We’ve all seen holiday commercials where a cute kitten with a big red ribbon pops out of a beautifully wrapped box. The person smiles wide and cuddles the new kitten, hugs or kisses their loved one, and they live happily ever after. However, it is just a commercial. There is more to this picturesque scene when you think about adopting a new whiskered friend for the holidays or giving one as a gift.
According to the ASPCA, 86 percent of adopted pets given as gifts stay in their new homes. These success rates are actually slightly higher than average adoption/rehoming rates. Bringing a new kitty into your home during the holidays can truly be wonderful, but it is not something to go into half-heartedly.
Cats and kittens are not simply something to “gift” to someone without proper consideration. Kitties are real live creatures and not just toys. Consider everything that goes into pet ownership such as cleaning a litter, food and water bowls in the kitchen, monetary expenses for vet care and vaccines. We have the following considerations when giving a kitty as a gift during the holidays:
- Kitty Care: Your loved one or child will be able to take care of the new kitty.
- Vet Care: You know that the new owner will have vet care lined up for future care and possible emergencies.
- Forever Pet – Not a just a gift: The person receiving the cat knows that this not just an “until” pet, but a forever pet.
- Saving a Life: Be aware that you are saving a life by rescuing a kitty.
- Kitty Supplies: Preparations have been made and supplies have been purchased for the kitty’s arrival.
- Surprise! Make sure the new kitty is not a complete surprise. One mistake to avoid when deciding to rescue a kitty over the holidays is to force the timing while compromising on the right fit for a specific lifestyle. Important considerations like breed mix and/or personality type can be neglected since there is a rush to obtain the “purrfect gift.”
- Financial Commitment: Make sure that the one receiving the kitty can financially handle the care. In addition, you will have food, litter, toys, cat carrier and bedding costs that always spike when adopting a new kitty.
- Other Pets: Be aware that there could be other pets in the home that may cause an unhappy or stressful environment. New kitties must be introduced carefully into a new household!
- Commitment: Make sure that there is a commitment for the long run.
- Allergies: Be aware that there’s a chance someone in the home is allergic to cats.