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post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi. I'd really do more research before asking this question but I seem to have a stomach virus and I'm just too tired.

I got a kitten yesterday who is 14 weeks old. When I get my hands on him, he purrs and plays wtih me. But If I don't have my hands on him, he acts scared and runs away.

The rescue lady told me to keep him in a very small room for the first week, so he is in my storage room except for when i take him out to play and he escapes so he gets a nap under the sofa. He seems like a really sweet cat if I can get him to not be afraid of me.

Should I not allow him to be running free at all during this first week? any tips?
post #2 of 13
He's in a new territory with a new person. Cats are more territory oriented than people oriented. Purring can be a sign of fear as well as happiness (though not as common), and because he plays with you, I'd say he feels safe with you.

He should be confined to a room you spend time in - like your bedroom (unless he's not going to be allowed in there later) until he's comfortable in the space. When his territory is "set" and he has his safe space to run to, he can be allowed to explore the rest of his territory. For some kitties this is a few days, for some a few weeks.

Either way, I'd do a few things to help him adjust to all this "new-ness."

Whatever room he's confined to initially, spend as much time in there as you can. Drag the laptop in there, fold your clothes in there, iron things in there - whatever you can. The sole attention doesn't always need to be on him - but you should be around him. Also, having a very regular schedule for when you scoop litter, put out new food (or wet food), change his water - whatever it is - really helps. Also, knock lightly on the door before you go in - let's him know what's happening.

Also, you said he likes to play with you. Just make sure you're playing with a toy - do not let him think hands, arms or feet are toys. You will really regret this later.

Just sitting in there and reading out loud or singing while you do stuff is great. Also, even though he already feels comfortable with you, you can get some t-shirts really good and sweaty. After a play time, put some treats down for him on one of them. Put the other one under his food dish. This will reinforce his idea of you as safe and a good thing. OH - because he's already comfortable with you, maybe put one down on a cat bed for him to help him feel more secure when you're not around.

When letting him explore the rest of the space, I'd already have another set of food and water out for him wherever you're going to be keeping it. And I'd have another litterbox out somewhere for him - with one cat, you should have two litter boxes anyway. And little kitties sometimes get excited and need to have a litter box near so there won't be an accident.

I'd also have some scratching posts out for him - though one should be near where he sleeps. Cats love to stretch and scratch when they wake up, so the best place to have scratching boards or posts is near or right next to where they sleep to help protect your furniture. Maybe have a cat bed or two out with posts next to them. He won't know their his at first, but he'll figure it out.

So... then when he's going to be allowed to explore, just open the door, don't take him out. Let him explore on his own - initially, supervised. See how he reacts - or if he even leaves at first. Judge whether or not to leave the door open permanently on how he reacts. If he just bolts out of the room and hides somewhere, it's a little too soon. Let him hide for a while - and get the feel for the new smells and sounds outside of his room. Just go about doing whatever you were going to do - after a while, put him back in his room. As a kitten, after a couple of days of this (if it even amounts to that) he'll probably be out and around, exploring, or curious about you and what you're doing.

Or, after a little time, maybe try drawing him out with an interactive wand-type toy. Just make sure you never leave them out where kitty can accidentally access them. They like to chew the string, and if they eat it, it can get wrapped around their intestines and require surgery.

Also, talk to him a lot and use his name a lot. This will help him learn his name.

And as he grows and needs to learn what is OK and not, "talk" to him in his own language. If he's doing something he shouldn't, hiss at him and blow a short, sharp puff of air in his face and say sharply "No". You're talking to him in a gentle language he totally understands - and he'll learn the meaning of the word "no," which may, at some point in the future, eliminate the need for the short, sharp puff of air in the face.

Also, remember that when he's around 4 months old he'll begin teething. He'll be very "bitey" - if he goes for fingers, hands, ankles or toes, definitely do the puff of air in the face, say "no," and walk away - OR give him something appropriate to chew on and then totally ignore him. Make sure he learns that bad behavior gets him NO attention. And to meet his need during teething, we found the best thing is a box of bendy straws scattered throughout the entire house. These make great chew toys when they're going through that "need to chew" stage, and they can't be ripped into little pieces they eat.

Here's a great article for someone with a new kitty:

Also, there are more great articles you may find interesting (these are located in the links provided in the boxes up at the very top of the page next to logo) :

Enjoy the wonder of being owned by a kitty!

Hope you feel better soon!

post #3 of 13
I cannot add a thing to LDG's wonderful post. Just wanted to say Welcome and we love pics
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
thank you SO MUCH for the help!

A couple of things, I rent a very small apartment and the only rooms that have doors are the bathroom, closets, and storage room, which is comparable to a bathroom. The storage room is where he's been hanging out. I've already done some no-no's, he's been out and explored and raced through every room, which I found out is playing (at first i called someone and said, is my cat on crack!?).

I'm leaving tomorrow for a family party which will leave the little one home alone from roughly 1-12, not so nice I would REALLY hate to leave him ni that small room for that long without any contact. Do you think it is ok for the day since he has been hangingout most of the day? When he is out, he plays, runs around, sometimes he will walk to me, and sometimes he rests.
post #5 of 13
Originally Posted by ammity View Post
I've already done some no-no's, he's been out and explored and raced through every room, which I found out is playing (at first i called someone and said, is my cat on crack!?).
yep, that's a healthy kitten

When I first brought Daphne home, I left her in the bathroom all day while I was at work. She did fine, no ligering neurosis I would think a small safe place would be okay for that amount of time as long as he has water, food, someplace warm and secure to sleep and litter. Maybe something to play with that won't hurt him.
post #6 of 13
He'll be fine for a few hours as long as he has everything he needs. You'll likely come home and find him napping.

