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Advice needed with new kittens!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have just got 2, Abyssinian kittens (sisters by the same father) and they get on great. One is 2 weeks older and very affectionate to us but the younger one, being the only one in her litter, is not. I have been told by the breeder to separate the kittens for long periods to see if we can get the younger one to depend on us more. We did this and as predicted Pheobe (the younger one) came straight to us, purring and very affectionate. Once we put them back together, again she won't come to us. The breeder has given us the opportunity to return her, but I am really attached to her and I wonder if she would be better to go to an owner as an only cat or if she will settle.

post #2 of 8
Cats have their own personalities and they are not always affectionate towards humans like most dogs. They can often become solitary. Carry some treats in your pocket and don't over feed so she is eager to enjoy them when offered, maybe she will associate you with yummies.
post #3 of 8
I am surprised that the breeder told you to separate these two. Kittens are very sociable between themselves, and your shy one should have stayed with the ither kitten in order to learn- If this breeder did not handle the kittens at a very early age, or she just handled some of the litter, the kittens that were neglected do not know what to do with "humans"

Put the kittens together, and then sit in the room with them, on the floor. Just sit and quietly talk to them, or read out loud, and when you leave, in the spot where you have made a dent on the carpet, drop a few treats. Keep doing this several times a day and don't make any sudden moves toward the shy kitty, let the kitten come to you-
post #4 of 8
That's exactly what happened with my two kittens at first- Jake was very cuddly and outgoing, while Mitz interacted mostly with Jake and not with me, and didn't want to be picked up. I put some extra time and attention into him and wondered whether he'd been less well socialised- although knowing his breeder I doubt it- but he just grew out of it. At nine months, he's in many ways more affectionate than Jake is, they just are very different personalities and Mitz is a quieter character. I think maybe it showed more because Jake is such an up front clown, pretty much everyone looks quiet next to him!
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you all for your advice!

Ranger - that is what my breeder said also - that she will grow out of it. Did Mitz eventually like being picked up? Are your 2 Abys also?

I have stopped separating them now and I spend alot of time with the shy one. Can I ask what you did to help Mitz become more social?

post #6 of 8
I have two littermates as well, Pele and Scarlet, now 2 years old. When Pele was a kitten he was clingy, always on my lap. But as he matured he grew more and more "wild", that is, very cat-like; dependent, on-his-own-terms personality. He loves a couple-minute session of head petting but despises being picked up. He sits on my lap about 2 times a year! But it doesn't mean he's not affectionate. He is very loving in his own way (can't you just tell by the "look" they give you!), and his quirky behaviors are always making us laugh -- he has to be walking in front of you all the time, and races everyone into the bathroom. He totally freaks out when he hears a lion roar on the TV and starts tearing around the house looking in every corner for this intruder (where the other cats will totally ignore it). His personality makes up three times for his lack of touchy-feely-ness. Scarlet is the lover, always looking for a lap and rubbing on legs, trying to steal my wine, etc. Enjoy your kittens' personalities, I say... You have one that loves to socialize with people and one that will bring you lots of joy and fascination over the years with her very catty behavior.
post #7 of 8
I read some articles on socialising kittens, and I picked him up a couple of times a day without him coming to me which is what I usually do with the cats - I didn't make him stay, but I picked him up and fed him treats while I was holding him, made a fuss of him and let him get down as soon as he asked so he was sure that being on me was a nice experience. He loves being picked up and hugged now, and held upsidown in my arms like a baby, but he only started liking that when he got to his full size, I have no idea why! He's not a lap cat- I think he might be someone who needs to feel very sure of what's under his paws- but he'll get as close as he can and yell at me to be petted, he's very loving. It's great, as when he was tiny I really was quite upset that he just didn't seem to want human company at all! Two things I found helpful- one was to read on the net things by breeders about how they socialised their kittens, especially in handling them and getting them used to handling, and the other was something I read by one breeder who said that some kittens can't cope without knowing where the 'floor' is to stand on- if you pick the kitten up facing away from you and on your lap or arm rather than head up on your chest, they might feel more secure. This worked on Mitz and it worked too for the first couple of weeks with Jazzie. She's another 'feet on firm ground' girl. Really hope you and your kitty find the connection, I know how sad it made me at the time, but Mitz in the last two months has grown right into his personality- it just took a long time to get to know him, he's just a subtle boy.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks again to everyone. I took your advice and last night I sat with them both and the shy kitten (Pheobe) came to me and I picked her up for a cuddle!!!!!!! And she loved it! Well what a relief!! I think she will be the cat who likes affection but only in small doses.

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