What I wish I knew before adopting kittens :: WRAL.com

Now through October is kitten adoption season, and if you are like me and caught the kitten fever, here are some tips to get you started.

Kittens are adorable, playful and fun, and aren’t too high maintenance if you have the right tools and patience. My two baby kittens have brought so much joy into my life in just the past month and rescuing them was the best decision I ever made.

Before adopting my two little floof balls, I did a lot of research, but there was some things I just wasn’t prepared for.

Find out what age you want to adopt

Kittens aren’t supposed to be separated from their mothers until they are around eight weeks old. If they are separated earlier, they could face developmental issues. While newborn baby kittens are absolutely adorable, they are difficult to take care of. There are circumstances where rescues and shelters do take in young kittens, but those are mostly in foster care until they are a couple weeks old.


Wake County Animal Shelter, for example, does not let people adopt kittens that have not yet reached a certain weight or age. Usually, kittens are available for adoption at eight weeks, which is the age I adopted my two kittens.

Until kittens are six months old, they have to receive frequent vet check-ups and vaccinations, which can be pricey. They need to receive repeated immunizations and check-ups until they are around 4 months old.

The adoption process

I decided two adopt two brothers from Franklin County Animal Shelter, about an hour north of Durham, after doing research in my area. Franklin County had just received an influx of small, 8-week-old stray cats and needed them to be adopted as soon as possible. I had also visited Orange County Animal Shelter and considered adopting from the Cumberland County Animal Shelter.

Stitch loves to hide in the couch

I mostly looked at publicly-run animal shelters because they had more of an urgency to get rid of their animals. The downside of adopting from these shelters is that they did not vaccinate the kittens, unlike other non-profit adoption agencies in the area.

I don’t need Netflix or Hulu anymore!

My partner and I adopted two brothers, Ramen and Stitch, who have taken up all our time and love. We love watching how much they’ve grown in the past couple months and watching them play together.

Stitch is very cuddly!

It is definitely recommended that you adopt two kittens together, especially if you are like my partner and I and work during the day. The two brothers keep each other entertained during the day and having a friend to play with helps with their social development.

As kittens, the two have lots of energy and love to wrestle and chase each other around the apartment.

Both kittens have completely different personalities — Stitch loves to cuddle and play, while Ramen is more shy and independent.

Ramen loves his heating pad!

What no one told me about kittens is how easy they are to take care of and play with. They can mostly entertain themselves and love to explore. My partner and I have built cardboard box and furniture forts for them. The cats also love climbing up an old carpet we have rolled up in the corner of the apartment.

Kittens also don’t have to be house trained. Even though these kittens were strays before living with us, they knew how to use a litterbox from day one. Most of the time the kittens use the litterbox and don’t give us any issues.

Stitch loves to sleep on my computer

Health issues that come with adopting kittens

Because the kittens were strays before we adopted them, they had fleas. After a flea treatment they were gone, but Ramen got a tapeworm from one of the fleas and had to be treated. If you’re planning on adopting kittens, know that they will likely have some sort of health issue that needs to be addressed and you will need to budget in the price of going to a vet.

instant joy

Stitch is always bugging Ramen... haha ​​brothers!

Despite the challenges of tapeworms, fleas and adoption fees, Stitch and Ramen have brought so much more joy to my life than I could have ever anticipated. My mental health, anxiety and depression have improved so much since adopting these two kittens. Having two little babies to take care of inspires me to take better care of myself, keep my apartment clean, and keep myself on a better schedule.


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