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Tips for keeping a single kitten happy?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I recently rescued an amazing kitten from a local, high-kill shelter. I knew from the start, I would only be allowed to bring one cat home (it's all about compromise, and my boyfriend only wanted one cat in the house, likely do to bad experiences his family had growing up with owning multiple cats...which I suspect were entirely their fault).

In hindsight, knowing I was limited to a single cat household, I should have restricted myself to looking at older cats from rescues that knew the cat would be better off as an only cat. But after a month of looking and not really connecting with anything, I ended up in that depressing shelter, with all the cats crying and suffering of respiratory infections, and fell in love with a kitten I couldn't bare to leave behind. She was sick, yet still spunky and when I picked her up in that chaotic room, all she cared about was being hugged. How do you say no to that? It was love at first sight. And she instantly warmed up to my boyfriend when I brought her home... in fact, I almost dare say she likes him more than me! But, his shoulders are larger and better for perching... or so I keep telling myself. Hehehe.

We both work freelance, so more often than not, at least one of us is home... and we're playing with her non-stop. She seems extremely well adjusted, taking over the house instantly when she arrived. Very playful and curious, doesn't seem afraid of anything. When I took her to the vet, she started playing with him while he tried to examine her. And she purred the whole car ride.

I'm spoiling her, and realize that a year from now, alone time won't be as upsetting to her as it could potentially be now, but... I just have this nagging guilt that I was selfish to adopt a lone kitten. But I suppose on the same token, she's better off here as a single, amazingly spoiled and loved cat, then to have been left at that high-volume shelter, where her fate would have likely been quite grim.

Knowing getting a second cat isn't an option for me at this time, what are some tips, trick, etc. you've found for keeping a lone kitty happy? There's is an epic amount of toys, we give her a ton of attention... I was thinking of putting a bird feeder up in the tree outside one of our windows. I was told when I need to leave the house to leave a radio on? Any other clever ideas?

Thank you so much. I want to do everything in my power to make her the happiest cat possible.






*most awkward yawn ever*

Thank you!

- Jenn
post #2 of 19
I feared the same things as you. I found that by doing all the things you've listened Jack was pretty happy by himself--he may say he preferred life as a single kitty as compared to life now as one of three. The one thing I regret not doing with him is not having him around more people--he was only around Hubby and I and that really made it hard for him to warm up to other people. He now is the first to hide--when the once previous shy kitty we adopted is the first to greet people!

Good luck and thank you for adopting from a shelter--especially a high kill--the rewards will be that much greater.

Leslie
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
I feared the same things as you. I found that by doing all the things you've listened Jack was pretty happy by himself--he may say he preferred life as a single kitty as compared to life now as one of three. The one thing I regret not doing with him is not having him around more people--he was only around Hubby and I and that really made it hard for him to warm up to other people. He now is the first to hide--when the once previous shy kitty we adopted is the first to greet people!

Good luck and thank you for adopting from a shelter--especially a high kill--the rewards will be that much greater.

Leslie
So far, this kitten seems remarkably good with new people and even the neighbor's cats. She'll take attention from aaaanyone. And I am making it a point to try and have new people over to interact with her, because my last cat, who was a single cat of 15 years, was QUITE vocal over his distaste of house guests.

How old was your Jack before you brought new cats into the house?
post #4 of 19
Jack was about 11 months when we added Harley who was about 16 months old. It took Jack almost a full year to accept Harley's staying and return to his old self, lol and then a month later we added a kitten into the mix. Harley has taken to the kitten well, which is expected, Harley is extremely submissive. Jack (very dominate) is very unhappy with the kitten, but she is holding her own, although Jack's personality hasn't changed like it did when we brought Harley into the mix--so hopefully with time and the help of feliway Jack will begin to accept the kitten.

Leslie
post #5 of 19
It seems to me you are doing everything right! She is very lucky kitty!! And very very cute too!
IMO there is no need to feel guilty... If you were both working full time, then yes, I would say having another kitten would definitely be the best. In your case, she has two humans to spoil her rotten 24x7?? Lucky kitty!!!
post #6 of 19
Hey, just had to comment on that last photo. I love it! she looks like she's pulling one of those faces you see on Maori tribesmen! It's sooo cute.
post #7 of 19
oh my she is cuuuuuuuuuuute! Lots of toys, a big ole cat tree, play time for at least an hour or 30 minutes each day with fun interactive toys, lots of love, patience, and just have fun with her.
post #8 of 19
Your kitten is very very cute!! Congratulations!! It is great that you are exposing her to a lot of people; she sounds very friendly and well adjust thus far! Another thing you can do with her..if you find she likes it..is get a harness and leash for her and take her lots of places (after you get her used to wearing the harness). My kitten is currently an only cat (and b/c of my husband, will probably remain an only cat, but you never know ); I take her outside and to the pet supply stores. In other words, not only does she get a lot of play inside, her horizons are broadened to lots of places. Also, my case is a little bit different because I have dogs. One of my dogs especially is her big buddy I call her Kelly's cat, haha. They play and cuddle and hang out on the bed together So in a way Gigi is not an only cat at all I'd LOVE to have another, but my plate is pretty full and I know that
post #9 of 19
What a beautiful kitten - and how lucky she is to have found such a wonderful home!!! I too think you're doing everything more than right, and since you're both home quite a lot, wouldn't worry too much about her not having a furry playmate.

