Aw! I’m excited for you guys! My babies are six now, and I miss them being little.
-Wheat Scoop! Best litter I’ve encountered so far. Be sure to sift once a day, though, esp. if you like things clean.
-Invest in vertical structures for them to climb—or they WILL find an alternative (curtains, couches, YOU).
-Do not actively encourage human hand/foot biting or stalking. I know some people think “play biting” is cute in baby animals, but you have to nip that problem in the bud or you could end up with a habitual biter, and adult cat bites are VERY dangerous. If they give you a nip, don’t punish them, but be sure to react immediately by withdrawing (put them down gently/pull your hand away) and ceasing play until they calm down. Kittens learn bite inhibition from their mothers and litter mates typically, but depending on when they were adopted, they may not have gotten that far and therefore won’t necessarily know the difference between a play bite and a serious, painful bite. Bite and stalking play is normal, though, so make sure they have some soft things to gnaw on and pretend to eviscerate that aren’t you (and preferably not your plants/furniture).
-Try to avoid making high, shrill, sudden noises around them if you can. I know that probably seems like a given, but I have seen some cat owners end up with seriously neurotic cats because they talk to their kitties in what they think of as “friendly” high pitched voices. One of my cats is perfectly fine with lying under the piano when it’s being played, but the minute my SIL comes around and starts squealing about how cute he is, he’s outta there like a shot. I don’t know what the science is on this subject, but in my experience if you want a calm cat, aim for a low-pitched crooning sort of voice when you talk to them, kind of like a jazz radio host, lol. That is, if you plan on talking to them at all. Which I do. Too much, probably 🙂 .
-Get them comfy with having their paws handled EARLY! It will make cutting their nails so much easier, and that is no small thing. When they’re really blissed out while snuggling, try massaging gently between their pads with your fingertips. One of my cats actually LOVES having his feet rubbed now, and even spreads his toes out when you tickle them!
-Overall, let them take the lead. Let them introduce themselves to you and show you what kind of snuggling or play they like. Cats are very much who they are, even as kittens. They WILL NOT conform to your expectations. Some will prefer to sit next to your lap rather than on it. Others will insist on sleeping on your head at night. Some are solitary, others are needy beyond belief. They’re like people, individual, unpredictable, illogical and contrary. They’re also the coolest, softest, nicest, weirdest, best companions ever.
Good luck with your House Panther!