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Advice needed for newbie kitten owner

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I've recently become the owner of a 10 week old Kitten (named Millie), it's a long story on the how and why, so I won't go in to details. We picked her up only a week ago and she is very active and healthy. The issues we are having is that she won't settle at night and we can't sleep. She is usually fine until around 3:30am-4:00am but then she decides its play time and starts to scratch, jump etc etc. She currently sleeps with us on the bed but if I take her out of the bedroom and lock her out, she starts to cry. So basically we have a catch-22 situation. We either lock her out and put up with the crying or let her in and let her run rampant in the bedroom. Has anyone experienced this before and do you know a suitable solution?

One other question - me and my partner both work full-time Monday to Friday and are out of the house from 8:00am to 6:00pm, therefore at the moment she is at home on her own. Would you recommend we get another female kitten to keep her company; will this make the sleep issue worse or better? I can't really let her out yet because she is too small and hasn't been to the vet and I know that there are quite a few older and larger cats that regularly roam around outside and she wouldn't be able to hold her own. In addition, our external backdoor is actually a double glazed patio, so I can't really install a cat flap in the long term.

Apart from this, everything is going great

Any help / advise is greatly appreciated.

Regards

Iain
post #2 of 18
well 1st of all welcome to TCS, its great here, with loads of advice, support and friendship. Oh and we do have a bit of fun now and then

Cats are natural night hunters, so bless her, shes wants to have a hunt. Try to tire her out before bed-time, either with bought toys or create some of your own, bits of string with big button tied to the end are great fun Screwed up paper is also great for chasing games. Also she can play with these if she wakes up before you.

It is a worry to think about them left on there own, but again if she has toys to play with and a window to look out of, that will entertain her. In time she will get used to her own company.......and to be honest cats sleep for hours on end, so shes probably sleeping when your out.

There also lots of other advice in the Cat Care Forum, which you have probably seen, and I am sure our other members will have lots of other great tips for you.

So enjoy and in the meantime, if you get chance, post a photo of Millie
we LOVE to see new kitties
post #3 of 18
Welcome to TCS!! It sounds like you have yourself a normal little kitten. Definitely work to try and tire the little monkey out before bed, that should help you get some more sleep.

I would recommend if you can handle it financially (i.e. spay/neuter, food etc) to get your kitten a playmate. They will be great company, and best of all they wear each other out. At that young age, you could get either another girl or a boy kitty for your girl.
post #4 of 18
At this age it would be a great idea to get another kitten around her age. If you can afford to spay/neuter. Cats are more active night then day and as shes home alone 5 days a week she probably sleeps most of the time. So by having a playmate she would be up and more active in the daytime and ready to sleep at night.
Try playing with her at bedtime to tire her out! Please give it some thought as to letting her out. Cats can and do live inside only. Its unsafe outside for cats. Predators, cars ,mean people! Anything can happen outside. If you decide to let her out. Wait till she is alot older and then only when you can go outside with her.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the prompt responses. We have been actively playing with her for at least 2-3 hrs in the evening every night, but it seems to wear us out faster than her . I don't intend letting her out (if at all) until at least next summer, but by this time she will be a little bigger and stronger.

I've spoken to the Vets and the Cat Protection League and they have both stated that we can't introduce her to a play mate until she has been fully vaccinated. I've got her booked in for her first jab at the end of the month and have been led to believe the next one shouldn't be within 3-week's of the first. Therefore, realistically, we can't get her a friend for at least 6 weeks .

We have lots of ‘stuff’ to keep her occupied during the day, but all the funky cat toys we bought her are being ignored, it seems her real preference is for a ball of tinfoil (typical) which costs the princely some of 1p.

I appreciate that cats are naturally quite active at night, but is there anyway you can teach them to be active elsewhere (i.e. downstairs), it’s just she seems to wants to play directly on top of us at 4pm in the morning.
post #6 of 18
Hi and Welcome to TCS!

Do you post here your questions?
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=36
maybe here your questions would be answered soon!


See you on the forums!
post #7 of 18
Actually you may get more responses in the Behaviour Forum so I'm going to move this to that forum for you.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by flinni View Post
We have lots of ‘stuff’ to keep her occupied during the day, but all the funky cat toys we bought her are being ignored, it seems her real preference is for a ball of tinfoil (typical) which costs the princely some of 1p.
My cats do this too. The cheaper (or free) the toy is, the better they like it. Try giving her an open paper sack laying on it's side; prepare to be amused. Have you tried little fur mice? Almost all cats love those. One of my cats, Prego, also likes ping-pong balls. I won't buy an expensive toy unless I KNOW they will play with it.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurrPaws View Post
My cats do this too. The cheaper (or free) the toy is, the better they like it. Try giving her an open paper sack laying on it's side; prepare to be amused. Have you tried little fur mice? Almost all cats love those. One of my cats, Prego, also likes ping-pong balls. I won't buy an expensive toy unless I KNOW they will play with it.

I'll try the paper sack idea. We do have a little wind up mouse, but she seems to be scared of it, funny though, as she loves those wind up teeth that move along and make a chattering noise as they go.
post #10 of 18
Hi Iain and welcome to TCS from another NW-erner!

