Struggling with new kitten

posted 2 months ago in Pets
Post # 46
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: Iowa

milkdud :  I actually just adopted a 12 week old kitten from a shelter last week and get where you’re coming from! My kitten is super snuggly 90% of the time, is great about using his litter box and has only tried to scratch the couch once (after redirecting him to his kitty tower he hasn’t tried again). However even though he’s the sweetest boy it’s still a lot, he’s gets his bursts of energy and he’s been using it to curtain climb (rip to my curtains, at least they were cheap lol) which has been exhausting but at the same time not unexpected. He also continuously tries to get into whatever we’re eating, but I’ve noticed after just a week he’s already started to calm down and adjust, it’s just a process. It was the same thing with my dog when we first got him. The best advice I have is to cherish him when he’s calm and just continue to redirect him when he’s doing stuff you might not like, Hell get the hang of it soon! It will also help train him and eventually he’ll know what not to do. Also while having two kittens can be helpful, I wouldn’t feel bad about not having two, many people only have one! 

Heres a pic of my baby to add some cuteness! I’d love to see yours!

Post # 48
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: Iowa

milkdud :  aw he’s so cute and fluffy!!! 

Post # 49
Member
713 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

Sorry, I’ve not read all the posts since I left mine yesterday so sorry if someone has already said this. I did some research last night and I actually couldn’t find any rescue centres around me who let anyone adopt a single kitten. It is basically compulsory that they are in pairs, for the kittens’ development largely. They learn to hone hunting and fighting instincts through play together, which is really important even for domestic cats. Even most of the breeders I found insist on adopting out in pairs. I really think it is it the right thing to do to get another!

Post # 50
Member
99 posts
Worker bee

For the bedroom door we have a baby gate set up in front of it, so the door stays closed but when we go in or out we have to step over the gate. It keeps the kittens out (they could jump it but haven’t tried yet!), but is slightly inconvenient. For me, it’s still better than trying to fish them out from under the bed, etc. 

Post # 53
Member
713 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

milkdud :  I am literally a million percent sure your kitten is not miserable and that you are not a horrible person! I just think there’s clearly a lot of evidence to suggest that even though kittens CAN do absolutely fine and have lovely lives on their own, that they do thrive and develop best when they are brought up with a cat friend. My outlook with my pets is very research-based and centred around finding out exactly how I can help them to thrive, so if I were in your position I would get another, for that reason mainly but to also make my own life easier. But by all means do some googling and see what you find, I’m in the UK and I’m sure the advice is different all over the world! But you can tell very clearly from the photos you shared that your cat is definitely not miserable and is very healthy, so I don’t think you need to worry from that perspective! But for the first year of his life you will have to really go all out on making sure he is stimulated and entertained with lots of interactive and enriching toys and games when you are not there, if you don’t get another one.

To share some anecdotal experience, I have had 2 pairs of kittens at different stages during my life, each were adopted together at 10 weeks old. Most of their time was spent together playing when they were little, and as they grew up and naturally lost their majority of their kitten-specific playfulness they became friendly, calm adult cats who were/are wonderful company and very low maintenance. So regardless of what decision you make, it won’t stay a kitten forever. Cats are generally super independent and soon enough your life will largely be back to how it was before getting your kitten.

Post # 55
Member
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2020

milkdud :  I wanted to jump in and chime that you are NOT a horrible cat mom and that your feelings are completely normal!

I am the exact same way with any type of change to my daily lifestyle. Any new pet, any move, any job change, I feel such anxiety and dread over it even if it’s something I know I will really enjoy long term. This is completely normal! I remember when we got some kittens a few years ago, I cried and cried that first night as I was up late making sure they didn’t get hurt and trying to calm them (I was so worried they would chew into a wire or that the dog would get them, just a bunch of anxiety for their safety). After a couple weeks, I adjusted and after a few months, they calmed down ten fold. 

I just got a new cat myself (A single cat! The horror!) who is taking a long time to adjust due to her timid nature and the fact that she is a grown cat who has been rehomed. The other night I too was starting to wonder what I’d done as it’s been a few weeks and she is making such slow progress. But I know in the long run, this will become her new home and she will relax. And she has since started letting me pet her which is a huge step!

Cats are tricky in that they take a long time to warm up to you, unlike dogs who seem to connect much faster. However, once they have figured out that this is home, they often become some of the easiest pets.

If you haven’t already, please feel free to reach out to kitty experts on other forums (The Cat Site is very active) who have specialized knowledge in how to help adjust your cat to their new home. They helped me so much in the early days with my new cat and all their tips have helped me own kitty feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Post # 56
Member
4522 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

milkdud :  OP, your cat sounds perfectly fine and happy. If he was genuinely not coping or transitioning well into your home, he’d be letting you know. He’s eating, pooping in the  tray, sleeping through the night, all signs that he’s feeling loved and secure with you. He sees you as his new family.

We had single cats in my home growing up. They were all perfectly happy and well adjusted cats. I have two cats now and again they are also equally happy and well adjusted as the single cats that I had growing up. A well loved and looked after cat will always be a happy cat. He’s fine and you sound like a good fur mum. Don’t stress so much. 

Another thing I remembered that we did with my kitten to entertain her. We’d tie thin ribbon used to wrap gifts to chair legs, door knobs, coffee tables, the legs of the bed and when she came across them she’d play fight them for a bit of time. This might be something to do around your desk when you work. It’ll give him some playtime and you some freedom to get some work done. 

Post # 57
Member
828 posts
Busy bee

milkdud :  GIRL! You are NOT a terrible cat mom/person! I have one cat and she is just fine. We work full time and she’s alone all day and she loves it!

If you’re ever questioning yourself, think of what I’m about to tell you:

When I got my cat (15 weeks), I was about a month from moving out of my apartment. My roommate was “allergic” (quotes because she was fine around dogs and other animals- I think she just didn’t like cats but that’s another story). I didn’t intend on getting a cat from the breeder I went to until the next litter, but the person who had put a deposit down on my sweet baby never picked her up! It was meant to be! So, I brought her home and hid her from my roommate. She was banished to my closet (to insulate any noise she made) and spent her first few weeks in there during the day. It was a walk it, but like, yeah. Still a closet. Three years later, she  lives a life of leisure in her three story townhome and doesn’t even remember her days in the closet!! Your kitty is perfectly fine and content, I promise 🙂

Post # 59
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2008

You are NOT a horrible person for having one cat. We recently brought home our own Siberian (we also got her because of allergy issues) and while I really wanted two cats, we simply couldn’t afford it. She is happy and adjusting well. It just takes some time. 

Post # 60
Member
284 posts
Helper bee

You’re just having a hard time adjusting and that’s ok. It happened to me as well and I eventually bonded with my cat (to the point of loving him more than my SO lol). But seriously, it takes time and you shouldn’t feel guilty. You are entitled to your feelings, but you should also remember to place the little guy’s needs first. Give it time and don’t put yourself under too much pressure. Remember that pets catch on our feelings so it’s important that you always make sure he feels safe and welcomed, and that can be done while establishing your much needed boundaries. 

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