Kittens Will Be Cats

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Kittens are so cute, it is no wonder that they have a better chance of being adopted than an adult cat. However, it's a fact: within a year, a kitten will be a full-grown cat.

Kittens are, of course, adorable and cuddly, but they are also little bundles of energy and curiosity. They go through the same growing pains as a baby or a puppy.

At Payson Humane Society, kittens are spayed or neutered at the age of 2 months, or at the weight of 2 pounds. After this procedure, they are ready to come into the adoption center. Because of the overpopulation of cats in our area, we feel it is our moral responsibility never to allow cats adopted from our shelter to contribute to this staggering problem.

Young cats are very active and playful. They have a tendency to get into things out of curiosity, and therefore they need to have precautionary steps taken to safeguard them from harm. Childproof latches on cabinets keep them from accessing harmful substances like cleaning supplies or medicines. Small spaces or holes inside cabinetry or behind washer/dryer areas should be blocked, or the kitten could get stuck where you can't reach him. Always check the inside of the dryer before turning it on! Toilet bowl lids should be kept closed to prevent drowning. Keep trash can lids on. Put away knickknacks and sewing notions like needles and thread. A garage is not considered a safe place for kittens because of chemicals like antifreeze and petroleum products. Leaving a small kitten outdoors without supervision is a recipe for disaster.

Kittens that were separated from their mothers before being weaned may continue to suckle on a blanket or a rug. They develop an entire set of deciduous teeth by 5 weeks of age. These milk teeth are replaced by adult teeth starting at about 3 1/2 months of age. Like babies and puppies, kittens' gums are tender during this stage and they may want to chew. Expect kittens to scratch and bite when they play because they are just beginning to learn how to use their weapons of choice. With time they will learn what is acceptable and what is not. A loud "ouch" usually suffices to let them know they have gone too far.

Introduce kittens to children and other pets under close supervision. Children must be taught to handle kittens especially gently and kindly.

Maybe a kitten or even an energetic teenage cat is not right for you. We also have many loving adult cats waiting for homes and they already know the rules of engagement with humans. Matching the age of a pet with the age of a human can be a good thing because their energy levels are more compatible.

The homeless animals at Payson Humane Society would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Meowy Christmas and a Yappy New Year. They thank all the wonderful people who have supported them with donations, given them time and attention, and most of all --adopted them.

By the way, all our shelter dogs have stockings on their kennels if you'd like to give them a gift. Please remember that poinsettia and mistletoe are toxic to pets!

There's still time to get more adoptable pets home for the holidays:

MORRIS

Morris is a noble 3-year-old neutered male orange tabby cat with a white chest and dapper white paws. He is the regal king of the forest type of cat, like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, except that Morris does have courage. He's a good boy who likes to be stroked and told he's the greatest, or fed special treats from your fingertips. Then he lights up like a Christmas tree with a happy look on his furry face. Once he finds his special new family, he plans to sink into their warm laps and purr happily ever after.

MISTER SANTA

Mister Santa is the world's most tolerant 6-year-old neutered male gray tabby cat. He quite simply is tranquility personified. Mister gets along with cats, kittens, children and even dogs. He is well loved by staff and volunteers because of his wonderful disposition. Mister's previous family was forced to give him up because of allergies, but they had only good things to say about him. He is a perfect little homebody and never wanders. He is so cool that he is willing to pose for a picture with a Santa hat or a necktie.

BABY

Baby is the sweetest 4-year-old spayed female tabby cat you will ever meet. Her stripey body is as round as a pumpkin, prompting some of our staff to nickname her Buddha. Baby thrives on love and kneads her blanket like bread when you talk to her or pet her. She has been an indoor/outdoor cat and is used to other cats and children. Baby already has a special place in the hearts of our staff and volunteers and we feel you will like her as much or even more than we do.

SCOUT

Scout is a dear 4-year-old neutered male orange and white shorthaired cat. He and his best friend Cookie are inseparable buddies and must be adopted together. They came to our shelter as a result of their beloved mistress passing. Scout and Cookie would make ideal pets for an adult household as they are not used to a hectic pace. They are very friendly, well adjusted kitties and truly deserve another chance at a forever home.

ALLEN

Allen is an eye-catching 3-year-old neutered male Siamese mix cat. He is mostly white with black and buff markings and incredible blue eyes. His dark colored tail is exceptionally long and graceful, just like a cougar's. Allen is a sweet, calm boy and very friendly to everyone, including other cats. He has the potential to make someone very happy for a long, long time with his gentle, loving ways.

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