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I've had Ratchet since he was a day old. I think I've been doing okay, so far. I've been socializing him, letting him explore but supervising and running to him and getting on the floor when he chirps his "I'm scared" chirp, then he prances off again once he knows I'm right there. I've fostered kittens and bottle babies, but never a singleton.

  • He walks right up to dogs
  • Doesn't cry when he's alone unless he has free roam of the apartment and I suppose feels so tiny, but after I call his name he stops.
  • Stops biting so hard when we yell "Ow!". So that's getting under control.
  • Runs up to my other cat (she's 11, and not happy about the kitt), hisses in play, then runs away.
  • Doesn't cling to one of us. Loves me as the nurturer, I feed him after all. Nick is his play mate.
  • Doesn't sleep in the bed with us, sleeps in his own bed in his room.
  • Is pottying on his own, just have to remind him when to go (Kind of cute for now)
  • Not wanting anything to do with solids, though today he did eat a few chunks of Vital, it's a refrigerated food that looks like sausage. I don't plan on taking him 100% off the bottle until after 12 weeks, but the Vital interest was nice. :)
  • He kneads and suckles on this one blanket, and only does it when it's time for mimis or cuddles. Purrs, suckles, kneads. Doesn't bother me, but I've been told it's insecurity and then I've been told it means he's happy. Either way if it's not harming him mentally I'm coo' with it. I got him trained to only do it on the one blanket.
  • He goes to a sitters house (co-worker) who has a small dog and a 16 week old kitten every Tuesday while I'm at school for play time.
I think he's pretty confident, but I'm not sure if it's confidence because Nick and I are with him, or if it's because he's confident in himself. I want him to feel secure. I know how important weeks 4-12 can be for socializing and I want to make sure he's okay. My friend has a bottle baby who hides from everyone and is extremely possessive over my friend. I'm trying to prevent this now while I can! :) If he's okay, I'll be more than happy to accept the "overly paranoid parent award". He's a little delayed being a premie and being a singleton, I don't want to mentally scar him for life with one bad move.
 

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Can't think of too much more. Maybe have some other people stop over to play with him if you can.
 

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I take Waffles out a lot. He goes to pet stores with me and to visit people we know. I actually just got back from dropping the SO off at college and brought waffles with us to meet his professor (who has 9 cats herself) She about melted. We actually had a conversation about my other cat who's going through some urinary problems and the wet food/raw diet. It was nice to meet someone who shared my feelings on diet etc. Most people that I bring it up to look at me like I have grown an extra head.

As far as waffles goes, he's used to being out and about, and he's not phased by much.
 

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I've been socializing him, letting him explore but supervising and running to him and getting on the floor when he chirps his "I'm scared" chirp, then he prances off again once he knows I'm right there. I've fostered kittens and bottle babies, but never a singleton.
The only thing i'd change is instead of running to him just call from where you are "You're fine!" in a happy voice. Or encourage him to come to you instead. You rushing towards him when he's scared can teach him that he's right to be scared since you obviously are too!

I also made a point of introducing 'scary' noises in a safe way. I'd get a metal bowl and drop it on a hard floor. Doran would get scared, but I'd pretend to play with the bowl and ask him "Whasssat?" In my excited voice. I did this with both him and Muffin and now, while they might initially startle, they are more likely to investigate scary things than get worked up about it.

One thing that I always loved was snuggle time. I'd pick up Doran, or Muffin, and rub thier tummies, play with their little toes, peek in their eyes, ears, and nose. Rub goopies out of their eyes, ect. I would alternate one thing they didn't like, with one thing they did. So practicing pushing their claws out (gently) with a tummy rub, then picking out eye goopies, then chin scratches. They also learned that I would do this at any point in the day, and I wouldn't put them down until i was done. No fussing/squirming allowed!
At first I only did 2-3 seconds, then gradually built up. Never put them down until they relax. This way they learn that the fastest way to go back to playing was to calm down. Now I can do anything I want to either boy and they get this look on their face like "Fine...". I still always end with a snuggle and they generally stay for a cuddle after I'm done, rather than running off to play like they used to.
 

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I think you're doing a great job so far. I agree with librarychick in not running to him; just call his name or say something like "Here I am" or "Mommy's here". Let him come to you. This is the time to get him used to being handled, and learning to enjoy it as has already been mentioned. Give him a check every day, open mouth and check teeth, push out claws, check ears, then it's just routine and you won't have a cat that gives the vet a hard time. Start clipping off the tips of his nails every other week or so, and follow with a treat. Groom him with a comb, even if he is shorthair. Kitten coats don't mat, but now is the time to get him used to being groomed, and most cats love it and can't get enough of it. Invite people over, and take him with you on short trips so he gets used to the carrier and going places and meeting other people. Feed him treats in the carrier so he associates it with good things. Too many cats get a phobia about carriers as they associate them with having to go to the vet. I think you've got a confidant kitty already, and that's good.
 
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