I wanted to get some advice about my new kitten. I adopted her about a week ago. I believe she is about 3-4 months old.
I've always had cats in the house growing up, but never had one of my own. Plus we'd always adopted adult cats so this is my first time with a kitten!
I understand from reading that the most important part of their development is in their first 12 weeks, so I appreciate that time has past. Her previous owners seemed to take good care of her, she was with her brother when I got her, and one older cat. From what they told me they have handled her a lot.
I guess I am just wanting to make sure that I am doing the right thing to ensure I end up with a friendly kitty who likes being around people!
The behaviour that I've noticed is that she is still very playful, which is great. She loves her toys and I make a point of playing with her for at least a few minutes, a few times a day. Her general demeanour is good. She never scratches, never bites etc when she's handled.
The one thing I've noticed is that she is very up and down with regards to wanting to be touched. If I've not seen her for a while (sleeping or been at work) she is very affectionate and she will come to me. However, other times if I try to pet her she will flinch and run away.
Is this normal for a kitten? Because she's so hyperactive I wondered if it's just because she's so 'on edge' that being touched startles her in the same way that say, her own tail does!
If she's napping, she'll do it away from me, though if I move her she is normally content sleeping next to me. I try not to do that too often though. She has her own spot where she likes to sleep (on top of my computer speaker - pic below, how crazy is that?
I've read articles saying that you should carry the kitten a few times a day just for a few mins so that they become accustomed to being held. I do this, and whilst she doesn't struggle much to get away, I don't want to do this too often against her will or she'll start to react badly to it.
I guess the purpose of this war and peace post is, to summarise, what is the good balance of handling her? Should I only do it when she comes to me, or should I try and handle her more often than that? I don't want to force myself on her and end up making her have negative associations with being handled. By the same token I don't want to not handle her enough so that she doesn't like human touch. She's a housecat so it's kind of important that she interacts well with people!