Insta-Kitty Guide: Must-haves for your kitten’s first year on Instagram

click to enlarge Tue, a five-week old kitten, bats its paws at beads while laying on a baby milestone blanket on Friday. Tue, which means "peaceful man" in Norse, is in foster care with Kaylee Ward, who works at the Lewis-Clark Animal Shelter. He will be available for adoption at the end of April. - TRIBUNE/PETE CASTER
Tribune/Pete Caster
Tue, a five-week old kitten, bats its paws at beads while laying on a baby milestone blanket on Friday. Tue, which means "peaceful man" in Norse, is in foster care with Kaylee Ward, who works at the Lewis-Clark Animal Shelter. He will be available for adoption at the end of April.

The announcement photo. How you tell the world about this new addition to your family says more about your pet-parenting credentials than any other preparations you’ve made for their arrival. And no, a simple photo with a “look at Sparkles, our new kitten” is not going to cut it. Ideas include dressing your other pets up in shirts that say “I’m going to be an older brother/sister” or fancy chalkboard art that says “and then there were three” (or one more than however many are in your family) accompanied by cat food and ball of yarn.

The gender reveal photo. Second only to the initial announcement is publicly proclaiming the kitten’s gender. Ideally you’ll host a gender reveal party and post photos from that event, but at the minimum you’ll want to come up with a creative way to let everyone know the animal gender in a photo. Classic methods include a cake whose interior contains pink or blue, a pinata that showers pink or blue candies or confetti, or a large box filled with helium-filled blue or pink balloons. Alternately, you can announce whether your kitten will be undergo a spay or a neuter.

Sleeping kitten photos. Among the essential first year photos is at least one with your kitten curled up sleeping unclothed or wearing only a funny hat, or maybe with a prop signifying your aspirations for their future. A photo with it sleeping cupped in your hands is also acceptable.

Monthly milestone photos. Take regular photos to document the age and growth of your new kitten. You might choose to use a blanket designed specifically for that purpose, or you can use a letter board or chalkboard to announce the age of your kitten, along with any other growth measurements.

First-year photos. Be sure to document every developmental moment in the life of your new kitten. The kitten’s first mouse, first box slept in and first time leaping to an item your height are all important to document. Likewise, any preference your kitten expresses -- toys, brand of cat food, etc. -- ought to be captured in a photograph with a hashtag referencing the company. Give your cat a head start at being an influencer. Aim to post three or four photos a week, and you are well on your way to be a successful kitty Insta-parent.

See related story: Warm weather brings kittens aplenty

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