Giving a kitten as a Christmas gift can be a bad idea

Is Giving a Kitten for Christmas a Good Idea?


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No one’s denying kittens have made their owners happy for aeons… all that soft fur, low purrs and sweet meows… However, if you’re wondering how to give a kitten as a Christmas gift the answer might actually be to stop and think twice. No matter how lovely kittens are, giving a cat as a gift can be cruel unless you know the person receiving it is 100% involved and committed to the choice.

Firstly, let’s remember kittens sometimes/often pee and poop in strange places (like in the Christmas tree pot).

Secondly, they require lots of spending on food, toys, vaccinations and more that not everyone can budget for.

And thirdly, cats can live a very long time (read about one that lived almost 40 years in our how long do cats live article).

Christmas is just one of the 365 days of the year. Can you really make a one-day choice that might change someone’s life potentially for the next two decades? Perhaps you should only go ahead with their explicit consent and involvement? Unless you’re that person’s mum or dad, that is.

Here’s what this article covers…

Giving a kitten for Christmas could land up as an unwanted abandoned cat

Why to think twice before you give a kitten as a gift

Cats are incredible creatures that make great friends and family members. Gifts, on the other hand, are often just things – consumables that we use rather than become friends with. It’s a very special experience to own a cat but, ultimately, it’s a form of being a parent and the person becoming that cat mum or dad must be involved.

Just think, you could be giving:

  • Someone a Christmas kitten who doesn’t really want to own a cat long term
  • Someone a Christmas kitten who wants a cat but isn’t in a position to keep one
  • A cat to someone who’s a dog person deep down (eek!)
  • Someone who wants a cat and can keep it but hasn’t thought it through and committed to the responsibilities

What starts out as an adorable Christmas kitten could end up as an unwanted shelter cat. However good your intentions are, don’t unwittingly end up contributing to the mass of abandoned pets.

During COVID there was a sharp rise in pet adoption. However as life returns to normal this has been followed by many Aussies giving up a pet to a shelter. Australian animal shelters are being stretched to the seams. This video shows one that's struggling to stay open: 

How to give a kitten as a Christmas gift, responsibly

If you’re wondering how to give a kitten as a Christmas gift, there is a way to do it well and that’s to have the person on the receiving end be involved. They have to be involved in the whole process – not simply given a heads up once your decision is made and legwork is done.

Raising a kitten to adulthood takes a special sort of commitment that starts even before the kitten arrives. The person who’s getting the cat for its lifetime should ultimately be involved in choosing the cat. Every cat breed is unique as is every cat, so choosing your own companion animal also means becoming familiar with its needs and your capacity as a pet owner.

As the person giving the gift, you can still make a whopping impression by covering the purchase or adoption fees, vaccination and ‘starter kit’. Find out what supplies to stock in the new kitten parent’s starter kit.

What to get as a gift for cat lovers, instead

Let’s say you’ve spent a lot of time wondering how to give a cat lover a kitten as a Christmas gift and decided against it. You’ve thought it through and don’t want to put the person (or the kitten/cat) between a rock and a hard place.

Now then, there are plenty of great gifts you can gift to pet lovers that don’t require giving a sentient living creature. Here’s a list of pawsome options:

Really, if you want to gift responsibly, the options are endless!

Hopefully you’re not here reading this because someone’s gifted you a Christmas kitten you can’t keep… If so about the steps to take when you can’t keep a pet you got for Christmas.

Wondering how to give a kitten as a gift? The receiver has to be involved and consent to it

Other concerns around giving a cat as a gift

Not everyone has time in their day, space in their dwelling or emotional energy to love and care for pets. Those who do and have one can fully enjoy the experience but those who don’t ought to have their needs respected.

Now, we know that you might also have decided to go ahead and give that adorable kitten as a Christmas gift. If so we hope you’ve completely got the giftee’s buy-in.

If not, here are a few other things to consider before giving pets as Christmas gifts:

🐾 Home

Not everyone’s home is a safe space for a cat. For example maybe there’s an aggressive dog next door, or a railway track right outside.

🐾 Allergies

So you’ve decided the cat can be an indoor cat instead. Have you considered whether the giftee or someone else in their home has cat allergies, as this could be a serious hindrance to them enjoying pet parenthood?

🐾 Schedule

Not everyone can realistically provide pets with the time and care they need, owing to their lifestyle. Read more on getting a cat or dog if you work full time. Also find out how long is too long for leaving your cat home alone.

understand how to give a kitten as a gift responsibly before taking the leap

🐾 Emotional needs

As for the emotional needs a cat can have – the Siamese cat is a perfect test case. They love following you around all day catching up on gossip. Leave them alone and separation anxiety in pets could quickly set in, so they need a pet parent who’s all in.

🐾 Travel

Another difference between us humans is not everyone goes places they can take pets to. If you suddenly have an unexpected Christmas kitten in your world and can’t go away when you want or need to that can put a serious kink in your style, your R&R time and/or your wallet.

🐾 Household

Are there already children or other pets or grandparents in their home who need time and attention? It’s not easy throwing another pet into the mix without ample time to settle them in well. If your giftee is a first time pet owner they’ll need time to mentally prepare.

🐾 Costs

Even if you pay the initial costs of buying or adopting a cat, there are ongoing costs for the duration of that pet’s life. Have you spoken to the giftee about whether they can financially bear the costs of quality pet food, routine pet care, spaying or neutering and other vet costs?

Pets should only be given a presents with the giftee's complete involvement

Award winning cat insurance as a Christmas pressie

If you’re really hoping to give a cat as a gift, talk to your recipient beforehand. Get their input on whether a Christmas kitten is something they want and are ready for. Then you can find out which purebred cats they like or whether they’d prefer to adopt a cat that’s a wonderful mish-mash of breeds.

Also consider gifting them affordable award winning cat insurance with no lock-in contract – from PD Insurance. You’ll be covering a broad range of pet healthcare needs that could otherwise cost an arm and a leg. When you buy online pet insurance with us, you get one or more months of pet cover FREE. Click below to get a quote.

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