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baby kitty behavior

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hello. I'm hoping if you guys could help me. I just bought a baby kitten yesterday. She is about a month and half old and is so adoroble. I'm just wondering... are kittens this young really tame and not very active? Is it possible that she's sick? Also, although she's very sweet and doesn't seem to be aggresive, she hisses everytime she's hiding and you try to get her. She won't scratch or anything... she just hisses. Oh and yea... she bites! I think she's just playing but still.. she bites hard! So yeah... are these all normal behavior? Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 26
She is awfully young and should still be with her mom. Where did you buy her from?
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm reading around kitty websites just right now and found out that they have to be with their mom until they are 8 weeks old. I feel so bad for her now. I bought her from this pet store in town. She looked so lonely there so me and my husband decided to adopt her.
post #4 of 26
Well that explains it, she is probably a product of a kitty mill. They generally don't care that a kitten should ideally stay with mom till she is 12 weeks old. That way she has all the manners she needs and will have been exposed to humans at a very young age. Chances are, your kitty was not exposed to humans in the time frame that kittens need to be in order to interact well. If she is hiding, let her hide, don't dive in after her and pull her out, just leave her be. Let her adjust to this new situation- if you could find a littermate of hers, and adopt the littermate that would be good, but again she was probably factorized (mass produced) to sell to pet stores, and when that happens a lot of times the littermates get split up to different stores.

Try interactive toys with her, get an old fishing pole, tie a feather toy to the end of the line and go trolling for her, just drag the line around the bed, or dresser or wherever she is hiding.

Sit with her quietly, in the room she is hiding in. Sit down on the floor sprinkle treats nearby- my cats and kittens love the new treats by Purnina called Aquari-Yums- or look into Kitty Kaviar or wildside salmon- all kitty treats. Then just read out loud to your kitty softly. Do this about 10 minutes a day, if kitty comes out keep reading don't make any moves, don't stare at the kitty, just keep reading. When 10 minutes is done, get up and leave.

Invest in a snugglekittie, you can find them in our Cat Shop section under For Kittens only

And just give the kitten time, it has a lot of adjustments to make, it is stressed, scared, wants mom and its littermates-

also please look at this website and use the ideas inside, like the sock heater, and the alarm clock and start feeding the kitten kitten glop


Good luck- please ask any questions about your kitten here. Lots of people will help you-
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Mass produced? Wow... how sad. Most likely that's where she came from then. Thank you so much for all your advice. I do try to get her when she's hiding because she meows and meows when she's alone. That's why I try to get her so she can lay with me. I'm not doing that anymore! Anyway... thanks again!
post #6 of 26
Just curious, what breed is she? Do they really have 'kitty mills'? I would think since there are so many strays... I could see a 'kitty mill' to make certain breeds that would be profitable, but if she is a pretty average type, could she have really came from one?

Also, again just wondering, how do you know her age?

Best of luck with her! You sound like a very nice pet owner, I'm sure she'll have plenty of good times with you once she gets into her new surroundings!
post #7 of 26
If she is an only kitten...you may want to get her a buddy at some point.


post #8 of 26
Unfortunately there are kitty mills for non-specific breed housecats. There is this absolutely repulsive pet store around here that always has a supply of sick kittens (and puppies) for sale. They are always mutts, and they are always unhealthy. It is the most disgusting pet store I have only been in. I went in one time and I had to keep myself from throwing up, the stench just made me gag. And they kept the kittens and puppies in wire rabbit cages It was so sad I left the place crying.
post #9 of 26
i got my kitten at 6 weeks, and he's very playful when he is up, but very lazy once he is sleeping. he sleeps alot but plays alot too! he's always biting and scratching at us, but we know he's only playing. sometimes he does bite hard, but their also teething too. my friend had got a kitten at like 3 weeks, we found her with no mommy or other kittens. and she was very calm and sleepy all the time. 2 weeks later she's too playful..lol! just make sure to keep her nails clipped and buy lots of toys to occupy her instead of your feet! something you might have already is a laser light. my cats go crazy just when they hear me pick it up. of course she has to get used to her surroundings and you and your husband before shes gonna be playful. i got baci at 4 months and he hid behind my couch for a week, so it all depends on the cat. she's probably very scared right now. just show her nothing but good and she'll love you in no time.
post #10 of 26
it's a horrible fact of life that there are these kitty and puppy mills. I think they are actually pretty common, which is even worse. I live in Dallas, and I know twice over the past 3 months or so, I've seen on the news where the ASPCA is raiding some mill and police arresting the operators. And I rarely even watch the news because of disturbing stuff like this! The last one was a couple weeks ago, and they caught some woman in East Texas with OVER 300 SICK ANIMALS!! Dogs and puppies mostly, but cats and kittens too.

