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Very sweet, lovable kitten - but...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have a new question to ask. It’s been almost a week now since I adopted my 3 month old kitten, Cleopatra, She is very sweet, very loving, and very well-behaved. She’s pretty quiet most of the time (and when she mews, that’s pretty quiet, too). The only issue I have is that she won’t play much at all. She’s perfectly content to sit in my lap, purring away while I pet her. I don’t really have any problems with this, but I would like to see her more active.

I can’t afford a bunch of expensive toys for her at the moment, but I got her a couple of catnip mice, and I’ve rolled up a few small balls of aluminum foil for her (I’d read somewhere that many cats love chasing after rolled-up foil and wads of paper). I’ve also bought her a scratching post (a hanging one, as I couldn’t afford the more expensive ones), and she doesn’t really touch it. When I try to get her to play, she just looks at the toy, looks at me, and then goes back to following me, rubbing against me and wanting to be petted. When she's not doing that, she's generally sleeping.

One thing is that she was fairly recently spayed (last Friday, in fact, the day before I adopted her). Could this be why she’s not feeling very active? And if so, how long does it usually take kittens/cats to want to be active again? Or is it just her personality? I know cats can be lazy, and the shelter had told me that she was one of the more laid-back kittens, but I guess I had been expecting her to be a bit more playful, if not bursting with kittenish energy from time to time. The shelter told me that she's had her vaccinations and was perfectly healthy as far as they could tell.

I’m just wondering since, while I love her and have no problems with her behavior at the moment, I would like for her to be a healthy and active kitty. I’m planning to go by the store to see if I can pick up one or two more inexpensive toys to see if she’s interested in them. Does anyone have any suggestions for me, please?
post #2 of 23
That could be why she dosent play much.
post #3 of 23
Everything is so new, she was spayed, she's got a new home all in the span of a week. I think she just needs time to get use to everything and settle in. While some cats are a little more quieter then others, I think in time she will start to play. Good luck.
post #4 of 23
Everything is still new to her along with being spayed, so it's going to take a little time.

Just keep talking to her so she gets to know your voice, and she's obviously loving the affection she's getting from you

You don't need to get expensive toys, just start off by getting her a couple of ping pong balls and a feather wand and take it slowly until she's properly healed.
post #5 of 23
I don't have a lot of experience with kittens but she sounds like an exceptionally low energy one to me. Is there anything at all else that isn't quite "normal" about her? Does she eat and pee and poop well?

Try a string. I've yet to see a cat that could resist pouncing on a wriggling string! I'll walk around, dragging something "string like" behind me and all of mine stalk and pounce on it.
post #6 of 23
My new kitten Mulder was very quiet for the first couple of weeks after I brought him home and acted just like the way you're describing Cleopatra. He wanted to be laying on me if we was asleep, or being petted/cuddled when he was awake. He didn't want to play at all either. Now that he's settled in you can't keep him still for more than a couple seconds. She may just be unsure about all these new things going on, and having the surgery recently may be slowing her down as well.
post #7 of 23
I got my two kittens when they were 6 and 8 weeks. Alex, at 6 weeks, had no fear and was 'normal' almost immediately. Evie, on the other hand, hardly came out for an entire month. No toys even remotely tempted her, and she certainly wouldn't cuddle with anyone except Alex in a safe corner. It wasn't until a month or two ago (so nearly a year after I got them) that Evie played in a kitten-like manner. I don't know what changed, because I tried everything - including cat trees and fancy toys - unless it was just her finally reaching a level of comfort. She had a rough beginning, but after a few months I thought her not playing was permanent. I couldn't believe it when she started playing almost as enthusiastically as Alex recently. Despite her more calm demeanor, she has always been petite, so I wasn't exceptionally worried about her health. In short, I guess all I can say is be patient and provide a sensitive, stable and supportive home for your kitty until she is comfortable to develop into whatever will best suit her. Good luck!
post #8 of 23
It's only been a week since she was spayed and brought into a completely new environment for her. She may not feel ready to play yet. When Polly was a kitten she hid under my bed for the first couple days when she came home. I only really saw her at night when she came out and she and Molly would sleep together or play with each other.
After that she would come to me but not play much. Time changes a lot. Now she's constantly talking, always ready to play and cuddle, and the times when she hid are awfully hard to imagine.
Give her time. I'm sure she'll be fine. She might just be a calm cat, but she will probably be more playful when she gets more settled in.
post #9 of 23
welcome to TCS!
don't worry about expensive toys - mine love the cheap stuff, too! you can get a package of sparkle balls for around 99¢ at walmart - Firefox loves those [look in the craft section]. Cable likes 'skittery' things - ice, plastic milk rings, etc. Pixel's favorite toy is crumpled tissue, like facial tissue or toilet tissue - altho she also likes little 'footballs' made w/paper towels. they all like empty cardboard boxes & q-tips. now, Java likes things made w/rabbit fur, & Chip is a catnip freak, so those 2 things i'll buy for them.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the comments. I feel a lot better about her now. In fact, yesterday, after I got a feather fishing pole teaser and one of those circles with the ball inside them, she played with them a little, and she’s running around a little faster and poking around in more stuff. So maybe soon it’ll get to the point where I need to start restraining her a little more. Ah well, at least she's happy.

