I had a kitten just like yours (9 months is still absolutely and in every physical and mental sense a kitten) and that is how I found TCS. She was unbelieveable - I actually named her Scratchy. She's the little grey one in my avatar. Once she grew up, all of that stopped. She's still a prickly little thing but she loves me to bits - and shows me in many ways. With highly active kittens like this, intelligent, a bit crazy (the usual kitten stuff) they need stimulation and lots of it to make them tired - toys, structured play time each night before bed so they're sleepy. Cats will sleep up to 22 hours a day, kittens more, you don't really have to put that much time into it, actually, to make a difference in both your lives. But it's very hard to unconditionally love an animal that rips you to shreds, breaks all your stuff and generally makes your life a lot harder than it was before.
Thing is, you've got her now, so she's your responsibility. You may not have had a cat before but you are never, ever going to be able to guarantee that you'll get one that will quiety curl up in your lap and cuddle you. Most cats aren't really cuddlers - they are hunters, they are independent, they are often reserved and usually prefer to be left alone. Paradoxically, mostly when you leave them alone is when they want to be around you. This is because they’re not like dogs – overt attention is often intimidating to a cat. They want a calm, reserved person to love.
Cats are not objects. They’re not there to comfort us and do what we want, whenever we want. They’re not there to be cuddled when we want and to be forgotten about when we don’t have time. I am a full time worker, too. I have multiples of cats and two dogs. You get pets and you have a responsibility – if you wanted something that didn’t have feelings and spirit and needs and requirements other than food and shelter, you should have got a goldfish.
They are wonderful, spirited and interesting pets, that will provide a wealth of love and affection if you learn to understand them. But they are not disposable, to be `got rid of’ when they become inconvenient. If you don’t have time to look after your cat properly – and again, this means much more than food and shelter – then you don’t really have time for any mammal. Dogs are a thousand, a million times harder than cats. If you find your kitten hard work I’m telling you now, do not ever, ever EVER get a dog. Ever. Perhaps some fish would be a good idea. I don’t mean to sound patronising, but they probably need the least commitment out of all pets, and they still need a fair bit of work to look after them properly.
At the end of the day, you have brought a living, breathing, feeling creature into your life. This requires time, effort, patience and commitment. If you don’t feel you can manage that, don’t beat yourself up, it’s a lesson you’ve learnt – as long as you do learn from it. I think if you stick with this kitten it will settle down and if you try to learn more about cats you will be richly rewarded. If you don’t have the time or don’t want to put in the effort, then it is your responsibility to find this cat a good, loving home with people who will take proper care of it. And that does not mean a shelter or rescue – although kittens are generally not hard to rehome. If you do give up your cat, I would think very seriously about getting another pet again, or not until you are more ready – they are hard work, in whatever form, and you must be prepared to work to make a happy home for your pet and you. Good luck, whatever you decide.