But you've got to think its even more repulsive that some company would even BUY animals in such conditions! I guess anything to make a buck these days.

The good news is that even though this kitten's life started out under such bad terms, it's found a good home with someone like you who cares so much about it. I think a buddy would be a good idea. If you can, try to get a littermate like Hissy suggested. Hissy always has great suggestions. Otherwise, I wouldn't contribute anymore to a pet store. I would either get your kitty a buddy from a reputable breeder, or even better in my opinion, you can adopt a kitten from a rescue group so you can change the life of another cat who's seen some misfortune.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Puma (we decided to name her that because she's an all black kitty) is a domestic short hair... regular kitty. I know her age because they gave me papers stating her bday and what shots they gave her. Hopefully we'd be able to get another kitty soon so she doesn't get too lonely. Anyway... thanks to all of you for taking the time to read and respond to my msg. I appreciate it! Have a nice day everyone!
post #12 of 26
snk112103...you are welcome...and please don't feel bad...you did what you thought was right (which I find commendable). You wouldn't have known about the kitten mills and your thread opened up an important discussion. I do hope you continue to visit this site and post about your little girl's progress.

post #13 of 26
How is little Puma going today? As others have said, 6 weeks is very young and you may have to do some of the training that her mother would have done. also, a vet visit is in order as you said she was inactive and also the vet can do a general check-up. Does she know how to use the litter box? How is her eating? Is she still hissing? Is she still mewing when alone?
post #14 of 26
Something that would be really good for little Puma would be a Snugglekittie. It is a stuffed toy with a heartbeat that mimics her mom's hearbeat as well as offering her comfort and warmth. You can find out more about the Snugglekittie here.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Puma's showing some great progress! When we got home today she didn't hiss at me when I took her out of her hiding spot. =) Also, she's been eating a whole lot and she's been going to the bathroom (litter box). Uhm what else... she's not afraid of my husband anymore. I've also been taking a lot of advice from everybody. I sit right next to her on the floor when she eats, warms her milk to room temperature, and other things... I'll go to petsmart tomorrow and look for snugglekitties. I got so much advice from all of you... thank God! I feel more comfortable about this whole situation now. Thanks so much! The site has been such a big help.
post #16 of 26
Are you giving her cow's milk? Or formula? If you can make her some kitty glop, she would probably scarf it right down- she is awfully young-

Home-made kitten formula (Kitten Glop)
  • 8 ounces water (boiled then cooled)
  • 1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 8 ounces whole evaporated milk (not skim)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (not low fat)
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (not low fat)
  • 1 large or 2 small eggs yolks (raw)
  • 1 teaspoon clear Karo syrup
  • * 1-3 drops liquid pet vitamins
  • * 1 capsule acidophilus
  • * 1 drop Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)
  • * Optional, though very beneficial.
Boil the water, add the gelatin and mix well. Add the following ingredients in order, mixing well after each addition:

1/2 of the canned milk
Mayonnaise and Yogurt
Rest of the milk
All other ingredients

You can substitute canned goat's milk for the canned evaporated milk, if you prefer it. This mixture will keep in the fridge for up to four days. It is jello-like in consistency in the fridge so you can just scoop out as much as you need and warm. It can also be frozen in ice cube trays and defrosted as needed. You can find pet vitamins at a pet store or your vet, and acidophilus and GSE in the liquid form at a good health food store.

If you prefer, you can use this recipe permanently, instead of a commercially available kitten formula. If you are using a commercial formula, add a quarter of a teaspoon of full fat yogurt to the first bottle of each day. This will aid in your kitten's digestion.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Is cow's milk bad for them? Do I have to feed her kitty formula? Also, is it possible for cats to have dandruff? Looks like Puma has dandruff. Looks exactly like dandruff.
post #18 of 26
allisa it depends on the pet store. They do buy backyard kitties rather cheaply and sell them, and they pay more for purebreds- which sadly can also be a product of a kitty mill- again, it depends on the pet store and who is behind the operation of the store.

snk- cow's milk is not good for kitties, please do not feed the kitten cow's milk-
post #19 of 26
Most cats are lactose intolerant, which is why we suggest that you not fed her cows milk. the kitty glop is the most beneficial thing for them right now, as she is eating solids.
post #20 of 26
Originally Posted by turtlecat
Most cats are lactose intolerant, which is why we suggest that you not fed her cows milk. the kitty glop is the most beneficial thing for them right now, as she is eating solids.
So, ice cream isn't good for them either. <hides in shame> My cats seem to really like sharing my ice cream.

