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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted a couple weeks ago about a newborn kitten left on my porch and how he choked on some milk and got a little in his lungs. He turned out to be fine. Getting fat and healthy just like I like 'em. (kittens, of course).

Anyway, he's almost 3 weeks old now and I was just wondering how hand-raised cats turn out to be. Their personality.
Are they more affectionate?
Do they really believe you are "mommy"?
Are they more needy/clingy to the owner?
Or will he be cold and distant?


I've heard that bottle fed kittens turn out to be, not-so-nice cats later on. Any experience in this area?
 

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Marmalade was my first bottle-baby and he was a complete love-kitty. I've foster-raised several orphaned litters, two of which I had to bottle-feed and they turned out to be amazing kittens and young cats by the time they went to the adoption center. Everyone was adopted.
IMO, cats are various degrees of cat-purrsonality and how-they-were-raised. Raise your kitten and treat him how you plan to treat and care for him all his life. If you want an affectionate cat, be affectionate with him ... granted, this doesn't hold 'true' all the time, but in general I believe it is accurate.
h =^..^=
 

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I've always heard that bottle-fed kittens are the most lovable, but I have no experience in that area.
 

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i have 2 cats that i found as newborns, who were bottle-fed. they definitely have personalities! they are loving when they want to be (which is often, but on their own terms). they can also be a little distant, like when they don't like something/someone. i have noticed they are more comfortable with me than with other people... even the people i live with. i was in the hospital a lot a a few months after i brought them home. my mom and a close friend spent time with them and fed them. they are still affectionate even after me being away so much. i am not sure they think i am their "mommy." my other cat, who is a male, seems to think he's the mommy/daddy of the two girls, myself and my big dog. he was bottle fed some, but not as much as the other two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, believe me, he gets a lot of affection and love! He's too cute to resist. Thanks for the answers... I'm confident he will be my little cuddle buddy.
 

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Most of my crew were bottle babies. They have turned out being snuggle bugs, one of the reasons I ended up adding them as permanent members of the crew. I've been very lucky in that the older cats have taught the basics of the litter box & claw sharpening is done on the scratching pads. I do have to put up with soggy shirts since the bottle babies smergle & knead on me (the non-bottle raised ones don't). I haven't broken the bottle raised ones of this & since a couple are in their teens; I don't have a prayer of changing that behaviour now.
 

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Dale was left on the street without his mom. He was found with his eyes still closed, just born. He is all the way hand raised.

He seems to have more temper tantrums than Major, BUT, when he is loving, which he is quite often, oh man, we get tons! Another thing we noticed is that he is more persistent about getting attention, if he wants love, he will force himself on you.
 

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Most bottle babies I have known ended up being not-so-nice as adults....BUT, my current bottle baby Ninja is a year old now and completely delightful and loving. He's mischievious and destructive, but very easy to handle and loving. So all this to say that I don't think you can really fortell one way or another.

My personal theory is that the reason more bottle babies are hard to handle is genetic. If you think about it, you are typically going to get orphaned babies from outside/feral moms. The more "feral" a cat is, the more likely to survive (TNR efforts) and reproduce thus passing off the skittish genes to their young.

But like I said, nothing in life is a guarantee. Ninja is a total babe. As I was typing this though he bit my ankle, as if to say, I'm still a Ninja, and don't you forget it!
 

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My hand-raised boy is VERY temperamental. He'll be on my lap, purring, and loving the love. The next minute, I'll see his tail start going. Then he'll do this little cackle like, "STOP PETTING ME!" But overall, I'm the first one he runs to when he wants a lap.
 

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My personal theory is that the reason more bottle babies are hard to handle is genetic.
I actually think it is the environment they are raised in and how the person raises them.
If they are raised as little sweetums-who-can-do-no-wrong-and-are-never-denied-or-reprimanded ... they will have 'issues with authority' as adult cats. I think the cats that turn out this way probably weren't properly guided as to what was/wasn't acceptable behavior with their humans. I've also noticed when I integrate the kittens into the adult cat household ... the adult cats interaction with them will also shape their behavior. Older kittens are generally reprimanded by all the adult cats when the kitts get too rambunctious. Younger kitts are generally allowed to get-away-with-murder for a period of time before they transition into being reprimanded for obstreperous behavior.
Notable exception appears to be our deaf/neuro Jingle Belle. Because she cannot pick up on the audible clues of the adult cats, and with her obvious neuro-issues, I've noticed our adult cats are treating her with the most generous amount of patience that I've ever seen out of them. The result ... is they have cultivated their own submission to this kitten. They have groomed her to be their boss-cat ... I already notice her calling-the-shots with them ... and she's only 8mo old.
 

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I've only had experience withe one bottle-fed baby. This was years ago when I was in HS. She was given to me in a cigar box by the janitor in my school. She was so tiny and helpless and I often wondered how in the world she survived. I had NO clue what I was doing, but I wanted to save her so badly. I gave her white bread soaked in cow's milk for the major part of her first weeks. I alternated that with some mashed egg yolks, mashed up chicken, and mashed potatoes to supplement the milk. I estimate she was about 4 weeks old when I got her.

She grew to be the most amazing cat. She was loving, faithful and I really do believe she thought of me as her surrogate mommy. If ever I left for the weekend, she would not eat until I got back. She was the most faithful and loving companion ever. When it was time for her to have her own kittens, she had to climb up on my bed in order to have them beside me while I slept. It was so touching in a very odd way :)

I have never had such a close bond with any of my cats since she passed a few years later from Feline Leukemia.
 

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I agree with you that it is very much how a kitten is raised that determines its adult behaviour. If we are raising bottle babies we need to make sure they get socialized properly and just like a "mommy" teach behaviour limitations.
 

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I normally pretty well agree with everything Heidi says. She's super knowledgable on this topic, BUT....

I've raised litters of bottle babies together before and have them turn out 1 fantastic, 3 hellions you couldn't handle, and they were raised the exact same way in the exact same environment. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason. I also integrate them into a household with adult cats. I don't know what to make of it.
 

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my two were found on the side of the road at 3 weeks old. they were bottle fed until 5.5 weeks then I got them. I didn't bottle feed but gave them milk in a bowl for a few weeks. my cats think I'm mom I am pretty sure. being raised by me so long and early allowed me to bond with them. they are extremely resilient cats going through a fire at my house and several moves in 3 years not by choice. they adjust quickly and seem to get along fine with other cats and dogs.

I was lucky to be able to socialize them a little bit wih other cats and dogs. the two of my mine are males and try and run the house. they don't know all the cat social rules but dont cause too many problems. chuck seems to have some medical issues but I am not sure If it's his genetics or because he was hand raised. chuck also seems to have some OCD and get fixated on things and has trouble letting them go. he's obsessed with chewing on plants. they are extra stubborn cats and don't listen as well as my SO's cats that weren't hand raised.

both cats are extremely friendly and greet you at the dog like a dog. they rarely hide from company and want to be anyone's friend. both cats still kneed a lot and when they lick you usually they lick lick nibble lick lick. it's odd I have never seen it before but I attest it to them being forced weaned early on.

as others have said , mine can be a little mouthy, never biting when they have had enough petting. Although I have probably encouraged this since I use my hand rubbing thier bellys in Attacking play.

overall the nicest cats I know. and stubborn like most. they are also good snugglers when they want to be. they will sit where I put them when I go get them to sit on the couch.
 
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