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kittens - what are they like to live with

(101 Posts)
shuan Mon 05-Jan-15 19:14:07

How hard is it to look after a kitten? If you go out where do you leave a kitten so that it is safe? Do they do a lot of damage to furniture and belongings?

I like the thought of a kitten coming to live with us but need to find out more.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 05-Jan-15 19:22:08

Well sometimes they can be a bit destructive. It depends on the kitten.

Have you had a cat before?.

thecatneuterer Mon 05-Jan-15 19:51:38

Adult cats are much easier. If you go to a rescue you can find a cat with the sort of temperament and behaviour to suit you and your situation. Kittens are much more of a lottery and just generally much more difficult.

peckforton Mon 05-Jan-15 20:20:06

I agree about kittens they take a lot of looking after and if you haven't had a cat before are a handful. I have always gone for adult cats.

shaska Mon 05-Jan-15 20:33:04

You CAN go out, but they will be a bit sad. It sort of depends how much going-out you want to do, and how much you mind making your kitten a bit sad You'd want to leave them in a safe room with lots of warm cuddly things, and possibly a well wrapped heat pad and the radio on. .

Some kittens will destroy more than others, but all need a lot of play and affection.

They're easy to look after as long as you don't much the aforementioned play/affection/possible destruction elements, and can handle the odd toilet accident.

Adult cats are much, much easier, and the kitten stage is very brief, so I'd go adult every time, as much as the wee fluffy scrap of a kitten idea is so tempting. But they ARE lovely. wistful

ShadowsShadowsEverywhere Mon 05-Jan-15 20:45:26

Getting solitary kittens is going to much harder than having two.
I've got (separate litters, both rescues who came to me very young) and they are 6 months now. One is semi feral although getting much better now, so was always quite easy in that she didn't want cuddles or to be stroked, she pretty much wanted to be left to do her own thing. The other however is like Velcro cat, he is scared of the dark, he is scared of being alone, he wakes me up in the night for cuddles, I can't pee without him mewing outside the door and he climbs under the covers with me and spoons which whilst very sweet may not be everyone's cup of tea grin

Having two though, has meant that when I can't pick him up and cuddle him girl kitten will step in and they bound off and play. They are lunatics, they charge up and down the stairs at break neck speed, they climb the curtains, they've fallen down toilets and got stuck under the floorboards. They disappear into the lining of the sofa and can't get back out and when they're hungry they mew and shout their heads off in a way that surpasses the whingiest toddler.

They need feeding three times a day and when smaller it was four, so I couldn't go out for the day without popping him twice to give them lots of cuddles and feed them. They have to stay inside for at least 6 months, preferably until neutered and ideally a year which means lots of crazy energy fuelled charging about and litter trays that endlessly need cleaning because they aren't pooing outside. I wouldn't recommend getting them in summer because you obv can't open the windows as they will escape and you will all roast in a boiling hot house.

Having said all that they are utterly gorgeous and I wouldn't be without them. I'd go to your local rescue though, they have a lot of kittens in kitten season that won't be advertised on their site as there are just too many and such a high turnover but don't be close minded to getting an older cat. Or maybe a youngster just past tricky kitten stage, say around a year old would be a good option?

ShadowsShadowsEverywhere Mon 05-Jan-15 20:46:36

So many typos.
*popping HOME not him.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 05-Jan-15 20:55:40

We got two kittens in the summer, shuan. They were (and are) very cute, but, oh my god, they've been such hard work! They charge round the house like mad things, are curious about everything and eat things they shouldn't. It is very similar to having toddlers. So far, they have broken several plates, broken the microwave (don't ask) and bitten through our phone line. I try to remain one step ahead of them, but it's hard work. They are indoor cats - maybe it's easier if you let them outside, but we're by a main road and I won't risk it.

Having said that, they are beginning to calm down a little now, I think, and we do love them. They are seven months, so still kittens. People keep assuring me this stage will pass.

Photo shows the rice that was going to be part of our dinner before one of the kittens got to it first <sigh>.

shuan Mon 05-Jan-15 22:24:19

Thank you for all the information it gives me a lot to think about. I have never had a cat and don't know much about them. I am home a lot but have to take my son to school and after school activities, birthday parties and go shopping. From what you have all said I am thinking an older cat may be better for us.

It is a big decision. Not sure what to do.

Lovely photo toffee your kitten is gorgeous.

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Tue 06-Jan-15 00:04:09

I got two Maine Coon kittens in september.
So far they have:

Chewed through 5 iphone cables, a macbook charger. Broken two lamps, pooed on the beds (3 x) trashed more xmas decs than I can count...

But they are gorgeous, and watching them develop their personalities has been a joy! They are nearly 8 months old now and settling down a lot more.

However and adult cat is a lot easier!!!!

WestEast Tue 06-Jan-15 00:15:47

7 month old kitten here.
3x iPhone cables
1x internet cable
7x ear phone cables (you'd think we don't try and hide them!)
1x set of Christmas tree lights, chewed the cable through
1x curtain pole
2x sets of voiles

I've had kittens before and this one is definitely a bitey one. Depends on the cat.

ShadowsShadowsEverywhere Tue 06-Jan-15 01:02:56

Ooh someone else has done photos so I've got an excuse to share some! grin

RubbishMantra Tue 06-Jan-15 05:52:09

Ooh someone else has done photos so I've got an excuse to share some! Ha, me too! smile

My little idiot kitten is a total hooligan. Can't leave food or drinks unattended ever. He tries to mount bothers poor MCat. If he wants to get into bed with me, he stands on my face until I lift the duvet up. He bites my feet when I'm asleep so I will get up and amuse him. If this doesn't work, he will do circuits of my bedroom, systematically tapping things like moisturiser and cotton buds onto the floor. He makes me play fetch endlessly, dropping his current favourite toy on me for hours.

Luckily I have far more patience with animals than humans.

RubbishMantra Tue 06-Jan-15 05:59:13

I love your kitten Shadows, especially in the photo where he looks like a surprised owl! grin He is seriously cute.

awaywego1 Tue 06-Jan-15 15:18:20

Our kitten is mental (20 weeks ish) but totally worth it..she has bought me so much joy grin
We are out at work and she gets left for a few hours at a time now which is fine as she loves to sleep during the day but needs lots of play time morning and evening to make up for it. But I wouldn't then go out in the evening if she's been alone in the day so you do have to think about them a lot.
She can also scratch and bite so I'd be wary about leaving her with young children unsupervised.

shuan Tue 06-Jan-15 18:02:49

thank you all, it is lovely to hear all the things your kittens get up to but is making me think I would prefer an adult cat.

shadow your kitten is so cute. I love the photo where he/she is nearly at the top of the curtain smile .

rubbish what a cool kitten you have. What kind of cat is he?

ghostyslovesheep Tue 06-Jan-15 18:12:26

don't expect much sleep grin

I have 2 boys aged 5 months - they are most awake between 12 and 3am when they run round the house like mad things

curtains are ruined and they hump my shoes (nut off a week Thursday)

I love them grin

ghostyslovesheep Tue 06-Jan-15 18:14:51

and my Christmas tree didn't stand a chance

RubbishMantra Tue 06-Jan-15 18:17:19

Thanks shuan smile He's a Devon Rex. His hair has grown in more now, I took that photo in the summer.

He actually isn't destructive, but he does demand a lot of attention. Whatever I'm doing, he's hindering helping.

code Tue 06-Jan-15 20:35:38

My Burmese boys are 5 months and pretty full on (when they are not sleeping, of course). I've been lucky in that they do quieten down immediately when we put them to bed in the dining room and they wake up about 6am when I come down. If I get up earlier for work they are still asleep. I'm a light sleeper so would wake if they crashed about. Having 2 is easier in many ways as they take their mad half hours out on each other and keep each other amused. They are always together and snuggled up and seem to comfort each other, for example they weren't at at all bothered with the new year fireworks. When they are mad they are bonkers: chase and wrestle and kangaroo kick each other. I stay well out of the way then, they are very fast and it's like a herd of elephants. We've had 2 pairs of earphones chewed up, an ornament broken, the sofa has taken a good scratching and there have been attempts at curtain climbing. I don't trust them yet to have the run of the house when we're out but I only work 2 days and they are on their own for 6 hours max then until mum gets back from school with DD. I find they sleep when we're out, we put all their stuff and their big cat tree in the large dining room. They sleep on their tree or on their fleece bed on the window ledge, where they can watch the street. We had to block up the chimney and I bought some childproof plastic stuff to block off the open bannister above the stairs or they would have taken a big fall in their mad hours. I think they've been on balance a lot easier than a puppy. No toilet incidents or night time howling, for example. Having 2 has reduced rather than doubled the work, which was good advice. The main difference (having previously had dogs) is that physically they are so capable and their stunts have given me a few heart failure moments.

Ruth10 Tue 06-Jan-15 22:04:10

I'm sorry I haven't read the whole thread but I just wanted to say that kittens are wonderful and so much fun. They are easy to look after, nothing like a puppy. Mine scratched the sofa a bit but no other damage.

Kittens are fine to be left on their own for longish periods, but I would recommend getting 2 so that they keep each other company, they'll play together which is lovely to watch. I would even say that getting kittens might be easier than adult cats as adult cats can be very stuck in their ways whereas kittens learn to fit your family more easily

Ruth10 Tue 06-Jan-15 22:10:38

Gosh I have just read everyone's posts. I have had 5 kittens over the years (still have3) and none go them have caused trouble like the other posters suggest, maybe I have been lucky. I work long hours so out of the house 7.30 til 4.30 and have always fed them at 7.30, 4.30 and 10pm when they were tiny and then just twice a day when they were a few months old. They've always been absolutely fine left for that long.

Like I said maybe I have just been lucky!
Good luck with your decision. Cats are fab!

isseywithcats Tue 06-Jan-15 22:27:23

hi i foster kittens for a rescue this isa a typical day in the life of a kitten or two, Am shout at mom for breakfast eat breakfast, rampage round the house like a looney playing with your sibling till noon, shout at mom for lunch, eat lunch have anice long sleep for the afternoon, shout at mom for tea, eat tea, rampage with sibling for a couple of hours, shout at mom for supper eat supper, go to sleep for the night, this is edagar and charles my current fosters

AWholeLottaNosy Wed 07-Jan-15 00:27:11

Ooh such gorgeous kitties on this thread! smile

shuan Wed 07-Jan-15 13:41:08

the photos are great. It makes me really want a kitten. Sounds like it is better to have two.

A lady from a local rescue charity is going to come and see me this week. If everything goes ok with the home visit she said I can go to see the cats they have in the cattery. She has suggested an older cat - a 5 year old.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me smile .

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