Awww, your kitten loves you! I know very well the early morning play times - still occasionally get that with my Willow and he's over a year old now!

I agree that it might be a good idea to get a play mate! I know your vet said that it would be best to get the vaccinations out of the way, but would it be possible to get a tested kitten? (my vet speuters, tests and vaccinates young rescue kittens)

Isn't it amazing how we speand lots of money on expensive toys and they'd be quite happy with something cheap or a 25p Ikea bag?!!
post #11 of 18
At 10 weeks she's still very little and kittens of that age don't usually sleep all night. They tend to play for a bit, sleep for a bit, play a bit more etc. You can gradually get her into the habit of sleeping at night, by playing with her as much as you can during the evening. And even when you're not actively playing with her, try to keep her awake so that she's ready to sleep when you go to bed. If you ignore her when she gets playful in the night (hard I know) she'll eventually get the message that she isn't going to get any attention from you at that time. My kitten is nearly 9 months now and only started sleeping through the night a few weeks ago - before then he'd sleep for about 5 hours max. The darker mornings are working in your favour now as cats are most active at dawn and dusk - at least dawn is getting later!
post #12 of 18
When I first got Miki at the age of 5 months, she was always wanting attention while I wanted sleep. The first two days I had her at home, I got only 4 hours of sleep over the course of those two days. Now, she is nearly 9 months old and when its time for bed, she knows it and she'll jump into bed, curl near my feet and go to sleep. Tyran on the other hand is approaching 5 and a half months and she is still in that kitten stage of wanting attention all night. I still get on average 6 hours of sleep a night, sometimes as little as 4 or 5, but she's not as bad as Miki. I think it all has to do with age. As they get older, they will calm down and leave you alone for the most part while you sleep. (Plus, if its cold in the bedroom, they are almost always willing to lend body heat. Last night, Tyran curled up on my chest. For a kitten, she sure does feel heavy after a while. )
post #13 of 18
I agree with all that has been said. Trixie is VERY playful before bedtime and will come over and rub the bedsheet with her paw over and over and over until I play with her. She needs half an hour of playing before we go to bed to settle her down...so I keep a toy by the bed and she knows it's playtime when we head in there.

I also second getting a second cat if you can afford it (minus vet bills, they're not much more of an expense than one cat). We had Tink by herself for a few months but she would cry when we left for classes...we got Minnie and they became best friends.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by flinni View Post
I'll try the paper sack idea. We do have a little wind up mouse, but she seems to be scared of it, funny though, as she loves those wind up teeth that move along and make a chattering noise as they go.
We got a remote control battery-powered mouse and both cats were terrified of it. I think the noise scares most cats. Try some of the cheap little fur mice you can get at Petsmart.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your opinions and help. I'm pretty convinced she will settle down when she gets a little older. The last cat I owned was 'acquired' when she was about 16 months, so I didn't have these issues. I've started to ignore her when it is really late (or very early depending on how you look at it) and she is slowly getting the message. I even tried to close the door if she was being really noisey but she has already figured out how to open it.

I think we will be getting her a companion in the next several weeks, so hopefully this will help.

Thx again
post #16 of 18
My kitten Quicksilver is about the same age and she was a pain in the arse when she got over her cat flu. She would runround after everyones feet grap our and harass my elder cat Creep.
The first night we had her she cryed for her mother. She did it for 3 days at 3-6am
I think she stopped coz Creep show mothery interst in her. (even though she never had a litter)
It funny but strange. one minute Creep can be happy to play and the next she wants nothing to do with Quicksilver and hisses and grows at her. I'm thinking of getting another kitten to try and take the heat off Creep, (poor old lady)
I was told by someone that in order to prevent your kitten being "hipper" you have to play with them 6 hours a day. :O
post #17 of 18
Hi Iain and Millie!

Firstly, THANKS for rescuing a kitten!!! You'll never regret it, and the unconditional love and loyalty -- not to mention playful ENERGY! -- you're bringing into your life. I think you're definitely on the right track -- if you both work and are away all day, of course a little one is just full of energy with no outlet for it, and saving two lives is twice as nice as saving one, so...YES! THE ANSWER IS -- ANOTHER KITTEN! Could be male OR female, as long as you're planning on spaying/neutering (which you are, of course! no matter what, right?!! It's the right thing to do, as all of us cat lovers know! ) And, some kitten-friendly and SAFE toys would be great, as well -- I'm sure you can find some at your local "pet" supply shop. Just make sure any small parts or attachments are very securely fastened onto the toy, so they don't come loose. Little catnip toys are wonderful; ping-pong type balls are also lots of fun, and those toys with a carpeted base and a spring, attached to a pom-pom at the top, that kittens can swat, are sure kitten bliss! If in doubt, ask at the shop, what toys are best for kittens of high energy. BEST OF LUCK and so glad you've been adopted!
post #18 of 18
Well your kitten is still young. When my kitten was that age, he did the same thing. Now at 6 months though he's pretty much sleeping through the night. Instead of waking me at 3 am, he now wakes me at 6am. Give it time, she'll calm down more when she's a bit older.
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