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Kittens - should I take them back?

(37 Posts)
Lotsofsocks Thu 24-Sep-20 16:17:59

This may be long! We have a rescue cat who is three years old. We decided to get two kittens from a rescue and have been to pick them up today - now I'm not sure we've done the right thing!

When I was asking the rescue about cats/kittens to adopt I made it clear we had five children (and we'd rescued from them before so they had all our details) and another cat. Every cat/kitten I was interested in I asked would they be good with another cat, how would they be with children?

I was told the two I was interested in were a little shy but would be fine and that they were chipped and neutered. We've been to pick them up today and it was then confirmed that they weren't chipped and neutered as they are only 10 weeks old and the woman at the rescue couldn't confirm where they had come from! I was also told they are a little shy and will hiss a bit but keep picking them up and they will be fine. That's an understatement!

We got home and took them into one room and let them out of the carrier. They both fled into the corners of the room and won't let us anywhere near them. When we tried to get them back into the carrier one bit my husband and wouldn't let go. They were both hissing and howling. I don't know what to do for the best. The kids have come home and are all crying as they can't touch them. We'd had a rescue kitten but he'd been looked after in someone's house so was much more socialised and our rescue cat was the same. When we got her you were allowed in with the cats so could see their temperament, whether they would be picked up etc but with COVID you can't do that and have to go on what the rescue say. When we were leaving the lady at the shelter did say if you can't handle them you can bring them back which is making me think they weren't handled a lot there.

Do you think it's fairer if we take them back so they can go to a home that's quieter and may be better for them? I don't know what to do for the best.

OP’s posts: |
Butterer Thu 24-Sep-20 16:20:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsGrindah Thu 24-Sep-20 16:22:46

Yes take them back. No point you, your family and the kittens all getting stressed. Really poor form from the shelter though.

JorisBonson Thu 24-Sep-20 16:23:17

Butterer

Did you really think any new kitten would be playing with anyone or letting anyone come near it within the first few days???

This.

Sunnydaysstillhere Thu 24-Sep-20 16:24:18

My dd got 11 week old dkittens about 6 weeks ago. Still can't touch 1... Yabu to expect cuddles given their circumstances..

slipperywhensparticus Thu 24-Sep-20 16:25:07

Kittens always hide for the first few days

Elbels Thu 24-Sep-20 16:25:19

It's day one and you want to return them?

We got two from a private breeder who had handled them loads, in an adult only household and we still gave them a week in one room to adjust - just sat with them quietly, let them come to us, everything very slow and steady. What did you expect them to be like?

These little guys have no idea who you are and are in a completely new location, it would be mad for five children to expect to play with them instantly.

Butterer Thu 24-Sep-20 16:28:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Grumpyoldpersonwithcats Thu 24-Sep-20 16:33:46

I don't think your rescue centre has been very responsible.
Firstly some centres do chip and neuter by 10 weeks. Battersea did with my last two kittens.
(Although actually I don't think that's a major issue in itself - your vet can do this later.)
Secondly there is a big difference between being a bit shy and being completely unsocialised.
It would also worry me that the rescue weren't able to tell you where the kittens have come from. If they were feral you may have a significant problem.
I agree that you need to give the kittens space and quiet - but I would call the rescue and insist on knowing the kittens' background - and also what other medical checks they have had.
Good luck.

Butterer Thu 24-Sep-20 16:38:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Grumpyoldpersonwithcats Thu 24-Sep-20 16:39:09

As for kittens taking time to relax - Battersea socialise their kittens properly. When I got the most recent pair we let them out in the living room to explore. Within two hours they were both asleep on our laps. I had a very similar experience with my previous Battersea kittens as well.

Lotsofsocks Thu 24-Sep-20 16:39:36

Butterer

Did you really think any new kitten would be playing with anyone or letting anyone come near it within the first few days???

I think I'm just more upset as I hate seeing animals so stressed and had a massive wobble! We've had kittens before and the kids knew they wouldn't be able to pick them up and we'd have to get them used to us. I think they were getting upset because I was getting upset. You know when you just wonder if you've done the right thing?

We're off to pick up a large dog crate to put them in for tonight.

OP’s posts: |
Butterer Thu 24-Sep-20 16:41:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Newstart20 Thu 24-Sep-20 16:43:01

We've had our kittens for two weeks and they still don't like being picked up much. They are improving everyday but took almost a week to allow us to approach them. Currently they have just started enjoying strokes and purring when we do so (however they have to be in the right mood). We can pick them up for about 20 seconds and they rarely choose to sit on our laps.

