If you follow me on Instagram you probably know that 3 months ago my boyfriend and I very sporadically, got a kitten. If I say kitten people probably assume a very cute small tiny cat, but when we got our cat he was actually the size of a well, grown-up cat. I never really dove into the story of how we got Babou, where we got him, what breed he is and what’s it like to suddenly take care of an animal.
Ever since I can remember I have loved cats. When growing up, we always had cats at my parents home so loving them came very natural to me. I lived at my mom’s place until the age of 23 and we had 2 cats there who were my babies. One of the things that always got my excited about moving out is owning my own cat and taking care of it, and of course the thought of a kitten because let’s be real they are super adorable. So when my boyfriend and I decided to move in together last summer, I naturally started to think about getting a cat sooner or later.
My boyfriend and I talked about it briefly, but we always decided to postpone it a little and wait until the next year to get a cat. But then on a lazy Sunday afternoon I was browsing the internet looking for cute kittens (it’s a weird hobby of mine, don’t ask) and I came across an ADORABLE kitten of 5 months old. He was a mixture of a European cat and a Maine Coon breed. I found him through a Dutch Ebay called ‘Marktplaats‘, the advertising only had just been posted and I decided to call them and ask for more information (just for orientation, right).
The women on the phone told me about the two cats (there were two of them, a black and striped one), they were owned by a German lady who already owned 3 cats and one of them got kittens. She already gave two of the kittens away but really wanted to keep these two, however kittens are expensive and can be a handful therefor she decided to get rid of them. We asked if we could come over and take a look, and well, the next evening we were on our way to meet… Babou.
My boyfriend and I agreed that we would only take him home if we were REALLY sure about it. I mean, you know how this story ends, but still. Babou was the cutest cat I ever laid eyes on and we both fell head over heels in love with him. He was a bit shy at first, but slowly started to play with us from a distance. We agreed that we wanted to take him home and decided to pick him up 2 days later so we could still arrange some things like buying a litter box, making the house kitten proof and setting up an appointment with the vet.
That next Wednesday we took our little furry back home and boy I was NERVOUS as hell. Suddenly all of my ‘mom instincts’ started kicking in and I basically worried about every single thing. When he first arrived at our house he was a bit scared and hid under our cabinet, which makes sense because we took him from his safe place into this new home with two overly excited people staring at him. That day, my boyfriend had to work so I was left alone with him and slowly he started to feel more comfortable. He eventually came up to the couch after about an hour and started cuddling and purring with me.
Since that moment Babou has been the sweetest cat in the world (aside from the nights that he wakes me up at 4 in the morning for either food, playtime or just cuddles). I would not want to trade him for ANYTHING in the world, but, if you do decide to get a kitten there are some things you have to keep in mind that people don’t always keep in mind beforehand.
- Kittens need A LOT of attention. You can not leave them alone for a long period of time, if you have a full-time job don’t expect you can just leave and go on with your day and the cat will be fine.
- Cats don’t enjoy being on their own. It is actually always advised to take two cats at once so they always have someone who keeps them company. A human being can not replace the company of a cat. So if you have the opportunity to take two cats, I would always recommend it. We decided to take only one and that means we have to be at home quite a lot so he won’t get lonely. We still notice that if we’re gone for a longer period of time, Babou becomes very needy and frustrated.
- Kittens are playful, they like to play, destroy things, run after things, chase everything they encounter on the floor (or counter tops) and you can not leave all of your stuff around the house. If you leave your food lying around the house, chances are it’ll be gone within seconds.
- Do not buy the cheapest food you can find, especially if he’s a breed like a Maine Coon, Ragdoll, British Short hair etc; these animals are very special and you want them to give nourishment they deserve. We order our food from a website called ‘ZooPlus’ where you can find a lot of high quality brands like Royal Canin, The Hills, Purina and more.
- Cats need training and you have to raise them well, but in the end they are still cats. Yes you can teach them to use the litter box and their scratching poles. But honestly, they are very stubborn and once they discover that your lovely couch also serves as a great scratching pole they will most definitely use it. They also have a very strong will, if they want food or cuddles at 5 in the morning, they will demand it. Some of these things can be conditioned from a younger age, but cats will be cats and they sort of do their own thing whenever they please. For me, it’s worth it, but it’s a handful and something you need to think of before getting a cute furry baby kitten.
- Last but not least; treat your cat as if he is one of your children because he deserves all the love, attention, toys, food and cuddles in the world. And don’t think getting a kitten is easy, because it’s not. It takes time, determination, long nights, worried days and lots of patience. In the end it is 100% worth it, but it something to take into consideration if you are thinking of getting a cat!
I hope this informed you a bit about where we got Babou, what it’s like to get a kitten and how to take care of it. If you have any other questions let me know, I’m always more than happy to answer them!