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6 week old kitty...what should I do?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

A gal from another message board refered me to this board for some help.

We just got a kitty today, he's only 6 weeks. This is the first time we've ever gotten a kitty, we've only adopted older cats. This one came to us from our next door neighbor. I think she was worried she was going to get in trouble because her indoor cat got outside once and came home pregnant (we live in base housing and you cannot breed cats or dogs while residing in here).

Anyway, I told her we'd take a kitten, but that we would wait until the kitten was fully weaned. She tried to give him to us at 4 weeks, but I knew there was no way he was weaned that young. I think she was kind of in a panic about housing finding out. So she came over and said that they weaned last week. I know her, she isn't the type to lie, however, I'm wondering if Momma-Cat was still nursing without her knowing?

He's just crying something awful and I know he's missing his Momma. He's scared of us, and hides from us, but at the same time, tries to be as near us as possible without us noticing him. We're keeping him in our bedroom (with the litter box in our attached bathroom).

I just want to do right by the cat. We definitely want to keep him, but should I talk to my neighbor about taking him back for just a couple more weeks? I'm a dog lover and I know that now a days they are recommending that puppies stay with their mommas until 10 weeks, even later if possible. I guess I just thought that cats were different because they always seem more independent.

If she refuses to take him back for a few more weeks, should I put him on kitten formula? She told me just to feed him dry kitten kibble, but is he too small? He's eating the food we've put out for him, but he sort of "complains" as he's eating. My Dad says he's too young for hard kibble and we should feed him wet for at least another month if not two.

When he cries, should we get him and hold him even though he doesn't seem to want us to? Poor little thing.

I'm kind of beating myself up right now because I know better with dogs. I've always been a huge advocate of being a responsible, educated dog owner and now I've gone and goofed up with a cat!

He's our cat. There's just no other way to slice it. We've all already fallen head over heels in love with him, and we're willing to do whatever he needs us to.

Thanks for your help.
post #2 of 24
If i were you I would talk to her and maybe she will let you keep the mom cat at your house for a few weeks if she has a problem with it at her house.. If not try the formula.. I would of waited til the kitten was at least 8 wks old before taking him away from mom.. You can also try wet kitten food.. IS he not eating or anything?

Also Welcome to the site.. We are glad you came here
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
He's eating his food and seems alright to me. Sometimes he'll whine while eating like, "This isn't what I want but it's here and I'm hungry." But he is eating. He just cries and cries.

I just talked to Dh and he wants to try to keep him with his Momma for a couple more weeks. If she's scared of getting in trouble, we might just offer to keep Momma here with us until it's time. I'm not sure about the rest of the litter. I think they might have taken them to the local no-kill shelter today too.

Oh, and if I give him the formula, I'm figurin' I'll just give him the recipe listed here. How many times a day do I feed him it and do I need to get a little kitten bottle? Do they sell that at Petsmart?
post #4 of 24
If you can try to get him back with mom for another 2 wks that would do him some good
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patti-Cake
He's eating his food and seems alright to me. Sometimes he'll whine while eating like, "This isn't what I want but it's here and I'm hungry." But he is eating. He just cries and cries.

I just talked to Dh and he wants to try to keep him with his Momma for a couple more weeks. If she's scared of getting in trouble, we might just offer to keep Momma here with us until it's time. I'm not sure about the rest of the litter. I think they might have taken them to the local no-kill shelter today too.

Oh, and if I give him the formula, I'm figurin' I'll just give him the recipe listed here. How many times a day do I feed him it and do I need to get a little kitten bottle? Do they sell that at Petsmart?
Also...I know your neighbor is feeling embarrassed....but here is a list of low cost spay clinics in Florida:

http://www.lovethatcat.com/stfl.html

She can take mom cat in now to be spayed.

Also...you may want to consider taking in a second kitten if there are no other animals for this little one to play with.

