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Hello. Over the weekend I went to see some Scottish Fold kittens at a breeder's home. When I arrived, the kittens ran away and hid under couches and behind other furniture. The breeder told me it was because they did not know me.

I gently picked a few of them up to examine their eyes, ears, feet, and fur to make sure they were healthy. After a moment, they would start squirming and trying to get away.

Is this common behavior for kittens when they meet strangers? Do they usually grow out of it? Thanks in advance for your help.

- Tripel
 

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Heck, my adult cats still do that! Perfectly normal behavior. :grin:
 

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Could just be she doesn't have many visitors. Sounds like the kittens all settled and came out to see you, which is completely normal.

By the time they're 12 weeks and ready to go home they are usually much more confident. All kittens will squirm after a short time of being examined, especially by a stranger, kittens are full of beans and have far more important things to do than be examined by someone.
 

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Could just be she doesn't have many visitors. Sounds like the kittens all settled and came out to see you, which is completely normal.

By the time they're 12 weeks and ready to go home they are usually much more confident. All kittens will squirm after a short time of being examined, especially by a stranger, kittens are full of beans and have far more important things to do than be examined by someone.
They will have plenty of time to do "important things". I don't think a five minute check up is going to hurt. You better believe I will examine a kitten before purchasing one. They are expensive, and I don't want to be stuck with veterinarian bills for an unhealthy pet. Thanks for your input.
 

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Heck, my adult cats still do that! Perfectly normal behavior. :grin:
Do they do it with strangers or with you sometimes? I've heard horror stories about people buying a cat which will hide under their couch for a week. Unfortunately, the new owner ends up returning the cat.
 

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They will have plenty of time to do "important things". I don't think a five minute check up is going to hurt. You better believe I will examine a kitten before purchasing one. They are expensive, and I don't want to be stuck with veterinarian bills for an unhealthy pet. Thanks for your input.
Excuse me, I was just explaining to you that kittens do not like to be held and restrained despite what you, a complete stranger, want to do

You can easily tell if the kittens are well by playing and interacting, letting them climb on you and play, not even my vets bother trying to hold litters for 5 minutes - an eternity to a bundle of energy
 

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They will have plenty of time to do "important things". I don't think a five minute check up is going to hurt. You better believe I will examine a kitten before purchasing one. They are expensive, and I don't want to be stuck with veterinarian bills for an unhealthy pet. Thanks for your input.
Chill, dude. Spotty is a breeder who is explaining kitten behavior to you. You know that their "important things" can wait and that a five minute check up "is not going to hurt" but they don't know it. They are toddlers and have you ever tried to focus a human toddler's attention for 5 minutes?

To be perfectly honest as a breeder if you had that impatient and snarky attitude, I wouldn't sell you a kitten. I would question how patient you would be and BOY do they require patience.
 

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Do they do it with strangers or with you sometimes? I've heard horror stories about people buying a cat which will hide under their couch for a week. Unfortunately, the new owner ends up returning the cat.
Both of my boys found hidey holes when they first came home, and mostly stayed planted there until they felt confident enough. ( returning a cat after a week shows that people didnt give him or her enough time to adjust. Especially with a kitten who has been plucked from his mama and litter and taken to a new home.) Winston generally has to know everything and will only keep distance from visitors long enough to determine how to go about investigating. Archie on the other hand waits for Winston to investigate and give the all clear. On a normal day both are all over the place playing and following me around.

If the kittens were terrified and clearly in distress thats one thing. Uncertainty about a stranger is normal. If they are otherwise healthy ( and to really determine that youll need to go right to the vet after purchase. Most reputable breeders request this and will work with you if there are problems found) youll just have to be patient as your new baby comes into his own.
 

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To be perfectly honest as a breeder if you had that impatient and snarky attitude, I wouldn't sell you a kitten.
Thank you, and I thought the same thing ;)


Also, many breeders offer a health guarantee and depending where you live 4-6 weeks free insurance for extra peace of mind.
 

