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The quirks of bottle fed babies

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Does anyone else out there have a bottle fed baby that doesn't act like a normal cat? Please share your stories on what they do that is not "normal" cat behavior.

I have 3 that live with me - 1 orphaned at 3 weeks old (Scarlett) and 2 others orphaned at 10 days old (Muddy and Koko). I bottle fed them from that point in time. All 3 of them are not quite normal, but Muddy beats all sometimes.

Muddy is a love bug, and when he decides he wants to be loved, he gets beyond demanding. On a normal day, he'll stand on his hind legs in front of you, meowl, and pat your thigh with his front paws until you pick him up and fling him on your left shoulder. It has to be the left or he will meowl at you until you move him there. And it's not like he'll just ride on your shoulder - if you don't hold him a certain way he will fall. He has complete trust that you will hold him in your arms and he doesn't bother hanging onto you.

But yesterday, I was a bit busy and had the nerve to walk away from him rather than pick him up. He actually had a temper tantrum with me. He *screamed* at me, flung himself in front of me and wrapped his arms around my ankles, all the while screaming at me to pick him up. I tried to take a step forward and he just screamed louder. I know I shouldn't give into it cause it doesn't teach him any discipline, but this is my little Mud-bug after all.

I'm convinced that bottle feds act differently because they didn't have a mom to teach them proper cat manners.

Anyone want to share their stories of the extreme behavior you get from your bottle feds?
post #2 of 12

My vet told me that they are usually wild brats because we put up with a lot more than their mother do. My George has always been a terror but he follows me everywhere! If I don't get what he wants, when he wants it - I WILL PAY! He bites, he will knock stuff off counters in the bathroom, he will bat at the plastic shopping bags we seem to always have hanging on a door knob, unplug appliances with his mouth, you name it and he does it. It doesn't matter what time of day it is. It just takes more noise at 3am to get me out of bed.

He had his own litter box and food bowls in my bathroom because he was a baby. 9 years later, they are still in there! You know when they are babies how you have to stimulate them by wetting a cotton ball to make them pee? He follows me into the bathroom and every time I turn on the water, he steps in his litter box and pees. I don't know if this is a carry over from a time when he was young or not.
post #3 of 12
Originally Posted by captiva View Post
You know when they are babies how you have to stimulate them by wetting a cotton ball to make them pee? He follows me into the bathroom and every time I turn on the water, he steps in his litter box and pees. I don't know if this is a carry over from a time when he was young or not.
At least he's doing it in the litter box! I thought this story was going to go somewhere else.....

Oh my your bottle babies sound like delightfully spoiled terrors. I love them.
post #4 of 12
Buffy was orphaned at 4 weeks, but fortunately I already had Willow (2 years old at the time), so Buffy grew up relatively normal. She has a few weird quirks, though, like she's opinionated and stubborn, and will bite if she doesn't get her way. She and my sister get into staring matches all the time (my sister loves it, to be honest). My sister will be holding Buffy and Buffy will get mad about something ("Put me DOWN dammit!!"). My sister will say, "No, Buffy, I wanna love you." Buffy will start growling, maybe try to give a bunny kick to the hand closest to her back feet. Then she'll turn her face towards my sister and that's when they stare. Buffy has learned that my sister thinks it's all a game, so she no longer bothers staring: if she catches my sister's eyes locked onto her own, Buffy rears her head back and then lunges her head forward, trying to bite my sister's nose. Sometimes she'll follow that up with a slap with her paws. If she catches my sister unawares (maybe she'll be laughing because Buffy ALMOST caught her nose with her teeth), she can send my sister's glasses sailing across the room. Of course, that just sends my sister into another spiral of laughter, so it's a wonder Buffy hasn't completely lost it yet, lol. Willow and Molly aren't this way, they're much more mellow, but Buffy's the one who just HAS to put forth her opinion and make sure everyone understands how she feels.

One of her weirdest quirks is something she learned from Willow, but with a little something lost in translation. Willow was taken from her mom too soon (6 weeks), so she has some comfort issues. She loves to grab onto a blanket with her teeth and knead that way, and if she's kneading on your ankles, my goodness, it's the most relaxing, comforting thing ever (because Willow kneads so slowwww). Naturally Buffy had to have seen Willow doing this while Buffy was growing up (Willow had already taught Buffy how to roll on the sidewalk, though Buffy quickly discovered dirt was MUCH better than the sidewalk; Willow gave her a horrified look the first time Buffy went rolling in loose soil, lol). Well, I don't think Buffy realized Willow was BITING the blanket, because when Buffy kneads, she smooshes her face into the blanket and just slobbers and drools while kneading. When she's finished kneading and finally lies down, there's a splotch of wet spit, lol. She used to drip spit, too (whenever she purred, she'd drool), but she finally seems to have that under control and no longer drip-drools, and doesn't even leave wet patches while kneading either. Bummer, I thought it was such an endearing quirk. She still smooshes her face into the blanket, though.

