First time cat owner, need help with kitten

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Serenitytipssy
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First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Serenitytipssy »

Hi everyone,

six weeks ago I adopted an adorable little Siam kitten, my first ever pet.
I did extensive research before I got him and it took me about a year to finally pull the trigger.

I don't know any cat owners in my immediately friends group or in my family and as one might have expected, having a kitten in theory is very different from having one in reality. I'm quite overwhelmed and don't know who to turn to - the internet pretty much just presents me with "get another kitten"-answers that are not possible for me right now. I just need someone to answer some questions and tell me if his behaviour is normal and what to expect in the future.

He is a very active kitten - I try to play with him three to four times a day, but it's honestly very exhausting and - dare I say - boring as hell for me. He himself gets bored of his toys very easily and even after rotating them out every few days, he only ever wants to play with the rod and then only with two specific toys, both of which he has recently destroyed.
He can't really entertain himself so he'll come to me to play but while I work from home, I'm of course not always available. He gets crazy zoomies at night and crazy biting spells where he absolutely won't let go of me once he starts biting and I can't redirect him to his toys without him hurting me. It's all still play-fighting, I can tell, but it does hurt. He will bite at absolutely everything, sheets, covers, the carpet, the couch etc. He also constantly attacks my feet when I'm sitting on the couch or at night, even when I'm completely immobile and not moving a muscle.

He will not let me cook or eat in peace: this has become a bit of a problem. If I start cooking, he will miau very loudly, even if he JUST got his own food. He will jump at my feet and legs and obviously, I don't know what he wants or needs and this results in a lot of frustration on both sides. Whatever I eat or drink, he wants it too. Usually I let him smell things, so he feels included, but I'm scared of him actually trying to lick any of my (for example) avocado toast, so it's always a "this you can smell, this you can't". If I sit down to eat, he will come up to eat with me, and will not leave until he's gotten a taste.
He gets around 280-300g a day of wet food, so it's definitely not hunger. I know he's probably just curious but this has lead to me going a whole day without eating because I know I won't be able to do it in peace anyways.

One thing that I wish to rectify for his own sake is the fact that whenever I leave a room, he comes after me. No matter if he's currently sleeping or not. He will wake up, trot after me and then be really grumpy because of his lack of sleep. He's only recently started napping in my bedroom when I'm on the living room couch watching something, but as soon as I get up, he's right there with me.

I just want to know if these things are normal and what to expect in the future? Will he calm down a little? I've been plagued with self-doubt because even after preparing myself for so long, I'm really overwhelmed with the situation and have already raised my voice to him several times in frustration - something I absolutely wanted to avoid.
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fjm
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by fjm »

I would say it all sounds pretty normal, especially for a Siamese kitten. A companion really would be the easiest way of occupying his time and energy - he is used to having constant companionship, playmates ever ready for a game, siblings to snuggle with, and now is completely reliant on you for all these things. You don't say how old he is, but if a second kitten is really not possible (no need for a pedigree - any happy, healthy, health tested kit in need of a home would probably be welcomed with open paws), then I would establish a routine and house rules that work for both of you. When you are eating he gets a small plate of something delicious on the far side of the room; any attempts to smell or eat yours is completely ignored - not discouraged, complained about or turned into a battle, but ignored - if necessary eat in another room. Play in frequent bursts during the day - find something you both enjoy, like Cat Agility or clicker training - and give him toys that encourage him to play alone like ping pong balls, a few feathers on elastic tied to a door knob (only when you are there to intervene if he gets caught up in it), food dispensing balls, etc. A cuddle buddy toy in an enclosed bed may help him to settle.

This article is about bringing home a puppy but the principle is much the same - you have kidnapped a baby from Planet Cat, and looking at life from the kitten's viewpoint will help both of you make it safely through these first weeks and months: https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/behav ... lanet-dog/
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Serenitytipssy »

Thank you so much for your help, it is deeply appreciated :)

He is currently 4 months old, still a baby. A second cat is not possible in my current apartment, I'm only allowed one because of space issues. I'm thinking of maybe moving next year, but it's gonna be hard to find an apartment that is bigger than mine which allows animals and is affortable.

I'm trying my best to ignore already, but how do you do that when he jumps on you and gets in the way of eating? My apartment only has two big rooms, there's not much space to flee.
I also keep hearing to stop playing when he bites and leave the situation but I can't do that when I'm in bed sleeping? He does it constantly so am I supposed to get up every time? I wouldn't get any sleep like that.

I've bought him every toy under the sun but unless I'm the one playing with him, he barely uses them - intelligence toys, like balls with snacks in them get completely ignored, he only likes running around for now. I know this is complaining on a real high niveau but I'm tired most days and while I do play three or four times a day with him, I can't do that for hours at a time - I play maybe twenty minutes and then I need to get back to work or want to relax after work.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by fjm »

Be grateful he is a kitten, and not a puppy! By now a puppy would have peed/pooped everywhere, chewed at least 27 precious items and endangered your property deposit, need taking to toilet out ever hour during the day and several times during the night, and would scream so loudly when you went out of sight that the neighbours would be phoning the police. I'm afraid that when you take on a baby, of any species, life changes...