It's been a lot of work and patience to get them this far, you have to take it very slowly. It sounds like you should return them as you have too high expectations. As for the kids you need to keep them away from the kittens for as long as possible as the stress will just worsen things.

If you are going to keep them then I suggest you keep them in one room only, preferably where they can't be disturbed. The adults need to spend as much time in the room as possible, just quietly reading or watching TV sitting on the floor. Do not attempt to pick them up unless necessary. Allow them to explore and you may be able to interact with them via play rather than physical contact. Expect them to hide for several days - this can be normal.

Grumpyoldpersonwithcats Thu 24-Sep-20 16:44:07

Just leave them in the room with the doors and windows shut - don't shut them in a crate.

Lotsofsocks Thu 24-Sep-20 16:46:52

Grumpyoldpersonwithcats

I don't think your rescue centre has been very responsible.
Firstly some centres do chip and neuter by 10 weeks. Battersea did with my last two kittens.
(Although actually I don't think that's a major issue in itself - your vet can do this later.)
Secondly there is a big difference between being a bit shy and being completely unsocialised.
It would also worry me that the rescue weren't able to tell you where the kittens have come from. If they were feral you may have a significant problem.
I agree that you need to give the kittens space and quiet - but I would call the rescue and insist on knowing the kittens' background - and also what other medical checks they have had.
Good luck.

I'm going to give them a call first thing in the morning to give me some more information. They've been vaccinated and I've got an appointment for their second vaccinations and also to be chipped by the shelter.

OP’s posts: |
Lotsofsocks Thu 24-Sep-20 16:48:38

Butterer

Why on earth are you going to crate them?
Just leave them in the room on their own ffs.

I'm just moving some stuff out of the room and then will leave them for the night in the room. No need to be so rude.

OP’s posts: |
Butterer Thu 24-Sep-20 16:49:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Laaalaaaa Thu 24-Sep-20 17:04:07

You are not a responsible cat owner. Who in their right mind expects 10 week old kittens to settle immediately? They have been ripped from their mother and slotted into a house with an older cat who most probably has terrified them along with 5 most likely over excitable children. Also, there is no way of knowing their temperament at 10 weeks. Ridiculous - they deserve so much better.

Whattheladybirdsaidnext Thu 24-Sep-20 17:26:04

Make sure they have somewhere they can hide and feel safe. Our kittens (now 5 months) spent their first few days hiding behind the piano. Then moved to under the sofa. A big cardboard box may also do the job, as long as the kids know they can't invade it! The kittens were kept in a single room. Then enlarged to 2 rooms. Our older cat didn't meet them for a week and then only in passing and there was a LOT of hissing - he lived upstairs. The kitchen was no-mans-land. We had feliways plugged in and after a couple of weeks gave the kittens the adult cat's blanket to sleep on to get used to his smell. It took 2.5 months of us initially keeping them apart then gradually increasing the contact, but now they all get on. And that was 2 kittens who were raised in a family with 3 very young children before we had them. Sounds like yours are scared.

Toddlerteaplease Thu 24-Sep-20 17:26:12

They are terrified babies. Back off and give them time. Your kids will have to wait for cuddles.

Lotsofsocks Thu 24-Sep-20 17:29:36

Laaalaaaa

You are not a responsible cat owner. Who in their right mind expects 10 week old kittens to settle immediately? They have been ripped from their mother and slotted into a house with an older cat who most probably has terrified them along with 5 most likely over excitable children. Also, there is no way of knowing their temperament at 10 weeks. Ridiculous - they deserve so much better.

I didn't expect them to settle immediately, they haven't been near the kids, the kids were at school when they came back. They also haven't been near our older cat. I was told by the shelter they had been bought in on their own, then when I got there the woman gave me completely different information to what she had already given me along with their ages, chipping and neutering. The whole time I had been in conversation with her I'd told her we had another cat and children, we'd had a home visit when we adopted our other cat from them. We've had a kitten before and have done introductions and socialising with the children before when they were much younger. If we are not the right family for these kittens and they are feral then I'd rather they went to a home that had experience with feral cats.

They are in the room on their own with food and a litter tray and we'll leave them in there for the night and see how we go.

OP’s posts: |
ilovesooty Thu 24-Sep-20 19:02:31

I don't understand why you were trying to get them back in the carrier.

Lotsofsocks Thu 24-Sep-20 20:03:15

ilovesooty

I don't understand why you were trying to get them back in the carrier.

We wanted to move some stuff out of the room that we thought they might get trapped behing and thought it would be better to put them back in while we did it. With hindsight we should have just left it.

OP’s posts: |
ilovesooty Thu 24-Sep-20 23:13:44

I see, thanks.

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