I would invest in a cat tree (or two) if you can, and put it near a window (and probably in a room where the humans are a lot!). Also, I do leave the radio on when I'm gone - tuned to either a new agey (lots of harp music) or a soft classical station (not Beethoven's 9th - more gentle piano) - I've read cats enjoy those types of music most - and it doesn't have to be loud at all.

Also, a lot of people do get bird feeders to attract birds so kitty can watch - sort of cat-tv.

Good luck to you - and don't forget to give your boyfriend a lot of positive reinforcement to overcome his prior bad experience with cats - although it seems the kitten is doing that perfectly on her own.
post #10 of 19
I didn't have an "only" kitten, but she lives with 2 older cats who didn't want to play with her at first.

The Turbo Scratcher is GREAT. She loved that, still does. If you have a Menard's, they carry it for a fraction of the pet store price. She likes lots of track toys (we have several). The SmartCat puzzle boxes are great too. Kong makes some great toys for kitties, the Wubbas and Kickaroo are toys Lola loves. And don't forget regular old mice and those balls with bells in them. Those cubes and tunnels that are very inexpensive at the big box stores have been very popular here too. I watched for sales, clearance and specials on these items. Some of these toys I've had for years, they just sat unplayed with for years before Lola arrived.

Have fun with your beautiful new kitten!
post #11 of 19
What a little darling!

If she were alone all day, I'd say that you should thwap BF over the head with a dead fish until he let you get her a friend. But since she has both of you to play with, so that she's not lonely, I think she'll be fine--and either way, much better off than if you hadn't rescued her!
post #12 of 19
It sounds like everyone has a lot of good advice for you already. I want to second the advice to get a cat tree and put it next to a window in a room you spend a lot of time in. More than one cat tree (in more than one room) is awesome. You can put it by the window where you put the bird feeder. Putting the radio on when both of you are gone is a good idea, too. I also think a Turbo Scratcher would be a good idea. That one is an easy toy for the kitten to play with by herself.

She is absolutely gorgeous. So glad you rescued her from that shelter. Very, very cute kitty. What's her name, by the way? Oh, and welcome to TCS!
post #13 of 19
What a cute baby You're doing a great job. Jake was an only kitten and is now an only cat He seems happy, he sees people as other cats except for he can get things when he meows and purrs so he can manipulate his humans so it's even better than other cats.
Just make sure there are enough toys to simulate play with other kittens
post #14 of 19
She`s a cutie! I`m a new cat owner with a rescued kitty as well.I think she`ll be so delighted with her new loving home that you will have no problems.I keep toys available and some "ghetto"toys as well (plastic 2 liter bottle cap,TP center roll)for her to play with.Alley pretty much sleeps the day away and does`nt do her full on playing until Daddy gets home. If there is a safe and secure window that she can see out of she`ll likely spend a lot of time there.

Sometimes if you hide a treat or a toy in a place you know she`ll be likely to visit it`s fun for them.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your tips and support. Bug seems to be doing just fine. We play with her probably for longer and more often than we SHOULD each day (we're getting nothing done and it's likely spoiling her and creating a monster...haha) but she seems to have gotten the hang of entertaining her self as well. She literally will rip around the house, running, leaping at full speed and batting at things non-stop for HOURS on end when we're home (I am assuming she sleeps alot when we're not, because when I get home, that's the state I generally find her in). I've truly never seen a more hyper animal in my life! LOL. Course... it's been 15 years since I had a kitten in the house, so I probably don't remember!

I still think she would have benefited greatly (all the books I've read say to discourage play fighting and biting to your hands and arms... but unless she's chasing something or asleep, it's kind of a constant state with her... oy!). But, I'll save all my unrelated questions for a different thread. Hehehe. Thanks again!!!
post #16 of 19
They are wild! lol I`ve read all the reports by pundits too...but I still love my "on hands" time with my Alley the best.She seems no worse for playing with the bare hand.When she begins to bite I tell her "no" and stop playing.She`s getting better and better but has some setbacks here and there.For me playing with her paw to hand is kind of a bonding thing. You sound like you are spoiling the hell out of Bug! lol Welcome to the club!
post #17 of 19
Well it sounds to me like your kitten is pretty happy. My Genever also loves attention and loves to be around people. Usually it's just my BF and I, but we had a little party in May and she hung out in the same room with us the whole time, which I never had a cat do before. I also think she sleeps most of the day when we're at work too, and then play time comes in the evening. I often think we should get another cat because I really don't think Genever likes being alone, but we're holding off at least for now. BF is afraid Genever will hate another cat for some reason, but I think she'd love the company. In any case I think she's a happy cat on her own, and like I said it sounds like yours is too. Good job!
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JennRoseFX View Post

Another photo that just cries out for a LOL caption!
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Another photo that just cries out for a LOL caption!
Exactly what I was about to post!

This needs to be a motivational poster or one of those crazy cat captioned ones!
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