Got kitten fever? 5 things to expect when you adopt a kitten

Photo of a kitten
Mathias Erhart/Creative Commons

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Last semester, I made an impulse purchase. I was feeling the stress of finals week and from the whole semester in general, so I decided to look at cats at my local shelter. I was unsure about adopting one because I was in the middle of finals week, and I thought just a few minutes of furry innocence would cheer me up. However, I’d been thinking about and researching what it would be like to own a cat for months at that point. 

When I walked in, I saw the most adorable kitten with multicolored, striped fur and the longest tail. There was no doubt in my mind that this was what love at first sight felt like. On a slight impulse (only slight — it was backed by months of research), I adopted her. A month ago, I never thought I’d feel so fulfilled at such a young age. Read on to see what your “new normal” could look like if you choose to adopt a kitten as well.

1. Your kitten will scratch you … everywhere 

With the amount of blood I’ve lost from scratches, I could probably donate it. Sometimes, I wake up with scratches that my cat probably inflicted while I was sleeping. I’m only being dramatic, but still, I hope you don’t faint at the sight of blood, because you’re going to see a lot of it if you adopt a kitten. To avoid the more painful scratches, make sure to clip your cat’s nails often!

2. You learn to be OK with having a constant mess in your house 

I didn’t know which toys my kitten would enjoy the most, so I got a lot of different ones for her. However, they end up just sitting all over the floor after she randomly decides to play with them. I cannot stand having even a scrap of paper on my desk, so I had to learn to breathe and get used to having a million random mouse toys and feathers all over the floor of my apartment. You’ll probably learn, as I did, that cats prefer toys you didn’t buy specifically for them. For instance, my hair ties, phone and even my arm are the toys that bring my kitten the most joy.

3. Your kitten is your new alarm clock

Getting a kitten is like having a baby. I barely slept the first night I had her at home. She was running all over my body while I was trying to sleep, knocking over things on my desk, eating my chargers and making a much louder ruckus than I thought any four-pound being could make. After I finally fell asleep, she woke me up at six in the morning because she was scratching my butt with her claws. Not the most pleasant way to wake up, but she’s mellowed out since then. She still wakes me up earlier than I would like because she gets lonely, but it’s rather sweet to have an alarm clock that purrs to wake you up. 

4. Your neighbors are going to question your sanity

I’ll admit it — I do the baby voice to talk to my kitten. I honestly do see her as my little baby, so it’s fitting to speak to her like one, even if she has no clue what I’m saying. I love how she looks up at me with such a clueless, yet adoring, look on her face when I ask her how she’s doing. Meowing is your cat’s form of communication, so even if your “meow” is a baby voice or your usual voice, talking to your cat will become a regular occurrence. 

5. It’s true that “curiosity killed the cat” — it really needs its nine lives

In addition to the amount of scratches I’ve gotten from my kitten, I’ve also received limitless mini heart attacks when I catch her doing risky things such as walking along the edge of the stairs or jumping into my toilet. She is so curious about every little thing, and she has to observe everything I do because it’s so alien to her. Sometimes, it’s dangerous and other times, it’s adorable. Get used to your kitten following you around and literally sticking its nose in every little crevice of your home!

Adopting a cat is a serious commitment that requires a lot of planning and patience. To me, every scratch and sleepless night is worth the companionship and peace that my furry friend has given me. I hope that everyone can experience the same happiness that adopting a kitten has gifted me!

Contact Özge Terzioğlu at [email protected].