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Picking out a kitten - Help!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My boyfriend and I are looking to adopt a kitten. Ideally, we'd like to adopt a younger kitten, so that we have more time with it and are more able to positively affect its temperament. Recently, we found a really cute 8 week old kitten who purred when we held it after taking it out of the cage, but when let go in the bonding room, only wanted to play with toys, and virtually ignored us. Is this behavior typical with young kittens? I totally understand a cat's need to play, but as a long-term thing, we want a cat who enjoys being held and petted and loved. Does anybody have any input on this subject?

- Melissa
post #2 of 20
The only advice I can give you is from personal experience. When I went to my breeder's house to look at kittens, my Chay at 10 weeks wasn't very interested in being petted or held until he was tired of playing with all the toys. Today, at 6 months, he is affectionate and likes being petted, but on his time, which in honesty is a decent amount of the time. Otherwise, if he is not ready for cuddling, he'll pull away. You might ask the staff of the place you are looking how this kitten acts around them. I didn't get much time with Chay, but his breeder could tell me that he was a real cuddle-bug whenever she came over (he lived at her mom's house). Hope some other people give you good suggestions, best of luck picking out a baby!
post #3 of 20
You might want to consider adopting a young cat that is not still a tiny kitten, so that you can "SEE" what it`s temperment is before you take it home. I`m not sure that you can "train" them to be cuddly-lap cats unless it`s in their nature.....a lot of cats are, but some are not.
post #4 of 20
The other thing to bear in mind that your cat's personality will mature as it does. What you see now, especially with a very young kitten, may not necessarily be what you get later. I'm spoiled in that both of my cats are cuddle-monsters, but I've known other cats who grew into independent cats who were definately not lap-cats, although they were affectionate lap-cats as kittens. And I knew another cat who was the meanest, grumpiest hellcat on the planet ... until a stroke changed her personality entirely and she became a sweet old thing who loved being cuddled. (That was a bit extreme, however!)
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by serialmel
My boyfriend and I are looking to adopt a kitten. Ideally, we'd like to adopt a younger kitten, so that we have more time with it and are more able to positively affect its temperament. Recently, we found a really cute 8 week old kitten who purred when we held it after taking it out of the cage, but when let go in the bonding room, only wanted to play with toys, and virtually ignored us. Is this behavior typical with young kittens? I totally understand a cat's need to play, but as a long-term thing, we want a cat who enjoys being held and petted and loved. Does anybody have any input on this subject?

- Melissa
If you want to know exactly what it's personality will be...then I would suggest a youngish cat over a kitten. I wouldn't adopt expecting that you can "influence" a kittens behavior...trying to determine what a kittens personality will be at 8 weeks is not a very good indicator of their future behavior and if a cat isn't a lapcat..you won't be able to "change" them. I would truly suggest you find a 1 year old who is already into being cuddled. It will also be better if you are only planning on adopting one cat to get a 1 year old as kittens tend to do better with a playmate.

Katie
post #6 of 20
Here's my most recent experience with kittens: We took in a pregnant stray cat last June and she had 4 kittens, 3 of which we which we kept until 10 weeks (we kept the last one). Yankee (born on the 4th of July) had no interest in being held at all, which was pretty different from the other kittens who didn't mind being picked up and tickled, or would occasionally take a little siesta in my lap. In fact, the reason we decided to keep him is because he was so anti-social and we thought that he would be hard to adopt because of that. Well as soon as his brothers and his sister left and he was by himself, he had a complete turn around. He understandably still doesn't like being picked up if he's in play-mode, but as soon as he gets tired he will sleep either next to me or on my chest. So a change in environment could be all the kitten needs to be more cuddly.

In our past experiences, we have always had success with kittens growing up to be cuddly. It may take a year or two to settle down (and spaying/neutering also helps), but without fail we have always ended up with cuddly cats. The more you pet it and hold it, the more it will get used to it. So I wouldn't write the idea of a kitten off just yet.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your responses! Tomorrow, Jeff and I are going back out to meet some kitties, and the info i've gotten here will definitely help. Any more is also very appreciated!
post #8 of 20
My personal experience has been that YOU don't choose a cat, the CAT chooses you. I have friends that feel the same way.

I can't explain it, but when you see/hold the kitten, you will know if it's the one for you. It has always been that way for me and I had all cuddly cats except the one barn cat that a man was trying to find a home for and just gave to me. He was lovely, but didn't want to be held.

