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New Kitten Blues

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone;

I'm new to the forums here. I have a little situation with the little new addition to the family (I have an 9 year old resident female cat named Candy). This kitten is 3 and a half months old. I bought him from a pet store, but he spent the whole time in a farm before he was introduced to the pet store and finally to me (and my home, and Candy)He was properly socialized in the farm. He was, probably, only fed and given a place to stay when he was born -- not too much human interaction.
I know it's only been three days since I brought him home; but the fact that he wasn't properly socialized while he was in the farm, worries me. It's bad enough that I have to get Candy to accept Tobby (as you can understand, she's not too happy about Tobby); but, I'm also concerned that he might grow up to be a mean/aloof/too-independent little boy.
He's still very scared to come out on his own and stuff (when he does come out, he runs into hiding out of any tiny sound or squeak), let alone have other people touch him. He trusts me more (not completely, just a little =) than the rest of the family since I'm the one who's been handling him. But I'm still concerned. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I want to make his transition and socialization process as smooth and painless as possible. I hope this massage isn't too long, guys. I'm just a concerned cat owner =}
post #2 of 5
Hello Nette and welcome to the forums!

Well, sounds to me like you have quite a challenge there. Living in a pet shop can be quite traumatizing for a kitten, and not being handled a lot as a kitten does complicate the whole situation.

First, did you have him checked by the vet? Don't introduce him to Candy until the vet gives him a clean bill of health. Coming from a pet shop he could be carrying all sorts of parasites and medical problems.

As these are his very first days in your home, I would suggest keeping him to one room for some time. Put his litter box, food and water and some toys in this room (make sure that the litter box is as far as possible from the food and water). Keep the room warm and quiet and make frequent visits to interact with him (not a lot of people at once - preferably only you). This is supposed to be his safe place, his secluded little territory. You want him to feel safe in there.

When you come in to interact with him, it's best that you sit on the floor, don't stare at him and don't make any loud noises. Give him food treats and if he's not too scared, play some interactive games with him.

You want him to be relaxed and feel at home in this room before you introducehim to the rest of the house and to Candy.

Let us know how it's going and I do hope all will go well and you'll end up with an affectionate cat! Don't worry too much about him not being handled when he was younger. Some of the most friendly cats I know are actually ex-ferals who were gradually socialized into loving pets.
post #3 of 5
Anne is right about how to introduce him to interaction and the other kittes. It is VERY possible to change a cats basic attitude. I have worked with Feral cats and the younger the easier, but the older ones can come back. You got yours at a pretty good time. He should be able to overcome the improper socialization as a baby. They really don't decided what kind of cat they want to be until a year old. So you have another 9 months to teach him that people are really not the enemy and that he is loved. If he is shy to come to you, get some turkey or chicken baby food and feed it to him on a spoon. Try and leave background music, or noise so he is not startled as easy. Once he has gained some trust, have other family members do the same. He really should come out just fine. If you have any more questions, please ask.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for the tips. I really needed them. Tobby seems to be coming out of its shell. He's letting me pet him with a little more ease and he's becoming more curious about his designated room. I'll keep you guys updated on how he's doing. I think he's going to be fine =)
post #5 of 5
Barn cats tend to be especially skittish I think. My dad has a whole ton of cats at his farm but few of them are brave enough to get close to people. The people move the machinery which is very dangerous to them. Most of the friendly ones end up getting run over or otherwise mutilated by farm machinery It's in their best interests to be afraid. It will probably take Tobby awhile to learn that nothing in your house is going to hurt him.
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