You need to buy a good carpet spray!
We learned very quickly when we got Marty that ‘litter-trained’ doesn’t mean you won’t find the occasional surprise in the corner! Make sure you have some good carpet spray designed for pet messes (we used this one) and keep an eye on your kitten. If they start scratching a corner of the carpet, quickly pick them up and put them in their litter box. Eventually the accidents will stop, don’t worry!
Lemons = magic
Cats hate the smell of lemon, so it’s a great, chemical-free way of discouraging them from chewing things they shouldn’t. Marty was obsessed with eating cables, so we used a cloth to wipe some diluted lemon juice on them. We also sprayed a little bit on the carpet where he was weeing and it seemed to put him off.
Kittens come with fleas
I didn’t know this before, but kittens very often have fleas. When you take your kitten for their first vet’s appointment they’ll be treated for fleas (it’s important not to buy flea treatment from a pet shop as very often these will be unsuitable for kittens), but you should also comb them regularly to keep an eye on the situation. There are treatments available for your home (Acclaim is very effective), but your vet will advise.
There are SO MANY TYPES OF CAT LITTER
For something that’s designed to be pooped on, there really is a surprising amount of choice, not to mention some ridiculously fancy options.
The two main types are clumping and non-clumping. I personally prefer clumping as it means as soon as the litter becomes wet it forms an easy to remove clump. There are all sorts of other types, including scented – I wouldn’t bother, it makes little difference – and even a natural one made from puffed corn that’s designed to be flushable. Side note, the corn litter smells weirdly delicious (not something you should be able to say about something that, again, is designed to be pooped on).
The best one we’ve found so far is Cat’s Best ÖkoPlus. Its consistency makes it super easy to scoop, plus it doesn’t turn into a sticky ball of clay. As well as cleaning the tray out regularly, you may want to grab a bottle of litter freshener because man, these little cuties can sure whip up one heck of a stink.
You will hoover A LOT
For some reason kittens like to fling litter EVERYWHERE. Sometimes it just gets stuck to their paws, but I swear when we’re not around, they do some sort of litter dance to summon their cat gods or something. Guys, I don’t know, but it’s such an unreasonable amount of litter that I have to believe they’re doing it deliberately. Sometimes, if you’re very lucky, you’ll find a tiny nugget of poop mixed in with your floor confetti. Cute.
Pet shops are awesome
I’m not ashamed to admit I love going to the pet shop. I spend ages looking at all the cute products and fancy foods, and I can never resist picking up a few treats for my little rapscallions. Also, the staff are a mine of knowledge so I know I can always ask for advice.
If you sign up for a Pets at Home VIP card you get some great discount vouchers, plus your mail comes addressed to you and your pet – so cute!
Getting a second cat is tricky but doable
After we’d had Marty for a couple of months, we decided that we wanted to get him a little friend. We would come home from work and Marty would be bouncing off the walls. He’s such a friendly, loving kitten that we were fairly certain he’d appreciate having a friend to keep him company.
We did loads of research and asked a lot of people before we made the decision to welcome little Plum to the family. It was hard at first – they fought constantly and had to be kept separate for the first couple of weeks. We purposely got Plum while Marty was still very young, as the consensus seems to be that it’s the easiest way to make the transition as smooth as possible.
We knew cats are very territorial and that Marty would take a little time to adjust, but they were incapable of spending any time together without biting and hissing at each other. I was starting to worry we’d made a mistake. We followed the advice the vet gave us and introduced them to each other slowly. Eventually they got used to each other and now they are absolutely adorable together.
When Plum came back from the vet’s the other day, Marty ran straight over to make sure he was alright. He’s always washing him and they spend most of the day snuggling each other. In turn, Plum seems to copy Marty, looking to him when he’s figuring out how to do things. They really seem to love each other and it melts my heart.
You don’t need to spend loads on toys
Marty and Plum have a few toys, but more often than not they will choose to play with pen lids, tissue and um…cotton buds. They love this cute little bee though!
Neither of them are particularly fussed about their scratching post (£25 well spent!), though they do use it as a napping perch.
What they do love however, is cardboard scratch mats. We got a small one to see if they liked it and it was such a hit that I also picked up a bigger, fish-shaped one from Tiger for around £5 (we have affectionately named him Scratchy Fish Face). So, when it comes to something for scratching, save yourself a few quid and just grab one of these.
They’re a handful…
They climb on every surface, try to eat things off your plate and kill your plants, headphones and your Nintendo Wii (yes, really).
…but they are so worth it.
I mean, how can you not love them?