She still doesn’t seem to be eating or drinking much, but there is stuff to be scooped out whenever I check the litterbox.

She’ll be going for a check-up at the vet tomorrow morning, so hopefully, they’ll be able to fix that up. ^_^
post #11 of 23
Could be that she was spayed. Let me tell you, when we first got Capone we raved over how sweet and quiet he was. How lucky we were to have such a good kitten… well lets just say that went away fast after he recovered. Capone was the worst kitten I ever had, he was so bad! Getting into everything, running around non stop all day, attacking my face and feet at night, I can go on and on and we will be here all night with a list of things he did… but that’s kittens for ya LOL and I loved every second of it.

So maybe it’s just that she’s spayed, or maybe she is just not a very active kitten. As long as she’s eating, drinking and pooping fine I would say there is nothing to worry about. The string thing is a good idea as well, cats are suckers for strings.
post #12 of 23
Good to hear she's coming out of her shell a bit, she's been through a lot of changes and surgery, I think everyone who's said give her some time to feel settled is right - it's normal for a cat or kitten who is unsure of their surroundings to be a bit subdued, so as not to draw undue attention to themselves, I am sure that will change

Originally Posted by silvionc View Post
attacking my face and feet at night, I can go on and on and we will be here all night with a list of things he did…
It's amazing how quick you forget quite how mad they were when they were little - both of mine that I had as kittens went through phases of pouncing on my face when I was in bed, thankfully they also grew out of it, that particular one seems to be around the 4-5 months old thing I think they just like making you shriek
post #13 of 23
You mentioned that she was just spayed a week ago... that is probably one of the reasons she is not very active. Mittens was spayed in November, a week before Monster was neutered, and she did nothing but lay around lazily until the sutures came out 2 weeks later. Monster however, was back to his "normal" self the next day after the anestesa(sp?) wore off. plus, she is in a new environment, which is another reason she isnt acting like a kitten usually does. she needs to get used to everything.

and a couple posters have mentioned the toy thing... dont worry about not having the money to buy expensive toys.. i dont either. i buy the packaged mice, the toys that are cheaper, but it doesnt matter, i am still wasting money on them. mine would much rather play with things around the house that are pretty much free.
post #14 of 23
Oh you've got her some toys, excellent!
post #15 of 23
Extrapolating a little here, I know I heard one female friend say that after her hysterectomy, she felt like a "gutted fish." Not pleasant. I imagine your little girl is experiencing some discomfort. As she feels better, she will probably play more.

And cats vary widely in their temperament. We have a number of kittens of virtually the same age at the animal shelter. When we take them into the play room, some do nothing but tussle, run full speed from one end of the room to the other, and bat around toys. Some just want to curl up in our lap. You just never know.

However, the better she feels, and the more secure she feels, the more likely she is to play.

