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First-time Kitty Owner...Questions!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone. I have just adopted a new female kitten 3 weeks ago. She was 6 weeks old when I got her, and is almost 9 weeks old now. I have never had any kind of pet before, so I have absolutely no experience with cats at all. I have named her Kiwi.

Kiwi is very outgoing, not shy at all, and curious as can be. Last night I accidently trapped her inside the fridge because I didn't even notice that she had darted in there. Luckily I heard her cries moments later, and rescued her. She is eating, drinking and using her litter box just fine, and seems to be healthy. I haven't had a chance to take her to the vet yet, but plan to next week.

Ok now for the questions.

In the last few days she has started biting, fairly hard although she has never broken the skin. Sometimes it seems like she is just playing, because she is always purring loudly when she does it, but other times it seems like she just chomps down on me for no reason. She will also come flying at me full speed, claws and teeth blazing and attack me, although she is purring when this happens too. If I am petting her she seems to be enjoying it for a moment, and then she will flip around and bite me hard. Is all of this normal kitten behavior?? And will it pass?? Or does she have some kind of aggression problem? How do I deal with it?

Another question. My Kiwi is a total and complete klutz. I am seriously beginning to wonder if she has some sort of vision problem. She runs straight into walls, door frames, etc. Last night I scared her with the vacuum, and she took off at a rip and smacked her face straight into the stairs. It actually knocked her over. Now she has a bump on her head. Is it normal for kittens to be so clumsy?? I am afraid she is going to seriously hurt herself.

Another one. Is it normal for cats/kittens to have cat boogers?? Kiwi constantly has what looks like dark colored lint stuck in her nose that I have been gently wiping away with a damp Q-Tip. I have to clean her nose every day. Is this something that I should be concerned about?

One more question for now. The day I brought Kiwi home I clipped her nails (after reading instructions in my kitten care book) and she was great about it. Now her nails are getting long (and dangerous) again, but she won't let me anywhere near her with the clipper. She Bites and claws and squirms. How can I clip her nails without causing her too much distress, and at the same time saving myself from the wrath of her teeth and claws?? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all so much in advance. I am really looking forward to getting to know you all, and absorbing all your kitty wisdom. Any other feedback, advice or tips you would like to offer are always welcome, since I am a complete novice here. Take care.
post #2 of 5
Hello and welcome!
You are the the Mommy of a normal kitten! 6weeks is young, she does not have experience in what is aceptable play and what is not. Most baby animals bite, they just dont know any better, thats where you come in. Mom cats will hiss, scruff and scold thier kids to tell them, Uh, nope, not good. Hiss at her when she does this, and mean it. Then direct her to a toy, and tell her what a wonderful kitty she is when she plays with it.
The biting when petting is also normal, it's over stimulation. They get too excited and the rection is to bite.
post #3 of 5
Ideal age to adopt a kitten is 10-12 weeks old minimum. Any younger then that you will have to deal with a lot of negative behaviors as you are finding out.

The first 10 weeks, they should stay with mom and siblings to learn social behaviors. Taking them too soon and only having a single kitten, will be tough. If you had an older cat that would help with the kitten learning. Is there any chance of adopting an older kitten or year old cat?

As far as the other problems (nails mainly). I trim kittens nails at about 4 weeks old and do it every week (sometimes twice a week on kittens). You need to teach her to be still to do them. For now, try to get her more when sleepy. Or wrap her in a towel and do one paw at a time. The more you let her fight you, the more she will do it.

The behavior problems are due to her taken too young and not spending time with siblings to learn control. That's why I suggest another older kitten/cat to help teach her.
post #4 of 5
Too many questions at once!

The whole biting thing is normal kitty behavior. They have very strong instincts to "play" in a way that teaches them hunting techniques. You have to give them an outlet for this that doesn't involve your own flesh. In fact, you want an iron clad rule against play that involves gnawing on you or sinking claws into you. Without such a rule, they learn to play like this and there is going to come a time in the not too distant future where that stuff from a bigger kitty really hurts.

I just adopted a 10 week old and went back two weeks later and got a second kitty. They take out their hunter instincts gnawing on each other about eight hours a day.

If you really want to give your kitty some exercise, get one of the laser pointer toys. Man, they go crazy chasin' that little red light.
post #5 of 5
You might seriously consider getting another cat or kitten for her to socalize with, since she is so young she probably hasn't had as much cat socalization as, say, a ten or twelve week old kitten would have. And that could make her look on you as her mother and might make her very needy and not able to get along well with other cats if you decided to adopt another one later on. Otherwise, just continue to give her plenty of activity to help her run her little kitten legs off!

Good luck!
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