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Thinking about new kitten(s)...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Now that Zoey has passed away, Denis and I have been thinking about getting a new kitten to help our hearts heal. Possibly 2 (from the same litter) so that they can keep each other company. I always felt that Zoey was a little lonely since leaving the shelter and we had thought about getting her a friend, but when she got sick, we could not.

We got Zoey at about 5 months old, so she was not a true baby anymore. I've never had a small kitten, but that's what we would like to get (I would love to help out a shelter cat, but I can't do it right now after Zoey. The best I can do is give some kittens a loving home).

The problem is that there are days when we are out of the house for 10-11 hours at a time. Every other day, I leave the house at about 7am and often don't get back until close to 6. Sometimes, Denis is home a little later in the mornings, or I am home a little earlier in the evenings, but an 11 hour day is possible. Other days, I have more of a normal 8 hour day schedule. Zoey seemed OK with this and I think she slept most of the time while we were gone. But, again, she was a bit of an older kitten. We cuddled and played with her when we got home and she slept with us at night.

However, I purposely got Zoey right before Christmas at the beginning of 2-weeks off from work, as I thought it would help her adjust. I won't have another break from work until school ends in June - then I'll be home for 2 months. I don't really want to wait until summer, but I'm not sure if it's OK to leave small kittens home by themselves for so long. I could probably get someone to come over and check on them for the first little bit, but they'd still probably be alone for most of that time. We have toys and scratching posts to keep them occupied.

Are there a lot of working kitten owners out here? Are they OK by themselves for so long? Would it help to get 2 at the same time - so they can keep each other company? If I got them on a Friday, and had 2 or 3 days with them over the weekend while they got used to their new home, would it be enough time? Any tips?

Thanks for any advice!
post #2 of 15
My biggest problem with having a new kitten at home while I was at work I would dream up all kinds of worries that my baby wasn't safe. I couldn't wait to get home from work! They have always been just fine. I was being over protective mommy. When they are real young kittens I do confine them to my bedroom with food, water and litterbox until somebody is home to watch them. I still go through the house and Bengal proof things that I think my little spotted terror will get into while we are at work.
post #3 of 15
With you out of the house for most of the day, it is wise to get two from the same litter (probably better with same sex so you don't have to worry about babies and get them neutered/spayed by 4 months old).

I think I'd still go with a little older kitten - 3-4 months would be the youngest. And still confine them to one room unless you are there to supervise.

Sorry about little Zoey. I'm sure you will find 2 little kittens that will steal your heart
post #4 of 15
Ditto on the two kittens, same gender, and confining them.
Just out of curiosity, why do you want a young kitten and what age "young" are you talking about? I just rescued two kittens last summer (at 4.5 weeks old) and believe me, if I had not been out of school then (yep, I'm a teacher too), there would have been no way I could have raised them. Little kittens get into everything! I had to confine them to the bathroom until they were ~7weeks old, then we moved them into the guest bedroom (we had to kitten-proof the whole room...take out anything with electrical cords, remove any breakables, etc.). When they were ~12-14 weeks old we gave them free roam of the house... They were SO hyper.

All of that said, it was harder to tell personality when they were little too. If you know you want a specific personality (loves to be cuddled, etc.) you might be better off with an older kitten (14weeks+) that has a slightly more developed personality.

Oh, definately get 2...1 alone won't get the socialization it needs and will try to play with you like they play with each other (with involves teeth and claws).

Hope this helps!
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
I don't want really young kittens...the youngest I would take is 8 weeks, but I would prefer closer to 12 weeks, from reading what I have read about socialization. Because we want 2 from the same litter, it is a little more difficult to find older kittens. I don't want another shelter cat at this point...I want to know as much about their background as possible. I don't want to get one from a breeder...as there are plenty of free kittens out there who need GOOD homes and I am still paying for Zoey's vet care (next kitties will definitely have pet insurance!).

I can easily confine them to the bathroom. If the toilet bowl is closed, and I take the shelf that is in there out so they don't try to climb, there is no trouble they would be able to get in. The litter box is in there anyway. I suppose if I put some fluffy bedding and toys in there, it wouldn't be too bad. At least they'd have each other to hang out with! I would feel horrible confining one of them! However, I wouldn't have to worry about what kind of trouble they were getting into! I will certainly be like abbycats and get myself home from work as soon as I could. Even when Zoey was healthy, I worried about her while I was away.

Thank you for your advice. Any other suggestions/experiences would be appreciated as well!
post #6 of 15
I set up my bathroom just as you described...I might add that either a cat bed, or an old carboard box with an "entry" cut into it with some towels (and/or things with you scent) would make them feel more comfy and safe when they sleep. I used their carrier, with towles in it, for the first couple of weeks. I also had a litter box, bowl with water, and bowl with crushed dry food...I might add that you'll want to pick heavy bowls, or bowls that won't easily move for the water and food. My kittens can knock anything over unless it's in a holder...but then again, they like to "play" in the water

I would also leave some "safe" toys in the bathroom with them... like the plastic or foam balls... I would not advise leaving anything with string, eyes, ears, ribbon, feathers, etc. as they will chew it off.