Katie
post #6 of 24
I would do everything you can to keep him with mom for a bit longer. But he can eat kitten food too - they don't just suddenly stop nursing and start eating - for a while they need both. And I agree about the idea of having two eventually- you will find they are much happier and less trouble.
post #7 of 24
I would try mixing KMR (milk replacer) into his food for awhile. You can get it at any pet store, and it's probably cheaper and easier than getting all the stuff for kitten glop. He may eat better. Also, are his littermates gone for sure? Being with a brother or sister may bring him some comfort, and having two cats isn't really that much different from having one. I'm struggling with my bf unknowingly giving away one of our 6 week old kittens, so I understand your concern. Good luck!!
post #8 of 24
I agree that having two kitties instead of one isn't much of a difference. If anything, it may be more of a help for you, since they'll have company in eachother, a playmate and someone of the same kind. I currently have two kittens for the first time ever. I've always only had one at at time, and it's so much nicer to have two. They are of different litters, but still love eachother like sistes and play and cuddle, and sometimes sleep together. They really enjoy eachothers company, and even though I really love being with them, some times I just don't have the time to play and snuggle. That's when it's real nice for kitty to have someone else there who don't have to get to the chores.

I did have a kitten once, who was scared stiff every time I came near her. She'd hiss and lay down flat on the floor. I was a teen back then, and didn't know much about cats. I don't know if this was the right thing to do (probably not) but I would just pick her up gently anyway, and gradually she got used to that. She eventually grew up to be quite a cuddler, though on her own terms. She could be a meany too, but she did grow out of her fear of us. It was just the first couple of weeks she behaved that way. I'm sure your kitten will get over this, too, with gentle love.

I wish you well, God bless you for the kindness you've shown your new little friend. I'm sure he'll come to trust you very soon!
post #9 of 24
hows everything going with this little kitten? does he have a name yet?

how wonderful of you to take this little one in, dont beat yourself up, at least your searching for answers and asking the right questions - thats a great step. Its been a week or so since your last post so I am going to assume thats a positive sign.

i have no doubt this one will come to trust you in no time and you will have a life long friend
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your help! Momma-Cat has "Mischief" for a few more days, then he'll be officially 8 weeks old and ready for us to try again. My neighbor can't give us more time than that because I guess housing is leaning on her because she's exceeded the pet limit. The other littermates were taken to the shelter 2 weeks ago.

I've gone back and forth over whether or not to get two kittens instead of just one. I know that two of the kittens are still available for adoption at the shelter, so I could still get another one, but I have some worries.

Part of the reason that we got just one kitten to begin with is because I wanted the kitten to bond with us. In the dog world, if you get two puppies their strongest bond will be to each other rather than the humans, and in doggy language can mean a so-so relationship with them. So, I guess I figured the same was true of cats. Also, we do have an 18 week old puppy (Great Pyrenees/Lab mix) and were hoping that the puppy and kitten might bond enough to satisfy each other's needs for "furry companionship". Yea? Nay? Our nieghbors' have a rambunctious, young, german sheperd and Mischief seems to deal with him in stride, so I'm hoping he won't be too frightened of our pupp-a-saurus.

Apparently, our kitten has quite the foot fettish. They call him "ninja cat" because he likes to hide and ambush unsuspecting feet, and he gets frisky at 4 am. Right now, no biggie because Momma deals with him, but will that transfer to us? If we do get another kitten, will we then have two cats waging war on our toesies instead of one?
post #11 of 24
I have three littermates that we got when they were 4 weeks old. They have a strong bond to each other but are very close to us as well. The puppy and kitten should bond well. All the cats and dogs we had growing up got a long very well when raised together.

Kittens are most active at night so if he has another kitty to play with they won't be bothering you as much at nighttime when trying to sleep. As far as the foot thing goes, he will probably do that to you all as well.
post #12 of 24
I've always preferred tow cats to one, but if he has a doggy companion, it might be good as well. If the kibbles are too hard for him, you could try soaking them in kitten milk. I know Royal Canin has this type of milk. Make it a sort of mush and then going gradually drying out...
post #13 of 24
you can invest in a www.snugglekitties.com to keep your little one company. He was crying because he misses his mom and his littermates and this is why I always encourage people to leave the kittens with mom at least till 12 weeks. Ideally, that is a great age because by then the momcat is also driving the kittens away from her.

