Struggling with new kitten

posted 2 months ago in Pets
Post # 31
Member
2152 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

milkdud :  Aw sorry you’re feeling this way bee. I’ve had cats now for about 10 years and can honestly say kitten stage is my least favorite for a few reasons… 1) their development of appropriate play is annoying and 2) their personality as a kitten does not predict their adult personality. Most kittens are playful and cuddly and outgoing. 

After raising a kitten I vowed to only adopt older cats because you can tell their personality better. 

Lots of interactive toys are a must. Don’t live you life thinking about the cat. Find a safe room you can leave it in when you go out if you’re worried. It will play and then sleep as needed. This will pass. 

Also, there’s this:

Post # 32
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

I want to add my vote for two cats at a time, mine really comfort each other and I know they are not lonely when we leave the house! And when they cuddle together… cuteness overload!!

 

Post # 33
Member
8257 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I understand entirely OP. My puppy is now 6 months old but l was exactly like you,  anxious, fearful of doing things wrong, convinced of problems at every turn, . I barely slept for worrying about the next thing. Plus l too felt resentment and then guilt at feeling it. And l had had dogs and cats before, l had just forgotten the huge impact of a baby one lol. 

IT WILL PASS , breathe breathe dear OP, all will be well. Everyday he will get older and more controlled, though no less loveable. Two sounds great, sooner rather than later , get the baby stuff over at the same time. . 

 

 

milkdud :  

Post # 35
Member
30 posts
Newbee

Quick disclaimer, I’m a dog person and have a pretty limited understanding of cat behavior. 

I think the feelings you’ve described of being very overwhelmed and at times even resentful of the impact on your lifestyle, as well as worried you’ve made the wrong decision are so so normal. I have three dogs and felt all those things with each one (and probably will feel them again with the next) but I wouldn’t trade my babies for anything. That said, being just a few days in is way too soon to throw in the towel. I would give it a minimum of three months (time frame explained below) for you and the kitten to adjust to each other and develop your routine before even considering trying to rehome (which I’m not sure you’re even putting on the table…but just in case). As part of that, it is okay to take time to yourself away from your kitten, especially as she gets older. With all my dogs, their training included time in their crate or baby gated in another room even when I was at home because they need to be able to cope with downtime/being on their own, and everyone (including parents of human babies) needs a break sometimes. If you’re not comfortable leaving the cat alone, is there a trusted friend or family member who could come entertain her for a little bit every once in a while?

 

That said (and this is where my disclaimer kicks in), I would definitely NOT recommend getting a second cat. My understanding is that while cats are easier to socialize while they’re young enough to grow up together (as are dogs), they are also in general more difficult to socialize than dogs because they aren’t pack animals. In addition to the increase in logistical complexity with multiple animals in a home, socialization requires time and energy, and if you are already overwhelmed, I don’t think you’re in a place to provide that. With my current dogs, I brought a 4-month puppy into my home with a senior dog, and it took us about 3 months to settle in with each other and develop a routine. Right once we’d gotten settled with each other, she hit her “teenage” years and we had another 3 months of chaos. While my senior dog is pretty ornery and would prefer to be left on his own, puppy #2 loves playing with other dogs and wanted nothing more than for him to play with her at home, so when she hit 1.5 years, I decided I wanted to get another dog closer to her age/energy levels to give my senior boy some peace. I fully expected another several months socializing all 3 dogs, but especially my senior and puppy #3. In reality, after I adopted a 10-month old boy, he and my senior dog adjusted seamlessly in about a week, while he and his sister (neither of whom had shown any reactivity to another dog previously) had about a month where they wanted to attack each other any time they were in the same space, and I ended up having to work with a trainer to help me socialize them, and it took us a full 6 months to really be at peace with each other no matter what. They now love to play together and do keep one another entertained, but it was a lot to get there, and I’m sure you can imagine I cried and questioned my choices just about every day during that time period. I even had to resign myself to the possiblity of needing to keep them separated for their entire lives because I felt I’d made a commitment to both dogs and couldn’t go back on that even if it didn’t work out like I’d envisioned. Bottom line, you can never exactly predict how two animals will do together, and there have been just enough responses here to the effect of 2 cats = double trouble that I wouldn’t chance it.

Best of luck to you for things to settle down quickly. While my time frames from my dogs may not be the most reassuring, hopefully they illustrate that it does always get better, even if that feels out of reach today…especially if you stay committed to training. Also, my guys are all special needs, with puppy #2 having some neurological damage from a traumatic head injury before I got her, so my time frames are probably much higher than average. 

Post # 36
Member
30 posts
Newbee

My apologies for calling your kitten a “her.” I clearly misread that detail. 

Post # 38
Member
2089 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

Kittens can definitely be challenging!! It’s good that you got him in the summer. He’ll be more settled by the time that you have to go back to work. 

We have a couple of grown cats now. I vaguely remember them being kittens. They got into everything!! They still can be a handful at times (especially the younger one) but they are much calmer and sleep more now.

 

Post # 42
Member
2089 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I’m definitely a cat person.

The only way to keep him out of the bedroom is to keep the door closed. He’s still going to try to go in there. Cats are very curious and they hate closed doors!! Eventually he’ll get the idea but he’ll still go in there and try to explore if you leave the door open for any period of time. We don’t allow our cats into our walk in closet, but if we leave the door open they will definitely go in there. 

You could gradually increase the time you are gone. It’d probably make it easier. Our cats are grown and the longest we leave them alone is about 24 hours. They are used to being home alone for 9 or so hours while we are at work. They find ways to amuse themselves or they just sleep. 

I spend about 5-10 minutes here or there playing with my cats. We have 2 so they keep each other somewhat occupied. They are also older. When they were kittens, I’d probably spend a couple of 10-15 minute sessions. 

Do you have a cat tree? I highly suggest them! Cats love to go up high so they can watch over their domain. If they have the tree to climb on, you can train them to climb all over that rather than on places where you don’t want them. 

Post # 43
Member
1011 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Commenting to say: I have an 8 month old puppy and I totally get the often contradictory feelings of not being a good enough pet mumma vs not being able to do the things you used to do vecause well, you’re responsible for another life now

Also doesn’t help that my puppy is a total psycho boisterous turd burger who destroys the garden and chews pillows. 

But he’s also so loving, gentle and a wonderful companion. 

These feelings don’t go away tbh, you just learn to deal with them. Trust me, always being concerned if you’re doing enough shows that you’re a kind, conscientious pet owner and is vastly better than an owner who doesn’t give a shit.

Also really hard that this week Fiance is away from work. Our pup is only ever home for about 6 hours by himself (which he sleeps through) because Fiance start late and I finish early. Right now he’s alone for 10 hours and it breaks my cold dead heart everytime I leave the house. 

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors