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Advice from seasoned kitten owners please

(11 Posts)
mrsmalumbas Wed 06-Aug-08 08:35:32

Just acquired two lovely grey tabbies. Not even sure what gender they are yet but I think two girls. So far so good - they are using their litter tray, eating, drinking. They play madly and chase each other around, then crash out together all cuddled up. They have also been licking/grooming each other. At first they hid a lot behind the sofa but are now coming out a lot more and like to play. The only thing is they are not very keen on being petted and especially don't like being picked up. If you go near them they jump and will run away. At times though when they are calmer they have consented to being stroked and last night I had both of them purring away. Do you think they will settle down and become more affectionate over time or do you think they will always be stand offish? Before we got them they were with their mum at a local farm, and although it was a nice home I don't think they have been petted much. My friends kittens, by contrast, seem to actively seek out human contact. Is it just a temperament thing? They are VERY cute but I guess I was hoping for a few more cuddles! Never had kittens before, only older cats.

nailpolish Wed 06-Aug-08 08:44:20

maybe cos they have each other they wont look to you for cuddles so much

but i think as they get older they settle down and look for human contact more

have fun! i love kittens. my kitty is 13 mths now so def not a kitten any more sad

cluckyagain Wed 06-Aug-08 08:48:26

I would try to keep up the petting as much as you can so that they enjoy the cuddles though you may just find that if they're a bit stand offish they will always be. You will probably be the ONLY ones who are allowed to pet them - makes you feel special!!

mrsmalumbas Wed 06-Aug-08 12:58:09

Thanks - they are certainly keeping the DD's amused playing with them. They don't have produce a lot of poo though for such tiny creatures!

girlywhirly Wed 06-Aug-08 14:55:17

My cat hates being picked up, always has from kittenhood. She likes to choose whether to come to me and be stroked. If I say hello to her she runs up with her tail in the air and often meows in greeting.I just have to accept that she won't sit on my lap much.

Offering cat treats when they approach you and playing with them gains their confidence. Timid behaviour is often inherited from the parent animals, and if not well socialized between 4-6 weeks of age can continue to be nervous.

moshie Wed 06-Aug-08 15:10:19

I used to have two, one would come and sit on my lap but hated being picked up, the other would never come to me but I could pick her up and carry her around (actually dd carried her mostly).
I would persevere with the petting to get them used to it.
Dried food might help with the amount of poo produced, it's easier to clean up after too, but needs to be introduced gradually.

mrsmalumbas Wed 06-Aug-08 17:00:23

Thanks - yes I am hopeful they will warm up a bit over time - my DD is spending hours playing with them so hopefully that will help. Cat treats a good idea!

We thought we had lost them this afternoon. Cue much tears and hours of searching under beds etc.

I was just starting to think they had really and truly disappeared when they just appeared.

Turns out they were hiding on top of my rebounder which was stored unnder a coffee table. And the table was covered with a cloth. Honestly they must have squeezed through a gap about an inch wide!

DumbledoresGirl Wed 06-Aug-08 18:11:17

How old are they? I acquired 2 kittens from the Cats Protection League who had been fostered for some time (they were 13 weeks when they came to me). They were exactly the same as yours, friendly but not wanting to be cuddled, and regretably they have remained that way (now aged 3). I hardly see them all day, they come in for food only, and the best I can expect is one of them sometimes sits on my lap when the fire is lit in winter. It is a rare event though. That said, they are both males and you think yours are females which makes the odds of them being cuddly higher, I think.

I feel my cats don't want to be cuddled or picked up because I suspect they weren't handled enough when they were little. I don't know when they left their mother but the fosterer kept them in a shed in the garden (like a cattery pen) and presumably did not cuddle them too much in order not to become attached to them. If your kittens are younger, you have more chance of getting them used to cuddles.

mrsmalumbas Wed 06-Aug-08 18:17:56

Hi DG I am not 100% sure - about 11 weeks I think. I think the scenario is similar though, they were with their mum and in a home environment but I don't think they had an awful lot of attention beyond feeding. We actually saw them a few weeks ago but couldn't take them then as were going away on holiday. A pity as maybe having them sooner might have given us more bonding time.

differentID Wed 06-Aug-08 18:23:25

If they aren't used to being handled, then just keep doing as you have been doing. They will come around a little, and definitely encourage you children to stroke them.

mrsmalumbas Mon 18-Aug-08 18:49:20

Hi all - just an update on the kittens. They are now christened Felix (boy) and Custard (girl, we think). They have definitely come around a lot since we got them - much more affectionate, especially in the evenings when the DD's have gone to bed! They are in fact quite cuddly with DH and I but a bit nervous still of DD2 who is only 3 and still a bit "grabby" with them. But your advice was spot on - lots of handling, cat treats etc have all helped! Oh, and they are reaaalllyyyy cute.

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