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The day has come Youre excited youre nervous maybe youre even scared and thinking you cant do this whole pet thing remember the cactus. First off you got this It seems daunting at first but youll easily fall into the pattern in a couple of days. Secondly I strongly recommend picking a time where you have those first couple days off. Youre going to want to acclimate your pet make sure he or she is comfortable but mainly its for you. Because you are going to worry a lot in those first days. Youre going to expect the world to end for your pet when you leave it doesnt and youre going to expect every- thing in your house to be ruined upon your return it wont. Taking time to get to know each other and see how your furry friend reacts to the new environment will do a lot to put your mind at ease. This is coming from the girl who checked her phone for texts FROM HER KITTEN on updates on how he was doing yeah its sick I know. Start him or her off in one small room a bathroom or kitchen so as not to overwhelm the little thing. Show it where the litter box is by gently plopping himher right in there. I dont know how but by do- ing that they magically know this is the place where I go potty. Let them explore the area the toys and you at their leisure. Gradually over the next couple days you can expose them to more areas of your place. This is an exciting and nerve wracking time where every little cough or weird eye blink makes you panic. Just rememberrelax. Hundreds of kittens get born in the wild every day and SURVIVE. If they can survive out there they can certainly survive whilst having a loving mommy or daddy to watch out for them. hands and arms as living teething rings and scratch posts. This is kind of inevitable but start training them young that its not ok to be rough with you because the bigger they get the more painful it becomes. You can do this by always having a toy on-hand to distract them with whenever they start gnawing away at you. This will start showing them that this is the thing to be rough with this is the thing to NOT be rough with. Sometimes scruffing them and using a firm voice or even a spray bottle is the best course of action. It may seem mean and youll hate yourself in the beginning but trust me its worth it. And to help with those scratches I would suggest applying lavender oil- it cleans- es heals and helps prevents scarring. Couple it with some good mois- turizer and youll be good to go. De-clawing Dont do it. Just dont. While it may be better for you and your furni- ture its actually a painful process for your kitten. Unlike the popular belief that its the equivalent of removing fingernails it is actually removing the last bone of each kitten toe. Ow There are these great things called Soft Paws which are like little caps you glue to the end of your cats claws. Its both humane and effective. You may need a partner to help during the application process but its not much harder than clipping your kittens nails and it lasts for a few weeks. I suggest giving it a shot while theyre napping. Potty Training Yes its a thing A real honest to goodness thing. You can train your cat to go on the potty and it actually WORKS. This helps if youre OCD like me and if you also want to save money like me. You can easily spend up to 30 a week on litter and its not the most pleasant or sanitary thing to have in your place. With potty training all you do is flush. The process itself can be a bit messy and takes about a month but it really does save a lot of hassle down the road. Obviously the younger you start them on it the faster theyll adapt. I started my kitten when he was around 13 weeks old and now he uses the toilet like a little gentleman. High fiving a million angels The Day Of Pet Insurance Dont be bullied into picking one right away or even picking one at all. Vets are obviously going to push it on you and make it seem like every cat owner has it most dont but do some research and see if its something you think will be necessary. I waited a couple months to see how my kitten fared if he was sensitive to things if he leaned towards getting sick etc. Every situation is different. You can only make the decision thats best for yours. Shots Again something vets will say you absolutely MUST have and again its something I know a lot of cat owners dont do and they have healthy cats. Theres a lot to consider with these if your cat is in- door or outdoor if you have other animals what your kitten will be exposed to etc. You can do SOME shots and not others. Just dont feel pressured to make a decision right away. Its ok you arent a bad kitten parent by doing a little research before committing. Feeding Just like people every cat is going to be different. And just like peo- ple every cat will have different appetites. Dont think you have to feed your kitten the exact amount the can says or even how much a friends cat eats. This may take some time to figure out but its an im- portant step. You may have to try different brands or flavors of food different amounts and different feeding schedules. It may sound challenging but trust me youll quickly become in-tune with your kittens needs. Scratching This was the hardest part for me to adjust to. Kittens just want to play Which is the absolute cutest thinguntil they start using your FAQs The Biggest Thing of All Now this is something no one warned me about and I doubt I would have listened if they had. Because you think you are always the excep- tion to the rule. Im here to tell you that you arent. You will become obsessed with your kitten. You WILL take about 100 pictures of your kitten each day. You WILL send those pictures to anyone and every- one. And they will NOT care as much as you do that your kitten is sleeping. Youll be convinced that your kittens quirks are cuter than every other kittens quirks mine waits till Im home to go to the bath- roomlike whaaaaaa. Instagram will become a giant opportunity to share with the world that you have the cutest kitten in all the lands. Which is sadly impossible because I have the cutest kitten in all the lands. See You will become one of those people. And you will love being one of those people. Welcome to kitten parent-hood Arielle Nieshalla is a writer actor and all around dabbler in the arts liv- ing in LA. She loves reading and looking contemplatively out of win- dows whilst its raining. Shes a contributing writer for the fabulous Hel- loGiggles website and you can follow some of her writing at httphellogiggles.compraise-real-father3or if social media is more of your thing catch her adventures in Instagram Aribelle89. 30