A lot of people seem to hold to the strange and completely unfounded belief that fur colour somehow correlates with
I can understand your frustration, but it's important to realize that, just like people, cats have different personalities--they're individuals, and comparing a new kitten to a very well-rounded adult cat that you shared years of your life with isn't exactly a fair comparison. It is, of course, a completely normal
thing to do, especially when you find yourself frustrated with the new cat's antics (which is typically when such comparisons are drawn), but try to avoid comparing Cali to your old cat because it will only increase your negative emotions, leading to more frustration, stress, and resentment. It's also important to note that the personality of a kitten will change as it matures into an adult cat. Some kittens are a real handful, but they do tend to mellow out a bit as they get older. Kittens go through stages, like human children do, and, as with human children, they can be very difficult to live with when they're going through a phase (like biting, or roughhousing, or being an anti-social teenager). You can't reliably judge what a cat will be like as an adult from what they're like as a kitten, in the same way that I'm not the same person now as I was as a 6 year old. Some aspects of my personality are similar, yes, but I don't, as an adult, behave as a 6 year old. My experiences as a child did, however, play an important role in making me the person I am today. In the same way, you can improve Cali's chances of growing up to be a friendly, well-adjusted, adult cat by training her now. How old is Cali? Is she spayed yet? Certain physiological developments, such as increased hormone levels and adult teeth growing in, could potentially be contributing to her behavioural issues. I know you've had other cats and dogs, so you probably know all or some of these things already, but sometimes it's hard to take a deep breath and approach a problem calmly and rationally when faced with difficult, frustrating behaviours that you may or may not have encountered with previous cats.
I socialize semi-feral adult cats, and, when I first take them in, these cats want absolutely nothing to do with humans. They're fearful and sometimes aggressive because they instinctively regard people as predators; even cats who were at one time domestic but have been on the streets for months or years typically revert to a state in which humans are perceived as dangerous, or at least potentially so, and therefore something to be afraid or very wary of. 3 of my own cats come from feral cat colonies and were very wary of people when I first brought them home, but, despite that, all 3 are now normal, well-adjusted house cats--granted, they each have their quirks, but no more so than any other house cat might. All 3 are now loving and affectionate towards people; Ramona (a calico) is super well-adjusted and sweet, very low maintenance, and is friendly and affectionate without being needy; Choco-cat loves
to play: she brings me her toys in bed as gifts, she greets me at the door when I arrive home from work, wants to be in the room with me wherever I am in the house, and sleeps with me every night--even if I end up falling asleep somewhere other than my bed; and Autumn (tortie) constantly trails around after me, rubbing against my legs, asking for me to flick pieces of food for her to chase, and she very much enjoys her daily lap time. I'm not trying to hijack your thread to talk about my previously feral cats, I'm trying to point out the fact that, for those of us who don't win the kitten lottery, having a well adjusted, gregariously friendly, fantastically behaved cat takes time and effort. When I set out to socialize a semi-feral cat, I know that it will take months--usually 3 at the very least
, just to get them to trust me
enough to allow me to interact with them as closely as I need to in order to be seen as "safe", at which point I move on to getting them used to other people and situations outside of the isolation room. It's a long and very intensive process, but it's well worth it in the end! Luckily, Cali is already decently socialized to people and is a kitten, so while you will need to work on socializing her to other people and teaching her what behaviours are and are not acceptable, it shouldn't require quite
so much of your time and energy as starting from scratch (although, as anyone who's trained a "naughty" kitten knows, it will still likely require plenty of both
Try not to get too discouraged by Cali's bad behaviours, a month and a half is not a long time, although it can certainly feel like it when dealing with problems like biting or litter box issues. Cats don't automatically know what is and isn't acceptable behaviour, especially kittens--you have to teach them, and there's a lot of repetition involved. In the same way, you can't expect a cat that doesn't like to be picked up by strangers to just "get over it" without exposing them to other people in small doses first. I'm not trying to sound harsh, so please don't interpret this that way, but cats are living feeling beings with their own agendas, not stuffed animals that can be picked up and played with whenever people feel like it and then put away in the toy box. It's actually really important to be cognizant of this, as stupid and obvious as it sounds, because it's so much harder to train a cat if you can't acknowledge or understand what they're feeling in a given situation. For example, not all cats want to be picked up by strangers. Sometimes you can train them to be happy and relaxed about being held regardless of who's doing the holding, sometimes you can only train them to tolerate it, and some cats are never going to feel comfortable with being picked up by a stranger. The fact that cat's and dogs have personalities is a big part of what makes them worth inviting into our homes, looking after, and loving--even if there are things about their personalities that bother or frustrate us. Chances are that, as a kitten, Cali can learn to at least tolerate being held by your house guests, if you show your guests how to approach her, which will be a lot easier if you're understanding of Cali's feelings and are willing and able to put in the time and effort to help her get there. We're more than happy to help you figure out how!