Cat Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for the novel!!! :D

A little over a week ago, I followed an online ad for 8 week old kittens. When I got there I was met with a small crate with several very young, dirty and clearly neglected kittens. The woman said they are barn cats and they were all over on the property. I took my little guy (August) to the vet the next day. They suspected that he was 3-4 weeks old.

In this one week he went from needing to be stimulated to using a litter box fully on his own, grooming himself quite effectively (where he can reach) and from sleeping in my arms in a swaddle most of the day to needing space for playing and flopping around. He’s now eating a mix of KMR/cat milk/wet kitten food several times a day.

Despite my endless googling, I have some questions that I hope some seasoned cat owners/neonatal kitty carers can answer:

1. He is currently staying most of the day in an extra large travel crate/carrier with zipper windows all around like a camping tent. In there is his small shallow litter tray, water, his food dish (which I switch out every 4 hours or less), a baby blanket, toys and a warm water bottle at nights under his blanket. Is this appropriate? I don’t want him roaming a huge space like a bathroom or my bedroom, but I’m worried this is too cramped. He sleeps around 18 hours a day anyway and seems very happy in there but sometimes he gets cramped and cries to come out so I let him run around/play/be groomed in a baby-proof part of my room before putting him back in to sleep. When will it be safe for him to stay outside of the crate (in one room) all the time? I take the whole big crate with me from the living room during the day to my bedroom at night. Is it better to do that or does it not matter what room his crate is in?

2. I’m returning to work part time in 4 weeks. He will be around 9 weeks old. Can I leave him in a baby-proofed room for those 6 hours?

3. How much should I hold him? I know he must miss his mom and it breaks my heart. I kiss and hold him when I wipe him down after eating several times a day but should I be carrying him with me in the house or laying with him while he sleeps sometimes? Or is it best that he sleeps safely alone in his little house?

4. He has started to play and in a short time it escalated to what looks really aggressive. He does this thing where it’s like he is pecking (like a chicken) but he is biting at the same time. It’s like a super-fast lunge of his head and a snap of his teeth. It doesn’t really hurt because he barely has teeth, but it’s scary and happens so fast/out of nowhere. Sometimes he will do it over and over to anything around him like blankets and toys. I started to hiss when he bites me and it’s working to curb the behaviour, though he still does it with his toys and blankets. I wish I could describe how shockingly fast it is for his size and age, and I’m worried that when he’s older he will be aggressive because he was a barn cat. Should I worry about this? He has stopped biting my skin and will lick instead if he encounters my hands but tonight he got excited playing and as I leaned in to kiss his head, he lunge-bit my mouth/lip. I hissed and put him in his crate immediately, ending play and cuddle time. Is that harsh? Since he’s so young?


5. I have a 1 year old adopted kitty (Baloo) who is gentle and shy. He has been hanging around Auggie’s crate trying to play and sniff him since he got here. I have let them meet slowly and now they are spending about 20 minutes per day playing and sniffing each other (under my careful supervision). Auggie plays hard -lunge biting, jumping on and trying to tussle with Baloo. Baloo has been surprisingly gentle despite this.m though he definitely corrects Auggies behaviour. I have been hoping his corrections of Auggies behaviour will be helpful during this window of development. I let Baloo push him down/bite him back (not hard) and Auggie just keeps happily coming at him. Eventually I break it up because it’s unfair to Baloo and he will start to get riled up. Is this a good thing to do (for socialization and their bonding) or is it too soon? Auggie keeps seeking Baloo out when he’s near to play with him even though it looks like they can be rough. I don’t think Auggie gets hurt but once he did cry out so I clapped my hands loudly to break it up. Is that scaring them?Should I be letting them play fight even if it’s rough to my sensitive standards? Because Auggie is just so darn tiny (1lb) and clumsy I feel it might be inappropriate despite how rigorously he tries to come at Baloo. I never leave them unattended. What age will I be able to leave them alone to play like that? When I am back at work in a month, should I keep them apart all day while I’m gone to ensure rough play doesn’t happen or is it better for them to be together?

6. Can two male fixed cats be close?

Ive been reading everything I can online since I got him and want to make sure he (and Baloo) are as happy and healthy as can be. I want him to be a gentle and affectionate boy. Is there anything else you can recommend/suggest that he needs or that I can do? Thank you so much for your time and for reading all of this info. I truly appreciate it.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
I am going to give you my take on this but please note that while I have lived with cats my whole life I am not a cat expert. Other people will have opinions as well.

I think the crate sounds fine, and taking it into the bedroom at night is appropriate.
At 9 weeks, and with toys and litterbox and water, there's no reason Auggie cannot be left for 6 hours.
Not leaving him and Baloo alone together is definitely the right idea.

If it were me, I would hold him as much as he wants or tolerates. He needs the warmth and safety and bonding.

I think hissing at the kitten when he bites is reasonable. You can also divert his attention if you see him gearing up for that kind of thing by having toys handy and distracting him with a flirt toy, for instance. He will (hopefully) learn that he can pounce and bite and scratch all he wants on the toys, but toys only.

If he gets a bite in, just put him down on the floor and leave the room, shutting him in for 5 minutes. Or put him in another room or the crate for 5 minutes. This is not too harsh unless you were to yell at him or something. Just removing him is not harsh. The idea here, as you have noted, is to teach him that if he bites, you go away and the fun ends. It is important to teach him not to do this at an early age or he might carry it into adulthood, making him unsuitable for living with people, so keep doing what you are doing.

Baloo is trying to teach him manners, and this is a good thing. He may very well learn about not biting better from your cat than from you, and having both you and the cat teaching him is a good thing. Auggie has missed out on having his littermates and mother teach him these things, so it's important that he get this message now.

I would let the cats do their own thing mostly, unless I really thought someone was going to get hurt, or the kitten was bothering your cat too much. I don't think a loud noise to break it us is a good idea, because neither cat likes that and if they associate a bad thing with them being together, it will damage their relationship. I would just pick up the kitten and put him elsewhere when he goes overboard bothering you adult cat because the adult shouldn't be constantly pestered or that could also damage the development of the relationship. And the same if anyone is actually getting hurt.

Two neutered male cats can be friends. It's actually more likely they will be friends with the kitten being so young, because your adult can be Top Cat and may not resent the presence of the new one. So far it sounds good, because your adult cat seems to be accepting him pretty well.

Lots of luck, and stay with us to tell us how it is going!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Mosi,

A big thank you for your reply and many great points. You put my stress at ease and I’m able to enjoy the process a little more now.

once I let them play they became cuddle buddies and even miss each other when I crate Auggie at night :)putting Auggie in his crate when he bites has fully stopped the behaviour too.

take care and thanks again
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top