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6 week old kitten hissing, should I worry?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I found 4 kittens (no mom) at work on Monday and I am fostering them until the no-kill shelter I volunteer with can make room for them. They each hiss once in awhile. I understand that they are probably still a bit afraid. But one hisses a lot and even does that spitting thing. Is there anything I can do to calm the darling down? I don't want him to be unadoptable! If I pick him up to give him love while he is hissing, he will stop, and he doesn't try to bite or anything. This is my first foster experience!
post #2 of 11
Ferel kittens probably hiss a lot longer then ones raised inside from birth. Even tiny 1-2 week old kittens will hiss when picked up till they know you. It takes time. Continue to handle the kittens several times a day till they are more used to things.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I will do just that. I also thought that I read somewhere that catnip is good for making kittens relax. (My own cat could care less about catnip.)
They are adorable so I want them to have the best chance to get a good home. I am in no way an experienced foster mom!!
They just started to "play" yesterday, you know wrestling with each other, but are not interested in toys yet. Toys still freak them out and make them hiss.
post #4 of 11
aww. I'm so glad you saved these babies! It's a good sign that the one stops hissing when you give him some lovin'. They should continue to mellow out as long as you continue to handle them and maybe even play with them (once they figure out that toys are fun! ) I don't know about catnip though, I heard somewhere that it doesn't work on kittens. Maybe a Feliway diffuser? I don't know if that would work either, but it may calm them down. Good luck!!!
post #5 of 11
hissing is natural, do as your doing at the moment and like goldenkitty said do this serval times per day, and you will notice a big improvment.
in my experinse with kittens and cat nip iv never found a kitten that cat nip has had any effect on, not until about 6 months old anyway. but it wont hurt to try just be carful as they may sniff it a bit much and go up there little noses.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Miao and Tasha - I was hoping someone with experience would tell me it would be ok. One of them was leaning on my hand and purring last night while another one was hissing and spitting at me! They probably aren't completely sure yet that I don't plan to hurt them even though I am 100 times bigger than they are!!
post #7 of 11
Young kittens rarely react to catnip. And not all older kittens or adults will react to catnip. Someone said there must be a "catnip" gene or something. I've had kittens react when about 4-5 months old - some do, some don't.

But I wouldn't bother with giving the kitten catnip at this young age.
post #8 of 11
6 week old most-likely feral kittens, eh? They can be little spitfires at that age.

Feed them some canned food every day. Start by putting it in a bowl so that they get to like it. Then start feeding them off a spoon so that they are used to your hand being close. Then feed them off your fingers. That very often breaks them of their skittishness of humans.

Kittens mostly learn from their mom, but without a mom, they can pick up behaviors from each other. If the really skittish one does not show signs of bonding with you, perhaps find that one kitten a foster home with well adjusted kittens, or by himself (as sad as that sounds). You don't want his behavior to be picked up by others. Watch carefully for this. You will probably be OK, but still be watchful.

Also - wand toys are a great ice-breaker with feral kittens.

Good luck - even when they hiss they are cutie-pies!!
post #9 of 11
My second cat did this for quite a while after we got him... he was young, 5-6 weeks old and he hissed at everything. He wasn't aggressive, we could pick him up and he'd be fine, but walk by him or talk around him and he'd just stare at you, hissing over and over. It did wear off, though, as he became more comfortable with his surroundings. He's now king of the hill around here, absolutely at home.
post #10 of 11
Do NOT give kittens catnip until they are a year old. It is actually quite dangerous to young kittens. Learned this the hard way whiledoing rescue work. Just though I would pass it on.
post #11 of 11
What happened to the kitten? I've given it to kittens at 6 months old and they were fine. But most were not interested in it till older.
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