They’ve been begging. Pleading. Even making promises you know they won’t keep, including vows to clean up their rooms every day for an entire year. Your kids would say just about anything to get you to agree to get a kitten.

You’ve finally given in. After all, you know what joy and warmth a cuddly live creature can bring to any household. But before you actually make a trip to your local animal shelter, there are some important things to consider. According to veterinarian Dr. Dawn Ruben raising a kitten, which will eventually grow up to become a cat that can live up to 20 years, is a long-term commitment, and one bad experience — a swipe of a paw or pull of a tail — can set a bad tone between your children and their new friend. So before you bring a kitten home, it’s important to take a few measures to prepare your kids, your home and yourself to make sure everyone gets off on the right foot. Here are five tips for introducing kittens and kids that will help make the transition for the newest addition to your family stress-free.

-Study up and share: Have your children do their due diligence on what it takes to care for pet.
-Establish clear rules and boundaries.
-Give your kids appropriate responsibilities for caring for your new pet.
-Tread slowly: Be sure your children know to give your new feline friend space to adjust.
-It will take time for everyone to adjust, just be sure to keep a watchful eye.

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