Enjoy looking and congratulations on your soon-to-be new family.
post #9 of 20
Good responses in this thread.

I agree Yosemite.
ANY pet who has chosen me - or my friends in the same situation - has been the right pet *for us*. Maybe not for the next guy, but for us.

I was in a huge room of rescue kitties (who get to run free inside) for over an hour. All 50 or so of them completely ignored me and ran if I approached. When my cat finally awoke from her nap, she let me hold her than rubbed her face where the whiskers come out on my face. She said "You belong to me. " That was it. And she *is* perfect for me. V. sweet, a lap cat, snuggler, likes to be held, and doesnt need a whole lot of attn from me, but likes it.
post #10 of 20
I just have to share this with you. We have a friend who lost his Siamese about 2 years ago. This past summer when we chose Tia for our friend Carolcat, the breeder had an older cat that she needed a good home for so I told our friend. He went to see the older female cat and when he and his wife walked in Tia's little brother (flame point and runt of the litter) literally went over to him, sat at our friend's feet and just looked up at him as if to say "here I am". Our friend looked at the kitten and he said the weirdest feeling came over him like the kitten was saying, "Don't you recognize me? I'm Max!" (that was their cat that passed on). He bent down and the kitten kept licking his fingers and when he picked him up, he purred like crazy. He also went to our friend's wife and did the same. Needless to say, this little flame point boy now has a new and wonderful home and has the lovely name "Minou" since his wife is French and wanted a French name. I've never seen a grown flame point and am anxious to see Minou so my husband and I are going there for dinner next month. They live about 2 hours away. I'll try to get some pictures to post of him.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
My personal experience has been that YOU don't choose a cat, the CAT chooses you.
I feel that way too! You just have to accept cats on THEIR terms. Having said that, my experience has been that as kittens mature into cats they become more settled and more affectionate but that is only MY EXPERIENCE.

A kitten that's a little older will show their personality more. I think the breed of cat makes a difference too - JMO

Let us know!
post #12 of 20
My best advice in picking a kitten is to bring home one that is very interested in you. For instance, when you take him/her into the bonding room, they want to sit around you, sniff you, figure you out, play with you, have you pet them, etc. Getting a kitty that ignores you as a kitten will most likely result in quite the aloof cat as they grow older.

Our babies were two out of a litter of four. I picked them (well, THEY picked ME is more like it) because Sunny (our little female) was VERY interested in the people around her, and was very social. (We brought Hobbes home originally because he and Sunny are so incredibly close, we didn't want to separate the two...but I've totally fallen in love with Hobbes now.) The other two in the litter consisted of one that TOTALLY wasn't interested or noticing the humans around her, and one that was VERY complainy. Needless to say, Sunny & Hobbes definitely fit the bill!

Sunny is definitely one of the sweetest cats I've ever had, and I've always made sure (when I had the choice) to bring home a really social cat that was interested in having (if not flat out needed) time with me/us. I wanted BABIES, not aloof, independant friends. Ya know?

Anyway, that's my best advice. Hope it helps!

Oh, P.S. I was there when our babies were being born, and brought them home at about four weeks, and their personalities were already very much as they still are.

I do have to agree, however, that males tend to get much cuddlier after they're neutered, and females tend to favor more alone time after spaying. So if you find a female that is an absolute cuddle-bug, chances are she'll still want to be lappy when she's spayed.

