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Behavior problems in hand raised kitten

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
After finding out that the mother cat had FIV, the vet recommended that I raise her kitten by hand. I was successful, however the kitten seems to have behavioral problems. She was the only cat in the litter and was raised solo. Although healthy she tends to look bored most of the time. Although she expresses an interest in going outside she has refrained from doing so after being attacked by an older cat outside. She is only comfortable being around her younger brother, but seems distrusting of other cats. How can I help her with her boredom and socialization problems?
post #2 of 4
I'm not totally clear what the behaviour problems are in this kitty? I guess you mean the apparent boredom and the distrust of other cats?

There's a chance that she's not actually bored, but just being cat-like! Generally cats that are bored will have destructive issues (my cat likes to wreck the toilet paper, for example) If you want to give her some activities, buy a bag of toys and rotate them so she doesn't get tired of them (keep some in a drawer and dole out new ones once in a while). A perch near a window where she can watch the birds might also perk her up! Make sure you give her some quality playtime at least once a day. A toy or feather on a string should get her chasing!

Most cats are solitary animals. Often they will like having another friend or two, but often cats that live in the same family will just ignore or avoid each other. It's not like dogs, where being on their own is an indication of some deeper problem. I think being frightened by the bigger neighbourhood cat has given your little girl a scare, and I can't blame her for not wanting to be around the other cats! Since she is comfortable with her brother, I really wouldn't be worried about big problems in socialization.

If you're concerned that there is a bigger problem at work here, (for example she's not bored, but just has no energy, ever) make sure you take her to the vet!

Great job in handraising a kitten! It's not easy work.
post #3 of 4
What sort of socialisation problems does she have?

For bordom:

Have you got a cat tree? or pleanty of high spaces for her to climb on?

Cardboard boxes with holes cut in will provide entertainment for hours

Mine LOVE the goldfish i bought them in a cat-proof tank. I just put a comfy cat bed near by and they watch it for hours.

Invest in a birdtable and a window perch. Feed the birds and let your cats watch from the comfort of a window seat! (only works if you pretty sure the cats cant harm the birds...)
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
They helped me feel that she does not really have a big problem. I guess I was worried that I failed her. I just need to keep her mentally and physically stimulated. Thanks for the wonderful tips.
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