How to Throw a Kitten Shower

by catfood

For centuries, women in our culture have used bridal and baby showers to commemorate significant, life-altering events in one another’s lives. These gatherings allow for the transmission of traditions, the exchange of advice, and the “showering” of the woman of honor with gifts to get her started.


I blame it on being in my mid-30s, but everyone else seemed to be getting married, buying a house, or having a baby last year. Not only had I overspent on gifts, but I was also reminded that I wasn’t following the “Rites of Sisterhood” because there had been no significant events in my life to commemorate. So, two years after the heartbreaking death of my 16-year-old cat, finding a new kitten to join my life was a big, life-changing event. I was about to start a new chapter in my life, and I needed a celebration!

So I hosted a kitten shower for my closest friends and family to meet my new fur baby. I was overjoyed with my bundle of joy, as any new mother would be, and I wanted everyone to coo and gasp at her beauty. As a new mother, I needed the special items that babies need.

Everyone I invited had never heard of a kitten shower before, but they were all interested enough to come.

Even a few of my male friends showed up with squeaky toys and cards that said, “Congratulations on your new addition.” I learned a few things to do and avoid during the event, and I hope you can benefit from my experience.

  • Time the party so that your kitten has had time to get to know you and your surroundings, or he or she will spend the entire time hiding under the bed. Hold the shower in your own home to avoid overstimulating your kitten.
  • Invite anyone – male or female – who enjoys cats or with whom you’ve had enjoyable “cat talks,” but not that cousin who tells bad cat jokes or has severe allergies. Family, friends, neighbors, and even your veterinarian can welcome Kitty.
  • Food for any party should reflect your guests’ tastes, but I wouldn’t leave out anything that an impulsive kitten might want to try, such as sliced meats, pâté, lox, shrimp, or whatever your particular kitten enjoys.
  • Gifts is the most important category! I regret not including a wish list with my invitations. Other types of showers may require the hostess to provide a list of required items from which the guests may choose. I told my guests that gifts were not expected and that anything I received would be a bonus, but I still have a shopping bag full of unnecessary toys and catnip. Everyone brought the same two items, so you must be more forthcoming about your requirements than I was. Begin with food if you lack the fundamentals. Request the more expensive, ultra-healthy, all-natural kitten food that you know you should be investing in but may not be able to afford on a regular basis. Guests can choose from 10-pound bags of crunchies to tiny little food cans. If you’re lucky, any leftover kitten food can be donated to your local animal shelter – or used as an excuse to get another kitten! This is a great time to ask for one of the super-convenient, self-cleaning, non-tracking litter boxes “If you must clean the litter box yourself, extol the virtues of clumping cat litter and box liners that convert into disposable bags, as well as the slotted pooper-scooper. (Note: clumping litter is not recommended for kittens aged four to eight weeks because they may eat it.) A harness, carrying case, sleeping basket, and scratching posts could be added to the list depending on your preferences.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, mention flea treatments, hairball medicine, grooming aids, and nail clippers, as well as a lint brush. A personalized collar would be nice, but your kitten should already be wearing basic identification.

If you are short on cash, a donation toward the cost of neutering or spaying your pet and vaccinating it, as well as gift certificates for cat sitting and rides to the vet’s office, can be suggested.

Expect some toys, but try to hint at the ones that would truly make your kitten – and thus you – happy. The best toys “we” got were wavy plastic rings that resembled milk jug tops. I’m not sure why, but my cat adores them and has managed to eliminate six of the eight in the pack.

Cats who chase themselves in the mirror or walk behind it to see the “other” cat will enjoy a series of computer disks with special animation (fast flying objects, fish, etc.).

  • Spread some blank cards around an enclosed space, smear some water-based finger paint on your kitten’s paws, and let her run through it. If that sounds too chaotic, you can use kitten or puppy-themed baby shower cards, purchase blank cards and a kitten stamp or stickers to make your own, or scan pictures of your new baby onto blank paper and then add the time, date, place, and RSVP.”
  • Rather than the mother-to-be, showers are traditionally hosted by close female friends or family members. So, if you know someone who is getting a new pet, why not throw a kitten shower – or, with a few modifications, a puppy shower? The bottom line is that getting a new pet is cause for celebration. “It’s time for my party!” you can proudly proclaim, even if you didn’t buy a white gown or go through months of pregnancy to put on this event.

Christy Nich is a Calgary-based freelance writer.

Wondering about How to Introduce a New Cat to Another Cat or Dog? Check it out on our latest post!


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