Just be prepaired to up their quarters to a bedroom (sized room) when they're older (12-14 weeks) because as they get larger they get more energy and need more space to exercise.

post #7 of 15
I got my 2 from a rescue foster home( found on petfinder). That way the foster mom could tell me a little about the personaility etc. I got one at 14 weeks and the most recent one at 6 months. They aren't from the same litter but are both boys and get along pretty good. For $100 each they were already vetted, 1st shots, dewormed, 1st rabies shot and neutered. What a deal. I would recommend it to anyone to go that route. There is no such thing as a free kitten if you have to get all that done. Have fun picking out your new kitties.
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by lilyluvscats View Post
For $100 each they were already vetted, 1st shots, dewormed, 1st rabies shot and neutered. What a deal. I would recommend it to anyone to go that route. There is no such thing as a free kitten if you have to get all that done
That's what I was going to say, getting a shelter/former foster kitten is much, much cheaper than a 'free' one.

Shelters here charge around $100 as well, it is around $170 for desexing alone let alone vaccinations, worming, microchipping.
post #9 of 15
When Elsa had her kittens, I adopted two brothers out to one family, and they are definitely happy and well-adjusted cats! The mom is real busy working, so they definitely keep each other company, and I think that the majority of their day is spent sleeping on her bed! Can't wait to hear what you decide!
post #10 of 15
i'm a single working meowmy, & that's what i did... i adopted 2 littermate girls when they were about 7 weeks old. i really would've preferred waiting until they were just a bit older, but at the time i adopted them, they were basically indoor/outdoor kits, along w/their mom & other 2 littermates. i knew i wanted a pair, to keep each other company when i was gone every day. i decided to take them a bit early because it was coming up on thanksgiving - the family that owned mom was going out of town, whereas i was staying - & i had a week off of work to bond w/the girls. worked out very well, even tho i didn't know then nearly as much about young kittens as i do now... that's TCS for you!

anyway, i gave mine free roam of the house when i went back to work, except for the bathroom. my litterbox was in a closet, so there was no need for them to be in the bathroom [except to keep me company ] & i felt better since i knew that way they couldn't fall into the toilet & drown. i know, a long shot, specially if the toilet seat is down, but that was my reasoning at the time.

they were the dearest of friends until Mouse's untimely passing. i'll never intentionally have a 'single' cat again [or a kitten unless i have no choice - but that's a separate matter] - i think they're much happier w/a companion [unless it's a cat that already has 'issues']. none of my current cats has ever been an 'only' cat unless it was before i got them.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lilyluvscats View Post
I got my 2 from a rescue foster home( found on petfinder). That way the foster mom could tell me a little about the personaility etc. I got one at 14 weeks and the most recent one at 6 months. They aren't from the same litter but are both boys and get along pretty good. For $100 each they were already vetted, 1st shots, dewormed, 1st rabies shot and neutered. What a deal. I would recommend it to anyone to go that route. There is no such thing as a free kitten if you have to get all that done. Have fun picking out your new kitties.

I completely understand that. However, I tried to find a shelter in the area (fees run closer to $200 here) and none seem to have any young kittens! Many have 5-6 month olds, but that was the age we got Zoey at and we would like younger - a fresh start with a healthy kitty. The biggest shelter in town is the one I got Zoey from, and I have since learned that it is probably not the best place to find a kitten. It's free-roam, which means that if one cat has something, they all get it. They have a kitten room, but I'm still wary of the entire place. I'll keep looking...if I see an option for another place, I'll certainly look into it. I don't mind paying for the kittens if they have had vet care, or paying for the vet care myself.

I so far haven't been able to find anything, but I've really been looking for a day or two. I'm anxious to get them...the house is lonely without a little kitty (or two!) to cuddle with. At this point, I'd settle for knowing that they will be coming to us when they are ready!

I will let you know what we get once we get them! It will likely be a couple of weeks anyway.

Thanks for all the tips and advice. We'll likely start them in the bathroom and just move them to the living room with a baby gate blocking it off. There's less trouble to get into in the living room than the bedroom (no table lamps, no stuff under the bed).
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any articles, etc. explaining why it is better to keep kittens with their moms for a bit longer?

I would like to pass them along to cat owners as I am searching for my new kitties!

I haven't found any quite yet (lots that were just born but I don't really want to wait 2 1/2 months), but I've looked at lots of pictures, and wow...aren't kittens cute?

post #13 of 15
Don't have a specific article, but from experience with my cats (pedigree and mixed barn cats) they need certain social/behavior lessons to learn that only another cat can provide.

DH used to let the barn kittens go to homes at 6-8 weeks old. But after we got married I explained why you need to keep them for 3 months. DH is a novice in cat ownership and he was totally shocked how much better the kittens were when keeping them together for another month before they left. Some of the kittens were close to 4 months when leaving. They were a lot more friendly, well adjusted, etc. then when he gave previous kittens away at 6-8 weeks.

If you read most cat care books and articles on the web, they will say that the best age to adopt is 3-4 months old. There is a WORLD of difference in that month.

Many kitten problems are traced to getting the kittens too soon. And many kittens will nurse on mom at 8-10 weeks old if mom lets them. Its not enough to just be eating solid foods and using the litter pan.
post #14 of 15
post #15 of 15
when we lost janet milo was 8 months old. he seemed to age overnight, just wasn't the playful little kitten anymore without his best friend.

a month later we adopted 4 month old shinobi. (he arrived with cat flu which the rescue center paid for all treatment needed. also his jabs and neutering were covered by them)

the 2 boys have become firm friends and are the most playful kittens i've ever known! at 14 and 10 months they are a pair of hooligans, always chasing each other and wrestling!

i think it makes a difference too, cos they are indoor kitties so they have to run their energy off somehow, what better way than with your buddy!

so please don't think that playfulness is just for the very young. there are probably lots of 'older' kittens out there that people pass by cos they aren't cute enough.

good luck with your search and i look forward to seeing and hearing all about your new additions!
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