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Question about my kitten's purring!!!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi there.

I got Sophie when she was 5 weeks old. Her mother was a stray that had been taken in by some teenagers and they had to quickly find homes for the kitten's as soon as possible. She is now 8 1/2 weeks.

So far so good...except I have noticed that she isn't particularly affectionate like my other cat (who is now 16 years old, but I've had her since barely 5 weeks).

She only purrs once in a great while and never at any length. She'll start to purr when she smells her food coming and it lasts maybe 5 seconds then stops.

She won't let me pet her, she'll bite my hands when I try to. I know she's just a baby but I've raised two other cats from kitten to full grown and both were, if anything, overly affectionate at 8 weeks.

Is there a specific age when they really start to purr??? I don't remember having this issue before. The only time she cuddles up is when she's sleeping.

post #2 of 10
She was taken away from her mother much much too early! This may have a lot to do with some of the behavioral issues you've mentioned. (I know this isn't your fault, though)

As for purring, younger kittens tend to purr more than older cats, so maybe she just isn't going to be a big purrer. It doesn't mean she's unhappy with you, just like people are different so are cats.

Please give her a little bit of time and space, I'm sure she will start to be more affectionate. Have you tried playing with her with an interactive toy like one of those wands with the feathers and stuff on it?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
That's a really good idea... we got her a few little toys...she really only pays attention to the furry mouse. I try to get her to play with that, but she seems to really enjoy attacking hands.

One day my fiance came home and saw little marks all over my hands from her and made a joke that she beats me up when no one else is around.

I guess the combination of trying to get the older cat to be ok (she's ANGRY about the kitten and has subsequently stopped purring) and dealing with the kitten not purring and attacking me has me feeling guilty and unloved.
post #4 of 10
Yea, that's why the feathers-on-a-stick thing is a good toy, because they can't attack your hands! I have scars!

Oddly-- and I found this out because I had a similar problem with Zissou when she was little-- one of the important things cats learn from their mothers and littermates is exactly what level of "play" is okay. So when cats haven't been able to stay with their mothers long enough, it becomes our job to teach them. For instance, like if one kitten playfights too hard, the others will let him know. So you need to figure out how to let the kitten know, obviously without physical discipline. Whenever Zissou would bite or scratch me, I would put up such a fuss and whine and cry and yell "OW!" and act like she had stabbed me. She quit biting when she figured out where the boundaries where. Now she will "bite" by putting her teeth on your skin no pressure.

I hope your cats get to be friends soon so everyone can go back to being happy!

How many litterboxes do you have? If they each have their own it helps cutting down on territorial issues. Are they sharing their food bowls and such?
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
So funny you should ask about litterboxes. We have two, one for each, but Sophie (the kitten) for SOME reason loves to go in the other box. It's really cute because she's so small and practically disappears in the box. (it's a deep one with the cover and door on the front, the other cat is a tubby girl) I think she does it because she sees the older cat doing it. She'll only go in her box at night when the bedroom door is closed and she has no other option.
post #6 of 10
Having a rough start in life being born to a stray, you are bound to have social/behavioral problems. Ideally the kittens should be in a good environment with mom and siblings for the first 10-12 weeks of life. That's where they learn social and behavior skills, learn about people, etc.

She may not really change much in personality. How old were your other kittens when you got them? How were they raised?

My DH (lived on a farm) and he noticed after we got married the difference in getting barn kittens socialized at 5 weeks of age, house trained vs trying to catch them at 8 weeks old and taming them. Its a world of difference. Ling's brothers/sisters were much more social and better behaved then any of his other litters.

Females tend to be more standoffish then males - Ling is not a very social cat unless its on her terms. Charlie loves to be held, wants more attention and is more loving.

As far as purring, I have no real clue - we got Charlie at about 4 months old (just under) and he was purring from day one that he came home. So I would guess somewhere between 2-3 months old they purr.

However, I do know that kittens will purr up a storm when nursing from mom (my rexes).

I think they have to associate hands and pets/affection with good things in order to purr. And then, again, some cats purr more then others.
post #7 of 10
Tucker didn't start purring for me until he was 4 months old! He would purr anytime that he was near my other cat but his motor always stopped when I pet him It was sad. I felt like he didn't have a good connection with me because he wouldn't purr.
I think that because Tucker left his mom to young (7 weeks) and hadn't been socialized very well, it took him awhile to completely trust me. Now he has the loudest purr in the house! He's VERY affectionate and loves attention
I would definately say get some toys that you can play with together (wand toys ect.) and start building a relationship now. If the kitten plays to rough take the role of Momma cat and stop the play,tell her NO! The only way that she'll learn boundaries is if you teach them to her. Also keeping her nails trimmed can be a handsaver
post #8 of 10
She may just not be much of a purrer (is that a word?). Friday was a couple of months old before he left his mother. While he does purr he doesn't seem to be capable of doing it loudly. His nose makes a little whistle sound. You have to listen close to hear it. Sometimes it's easiest to tell if he's purring by watching the pattern his sides make. It's different from normal breathing. He's sitting about 2-3 feet from me right now. His little sides are going purr-pattern but I can't hear anything.

Oddly enough, he is capable of snoring loud enough to wake me at night. It's kinda high pitched so it cuts through my husband's!
post #9 of 10
I got Daphne at 8 weeks. She is almost 12 weeks now. She prefers Sebastian's litter box although uses hers too. She wants to do everything he does.

She also tries to play too rough with my hands, head, face, basically any part she can get a hold on. I tell her NO, place her on the floor and stop paying attention to her until she stops trying to attack. When she is nice to my body parts, she gets petted and sweet-talked, which doesn't always do much at this age but she'll remember when she's older. She is learning Seb also lets her know when she is too rough. We play with toys like Da Bird and balls and paper and Seb's tail and .....

She has purred since I brought her home, even when scared or uncertain. I have heard that cats purr to calm themselves. Not sure if this is true but if it is, perhaps you have a very confident kitten.

Daphne cuddles when she wants to - usually just as I am getting ready to go to work or when am in the middle of phone call or trying to type something. She crawls up on my chest/shoulder and purrs. However, when I set aside time to play with her, she decides it is time to sleep. She is all cat

It is important to keep them separted, introduce slowly and to give your older girl lots of loving, especially when she is being amiable toward the little one. When Seb plays nicely with Daphne or cuddles with her, I'll reach over to pet him and tell him how sweet he is. He is a sucker for love talk though.

I am sure with time, your two will become friends!
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by DaniMarie View Post
She only purrs once in a great while and never at any length. She'll start to purr when she smells her food coming and it lasts maybe 5 seconds then stops.

Is there a specific age when they really start to purr??? I don't remember having this issue before. The only time she cuddles up is when she's sleeping.

my Java is 2 years old now. she rarely makes any noise at all. her mew is just that - sounds like a little kitten mew, one syllable. the last time i posted about her sounds, i said i had never heard her purr... but now i have! she'll sometimes purr for me in the mornings when i pet her, but it's very, very soft - i can barely hear it, even when there's no other sound at all.
my Chip is very, very loud, & Pixel & Cable are sorta medium-voiced. they're all very different!
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