And don't worry about the cost of the toys. It has been proven that the single most popular cat toy in the U.S. is the plastic ring off the milk jug, followed closely by a shoestring.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone! I think she's starting to come out of it. She doesn't play with the toys for long, but she'll play with them (well, she still won't react to the catnip mice, but she'll react to the teasers and the cat circle). In fact, I think she's starting to go into the "brat" stage a bit. For one thing, today she's been VERY determined to try to get some corn out of my bowl of food. Even more so than she usually tries to get a bite of human food. I'm trying to be firm with her without hurting her - it just makes it very hard to eat. Well, hopefully, she'll learn not to go after the food the humans are eating. Also, she's very curious about the bathrooms, and tries to explore everything whenever someone walks in there (we also discovered that tere is a gap underneath the bathroom door that's just tall enough for her to wriggle through. Looks very painful, but it doesn't seem to bother her. We put something on the floor to block the door, and it seemed to work. I'm just worried that she'll somehow get herself stuck doing that when she's a little bigger), and she'll meow her head off every time she's in the kitchen - I think she ants to explore the dishwasher, although she's perfectly content to lie under the door when I'm doing dishes.

Anyway, the vet said that she's still in good health, and at a good weight, so I can only assume she's eating (her food, hopefully - I don't think she can get into anything else edible unsupervised) when I'm not looking. Now, if only she's like the cat treats we bought, it would make it much easier to reward and train her for good things. Maybe something about the dental treats she doesn't like? She's had bouts of hiccups, and a few bouts of sneezing yesterday after the vet appointment, but that disappeared after I let her sleep against me.

So it looks like everything's good for now, though I don't doubt that I'll be posting for advice again and again in the near future. Thank you!
post #17 of 23
cats typically don't respond to catnip until at least 6 months of age - & some cats never do. if she's one of the latter, you might try honeysuckle or valerian - toys w/either of those are available here: Plain Brown Tabby.
Cable prefers honeysuckle to catnip, altho all of the others seem to like it fine - Chip is nutso about it!
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
cats typically don't respond to catnip until at least 6 months of age - & some cats never do. if she's one of the latter, you might try honeysuckle or valerian - toys w/either of those are available here: Plain Brown Tabby.
Cable prefers honeysuckle to catnip, altho all of the others seem to like it fine - Chip is nutso about it!
Interesting. That would explain why she doesn't care about the mice, at least for now. Well, she's got another three months, then before she might start responding to it. I still wish there was some sort of cat treat she would respond to, though. Thank you for the tip!
post #19 of 23
Punkin doesn't like any treat on earth; Sterling would eat rocks, if they smelled right. That's just the difference in cats.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
well, I'll still hope that she'll like them sooner or later. Although, if she doesn't I can always give them to Dora, my fiance's sister's kitten.

On another note, for those who've said that their cats like playing with the ring from around the milk bottle - doesn't that present a choking hazard?
post #21 of 23
So glad your baby's feeling better and starting to come out of her shell. In the past, I've spent tons of money on toys for my kitties, only to discover they're much happier playing with the box or bag the toys came in than the toys themselves! Mine love to play with the Q-Tip 'stick' after I've pulled the cotton off both ends, the top to the milk jug, the plastic thing at the center of a roll of tape (empty of tape of course), a nice box, and the Wal-Mart bag with the handles cut so they can't get their heads stuck. One thing you can do, is get a box and cut different shapes and sizes of holes in the sides for a toy. Make sure there's a hole big enough for her to get in/out of the box or "hidey hole".

post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
I don't have any spare boxes at the moment (I'd been throwing out a lot of packaging boxes before I got her).

One thing I've noticed the past couple of days is that she seems to enjoy going into the carrier sometimes! The door has a tendency to swing closed by itself, bu I've left it partially open as welll as I could so she can come and go into it as she pleased. Also, there's a hand towel in there that I rubbed her down with, in the hopes that she would stay calm when we took her to the vet on Saturday.

But, she's been walking into the carrier of her own free will, so hopefully, when it does come to traveling, it'll be a much easier journey on her if she feels safe in the carrier.
post #23 of 23
Some cats just aren't very playful by nature. Murray doesn't care about toys at all, with the exception of an interactive mouse-on-a-string toy. And he likes to bat around bottlecaps from water bottles. Other than that, the toys I bought for him were almost completely ignored, and I wound up donating them to an animal shelter. Overall, Murray would rather sit with me and keep me company than play with toys, unless I am playing with the interactive toy with him. He's just laid-back. So maybe your cat has a laid-back personality, too.
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