How to introduce your children to a pet kitten

Adding a new kitten to your family is a joyous time for all of you. The bonds you form with your new companion now will last for many years to come.

Introducing a kitten to small children can have its challenges - try following these simple steps to make the first meetings harmonious for all involved.

If you have young children and you want to add a kitten to your family, here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • Take charge. Young children can't be in charge of a pet. Children should not be expected to feed a cat or monitor its intake – only an adult can do this.
  • Introduce carefully. Be sure to introduce your kitten gradually to your children or your other pets. It can be an overwhelming experience and kittens (and children) may behave unpredictably
  • Involve your child. Being in charge doesn't mean excluding your youngster from helping out. A young child can help with shopping, naming, feeding and changing the litter box, as long as a parent supervises. Visits to the veterinarian also are an excellent way for children to learn about kitten care.
  • Share information. If you're thinking about adding a cat to your family, find out about feline health and behaviour before adopting. Share the information you learn with your whole family.
  • Provide proper nutrition. It's especially important to feed a high-quality food like EUKANUBA Kitten, since the most growth occurs in the first 9 to 12 months of life. Our food is specially designed to supply energy for growing cells, support high activity levels and meet the demands of small mouths and teeth and a smaller stomach capacity.
  • Be realistic. A new kitten won't be low maintenance. Kittens have high energy levels. As they explore their new home, they may use a plant for a toilet or knock things over in their enthusiasm. If such bedlam is too much for you, think twice about adopting.
  • Find the right toys. Kittens are more likely than cats to bite, nip and scratch while playing. The best toys are those in which your hands aren't near where the cat will pounce. Some safe choices include soft toys, such as feathers or balls – the bouncier the better. Avoid toys that have sharp edges, strings or parts that your cat might swallow.
  • Monitor carefully. Don't leave a child and a kitten alone together until you're sure they'll play appropriately.