliberating and research, he became known as Loki.  Loki is the Norse god of mischief, and if there’s one thing this little guy is great at, it’s mischief.

Other considerations may include the amount of time you are home, whether there are specific personality attributes (playful, bold, quiet, calm) that you are looking for, and whether there are physical attributes you’d really like (I’m a massive sucker for white cats, but that’s a story for another day!)  It’s a great idea to research breeds thoroughly if a purebred cat interests you.  If you’re not keen on a specific breed, adoption from a local shelter is a really fantastic choice.  Not only do you give a second chance to a kitty needing a home, but good shelter staff usually know the ins and outs of the personalities of the cats in their care, and can potentially find you an absolutely purrfect match.

Necessary Preparations for Avoiding Cat-astrophe

I was fairly well set up for bringing Loki home, as I often foster stray kittens until their forever homes can be found, so had many of the essentials already.  The really key things are mostly obvious:  A litter tray and scoop, and some kitty litter is fairly important – kitty needs somewhere to poop!  A bed of their own, food and water bowls, and some premium quality kitten food are also things you should have on hand, although it’s a really good idea to continue feeding your new baby whatever they were previously eating for at least a few days.  You can then gradually swap across over another few days if you’d prefer something different.  Abrupt changes in diet are a recipe for diarrhoea.

A scratching post is absolutely crucial if you have some nice furniture you don’t want torn to shreds.  It’s generally not hard to teach them to use it, and our little man absolutely loves his.  While there are numerous options available, the ideal scratching post is stable and tall enough for your cat to stand up and have a scratch while fully stretched out.

chocolate burmese cat

Loki likes to claw his way up his scratching post then just relax and survey his domain from the top

Toys are a must.  Cats are instinctively hunters and they love to chase and play.  Loki’s favourite toys are soft little mousies and fish he can bat across our hardwood floors and carry around in his mouth, but many cats prefer the dangling bird-like fishing toys, or little balls with bells in them, or even just scrunched up paper or toilet rolls!  The best toys are generally the ones you play with together with your cat!

These Things are Important for your Kitten’s Health – I’m not Lion!

Every new kitten should be checked over by a veterinarian.  You may think I’m just saying that because I enjoy cuddling cute kittens at work, but you’re only half right.  A full physical exam will pick up anything that needs attending to or simply put your mind at ease that your furbaby is healthy, and there are some really important things to discuss.

kitten's first vet visit

The good news for Loki is that his owner is a vet – woohoo!  His health will be informally checked every single day, and I will ensure he gets everything he needs to stay healthy.  The bad news for Loki, is that his owner is a vet – noooo! There will be no naughty treats or junk food, no roaming the streets looking for a party to crash, and at the slightest hint of illness he will, among other things, experience the indignity of a thermometer up his rear end.  The other bad news for Loki is that his owner writes a veterinary blog.  This means he will essentially feel like Britney Spears, running from the paparazzi every day of his life.  I have promised him I will only publish the flattering photos though… Mostly.  I probably can’t be trusted in this regard though – just ask my dogs.

Burmese kitten

He didn’t want me to share this one – something about his butt looking big – but I think it’s kinda cute!

Loki is Part of the Family

This gorgeous little kitten took less than 24 hours to wriggle his way right into all of our hearts and make himself thoroughly at home.  He plays with the kids and he watches them in the bath.  He loiters around at mealtimes and does his absolute best to sneak inconspicuously into our bed – under the covers – every night.  He’s cozily curled up on my lap right now, helping me to share some of his story with you.

burmese kitten bath time

Maybe best of all, he has, without the slightest effort on his part, earned Darren’s affection.  He will never admit it – but I see them cuddled up together in the evenings – and I know.  And I love it.

burmese kitten bed

Where Can You go for More Cat-tastic Kitten Information?

The good people at Royal Canin have put together a really nice, comprehensive kitten guide.  There’s an interactive version and a downloadable pdf – both awesome.  Jump over and have a look, and if you’re still left with any questions I’d love to help you with them in the comments below!

Disclosure:

This post was sponsored by Royal Canin.  They had no influence over the content of the article and all opinions are my own.

what greater gift than the love of a cat

Joanna Paul
Dr. Joanna Paul BVSc (hons) BSc Jo is a practicing small animal veterinarian based in Melbourne, Australia. Working in partnership with loving pet owners to ensure their fur-kids remain happy, healthy family members life-long is what brings her joy. Well, that and taking naps. Jo strongly believes that helping to maintain the wonderful bond between a pet and their human is reason enough for a happy dance.
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Showing 29 comments
  • Dory
    Reply

    Hi Jo!

    Congratulations to Loki for finding such a great home!
    And what a lovely husband you have.

    Loki must be about a year old now, and Darren another year older. I hope they are still getting on. I think a great childhood is complete only if there is a fur-baby in the family.

    Dory

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      Hi Dory!
      Thanks for your comment! They are getting along just fine. Of course Loki is the boss 😉

  • carol @ miniature cats
    Reply

    i love all animals — i am an animal person who has had a trio of dogs, now years later, I have a trio of wonderful cats – all rescues – cats are a lot easier in so many ways

  • Westly Smith
    Reply

    I’m so glad that you got a kitten! We’ve had cats for many years now and they bless our lives greatly. I like how you have already set the standard that he won’t have any junk food. That’s the best way to make sure the he stays healthy! Good luck!

  • Meg Lund
    Reply

    I have been thinking about getting a cat myself. Not only would this be the first cat I will have owned, this would be my first pet, too. I appreciate your advice to get a scratching post for the cat. You talk about how this will help you avoid getting your nice furniture scratched and ruined. I would have never thought about getting this, or my furniture getting scratched being a problem. I will definitely be sure to invest in this so that my cat is happy and my home is happy. Thank you for the great advice!