Another tip - kittens are tiny compared to us, get down on his level. Shoes can sometimes be noisy and startle cats, as can quick movements such as bending over to pick him up.
He'll eventually settle in but may keep some of his hiding spots till he gets too large for them. My Tomas loved hiding under the china cabinet, that stopped after a few months -when his back end literally became to big to squeeze under the cabinet. It's a cat thing, if they can fit in or climb on something they'll usually try it.

Some cat houses/cat trees with houses, cardboard boxes, or even the cheap fold out nylon cubes make great hiding and play places. The cubes cost around $5 for 1, $10 for 2.

ammity - I hope your stomach is feeling better by the time you read this.
post #7 of 13
I went to the shelter to pick up 2 different kittens. I wanted them to be companions.

When I got my 2 kittens, one, a female tortie, was feral, and the other, a male and friendly, was fearless. The shelter where I picked them up was overcrowded my bathroom seemed spacious to them. I kept them in there a week. The little girl would try and hide from me, but I would sit on the bathroom floor with her on my lap, and I would talk and sing to her softly, and pet her, and she would purr. Boomer (the male) was ready to move on after a week so I put them in the spare bedroom. I had to make sure there was no place Savannah (the female) could crawl under where we could not reach her. She would come out for food and water readily enough, but would hide under the futon. We spent time singing to her and doing things in that room, and we had petting sessions. Boomer was a big help as he wanted to play with Savannah and did not understand why she would not. Savannah wanted to be with him but was very frightened. They became very close.

After 3 weeks we let the kittens come out into the house. Savannah had several hidey holes. I'd say "Boomer, where's your sister, where's your sister.." and he would walk right to wherever she was hiding.

Both cats are nearly a year old now. Savannah still does not like to be approached, but will approach you and demand you give her attention!!!. She is beautiful and timid and loves Boomer. She is often the aggressor in their wrestling matches, which are often hilarious!

Boomer is trouble. He loves everyone, and is a total goofball.

Most of all he and Savannah are very close. Where one walks the other is often right behind following in their footsteps. They balance each other.
post #8 of 13
The only other thing I can think of (if it hasn't been said here and I'm missing it) is that before you go out tomorrow, triple check his room for absolutely anything you can think of that could even remotely cause a problem if he gets into it. Kittens (luckily!) are too small to jump very high, but can still find 'trouble' if given the chance, so safety proofing everything is a must. One thing occurs to me - it's going to be a long day for him - what are the chances you can get either someone to come in to feed and play with him (someone you trust absolutely) or bring him to a local vet or kennel for the duration (pick him up on Wed. am if necessary)?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
i think i may have confused a new kitty with a skittish kitty... just now he was crying in his little room so i opened the door and he runs out and was rubbing on my legs purring like nuts, so i put him on my bed and he's rolling around on my bed, hops off and is sitting the livingroom ... he seems to scare easily wtih a noise but otherwise i think he believes he owns this place. now he is weighing himself.. (self conscious kitty? lol) maybe the 2 days of little room was all he needed.
post #10 of 13
Because you're in a pretty small apartment, I'm betting two days of being in a smaller space was all he needed. Many cats startle easily with a noise - young kittens and ferals, especially. It's something he may grow out of - it's something he may always do. There's no way to tell in advance.

...and I'm betting he DOES own the place by now!

We were very scared about leaving our kitty alone at first. Leave out a paper bag (no handles), a box (if you have one), and some toys (no string attached) - and, of course, his food, water, and litter box. The advice to get down on the floor and look around - make sure there isn't anything out he can get caught in or chew on that will hurt him - and he'll be just fine. We would leave home at 4:30am and return at around 6:00pm to 10:00pm twice a week (talk about long days!. That's why we ended up rescuing a second kitty almost immediately). But our boy was just fine. His toys had obviously been played with, his litter box used, his food eaten - and he was asleep in the basket-bed we'd bought him.

Merry Christmas! Hope you're feeling better for the party.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
you guys talk about these cat beds and i cant wait to get out and get one. it wasn't something i bought when i got the litter and stuff. i've also got to get some toys that i use with him because i do see why i shouldnt be playing with him wtih my hands. sometimes he gets so excited he bites a lil too hard!

anyhow, today he is doing FANTASTIC! i came in and he watched me, he has been coming to me when i call him, make click noises and move my hands (he'll catch on to one of them right? lol) i really think he missed me while i was away because he's being very vocal about demanding attention and i think its so very cute now if only he'd stop running around and fall asleep wtih me on my bed... fat chance

i rescued him on my birthday, Saturday, and I think he is the best birthday present AND christmas gift :-D
post #12 of 13
Cats sleep a LOT of the time, so if you play with him before you leave, he will most likely sleep a lot when you are gone.
post #13 of 13
OK, 3 very important questions here:
1) What is his name?
2) Where are our pictures?
3) When will he be getting a brother or sister?
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