Please tell your neighbor to get her cat spayed. Katie gave your great links you can also go to this link here to find all sorts of spay and neuter help

Meowhoo.com
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Part of the reason that we got just one kitten to begin with is because I wanted the kitten to bond with us. In the dog world, if you get two puppies their strongest bond will be to each other rather than the humans, and in doggy language can mean a so-so relationship with them. So, I guess I figured the same was true of cats. Also, we do have an 18 week old puppy (Great Pyrenees/Lab mix) and were hoping that the puppy and kitten might bond enough to satisfy each other's needs for "furry companionship". Yea? Nay? Our nieghbors' have a rambunctious, young, german sheperd and Mischief seems to deal with him in stride, so I'm hoping he won't be too frightened of our pupp-a-saurus.
Dogs and cats are 2 different species. With dogs, there is a pack mentality and the reason they recommend only having one dog at a time is so that the dog looks to you as the head of the pack. It's not the same with cats.

Kittens do best with a playmate who can play with them when you are gone. Here is a really good article on why kittens should be in pairs:

http://www.pawschicago.org/PetCare/catsinpairs.htm

I would say "Nay" on the bonding of the single kitten to the puppy. Get the kitten a friend of his own species and let the puppy interact with the 2 of them.

Katie
post #15 of 24
Katie, I read the article about having playmates for kittens... Can you give me advice as to what to do in my situation? I have a 4 year-old cat, Babs and Babs' grandson, Kiddie, who's 7 weeks old today. Babs cannot stand to have another cat in the house. We are keeping Kiddie (we've hand-reared him since birth) and he's very happy with us. Babs hisses and growls when she sees him and runs away but doesn't bother him much. During the day, we're at work - Kiddie stays upstairs and Babs stays in the basement (we close the doors between them). At night, Babs is mostly outside all the time and Kiddie plays with us and when it's time to go to bed, Kiddie goes in his room (our spare bedroom) and Babs sleeps with us (we've NEVER let our cats sleep with us but it's the only snuggly time we have with Babs now that Kiddie is around). So....... Babs would not want a companion, that's for sure. And I'm wondering if Kiddie is really lonely... And I refuse to have 3 cats so getting another kitten as a playmate for Kiddie is really out of the idea and Babs would hate us forever if we gave her another furry reason to hiss and groan.
Is there a way we can keep our youngest happy and occupied when we're away? Are there specific toys that could entertain him? Thank you for your help!
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zabby27
Katie, I read the article about having playmates for kittens... Can you give me advice as to what to do in my situation? I have a 4 year-old cat, Babs and Babs' grandson, Kiddie, who's 7 weeks old today. Babs cannot stand to have another cat in the house. We are keeping Kiddie (we've hand-reared him since birth) and he's very happy with us. Babs hisses and growls when she sees him and runs away but doesn't bother him much. During the day, we're at work - Kiddie stays upstairs and Babs stays in the basement (we close the doors between them). At night, Babs is mostly outside all the time and Kiddie plays with us and when it's time to go to bed, Kiddie goes in his room (our spare bedroom) and Babs sleeps with us (we've NEVER let our cats sleep with us but it's the only snuggly time we have with Babs now that Kiddie is around). So....... Babs would not want a companion, that's for sure. And I'm wondering if Kiddie is really lonely... And I refuse to have 3 cats so getting another kitten as a playmate for Kiddie is really out of the idea and Babs would hate us forever if we gave her another furry reason to hiss and groan.
Is there a way we can keep our youngest happy and occupied when we're away? Are there specific toys that could entertain him? Thank you for your help!
I haven't found a toy that replaces a playmate..but you definately need things to keep this little one occupied (toy mice, balls, cat post to jump on) especially since he is on his own during the day. My personal experience is that kittens that grow up with a playmate tend to be more social. Since Babs and Kiddie interact so little...they don't have a bond, and I wonder if Kiddie misses the interaction with another kitten. Some people have raised one kitten and stated it was fine...there are no definites in the world of cat ownership....but more and more rescues are trying to place kittens together. Hissy may have some ideas for your situation.