Another thing, you might want to try multiple visits with the kitten in the room, since it might have just been more interested in the room itself at the time, and if it gets used to it, it might be more interested in YOU next time.
post #13 of 20
I don't really agree with the people saying you can't determine a cat's attitude when it's a kitten. My oldest cat Popcorn, has always been a bit aloof since the day she came into our house, with me she has always been cuddly, but only on her terms. With everyone else she pretty much keeps her distance. My younger kitty picked me rather than vice versa, the day I went to pick him out he was the only one out of his litter that came straight to me and rubbed all over me, he is absolutely the sweetest cat around............granted he's still only 5 months old now, but I can't see him changing much. Another thing to consider, I've had cats all my life and it has been my experience that male cats tend to be more affectionate and lap cats than females. I'm not saying there are no cuddly females, just that in my past all my females have been more aloof and only cuddle when they are good and ready and the males have always been so sweet and cuddly that they are almost a permanent fixture on your lap............lol.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by juliek75
I don't really agree with the people saying you can't determine a cat's attitude when it's a kitten. My oldest cat Popcorn, has always been a bit aloof since the day she came into our house, with me she has always been cuddly, but only on her terms. With everyone else she pretty much keeps her distance. My younger kitty picked me rather than vice versa, the day I went to pick him out he was the only one out of his litter that came straight to me and rubbed all over me, he is absolutely the sweetest cat around............granted he's still only 5 months old now, but I can't see him changing much. Another thing to consider, I've had cats all my life and it has been my experience that male cats tend to be more affectionate and lap cats than females. I'm not saying there are no cuddly females, just that in my past all my females have been more aloof and only cuddle when they are good and ready and the males have always been so sweet and cuddly that they are almost a permanent fixture on your lap............lol.
I completely agree.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Guess what! My boyfriend and I went to the shelter on Saturday and were torn between two cats - one, a tiny kitten with big eyes, the second a quirky young girl with unique fur. We had decided on the little black kitten, and my boyfriend went to get the paperwork settled. While I was still near the cages, I saw a young calico that had been sleeping before, and she meowed at me.. it was the sweetest meow ever! I put the little kitten back and picked up the calico, and knew she was for me. She purred when i held her, and cuddled up with my boyfriend and i on the couch before burying her head in it, and then chasing a ball around. She is the perfect mixture of playful and sweet, and I am so glad to have kept an open mind. I thought I wanted a tiny kitten, but the little calico was the Right cat for us! Tuesday we have a short interview, and then get to bring her home. I am so excited, because i know we made the right choice!

Thank you all for your help! :-)
-Melissa
post #16 of 20
[quote=maherwoman]My best advice in picking a kitten is to bring home one that is very interested in you. For instance, when you take him/her into the bonding room, they want to sit around you, sniff you, figure you out, play with you, have you pet them, etc. Getting a kitty that ignores you as a kitten will most likely result in quite the aloof cat as they grow older.
QUOTE]

That is how I picked out Josie. Out of the two kittens I looked at, she was the one crawling around in my lap, sniffing me, etc. I picked her because of that and I really liked her coloring. However, as she got older, she's gotten more aloof. Definately, not a lap cat. Likes to be loved on her terms. I really wanted a cuddler and that's not what I got.

However, I do think she came to me for a reason. She has a very challenging, persistant, alpha cat personality. I'm a very patient person. She's probably lucky she has me because someone else would've given her up by now.
post #17 of 20
I had a wonderful calico Melissa. She was v. cuddley and sweet, and if she didnt get held several times a day she would get angry!

I hope she comes home with you soon!!
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by serialmel
Guess what! My boyfriend and I went to the shelter on Saturday and were torn between two cats - one, a tiny kitten with big eyes, the second a quirky young girl with unique fur. We had decided on the little black kitten, and my boyfriend went to get the paperwork settled. While I was still near the cages, I saw a young calico that had been sleeping before, and she meowed at me.. it was the sweetest meow ever! I put the little kitten back and picked up the calico, and knew she was for me. She purred when i held her, and cuddled up with my boyfriend and i on the couch before burying her head in it, and then chasing a ball around. She is the perfect mixture of playful and sweet, and I am so glad to have kept an open mind. I thought I wanted a tiny kitten, but the little calico was the Right cat for us! Tuesday we have a short interview, and then get to bring her home. I am so excited, because i know we made the right choice!

Thank you all for your help! :-)
-Melissa
That's so wonderful to hear! I'm so glad your new baby found you guys!
post #19 of 20
Congrats on your new baby! She sounds so sweet. I remember when my Wukong was sick with flu and was without his feline companions (siblings passed on, mama had to be separated from him), he was so happy when someone picked him up. He'd sleep on my tummy sometimes. Mostly he'd try to climb me, drape himself on my shoulder and sneeze into my ear. I called him parrotcat sometimes cos he'd even balance on my shoulder to wash his face.

Later on, when his flu got better, he got to play with his mom and from then on he didn't really like to cuddle with me much anymore. He purrs still when I go and see him, but he struggles and complains when we carry him when he's not in the mood for a snuggle. He'll still fall asleep in our arms though, if he's tired enough
post #20 of 20
im so glad you found the right cat for you!
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