It’s that time of year again. The time for decorations, Christmas trees, Santa Claus and presents. It’s the time for parents to make their child’s fantasies come true. It is so tempting for ˜Santa” to give their darlings a cute and cuddly little kitten. The common belief is they will grow together.
However, we must remember a kitten is not a toy, and needs a guardian who is a knowledgeable about raising a cat. The excitement of waking up Christmas morning to a brand new furry kitten will soon wear off when the child is charged with caring for Fifi. Often the child will grow tired of feeding her and cleaning the litter box. Then it falls to the parent to take care of the needs.
A cat is a full-time responsibility that can last for up to twenty years. In that time, Johnny or Janey will probably go their separate ways, leaving the cat behind. Over the years, she has grown to depend on her people for love and attention. To suddenly withdraw it can be traumatic and unfair for her.
In my opinion, one of the main reasons not to give a kitten as a present is that some pet stores, etc. receive their supply from disreputable breeders and kitten mills. In a kitten mill, cats are bred in tight quarters with no medical attention until they can no longer breed. When that day comes, they are either euthanized or sold. When they are given away, the kitten has the chance of being unhealthy. This might cost more money and heartache in the long run.
The next time you take your child into the pet store to gaze at the cute little furry things, remember, they are not toys, so look, and fight the temptation to take one home.