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52–55 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Kitten

Four Reasons Your Cat Should Have an Annual Checkup :: A Guide to Cat Beds :: What to Expect From the Next Few Years of Your Cat's Life :: How to Introduce a New Cat to Your Resident Feline

A Guide to Cat Beds

Although many cats sleep wherever they please--your bed, your furniture, your clothes, your guests' bed, and so on--you may want to get your cat used to sleeping in her own bed. Or maybe you just want to spoil her and give her yet another delightful sleeping location choice. Either way, these tips will help you understand your options and select a bed your cat will love:

  • Cats like to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A cup-style cat bed is great for a cat who likes to curl up, and it can help her preserve her body heat. Heated cat beds are also available.

  • For cats who like sitting in dark places and watching the world go by, a cave-type bed could work very well. If you live in a warm climate, consider a pad rather than an insulated bed.

  • Where you put the cat bed is just as important as what it looks and feels like. A quiet place without too much traffic but in view of the household activities is best. If the bed is portable, you can move it depending on the temperature or the time of day. Some cat beds can even be set up as a window perch.

  • A cat bed should be washable, or at least have a washable cover. Make sure that the bed you choose has color-safe fabric that will not bleed if it gets wet or is washed.

  • Cat beds should also be made of materials that dry quickly to discourage mold growth. If your cat bed comes with a removable cover, buy extra covers so you can rotate them when washing.

  • Watch for hanging fabric and strings that your cat could ingest. Also, avoid cat beds that are hard to keep clean and can house fleas if your cat should become infested.

Even with all this preparation, your cat may or may not choose to use the bed you so lovingly provided for her. But whatever the case, she'll thank you for your efforts.

Advice from Other Cat Owners 

Before You Adopt That Kitten

Before you bring that cute kitten home, please take a good look at your life and ask yourself some questions, particularly if you are young (the highest demographic for pet surrenderers is females, age 18-25).

Remember, cats live for 15-20 years and will need regular vet care for their whole life. Ask yourself, what will I do when I move? Am I willing to go the extra mile to find pet-friendly housing and take the cats along? (Even if your job sends you across the country or into another).

What will I do when I get married? What if my spouse is allergic to the cats, has big unfriendly dogs, or just doesn't like cats? How will I deal with that? What happens when I start having children? Will I be willing to help the cats make that transition during that busy and exciting time in my life? Will I be willing to keep them seperate if my baby is allergic? What happens if I get divorced? (Statistics say that you will). Will I fight to keep my pets during this personal crisis?

These questions may sound ridiculous, but I assure you they are not. The answers to these questions mean the difference between life and death every day- to the tune of 20 million 'No' answers a year (the number of animals surrendered to shelters across the U.S. in a year). It is a big commitment folks, think about it!

~Alex K., owner of Breed Unknown

Introducing Your New Kitten to Your Older Cat

Kittens will most likely get along great because they are so young, although it may take a day or two. My two cats were about 10 months when I brought home two kittens and it didn't go smoothly at all. The young kittens were excited to meet the older cats but the older cats were petrified of them.

What I learned is that cats react to smell and it's best to introduce them that way first. The advice from a cat expert was: keep them separate and give them each something that smells of the other one (towel/blanket etc). Once that goes well, then introduce them physically. It was fascinating because when I presented my cats with the towel smelling like the new kittens, the cats hissed and swatted at it, then ran in fear. Eventually they started to investigate it. You may not need this step but I wanted to share it just in case.

~Cindy W., owner of Breed Unknown

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