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Help they are too young!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Late last year & early this year my family (me my mum and brother) lost our two cats Bizzy &. Dudley, Mother and son. Bizzy went missing in October never to return at the age of 17 and Dudley passed with a lung mass at the age of 18. Its been extremely hard to cope without our little friends and after so many years our family, i was just five when we got Dudley from the RSPCA.

After a lot of consideration and time to heal we decided to bring back some fun into our house. After a few weeks wait me and my mum collected two 6 week old kittens, brother and sister. We picked them up yesterday and brought them home to what we can describe as cat heaven! I know im probably being very impatient as im sure they are still very scared but the little boy (Bailey) has been hissing at us and cowers away behind things when we come close, the little girl (yet to be named) seems a little more confident and sociable.

Ive now learned and realised that the owners that have the mum and rest of the litter was very irresponsible letting us have them at just six weeks, didnt seem the best of environments either but i just need to know what we can do to make them feel safe, comfy and happy with us!

post #2 of 24
first of all welcome to the site,
yes they are to young to be away from there mum, they might not have been sociolised properly. the first thing to do is, put them in a room of their own with their litter tray, water and food, and a nice place to sleep. they will get into all sorts of trouble if left to run around a big house and they also still need their litter tray close, or you will have mishaps.
get plenty of toys,(never use your hand as a toy) go in there and sit down quietly let them come to you, you can start playing with one of the toys and they may get a bit nosey and want to join in. but dont force them they will come to you when there ready.
i will say this though a vet check is needed if they was willing to let them go at only 6 weeks old then they probley didnt have them wormed, they can have their first set of injections in about 1-2 weeks old aswell. but just get them down there for a genral health check.
also because you have a brother and sister be carful as they get older, they can muture as early as 4 months, so she could become pregnant then which is really bad for her. so you may have to seprate them untill they can be done at 51/2-6 months old, as im in england to and that is the age. but please do get this done there are so many health benfits plus to many kittens being born. just watch them see how they go. we would like some pictures to please hehe.
post #3 of 24
I was given a 5-6 week old cat many years ago - my family and I realized that he was given to us a bit early. He did have some issues socializing and definitely seemed to be not quite mature and didn't seem to know how to do everything a cat should know - for example, he was not a very good washer - but he did live to be 16 years old. Good luck
post #4 of 24
Wow..to go from senior cats to kittens must be a big change. But one that's going to be enjoyable. I agree with what the others posted and I have another suggestion. The boy is probably scared and maybe missing his mom. You could try fixing him up with a bed that had a heating pad or some kind of warm thing (a sock filled with rice and microwaved for 30 seconds works too) and a stuffed animal to simulate his momma. All cats love being warm and snuggly, and I'm sure kittens like it more! And yes, definately get them checked at the vet.

I hope everything works out for you and the kittens. Good luck!
post #5 of 24
Yes they hadn't time to learn how to be socialized. 6 weeks is a critical time for learning all kinds of cat things - not just learning about solid foods and using a litter pan - there is so much more.

So you will kinda have to take over. Start by confining the kits to one room - an entire house is overwheliming to a 6 week old. Then interact and play with them quietly. As they calm down, when you have friends over, let them pet and hold the kittens for a few mins to help socialize them. You'll have to take things slowly as they only have you now.

And since you have brother/sister, be sure to get them spayed/neutered by 3-4 months old because they can bred at 4 months old. If your vet will not do it till 6 months then you will have to separate them after 4 months old till they are done so they don't breed.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
At the moment we have them in the living room, with a bit sectioned off like a pen with their bed, litter tray, food and toys. Once they wake we let them out into the rest of the room not the rest of the house.

We put a hot water bottle under the blankets in the bed yesterday and they went straight to sleep. We are hoping that because we have them together and they have a pal they will be a little happier, and perhaps Bailey will learn from his sister that we are not a threat and we are here to love him.

Will it be possible to get him to be a normal cat when he is older and be loving and affectionate to us?
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
By the way how do i add a picture? Ive tried clicking on insert image but it just opens up a catsite popup.
post #8 of 24
If you make an account on photobucket (photobucket.com), you can upload the pictures and paste the IMG code.