  • Tracy Williams
    Reply

    Loki is really a cute cat! Nice to see her…I am just crazy for the cats and thinking to adopt the one. But I am worried about how I will convince my parents to adopt the cat. Well! Thanks for the blog Joanna.

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      Thanks Tracy 🙂
      Adoption is a wonderful option, I hope you can get your parents on board with the idea! Thanks for reading x

  • Lisa
    Reply

    An absolutely adorable kitten. Great article with some good advice.

    One thing I am sure your kitten is going to show you as my first cat did that they don’t care for “A bed of their own” not when your bed is so much bigger and has two warm bodies to snuggle against. Seriously, you cannot make a cat prefer one sleeping place over the other, sure you can sprinkle catnip over it, they might even spend some time there, but then they’ll move to whatever other place they like. Your bed is likely to be the first choice; otherwise, their kitty tree, any piece of furniture, or even a small piece of paper lying on the floor may prove more attractive.

    With my first cat I wasted money buying her two different nice soft kitty bed. She seemed to like it at first, but then she started breaking into my bedroom (I didn’t let her in initially) and after that spent the nights chasing her tail alongside my back; then washing herself there (can be really loud if you are trying to sleep); then curling herself next to me. My current two spend time lying on top of me (either one or the other) while I read in bed, then one curls up in the corner of my bed while the other curls up on the sofa downstairs.

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      Hi Lisa!
      You are so right that they sleep where ever they want! I’m very lucky (so far!) that little Loki loves his igloo and spends his day time naps warmly curled up inside it. It probably helps that if I’m home I move it close to where I am. At night he loves nothing more than finding a warm human to snuggle up with, but we don’t mind 🙂

  • Your husband
    Reply

    I did not want to get a cat. Not because I have anything against cats, but with 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 lizards, I thought we had reached the limit on the number of dependents we could have in one household. Well, turns out that I do read Jo’s blog, and I am pleased to get a mention. I said yes to getting Loki, not because I was worn down after 2 years of pleading, but because I could clearly see the joy Loki would bring to our life, not to mention what he brings to the kids life and what he does for their development. And yes, I do have a soft spot for him. The kids learn and benefit so much growing up with pets. I have a very talented wife whom I love more than anything, and I hope everyone loves her blog as much as I love her.

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      Well this is just awkward! haha.
      I’m not sure who you are, but stop impersonating my husband – he would never admit to liking the cat 😉

  • Camille
    Reply

    Oh my goodness… that face!! Loki is beautiful, and from his mischievous expression, I suspect you will have a fun and never-boring year ahead! 🙂 Had to laugh at your comment about how being a veterinarian’s kitten means you’re subjected to a thermometer up the rear end more than most… I can totally relate. Congratulations on your beautiful new fur baby!!

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      Haha, thanks Camille!
      He’s adorable but the only thing predictable about him is that he’s unpredictable! And as soon as I see dilated pupils I know he’s about to do some crazy zoomies all over the house 🙂

  • Kelly
    Reply

    Loki is super cute!! Thanks for this post.

    We recently have been thinking about getting a kitten too. I have a 2 year old, and we secretly have adopted the burmese cat from over the road. I never feed this cat, but he just loves the attention we give him. My son adores him too, so I have been considering getting one. We will see though!

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      Thanks Kelly!
      I bet the neighbour’s cat loves all the extra attention! It is a big decision though, you’re right. I thought about it for a long time, and was even worried that I might regret having another ‘dependant’ in the home, but wow, he’s just an absolute joy 🙂

  • Ashleigh - My Meow
    Reply

    This gives me hope that maybe I can get another kitty one day! Loki looks adorable and has settled right in! Speaking from the mother of a white rescue cat, she is shy and timid and only loves us! So it is good with kiddies you got a playful one… I think this little man might need his own blog!!!

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      I’m sure you can, Ashleigh! I love the sweet, quiet little cats who are more discerning about who they will befriend, but this little guy is perfect for us right now 🙂 You might be right about him needing his own blog – but I think his ego is big enough already, haha.

  • Fur Everywhere
    Reply

    So glad your husband finally saw reason 😉
    You have an adorable kitten there! Personally, I would have chosen a Siamese, but then again, I’m a little biased 🙂

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      I’m so glad too!
      Maybe a Siamese – or a Siamese mix 😉 – when I can convince him the only thing better than a cat is two cats!

  • Jen
    Reply

    Congratulations on Loki!! He is adorable and can see him keeping you busy with his antics! I think sometimes people think cats may be easier to have than dogs because they don’t require walking – it’s great to see you getting the message out there that, that isn’t the case! They need just as much care, attention and love – which we know Loki is definitely going to get!!

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      Thanks Jen!
      Loki is like having another small child in the house, haha. When he’s not demanding my undivided attention he’s getting up to something naughty! Sadly he has me wrapped around his little paw and he knows it 🙂

  • Pawesome Cats
    Reply

    Fantastic post Jo – and thanks for the link to our Burmese Cat Breed Profile. Loki is an adorable kitten – we’re looking forward to seeing more of this guy on the Creature Clinic blog. PS. We love the anniversary card – looks like you picked up a keeper!

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      Thank you, and any time!
      I love Pawesome Cats!

  • Connie
    Reply

    Congratulations on your new addition.

  • Karen
    Reply

    Aw…you had me at the anniversary card! A great article with a great combination of story telling and tips!

  • Kerry Martin
    Reply

    Welcome to the Paul family Loki! Hope to meet you for a snuggle one day!

    A wonderful article Jo – it’s important to consider the love and care a new fur family member requires!

    • Joanna Paul
      Reply

      Thank you Kerry 🙂
      You absolutely must meet him for a snuggle one day!

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