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Can a cat be too dependent? (long)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I brought Jack home when he was very small, his mom was unfortunately hit by a car soon after giving birth. Jack is the only one of the kittens that made it. He was bottle fed but not by me, when I brought him home he was able to eat food. I did have to teach him other things like litter training and to clean himself. So, I figure he does think of me as mom.

He is at least 3 months old now according to the vet. Now to my concern...

I work from home so I am almost always home. This past week my neighbors have been out of town and I have been caring for their cat as well. I go next door for a little over an hour each evening. When I return he is going crazy as though he thought I wasn't coming back. He still follows me everywhere I go. He won't eat if I am not at least on the same floor of the house. (my house is small so he never more than about 15 feet away). He still doesn't seem to have developed any of the independent behavior that I was expecting. He has finally started napping places that aren't my lap but that is usually at my feet with my foot for a pillow. Its as though he must be touching me so that if I move he knows it.

Is he still young enough that this is normal? are some cats just that attached to their selected human? Tubby was very friendly but wouldn't get up from her nap to follow me, but she would nap in the room I was in. For what its worth I love having him as such a constant companion but I don't want him to be afraid.

So am I paranoid? (probably is my guess)

One other thing I had some friends over last weekend. He was terrified initially, but within 3 hours he was chasing down their shoelaces.
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunacy95 View Post
One other thing I had some friends over last weekend. He was terrified initially, but within 3 hours he was chasing down their shoelaces.
That's good, if he's willing to play with them you might want to encourage your friends to play with your kitten some. To help socialize him with other people.

It's normal for kittens to be clingy. While not all kittens are, your's obviously thinks your the mother cat. I have one of those too, he's about a year old now and not so clingy but I'm still "momma" to him. It will lessen some as the cat ages, and if it's within your means to do so, getting another cat friend for him would be great.
post #3 of 12
It is completely normal for most kittens to be "clingy" especially if you got him at a very young age, he looks to you for nurture, play and companionship. Maia was an extreme example of this! When I first brought my little girl home, she was much younger then told and the runt of the litter. She needed replacement milk for a week and I carried her around in a harness from my neck for 2 weeks because if I left her side, she would scream and cry, horrible sounds you would never imagine could come out of such a little fuzz ball! She really didn't show the more independent kitty till she was about 1 year old, ofcourse she is still my BFF!
post #4 of 12
Maia sounds so cute! Kitto is very attached to me, I know he sees me as mom. When I found him, he was yelling his head off for mom. I think it is normal kitten behavior, especially the orphan kittens.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
if I left her side, she would scream and cry, horrible sounds you would never imagine could come out of such a little fuzz ball! She really didn't show the more independent kitty till she was about 1 year old, ofcourse she is still my BFF!

I hear ya... that crying noise is heartbreaking. I spoiled him carried him around etc. I figured his reaction to me leaving was caused by... wait for it.... me.

So long as there are no long term ill effects for him, I guess he can be a "momma's boy"
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunacy95 View Post
This past week my neighbors have been out of town and I have been caring for their cat as well. I go next door for a little over an hour each evening. When I return he is going crazy as though he thought I wasn't coming back.
He just wuvs you!! And your statement above says a lot!! He probably smells the other kitty when you return from your neighbors'. I bet he's a sweetie!!
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunacy95 View Post
I hear ya... that crying noise is heartbreaking. I spoiled him carried him around etc. I figured his reaction to me leaving was caused by... wait for it.... me.

So long as there are no long term ill effects for him, I guess he can be a "momma's boy"
Exactly what it is, some are momma's boy/girl! Maia is a definite Momma's girl! and I love her for it!!!!

Just look at her, Momma's girl all over that face!
post #8 of 12
That is all very common behavior in bottle fed kittens. He will likely always be a "clingy" cat.
post #9 of 12
Geronimo was extremely "clingy" when I first got him, and had to be near me constantly. But he's outgrown a lot of his need for me - although he still has to know where I'm at, 24/7. If he can't find me, he'll whine "Mama!" till he does.

Maverick was also a very clingy cat when I first got him too, and even though he's still Mama's little boy, he doesn't have to know where I am all the time.

Most clingy cats eventually outgrow their need for you when they start feeling safe & secure..

KittKatt
post #10 of 12
I feel I have a clingy cat too. Gio was given to me by a neighbor when they couldn't keep him anymore. He was only about a year old at the time. When I first brought him home he was very timid. He hid a lot or would stay in my room under my bed. At night he'd sleep in my room, but not near me. He wouldn't let me pet him or hold him ever. After a few weeks he finally came to me and let me pet him. He's been attached to me ever since. I can't go anywhere without him following me or crying for me. When I'm home relaxing on the couch, he has to be in my lap. Not next to me, that's too far away, he has to be on me. If I put him down, he immediately comes back. He's 4 years old now and still like this. And it's only me he's like this with. I have an 11 year old daughter who can't touch him. When she tries, he runs away. I've had cats my entire life and I've never seen one as attached to a human as Gio is to me... Not that I mind, I just don't think it's normal, lol.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
It's normal for kittens to be clingy. While not all kittens are, your's obviously thinks your the mother cat. I have one of those too, he's about a year old now and not so clingy but I'm still "momma" to him. It will lessen some as the cat ages, and if it's within your means to do so, getting another cat friend for him would be great.
Same thing over here. My clingy kitten grows more and more relaxed as he ages. We already had older cats and that seems to have helped him adjust.
post #12 of 12
^ A cat buddy for a kitten always helps... save your sanity of course, unless they're wrestling around in the living room at 4am and knocking stuff over.

Krissyk77, it almost sounds like your cat is semi feral in the way he is so closely bonded with you but fears/dislikes other people. You are the stable thing in what may have been a slightly traumatic life for him (moving, or whatever his life was like before you got him). You're his source of comfort, in other words.. you're 'mama cat'.
It's not abnormal, there's really no normal with cats. Each will do as they please and bond with who they want.
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