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This is not normal behaviour for well socialized kittens. Kittens should be gently handled several times a day from birth, and played with by not only the breeder but other members of the family or friends/neighbors/children. Most kittens can be taught to be quiet and still in your hands with proper training. Rather than running away they should be eager to play with a visitor with cat toys, and be comfortable being picked up for a brief period of time without squirming. Another reason for shyness could be if the kittens were raised away from the family areas (such as in a basement) so was not used to the activity and bustle of a normal household. If the breeder has a full time job outside job, s/he would have little time to spend with them and get household duties done which would also socially deprive the kittens. There could also be a genetic reason for their shyness. If the momcat or stud or other related adults are not outgoing and don't want to be handled, it could be genetic. As a former longtime breeder, I would be very hesitant to buy a kitten from this particular breeder. As you say a purebred cat is a big investment and you can do better. Scottish Folds are generally quite outgoing and amenable to being handled.

http://fanciers.com/breed-faqs/scottish-fold-faq.html
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Both of my boys found hidey holes when they first came home, and mostly stayed planted there until they felt confident enough. ( returning a cat after a week shows that people didnt give him or her enough time to adjust. Especially with a kitten who has been plucked from his mama and litter and taken to a new home.) Winston generally has to know everything and will only keep distance from visitors long enough to determine how to go about investigating. Archie on the other hand waits for Winston to investigate and give the all clear. On a normal day both are all over the place playing and following me around.

If the kittens were terrified and clearly in distress thats one thing. Uncertainty about a stranger is normal. If they are otherwise healthy ( and to really determine that youll need to go right to the vet after purchase. Most reputable breeders request this and will work with you if there are problems found) youll just have to be patient as your new baby comes into his own.
Thanks for the advice mainecoonmama. I just wanted to confirm that the behavior that I saw was normal. Based on your experience, it sounds like that is the case. I'm happy to hear your two boys eventually settled down and warmed up to you. I'll see you around the boards. :D
 

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This is not normal behaviour for well socialized kittens. Kittens should be gently handled several times a day from birth, and played with by not only the breeder but other members of the family or friends/neighbors/children. Most kittens can be taught to be quiet and still in your hands with proper training. Rather than running away they should be eager to play with a visitor with cat toys, and be comfortable being picked up for a brief period of time without squirming. Another reason for shyness could be if the kittens were raised away from the family areas (such as in a basement) so was not used to the activity and bustle of a normal household. If the breeder has a full time job outside job, s/he would have little time to spend with them and get household duties done which would also socially deprive the kittens. There could also be a genetic reason for their shyness. If the momcat or stud or other related adults are not outgoing and don't want to be handled, it could be genetic. As a former longtime breeder, I would be very hesitant to buy a kitten from this particular breeder. As you say a purebred cat is a big investment and you can do better. Scottish Folds are generally quite outgoing and amenable to being handled.

http://fanciers.com/breed-faqs/scottish-fold-faq.html
Hello, catloverami. The breeder that I went to is an elderly woman. She has a bad hip and suffers from arthritis, so she is home most of the day. Therefore, I don't think the kittens lacked any socialization from her. I saw a youtube clip of a man playing with a 2 week old stray. It did not mind being stroked and petted, but when he picked it up, it would start screaming and flailing its arms and legs.

Since this will be about a 15 year commitment, I'm really concerned about my future pet's personality. I don't want an introvert that does nothing but sit around, hides, eats, and sleeps. That's no way to show gratitude to someone that is feeding it, keeping it safe, and giving it a home. I prefer a pet that is interactive and playful.

It doesn't look like I will buy a kitten from this particular breeder. I've found another one that I am interacting with now.

Thanks for your advice.
 

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I agree with catloverami that kittens should be better socialized than what you're describing. But...even the most well socialized kittens still may hide when brought home. It's a big change to be taken from their home, momma and littermates. Holly was extremely outgoing at the breeder's home, but when she got here she hid under the bed for two days when I wasn't in the room...she was fine when I was there, but didn't like to be alone.

