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The litter tray

New kittens... Experts needed

13 replies

madcows · 17/03/2013 17:36

Hi all,
We have just got 2 long awaited kittens. Not had cats since I was a child, and clearly wasn't paying enough attention....
Main questions are about how long they're likely to take to 'settle in'... We're doing everything that (I think) we're supposed to. They're in a quiet room with litter tray, food water, toys etc. we go in occasionally and sit quietly. So far they've come out to play a little with the toys or with each other when we've been in the room, but they are staying well away from us. They spend most of the time hiding under the bed/ wardrobe. I was just clearing the litter tray and heard lots of hissing coming from under the bed. Poor little things are obviously v frightened stil, but wondering how long this might go on for. I was hoping for cuddles and purrs... But am probably just being impatient.

Anyone been through this who can shed some light on it, please? And is there anything else we should be doing?
They are 8 weeks old.

OP posts:
Iseeall · 17/03/2013 18:22

Is it days or hours that you have had them?
It sounds like you are doing everthing right imo, are they eating well, drinking, pooing, playing ok? if so carry on as you are, patience is the key. Keep sitting with them, don't lunge at them or grab them they will settle soon, and on the plus side they have eachother

madcows · 17/03/2013 18:34

Got them yesterday lunchtime, so only just over 24 hours... Yes, they are eating, weeing and pooing. Haven't seen them drink. So just have to be patient I guess. But itching for a cuddle!!

OP posts:
QueenStromba · 17/03/2013 19:10

I thought kittens weren't supposed to be separated from their mothers until they were 12 weeks.

cozietoesie · 17/03/2013 19:22

It's recommended to ensure proper weaning, training and socialization but very few people follow that - reputable pedigree cat breeders do so my boys have always been 12+ if they came to me as kits.

cozietoesie · 17/03/2013 19:25

I would normally expect 24-36 hours madcows but that's with singleton cats who tend to bond with humans very fast. As you have two, it may be a little longer because they have each other to cuddle.

crazynanna · 17/03/2013 19:28

Agree re the singleton thing. My girl was very young (bit of a rescue), and she went under the settee with bendy legs for about 30 minutes! Then starting trotting in and out of the living room like she owned the place, and found her litter tray immediately.

cozietoesie · 17/03/2013 19:36

My very first Siamese kitten, those many years ago, was grasped by me and taken upstairs to bed - where he promptly settled down in the crook of my knees and went to sleep.


Ponders · 17/03/2013 19:39

our pair (moggies) came at 9 weeks, fully weaned & trained

they were a bit nervy for a couple of days but soon warmed up Smile

thecatneuterer · 17/03/2013 23:22

Where did they come from? It sounds as though they haven't had much socialisation with humans during their first two months and are therefore effectively semi-feral. If that is the case it could take a very long time indeed for them to become cuddly and purry. I took on a pair of kittens like that a year ago. One of them i can now stroke even though he doesn't seem to like it and the other one I still can't touch. Let's hope that's not the case with yours though.

madcows · 18/03/2013 08:29

Thanks all. We'll carry om being patient. They do seem to be settling, coming out to play fairly readily. Thanks again, madcows

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 18/03/2013 08:45

Good luck. You're doing the right thing to sit and let them make the running. Remember to talk a lot though (as I'm sure you're doing) so that they become accustomed to your voice(s).


gobbin · 21/03/2013 18:04

When they do come out, don't go grabbing them for cuddles.

Hold the end of your forefinger out for them to come and sniff (looks like a cat's nose). Keep doing this every time they show interest.

Gradually turn this into stroking the side of their faces with your forefinger...then side of the body, then head, then more of your hand, until you can stroke them fully.

I took this advice from the net when we took in a mum and two 8 week kittens last Sept, because the kittens just weren't interested in anything but mum and hiding away, understandably.

It worked brilliantly and all three are now loveable nutters (kittens now 8 months) who aren't fussed about being picked up but love to lie with/alongside/on you and want to be with you around the house constantly!

Great times! Enjoy.

portraitoftheartist · 21/03/2013 21:07

My friend fosters kittens for a charity and ferals are separated from their mums at 4 weeks old because if socialising does not start then, they may never become tame.They do very well without their mums.
Your's are only 8 weeks old and probably just need time to feel safe.

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