She also had a VERY predictable habit of tilting her head and then yawning when she's studying something she's about to pounce on. If you take out string and drag it in front of Buffy, she'll tilt her head and yawn, while staring intently at the string. Then she'll pause and pounce. If you place something on the shelf next to her that you know she's going to want to push off, she'll do the same thing: tilt her head and yawn while looking at the object. Then she'll send it flying, lol. Sometimes when she's about to get a zoomie, she won't yawn, but she'll tilt her head and sort of shake it (she'll be looking at you at the same time) as she rears up her front legs and "charges up" her energy or psycotic force before taking off like a rocket, lol

She also tends to push objects off of shelves by using the back of her paw, so the object just basically turns around and spins in place, slowwwwwly making it's way to the edge of the shelf, before Buffy finally uses the normal part of her paw to push the object the rest of the way. She also loves to get Jake, my dog in trouble. All day long you'll hear Buffy mrowwwwling and complaining, and Jake is almost always the culprit. Jake knows Buffy's the most interesting cat of the bunch, so he follows her around, just waiting for her to take off running or turn and spit at him. She, in turn, hates it when he follows her, so she starts complaining until someone gets fed up and yells at Jake to "back up" or leave her alone. And when Jake IS leaving her alone, I swear she makes it a point to go find him and then start walking casually around the room, trying to entice Jake to focus on her again and start stalking her, giving her an excuse to start complaining. When Jake was an outdoor dog, her greatest delight was standing on the ledge next to the door, which had window panes, and she would stare outside. If Jake saw her, he would bolt and leap at the door, crashing into it (this was before we finally taught him to leave the cats alone [which, unfortunately, doesn't include stalking]). The bang would cause someone to yell at Jake, which Buffy delighted in. She'd do it again and Jake would crash again. After a while, she found out that the best trick was to NOT stand on the ledge, but to hop onto the door itself and hang on with her paws to the bottom part of the window pane. The sound of her jumping on the door (there'd be a slight thump, with some rustling and scratching as she fought for her grip) would attract Jake. Then she'd raise her head over the window pane so just her eyes would be visible, and that would send Jake nuts, so he'd go crashing into the door again. I tell you, we all gave a collective sigh when we got rid of that door and installed a better one where Buffy couldn't get any traction on the window. And it helped even more when Jake was converted to an indoor dog, lol
post #5 of 12
patch and fluffy were bottled fed for only a week fully then maybe twice a day once they were weened flyffy is *normal* so to speak lol. but patch will suckle on you when his tired and has to be held like a baby and his the same he will not hold on he just lays there. but we also had other cats at the time and 1 who got pregnant when they was 6 weeks old so they sort of grew up with other kittens aswell.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Pekoe & Nigel View Post
At least he's doing it in the litter box! I thought this story was going to go somewhere else.....

Oh my your bottle babies sound like delightfully spoiled terrors. I love them.
Actually, my bottle feds are wonderful with the litter box and have never once made a mess outside of one. When you stimulate them with the cotton ball when babies, you do it over a litter box so that they relate going with the box.

I adopted 2 of my orphans to a friend who allows them to play in her fenced back yard. She tells me that if one of them has to go potty, they will run to the door and ask to go in to use the litter box then go back out to play. One of her normal cats actually used the dirt outside once and the orphans looked at him like he was totally abnormal.
post #7 of 12
Ahhh the hand raised babies... I love these stories!!

We got Smudge at about 3 weeks old, and tried bottle feeding her, but someone else had rescued her about a week before that (and couldn't keep her) and got her to eat on her own and use a litter box, so she loved the bottles, but chewed straight through the teats.

She was very sick and we certainly spoiled her rotten and it was a while before she was allowed to play with our other 2 kitties. Little Smudgie never really learnt how much is too much when it comes to playing, Lily and Smudge started wrestling and Lily would let her know if she was biting too hard, but it's funny watching them now - Smudge just bites Lily's face and hangs on and poor Lily just looks at me as if to say "this is your fault you know".

Smudge thinks she's people half the time, and has to be with us constantly - particularly DH who she loves to bits. She leaps onto this chest in bed and pretty much headbutts his face and loves in him, which is adorable.

The main thing I notice about Smudge is that she has absolutely no fear whatsoever. She watches us vacuum around her and doesn't care. I've taken Stumpy for walks for a while, and just started taking Smudge. The first time a truck came by (in our complex, not on a main road or anything) I was reassuring Smudge talking to her since she had no idea what it was, then I realised she didn't care whatsoever, but Stumpy was low to the ground, and shaking so much that I could feel it through the leash!

