Christmas for a Kitten

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The kids go down to the Christmas tree and the parents tell them to open a certain box with holes in it first. Out of the box pops an adorable Christmas kitten, complete with a fancy red bow around its neck. Many families may toy with the idea of giving their family or a friend a kitten for Christmas. It can be tempting to give an adorable fur ball kitten as a present. But along with all of that cuteness comes a lot of responsibility.

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There are daily chores that go with cat ownership as well as financial obligations. If you really would like to give someone in your life a kitten as a present, here are a few things you should consider. This includes making sure the recipient absolutely wants a kitten as well and understands all that goes into caring for a kitten — this is a gift that cannot be completely out of the blue.

While you may have a thousand arguments as to why a kitten is a great addition to a home, not everyone has the time, money, space, or interest in owning a pet. Owning a cat is a massive responsibility, and forcing that ownership on anyone is not fair to the kitten or person in question. You may not know what to get a certain someone in your life as a holiday gift and then, like a sign from above, there is a volunteer from an animal shelter asking for donations outside your local grocery store. And you know they want one, so what is the problem?

A Long-Term Commitment

Acting impulsively to give a kitten as a Christmas present is a bad idea not only because you should always check that a pet is what a recipient wants as a gift, but because it does not give you time to consider the needs of the recipient. When considering giving a kitten or cat as a Christmas gift, please think carefully to make sure it is a suitable gift for the recipient. Owning a cat is a life-time commitment so please think long and hard before you bring home a kitten at Christmas or give that responsibility to someone else.

Sadly many kittens and cats end up back in shelters after the Christmas period because they were unwanted gifts. In their first year of life, kittens can be expensive.

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They usually require veterinary visits in their first year; for vaccination shots, and to be spayed or neutered at six months of age. Cats will also need regular worm tablets and flea treatments, an annual vaccination and check-up, and cat owners needs to be able afford emergency vet visits and medical expenses if the situation arises. In addition to the cost of their health care needs, cats require food and treats, litter and a litter tray, bedding, toys and a scratching post.

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Should You Give a Kitten as a Christmas Gift?

It takes time and energy to train a kitten. Just like children, kittens need to be taught how to do things and the difference between right and wrong. Not all kittens learn quickly, so patience and time is paramount. Christmas is typically a busy and sometimes stressful time of year for families with parties and celebrations, visitors and house guests. It may not be the best time to bring a new kitten or cat into the home.

Affording a Cat

Ideally, the recipient needs the time available to spend with their new kitten and the opportunity to kitten-proof their home beforehand. It is often much more practical to welcome a new kitten into a home after the holiday season when everyone is more relaxed and settled into their regular routine.

You may think that a long-haired fluffy kitten is cute and the perfect gift, but does the intended recipient have the time or want to groom a long-haired cat on a daily basis? Do they have a particular breed or colour in mind or would they rather adopt a senior cat than a kitten?

A kitten is not just for Christmas but for life

To ensure a long and happy union, it is vitally important to match the right cat to the right family, and the best person to do this is the cat owner themselves — they know exactly what they are looking for in a cat. If you have your heart set on giving a cat as a Christmas gift, then why not consider a cat themed present accompanied with a handmade gift certificate for a local breeder or rescue organisation so that the recipient can select their own cat after the craziness of the holiday period has settled down.

I think the gift certificate idea is purrfect, unless the recipient has already met and fallen in love with a particular cat at the shelter.

I really like your suggestion of a gift certificate. It is so important that the right cat s be matched with the right owner and home. It can be tempting to surprise someone that you know wants a cat, but I think that a gift certificate and a ride over to the rescue is an equally good surprise.

Christmas for a kitten

So many apply to any animal — like a perfect match! You just never know.

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My husband surprised me one year on my birthday with a cockatiel and it was one of the best birthdays I ever had.