Saedie was about 7 weeks when I got her. She was scared of everyone except me. She wouldn't leave my side for almost 2 weeks. I hope you are able to get them happy and social.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Bailey the little scared shy boy is the ginger one.

2 days old

Hope they have worked!
post #10 of 24
oh it worked and they are CUTE!! (pics need to be resized though) but they are stil cute!! All I can really add is that stuffed animals really work as a replacement for mom, just get an adult cat sized one and stick it in their pen.

Also I am repeat, make sure they are spayed and neutered as early as you can find a vet to do it! It can be done at 2lbs, about 8 weeks, but it seems in England, vets are a little more wary and want people to wait until 6 months, which is just crazy IMO! She can get prego by her own brother at 4-5 months. Just keep that in mind and make sure they are seperated if your vet makes you wait.
post #11 of 24
They are so cute! I love Bailey's colors, but I love all calico cats.

Hopefully they get used to your house quickly. Give them time. I'd be scared if I was their size too.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
How do i get a signature like yours? Ive tried going to the user CP and edit signature but i just have the edit profile option, nothing for edit signature??
post #13 of 24
Originally Posted by Shellie84 View Post
How do i get a signature like yours? Ive tried going to the user CP and edit signature but i just have the edit profile option, nothing for edit signature??
You have to have more posts before you can create your own siggy..
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Oh i see....
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ill be sure to give you all an update tomorrow and some more pictures too.
post #16 of 24
you can reguest a siggy on this thread, so when you are a member long enough you can just post it straight on.
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...89586&page=499, and someone will be more then willing to make you one. just post your photos there, if possible make them into links so that you can post them big, and try making them as clear as possible it will make it easier for us/them to play around with, also if you would like a certine colour add what type of things you like etc..
post #17 of 24
What adorable babies! I love orange kitties so much.
I don't know if it's possible in your situation, but because of the socialization issues you might want to consider getting an older cat from a shelter. Older males tend to be pretty adaptable to kittens. About 2 y/o or more. They can often take on the mothering role and teach the wee ones all the cat protocols and how to clean themselves, using litter boxes, etc. Plus you'd be giving an older cat a home too. Yay!!

If that's just not possible, you should confine them to a small room at first. They are going to be a little wary as well as missing their mom and sibs. Play some soft music. Go in and visit them often, talking softly to them, letting them sniff you and approach you. Lay down on the floor and close your eyes and hum or talk or sing softly to them. Always make the experience a gentle, good one. Bring them treats and play with them with string toys, don't let them chase your hands or bite them.
If they play too roughly with you, or bite you, cry out and disengage. As best you can, mimic some of the behaviors of mom. I took soft cloths or paper towels and gave them a slightly rough sponge bath, pinning them to the floor gently and trying to imitate how mom would bathe them.
Cats have a pecking order and you want them to know what is good behavior and bad behavior and also that you are alpha cat.

As best as we try, we can't give them all the benefits of an older cat companion or mom. My cat Pippin (4 y/o) took to a bottle baby foster named Smeagol amazingly well. He would play with him and bathe him and sleep with him. It was so adorable! A real Mr. Mom. Smeagol's social interactions, confidence, and ability to learn significantly increased when Pippin started fostering him (at about 4 weeks).

Good luck with your wee ones!

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 

Its been a week now and little Bailey is still no calmer. He has settled into our home but is still very frightened of us. He will happily walk around our feet and come up to us if we are still but once we move, walk into the room or try to pick him up he runs away. When we do eventually get hold of him to stroke and cuddle him he's constantly trying to get away and trembles with fear.

I dread to think what has happened to him before we got him to make him like this. Fudge his sister is the opposite, she has took to my mum well and for the past two nights gone to sleep on her lap purring away.

Has anyone got an views or experience on these tablets you can get to calm them down? If not any other advice on how we can make him realise we are not a threat, and just want to love and cuddle him?



post #19 of 24
Here are some ideas for you:

Put an item of your unwashed clothing in their bed - a t-shirt that you have worn jogging and got sweaty - this will help the little one get used to your scent

If you have one, wrap an old-fashioned ticking alarm clock up in the t-shirt before putting it in their bed - it will sound like their mum's heartbeat and they will then begin to associate your smell with the comfort they used to get from snuggling up to mum.