Katie
post #17 of 24
I also the nay just due to puppys size ... puppy could easily hurt kitty at this age ... could you take the other two 3 cats wouldnt be to much work ??
post #18 of 24
Thanks Katie. We raised Babs all by itself... She grew up fine but in return, hates any other animals. I'm hoping that Kiddie, just by being around Babs (even if she doesn't like him), will be sociable. Toots (Babs' "daughter" who passed away giving birth to Kiddie) was very social, even if Babs couldn't stand her. So I'll get more toys for him to play with...
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zabby27
Thanks Katie. We raised Babs all by itself... She grew up fine but in return, hates any other animals. I'm hoping that Kiddie, just by being around Babs (even if she doesn't like him), will be sociable. Toots (Babs' "daughter" who passed away giving birth to Kiddie) was very social, even if Babs couldn't stand her. So I'll get more toys for him to play with...
Yeh...having lots of toys is a good thing. I also found with my fosters that they LOVED the cat tree I bought from PetSmart. Wasn't the best quality but they jumped all over it. I don't want you to feel that your only option is another kitten....hopefully as this little one grows, perhaps Babs will be more accommodating towards it.

Katie
post #20 of 24
i cant reccomend enough getting another kitten to keep him company! it doesnt even have to be one from the same litter.

it actually makes life a bit easier for you and as long as you can afford the vet bills, the food bills arent really that much.

its so lovely to see two cats play and snuggle with each other and do all sorts of kitten things!
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Dh and I talked it over. We really can't get another kitten. The base that we live at only allows 2 pets per household. You can get a waiver for 3 but it's a pretty grilling process and you can get a lot of grief from housing over it (like they can start nitpicking you on "discrepancies" until you get tossed out of base housing).

The other thing is that having a dog and a cat, we really can't afford much more. Sure, if everyone is fine and healthy, we can deal with another set of yearly boosters another food dish and so forth, but, we really want to be able to handle things if...say...the dog eats something he shouldn't and then in the same week kitty gets sick...and then... You get the picture. We really want to be able to provide the best care for our furry kids and be able to get them help when needed without worry.

The article made me feel bad. I mean, it really would have been better for us not to have adopted this one at all and let him sit in a shelter too? I can think of a lot of reasons why people would only be able to take in one cat, and that kind of bothered me to think that the shelters would rather the cats sit unadopted (or put down if it's a kill shelter) then to home them as single cats.

We made the commitment. Mischief is our kitty. We'll do whatever we can to make him happy and provide an enriching environment, but getting another kitten isn't something we can do right now.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patti-Cake
we made the commitment. Mischief is our kitty. We'll do whatever we can to make him happy and provide an enriching environment, but getting another kitten isn't something we can do right now.
Mischief really is one lucky kitty!!! At least you discussed the option of getting Mischief a playmate, its can not happen so thats fine, you move on from there. At least you considered it. Mischief will be okay without another cat and I sure do hope he gets along with your dog.

when does Mischief come home?
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
He comes home today! We've got everything in place. We actually had our neighbor switched him over to Nutro's Kitten food (wet) over the past couple of weeks (we bought the food for him).

He's super duper cute! The kids have spent tons of time with him at the neighbor's house and we've "borrowed" him off and on over the past couple of weeks for an hour or so here and there so our house isn't totally new (again). Chaos (our dog) seems to like him and is quite gentle with him. He keeps trying to groom his face and check him for fleas. And Mischief takes it in stride, no hissing or anything. He's very friendly and very playful! His favorite toy is that mouse looking thing on the end of what looks like a fishing pole which happens to be the kids' favorite cat toy, but we got him those plastic balls with the bells inside and our neighbor said he keeps himself busy with those for hours!

I'll have to get up a picture of him when he comes home. He just melts my heart!

And the funniest thing is, Dh, who was sort of the reluctant Kitty Daddy, is the one that has fallen the hardest for Mischief. When he was over one day, he fell asleep on my lap and Dh scooped him up (KITTENNAPPER!!) and cuddled him back to sleep on his lap. HRUMPH!

We've been reading the boards like mad, learning all we can. Dh is going to build him a cat tree. Can you say SPOILED??!! Who'd-a guessed we were "cat people"? Not me!
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patti-Cake
He comes home today.....

I'll have to get up a picture of him when he comes home. He just melts my heart!


oh make sure you DO get photos of him up! cant wait to see them!

good luck with him when you bring him home - its great you have spent lots of time with him so I agree, hopefully the transition wont be so bad...

I am going away for 2 days - looking forward to reading up on who it went when I get back
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