Kitten laying in a bed. Original photo by Omar Ramadan. After Affects modifications Kathy LaFollett.

What Your New Kitten Really Needs

What Your New Kitten Really Needs

Gotcha Day for any companion animal is a big deal for a human. We've been thinking about you for a very long time most likely. And even if we hadn't been actively thinking on you, we were subconsciously toying with the idea of you. The day we met you reminded us that we had been. Then, there you are! No matter how we met, we humans can be a bit overwhelming and excitable. And clingy. We love you so much!

Which is everything a new kitten does not care about. Their adult versions will also not care. I've been tolerated by a tabby, a Persian, a shorthair mix, a grey longhair, a barn, and one street version that showed up at the front door. His arrival felt more eminent domain grab than here, kitty kitty. I've served both genders in both apartment settings and home ownership.

Kittens are built to dominate a human. Their eyes, walk, purr, and meow are concentrated efforts by evolution for a universal private joke. Put an eight-week-old kitten on the floor with a feather, a jingle ball, and a ball of yarn. Do this anywhere you want to catch humans. We welcome servitude and judgement into our lives while grabbing up all the toys to take home with the kitten. The kitten, tucked in your arms and tolerating your coos and strokes, thinks you smell funny.

What does a new kitten need?

  • You. To get out of the way.
  • Food and water bowls offering comfortable access to the little kitten face. Keep the water fresh. The food bowl filled. And leave.
  • A litter box, better two. Having only one option for a kitten to go to the bathroom is inappropriate and rude. Do better.
  • All the toys you can afford. Not because kitten likes toys, but because every time you buy one more cat toy you are reinforcing routine, habit, and admitting your servitude. Cats like that. Now leave.
  • Window seating. With a view. Do not bore your kitten. Scratch that, you already are.
  • If you must have a dog or other creature not kitten, make it understand it is not kitten. Or kitten will.
  • Forget the kitten starter kit. Unless it makes you feel like you're in control here. Which you are not.
  • Get a box, any box. Set it on the floor. Now get out.

One final thought that proves kittens are alien life forms planted on earth a million years ago as a private joke between two other alien life forms. Cats carry a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, and it can turn a risk-averse mouse into a cat-seeking rodent.

We lived with Ren, a cross between a Persian and a mafioso longhair. He was 100% perfectly gray furred. We adopted him as a kitten. He came home. Took over my son. Daughter. The house. The neighbor dogs met him at the fence once a day. I saw things.

I'm just trying to help here.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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