If he insists on playing at night shut him in the other room. If you cannot close one room off from another, buy a big dog crate, set up a tray, water, a comfy bed, a snuggle companion, and put him to bed in there. He can have his scrummy snack there while you are eating, too. But if he is regularly attacking you during the day and night he is simply bored, and you need to provide him with more mental stimulation. He has lots of toys, but do they move by themselves? Appear and disappear? Can he see out of windows? Have you tried cat TV - films of animals moving? At his age his mother would be teaching him the finer points of hunting, and he needs to be constantly learning with new ideas and new challenges. Is it safe to let him outside? A two room flat is a very limited environment for an intelligent young being, unless you really work at enriching it for him.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Mollycat »

Sorry to say that all sounds pretty normal for a kitten and the vocals and being glued to your heels for a Siamese. The kitten phase doesn't last all that long but long enough to drive you round the twist if you're already struggling, but more importantly it's the effort you put in now that will make the cat you hope for later. If you're not enjoying this time, play, getting to know this pipsqueak, laughing and gasping in equal measure, then perhaps there could be a deeper problem for you having a kitten. The kitten age doesn't last but cats remain playful and active well into their teens, that's real teens not cat year teens.

Could you describe the way you thought things would be? It sounds from your initial description like maybe an adult cat, maybe older, chilled and just happy to watch the world go by, might have been more up your street. Having a kitten from the very beginning is a bonkers time and them being into absolutely everything especially wanting to know what you're doing and doing it with you is where you get the chance to really bond and develop a close relationship. Unfortunately at the moment it sounds like the very things that give you the best opportunities to bond closely are the same things that you seem averse to. Siamese are best known for being very vocal, active and "loyal" companions, which I now understand to be code for will follow you around everywhere and be into everything you do and eat.

Just also wanted to say well done for realising early on that you need some help and you've found the best place for it. My last kitten was a long time ago but even my adult rescues I always encourage to show me the full range of their character so I know what I'm dealing with. the better we understand them, the closer the bond, the easier they are to deal with, but you will only get out of a cat what you put into the kitten. We will do everything we can to help you if you're committed to making this work.

Oh and just to add - a second cat won't necessarily reduce your cat's need for you anyway, as I discovered the hard way. It's nuts to think that giving an animal a playmate will somehow reduce their need for human company. To me it's a bit like thinking that getting a dog is going to get your child out from under your feet. Trouble goes up exponentially - one cat one trouble, two cats two troubles, three cats four troubles, and so on, and then you have to deal with kitty politics on top when they argue, I swear they are worse than kids.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Serenitytipssy »

Thank you so much for your honesty.

I think I was prepared for the playing, the constant need for attention, all that - but I didn't expect the anxiety that comes along with it? The constant "omg what does he need, is he okay?" and just the huge time committement? I was prepared in theory, but now, sitting here not being able to get any work done because he decided my keyboard is his new home, I realize that theory doesn't prepare you for anything in reality.
I can't interprete what he wants at all and sometimes it is completely overwhelming to have him miau so much and not know if he needs something or is just announcing he's going to the toilet (he does that, it's adorable).
Also not being able to really cook or eat without him sitting by my feet miauing like he's starving is so anxiety inducing that I really have to psyched myself up to even do it at all.
I don't want to think that I made a mistake here because I already love him deeply and he has his adorable moments but the constant biting and scratching is really getting to me. He loves sitting and sleeping on me and I don't mind that at all but at some point it always devolves into him biting my sleeves, the sheets, my arms, my hands. And not being able to enjoy those moments wears on me a lot.
I've been trying to discipline him with all the methods I've heard about - say "OUCH" really loudly, hiss loudly when he hurts me, try and redirect him to another toy, get up and get away. But so far nothing seems to work and it feels crushing to know that maybe it's just that I'm not playing with him the right way and he has too much energy that he then takes out on me.

I'm trying to play with him more, to show him he is deeply appreciated and loved here but it's hard when he won't play with most of the toys I've gotten him and gets tired so easily of the ones he does like. It gets so boring to just sit there for an hour and wait until he's prepared to chase after a toy for two minutes before he gets bored of it again. I know it's boring for him too.

I want to put in more effort, but I guess I don't know how?
Yesterday evening I played with him for about an hour and he still got crazy zoomies from around 10pm to 2am and only went to sleep when I did.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by fjm »

Many of us know the "OMG, what have I done!" feeling when responsible for a baby for the first time - the responsibility can feel overwhelming. It does get easier - you learn to communicate with each other, what behaviour is normal and nothing to worry about, and - perhaps most important and most difficult of all - we don't have to be perfect parents, good enough will do!