Where can I learn all this stuff?

post #21 of 26
Originally Posted by TNR1
If she is an only kitten...you may want to get her a buddy at some point.


Dear Katie,

my neighbor and I both adopted a two and half week old kitten from a litter when they were found between the fences in his big backyard, before the rest were taken to a shelter. I felt very bad after reading that they should not be seperated at such young age. Even though I spend several hours a day everyday just to be with mine, I can tell that there's not much I can interest her, besides feeding, petting, and play scratch and bite with her. (Oh, she DOES like to climb on me and rub her face on mine while we hang out in her nursery.) She's not interested in little colorful balls nor fish rod toys. She has a beanie baby fish, which she sleeps and bites.

I will try to visit my neighbor more often - we are good friends - and my question is, how much time should I leave my kitten to play with theirs in order for them both to be, less lonely? I also have another friend who has an older female cat at home and she is tender by character, too. Should I try to bring my kitten to meet this older cat so she could have certain "role model?"


gingita from PHL
post #22 of 26
gingita, how old is the kitten now? At 2 1/2 weeks, the kitten will need a lot of care as you have to do everything the mom-cat would do. The web site www.kitten-rescue.com is an excellent source of information on hand-raising kittens. It sounds like she is too young for toys at the moment, she will become interested in them at around 4 weeks. As long as both kittens are healthy, you can let your kitten play with your neighbors for a couple of hours each day, although if she is under four weeks or so, there won't be much playing, more companionship. I have raised many single kittens and they've been fine. At this point, it's probably not a good idea to introduce the kitten to an older cat but again, when she is arund 4 weeks, you can see if the older cat is interested in her. Be very careful with the introductions. This would be of benefit as there is no better teacher of litter-box and other manners than another cat as long as the kitten is not carrying any parasites or diseases that she could pass onto the older cat and vice versa.
post #23 of 26
Another suggestion is for either you or your neighbor to hand-raise the kittens together so that they have the companionship of each other which is very important for kittens. When they are around 8-9 weeks they can then go to live in their new home.
post #24 of 26
Kristine, when a kitten has what looks like dandruff, it can sometimes mean that she is dehydrated.

Two ways to check for dehydration:

Pinch test: Lightly pinch the scruff of the cat's neck. Release...the skin should fold down to normal in seconds. If any portion of the skin remains tented- the cat is in need of sub cu fluids. The higher the peak that stays tented, the more urgent the need to get the cat to a vet.

Gum test: Wash your hands. If the cat will let you, gently pry up her lip. Take your finger and gently press on the gum. Release...the gum should turn white for just a second, but pink up as soon as you release your finger. If the gum stays pale, the cat needs fluids.

(Thank you hissy for that quote )
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hello. We brought Puma to the vet today and it turned out that she has earmites and roundworms. =( I have a feeling her first 4 weeks were rough because today when I was brushing her I found a patch of dandruff on her arm. I brushed it with a flea comb until it was all gone, and what I was left with was this round patch. I asked the vet and he said that she used to have ringworm. He said it looks like the pet store treated it and new fur's already growing. Hopefully she recovers from the roundworms. Vet said it's not serious... I just don't like the thought of her pooping spaghetti-like worms. Anyway, I just thought I should update everybody on how she's doing. Take care everyone!
post #26 of 26
A lot of mill animals have diseases and "paracites". It is pretty comon.

If i am not mistaken there are mills for every type of animal that humans are interested in that will breed in lower conditions then they really should have. So rabbits and other mamals are probuly just as prone to "puppy" mills. But the largest mill population would still be puppies and dogs.

I think that its sad .. we had our rabbit give birth to baby bunnies .. and i just want to keep all of them because i am to afraid to give or sell them because i do not want to accidentally give them to a family that after a month or 2 will not want them any more.. * sighs* and they are so sweet and lovable .. i don't know how someone could mass produce animals in horrible conditions .. maybe i am a softy.
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