Since this will be about a 15 year commitment, I'm really concerned about my future pet's personality. I don't want an introvert that does nothing but sit around, hides, eats, and sleeps. That's no way to show gratitude to someone that is feeding it, keeping it safe, and giving it a home. I prefer a pet that is interactive and playful.
When you get a kitten, there is no guarantee that it's kitten personality will be the same as an adult. If you want a predictable personality get an adult that exhibits the traits you want. BTW....past the age of 2 or 3 the vast majority of cats spend their life sitting around, sleeping and eating. And if you want gratitude, a cat isn't for you. It doesn't sound like you have much cat experience and have some expectations that aren't in line with a typical cat. You might want to re-think this...
 

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That's no way to show gratitude to someone that is feeding it, keeping it safe, and giving it a home. I prefer a pet that is interactive and playful.
sounds like you want a dog :p
 

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I agree with catloverami that kittens should be better socialized than what you're describing. But...even the most well socialized kittens still may hide when brought home. It's a big change to be taken from their home, momma and littermates. Holly was extremely outgoing at the breeder's home, but when she got here she hid under the bed for two days when I wasn't in the room...she was fine when I was there, but didn't like to be alone.



When you get a kitten, there is no guarantee that it's kitten personality will be the same as an adult. If you want a predictable personality get an adult that exhibits the traits you want. BTW....past the age of 2 or 3 the vast majority of cats spend their life sitting around, sleeping and eating. And if you want gratitude, a cat isn't for you. It doesn't sound like you have much cat experience and have some expectations that aren't in line with a typical cat. You might want to re-think this...
I don't have a lot of experience. That is why I am researching and asking questions. Thanks for the advice.
 

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lol. I did, but they aren't allowed in my apartment building, so I started researching cats.
now it all makes sense....i'm glad you are doing your research beforehand. I also agree with doodlebug that if you are looking for certain behavioral traits and adult would better suit your needs.

I recently had 4 foster kittens in my care, and 3 of them went to their forever home on monday. The fourth was looked over because she is shy(her name is honey). I had those kittens from when they were 10 days old, and handled them daily. My fiance interacted with them frequently and I had quite a few friends who came over and played with them as well. They all recieved the same care/socialization, yet only one is extremely shy to newcomers. The other 3 ran to the door when someone new came in.

The adopters that met her got the impression that Honey was not playful or cuddly, when it could not be further from the truth. Honey has even surprised me, because just in the 2 days that her siblings have been gone she has become more cuddly with me. SHe has never been shy around me, but previously she was kind of independent. Now she follows me around and has become much more brave.

My point here, is that you just cannot meet a kitten and tell what their personality is going to be like as an adult.

My advice- contact a rescue and tell them what you are looking for. They will most likely have an adult cat in a foster home that will suit your needs.
 

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Tripel, some breeds of cat are pretty reliably playful and interactive.

The breeds like that that I am personally familiar with are Siamese and Cornish Rex. I am sure there are many others....Burmese come to mind immediately.

Some people find these breeds TOO interactive. Personally I adore them.

I am not quite sure what kind of cat you have looked at so far?
 

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Cats are all different. If having a cat who loves everyone indiscriminately is a must for you, I recommend adopting an adult cat who is already like that. A kitten may or may not end up like that no matter what you do. I have had super social cats, those who loved only me, and those who loved me but weren't much into anyone petting them. That includes those raised from kittens--all very different!

My mother and her partner have 2 ragdolls--from the same breeder, same LITTER. Both had IDENTICAL upbringings. Both are lovely cats, but while Simi is a total lovebug w/ everyone indiscriminately, it takes Yoho a long time to warm up to strangers. I see him once a year and we start from scratch every time LOL! They are just very different people, and that's OK!

It is really quite difficult to accuately temperament test kittens. So those adopting kittens should be prepared to accept the kitty they end up with. If it's imperative to have a particular personality, adopting an adult cat is the only way to be 100% sure that you will get what you want.

And I agree re: the kittens. No baby kitten wants to sit still for longer than a few moments! They may have to for your "examination," but don't expect them to like it. ;)
 

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Good luck getting any sort of gratitude from a cat. MowMow is a giant love bug mush faced mama's boy but there is NO obvious gratitude in his entire fuzzy body. Just a cat-ittude.
 
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