Don't make eye contact with him, when you look towards him look down at the floor in front of him so you are seeing him in your peripheral vision rather than straight on, if he looks at you, don't hold his gaze but blink slowly then look down instead. Unblinking gaze is a threatening challenge and can be very frightening to a small scaredy-kitten.

Sit (or lie) quietly on the floor in the room you have them in. If you lie down you are no longer that big scary thing towering above him and won't appear to be a threat. Put some treats on the floor around you, and just let them explore and find the treats. When he is happy to come close to you for the treats, try putting some treats on your stomach and in your hands and see if he will climb on you to get them.

Don't approach him or pick him up (unless he needs medication or something), even though it means being patient, let him come to you. If you hold him for cuddles and he doesn't want to be cuddled you are only making him more afraid and setting the whole process back. You have to do this on his terms, don't force anything.

Sit on the floor and read a book out loud to them in a quiet voice. This will help him to get used to the sound of your voice.

Move slowly and quietly when you are around him, the sound of footsteps can be frightning to a nervous kitten, so try to make them as quiet and gentle as possible.

I hope that helps! If his sister is more bold then he is likely to eventually follow her example. It can take time though, so be patient and gentle. Remember that everything seems very large to him!

ETA: For many animals, if they see you sleeping nearby, it will calm them as they instinctively know that a) you are not threatening them and b) there is nothing dangerous nearby if you feel it is safe to sleep. It may be worth taking a few naps where they can see you
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi Anakat

Thanks for the help, ill give anything a try.

He definately doesnt like eye contact, so when he looks at me in the eye i try to look down. I thought loads of cuddles and TLC would help him get used to being handled and humans? Im afraid that if we dont pick him up he wont be used to our touch and be scared of our hands?

I really hope he follows Fudge as she is lovely and friendly.


post #21 of 24
I saw your precious babies - they are so CUTE! I too have a brother (ginger tabby) and sister(calico).
This is Pudders - the male.

and this is Gracie.

We haven't always had them together (another story - posted on the kitten/pregnancy board if you are interested.) http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=131589

Just wanted to show you they grow up gorgeous too!
post #22 of 24
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Here are some ideas for you
All that stuff I want to second the motion. Some kitties are bold while others are shy but that can change as they get older and more comfortable.

I want to second the holding thing. Not all kittens or cats like to be held. My Pennie hates it and will only tolerate it for a short time (like 5 seconds).

My Bob on the other hated it as a kitten but now does not mind so much but he does not like it for more than 3 or 4 minutes.

Then I have Egore that you could carry around all day if you wanted to.

Kitties have personalities just like people. Some just take longer to form especially being so young.

Patience is the key ingredient.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

Im so excited to tell you all this, literally five minutes ago Bailey was fast asleep on my knee!! This may sound daft or harsh but i love him so much more now. Maybe it was because Fudge was asleep on my mum's knee right next to me but he got on there first then came over to me, got really comfy, washed himself spread out and went off to sleep, im soooo happy!

This might be a one off for now but me and my Mum are amazed, he is still jumpy when we move but me and my mum kept talking the whole time and i made slight movements so that he knew it was me and not just a bit of furniture!

Unfortunately my phone was out of reach so couldnt take a pic.

post #24 of 24
We have had the exact same experience with our kitten, Indie!!!! we got a phone call on the day he was six weeks old telling we had to collect him and it was now or never. When we got him home he was scared and had loads of problems like fleas and worms as he was from a rather poor owner who did not care i would advise you get him checked at a vets if the environment was not very good to be on the safe side it took indie a week or so to settle and it inly really now that he will let us hold or cuddle him. (he is 12 weeks old friday) It may take a while but don't worry they should settle, at 6 weeks they should still be with mum ideally but if the home was not good then you have done the best thing in the long run. Are they on solids yet?? Good luck and let me know how you get on - you can always send me a private message if you want
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