Yesterday when we were out for a walk, there was a loud noise, and Stumpy freaked out, so I dropped her leash and she bolted and raced to the front door of our townhouse where she waited all crouched down until I got there to let her in, whereas Smudge was just playing with a leaf on a tree quite happily and pounching on everything.

Smudge is a sweet little thing, and definitely gets away with a lot more than the other cats do, and the lack of fear means she can never ever be an outside cat, and she will only ever get walks outside on a leash while fully supervised.
post #8 of 12
My Dushka was bottle fed from about 3 weeks and was very sick with pneumonia. She has always been the most trusting of all my cats - I can do anything with her, carry her around in any position, and she has always, from the day I got her, slept in the crook of my arm all night, rarely moving. But woe betide any other cat who is in my lap if she wants to be there - she will jump up, hiss and then bite the legs of any intruder on HER territory!

(By the way, whoever made my new siggy, I love it but I would like to know who???? Is it an April Fool? Will it vanish at midnight?)
post #9 of 12
Gizmo. We bottle fed him and his sisters (Missy and Corky) after their mom was killed by a stray dog. His sisters are pretty normal cats, but Giz was the runt and wouldn't eat at first so I spent extra time with him. He wouldn't eat for my husband, only for me. We didn't think he would make it... now he is the biggest of the three. And he drives me crazy sometimes!!

When he was smaller, he used to climb up my jeans, then my shirt onto my shoulder so he could snuggle under my hair. He's to big to do that, so now he just stretches up and digs his claws into my butt to say "I'm me!" I can't sit down to watch TV without him immediately in my lap, batting at my face (gently) wanting to be petted. I love him to death but sometimes I just wish he would go play and just be a cat!
post #10 of 12
Jake and Worm were bottle babies from birth. Mom had no milk. Worm is a premie at 3 days so he "lords" himself over Jake. Although Jake outweights Worm by a good 5 pounds.

When they were growing up, Worm was fearless. He'd get into everything. Beat up everyone. He didn't care. When I'd yell at him for being bad, he'd sit flat on his bum, pull his head back, puff out his chest and look down his nose at me. Like he's a King or something. I would laugh at the way he'd look at me then I'd ruff him up some. Now that they are "aduts" Worm is still fearless and still tries to look down his nose at me. Now when I laugh, he gives me the "crazy woman" look and walks away.

Jake is a love bug. He HAS to get love and you HAVE to give it to him or else. His or else is he'll wait until you go to bed then he spends all night "singing" as loud as he can. When I wake up and say his name, he'll come over to the bed for love. Heaven forbid I fall asleep before giving him attention. If I do that, he's back up and singing.

The other quirk Jake has is he hates change. Where as Worm is fearless, Jake is a coward. They were raised in a dog carrier in my bedroom. When they were old enough to stay out all night, Jake had to stay in his "den". He was too scared to stay out. It took months to get him to finally stay out of the den but he still has to eat in there. If you don't feed him inside his den, he'll starve himself. He hardly ever leaves the bedroom. When he does, it's for a brief minute then he hauls butt back into the bedroom and hides. Worm leaves the bedroom from the time I get up until I go to bed. He's busy beating up all the other cats. Jake also can't function without Worm. If he hasn't seen Worm in awhile, he'll sit at the door and cry until Worm meows back, then he's happy. When it's time to go to the vets, I have to take both of them, in their den, with their blankie and together. We've found if I leave one of them home, that one cries until I get back. And whomever I take with me, cries until I get back.

Needless to say, they are both spoiled rotten and total polar opposites of each other.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
These stories are awesome!!

I didn't talk about Koko (sister of Muddy). She is my fearless one and most of the other cats get tired of having her leap on top of them for no apparent reason. Oscar will be 4 this year and he has finally figured out that when Koko jumps on him, she isn't trying to fight, it's just her twisted way of playing. He has been terrified of her all these years.

Scarlett is my suckler and must sleep spooned up to one of us, under the covers, each night. You might have seen the pic I posted with Scarlett sleeping inside my DH's sweatshirt (paw out one end, tail out the other). She'll be 6 this year and still suckles like a baby. She is my creature of habit and gets totally flustered when we are late with her 7PM wet food meal. Just to remind us, she's in our faces about 6:45 each evening and doesn't let up until her royal dinner is served.
post #12 of 12
OMG! I have been fostering for years! There are way too many quirks from all my foster babies to count Right now i have a litter of 3 newborn baby girls. They're already getting sassy and demanding on me Those little ladies are going to be a handfull when they get older /Kojak our little kitten was also one of my bottle babies - all of his brothers got homes/etc,...but i held onto him because he's been under the weather since i'd had him- haha needless to say he's ours now! He's always up to no good! The list goes on and on!!!
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