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Are orphaned cats usually so affectionate/friendly?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
People keep telling me how friendly and well-behaved my foster kittens are and they always seem surprised by this... The kittens were feral, they were about 4 weeks old when I found them outside and I bottlefed them. There were 7 kittens in the litter. The people that adopted kittens all said how great the kittens are and how laid-back, how they love people and are good with other cats and fine with dogs etc...

I took one of the kittens (Tiger) who is getting adopted this weekend to work (vet's office) to get vaccinated and she stayed with me for the day. She just hung out with me part of the time, totally ignoring the vet's dog and any commotion. Part of the time she was staying in one of the treatment cages, and one of the vet techs I guess went to visit with her, he came to me and commented on how well-behaved and friendly she was and how unusual it was for a young adult cat to be so calm and relaxed like that at the office. They're 8-9 months old now. When the vet gave her the shot she didn't even complain.

All the kittens are like this. I took two of the kittens from the litter, Spot and Harlequin, to a huge pet show recently (there were cats, dogs, birds, etc there, it is gigantic) and they were also very calm there and took everything in stride, even being carried around the show by my friend's daughter and visiting the booths and things. Harlequin won 'best cat in show' in the household pet show. One of the other littermates Rosalie was adopted by a friend of mine and she is now her "Store cat" as she owns a pet boutique. Rosalie even wears clothes around the shop!

So I was thinking about it and I was wondering if they are so friendly with people and everything because they were bottlefed and basically "hand raised" by people? Are they comfortable around other pets because they were raised with my dog and with 7 in the litter plus my adult cats? People are always surprised they are so friendly since they were ferals, when I rescued them they hissed and spat at me even though they were only 4 weeks old. Now I'm pretty sure they think I am their mommy but they are also affectionate with other people, including strangers.
post #2 of 11
Chloe is our most affectionate cat and is the only one we know for sure was orphaned. She was found at 4 weeks with just a litter-mate, no mom. She loooves to lick your face and knead soft blankets.

I don't think our other 2 cats were orphans.
post #3 of 11
Could be. My orphans grew up to be quite affectionate but do not go out of the way to befriend people.
post #4 of 11
I don't know. Ollie is the more affectionate of my two, and Ally is the one I know was orphaned. I don't think Ollie was. I get the impression somebody's cat had kittens, and at least 3 of them got dropped off at the humane society.

I think Ally might just not be so affectionate right now because she's a teenager.
post #5 of 11
I've actually found that orphaned kittens raised alone will grow up to be....a bit odd, to say the least. Sometimes aggressive. My Silka was taken away from her mother at 5 weeks and she's absolutely psycho. But if you raise the entire litter together I'm sure they'll end up just like a well-socialized litter raised by their mother. The early human socialization is so important whether their mother raises them or not.
post #6 of 11
My cat, Kitty, was raised by his feral momma cat with two sisters until he was 2 months old and decided he wanted to be a housecat, planted himself on the porch and commenced mewing until someone took notice. He is extremely affectionate with me, and somewhat with my boyfriend, but he is pretty scared of strangers or people he hasn't seen in awhile. He is skittish when it comes to loud noises, and anything unfamiliar - people, surroundings, etc.

Edit to add that I have also had the experience of raising a litter of 5 kittens from the time they were 1 day old, and even though these cats had each other while being raised by my family, they did end up being a little odd as adult cats. But I've gathered that it is typical of cats who have never known a cat mom to be a little weird.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
I've actually found that orphaned kittens raised alone will grow up to be....a bit odd, to say the least. Sometimes aggressive. My Silka was taken away from her mother at 5 weeks and she's absolutely psycho. But if you raise the entire litter together I'm sure they'll end up just like a well-socialized litter raised by their mother. The early human socialization is so important whether their mother raises them or not.
I have heard that before too. I have my cat Church who was a feral kitten too, but I think he was the only (surviving) kitten in his litter and I caught him at about 6 weeks old and raised him from then. He is a nice cat but he is a little bitey, I think that is because he didn't have siblings. When he was about 14 weeks old we brought home another kitten (Roxy) so he did get some socialization around other kittens when he was a little older, which I think helped although he always played rougher than Roxy did when they played together and sometimes he'd bite her too hard when playing. He did get a lot of human contact though so he is generally outgoing and not shy or scared.
post #8 of 11
All of my cats were born feral, but the 4 that are the mostly snuggly and friendly were the 4 that were bottle fed for some period of time - Stumpy for a couple of days, Scarlett for 3 weeks, and Muddy/Koko for 5 weeks.

That's not to say that non-bottle fed cats aren't friendly, it may be total coincidence that my bottle feds are the friendliest in my household.
post #9 of 11
My Lucy Belle is hand raised since day 5. She is 16 months old now and she is extremely affectionate. When I first rescued her, I had to bring her along to work so she did travel intensely and met a lot of different people. She is very well behaved and will solicit attention, even from strangers. She is the only cat in the house and definitely spoilt. She does have her moments sometimes but don't they all? I was a little worried that as I have read that orphaned kittens can become difficult but so far, she is everything I would hope for in a kitty.
post #10 of 11
My mom's cat was hand raised by her from a day old, and she is extremely attached to her. The cat is co-dependant to the point that it is unhealthy, but there's nothing anyone can really do about it. When my mom goes away for any length of time, Maya will stop eating and/or will begin vomiting. She has a sensitive tummy to begin with, and then she gets so upset when my mom isn't around that it makes her tummy worse. She is 15 years old, and has been this way for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure if this is because she was raised by my mom from a day old or what, but I would be inclined to think so.
post #11 of 11
I used to feed ferals and I found my Scree(RIP) when she was about two weeks old...(someone had put her in a cardbord box and she was half dead). ne way I bottle fed her for about a month and she was really cuddly, she would sleep in my hair and try to nurse on my fingers even after she was grown. So yes I think hand raised are just prone to be more affectionate.Mommy issues possibly?
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