So - slow breathing and relax. If he complains that he is starving when you are preparing your own meals feed him some of his own food. If he is not hungry for that then he is not really hungry, just after the titbits he has taught you to offer him, like a child crying for sweets in the supermarket. Either tough it out (that may take some time as he will cry louder and longer, and giving in just once will teach him he only has to persevere to get what he wants) or put a tiny scrap of whatever you are cooking that he likes in his bowl at the far side of the kitchen and teach him that waiting there gets him what he wants. Many cats like to be up high where they can watch everything going on - putting a towel on a stool or the top of the fridge and teaching him to wait there for treats might work. Reward him with tiny, tiny treats, very frequently at first and then at longer intervals (a piece of his kibble, a tiny dab of Lik-e-lix, a pea sized piece of chicken), or with a stroke or a game - anything he finds rewarding. Have a soft bed near you while you work - even on the desk if he will settle there - and if he wants to sit on the keyboard shift him onto it and only pay attention to him when he is there - again, it will take repetition and perseverance but he will eventually learn that it is a better place to be.

The scratching and biting is how kittens play with each other - I would try a fairly large soft toy as a sibling substitute. Every time he grabs for you put him on the floor and push the toy into his arms so he can wrestle with that instead. It's worth having several so that there is always one to hand - IKEA is a good source of inexpensive baby-safe toys. Again it will take lots and lots of repetitions before he prefers it to human flesh, but he will get there, and play fighting tends to reduce as cats get older. At night I would simply wrap myself up in the duvet so that there is nothing for him to get hold of, or ban him from the bedroom till he has better manners.

Playing in short bursts is also normal, but there is no need to wait around for him. Keep a heap of ping pong balls and small toys next to you while you work or read or watch TV, and toss him one when he wants to play, or similarly dangle a wand toy for him for a few minutes. Good games when you have time to focus on the kitten are playing hide and seek with a toy (sit on the floor and have the toy pop up unexpectedly from behind you, or under your knee, or wherever, and try to whip it away out of sight before it is grabbed, so the kitten has to stalk and run and leap), toys dragged through a cat tunnel or dangled at the far end, anything that mimics hunting behaviour in fact. Cats do tend to play in short, concentrated bursts - a few minutes is often enough. And all young animals seem to get the bedtime zoomies, although perhaps not for four hours!
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Serenitytipssy »

I'm currently working but I had to drop in and say thank you for the idea with the bigger toy - I have one that I got as a present a while back that is almost as big as my kitten and I've been giving him that to chew on! He instantly took a liking to it, probably because it's bigger than his other chew toys :D I count that as a success.

I played with him earlier and he seems to wind himself down to nap soon. So far today has been great - apart from him walking all over me with his claws extended, could've done without that. But I'll take it! When I prepared breakfast at around 11am, I gave him a little bit of food as well and he calmed down instantly. Then at 2pm he was super hungry again and almost ate an entire 100g, he seems to just have a big appetite at the moment. He's still growing, so I guess that's the reason?

Yesterday evening I realized he likes classical music and art restauration videos (because they show closeups of people's hands) so I think I will try to use that again tonight. Unfortunately yesterday he got so wound up that he ran and jumped around the apartment for hours, but I hope to tire him out more tonight so that won't happen again.

I've also done what you suggested and now have a small arsenal of little toys around me at all times that I give him to play with whenever I really need to concentrate. I also have one of those circuit thingies and moved it from the living room into my bedroom/office, so now he plays with that whenever I can't pay attention to him. I think I'm slowly getting somewhere.

I also had problems with keeping him away from plants but I had to halt those plans yesterday because I wasn't getting anywhere with blocking his way, tinfoil, lemon extract or even sprizing water in his general direction. So now my big plant lives somewhere he can't get to.

Oh and I wanted to add something: clearly, he likes being very close to me. He sleeps on my bed which is right next to my desk or even ON my desk between the monitor and the keyboard. I don't think I've made him hate me yet! :)
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by fjm »

Sounds like really good progress - and yes, his appetite will go up and down while he is growing. Some days they seem to want to eat their own body weight and you worry about them getting fat, then they have days of hardly wanting to eat at all, and you worry about them starving to death. As long as he is playful and peeing and pooing without problems I would just feed him as much as he wants within reason.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Mollycat »

Oh this is lovely to read, such a positive tone compared to your first post that had me quite worried. If he wants to be close to you all the time he wants to build a relationship with you. And playing should be fun even if only entertainment for you so it sounds like this too is turning for the better. Hopefully you two will soon be inseparable.

If you get caught out without a handy toy, anything will entertain a kitten, a scrunched up piece of paper, anything. I remember my dad once making a self propelling toy out of a cotton reel, an elastic band, a matchstick and a piece of candle wax. When Molly went to hospital they said I might not be able to have her toys back so I didn't let her have her favourite ones, I made one out of some fluffy material stuffed with catnip. Simple things can be the most successful.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Serenitytipssy »

Thanks for all the lovely feedback :)

I went to bed a little early yesterday (around midnight) and he's been up since 5am, miauing and crawling/sitting all over me, trying to get me to get up. I stood firm and got up when I usually do, at 7:30am to feed him, but by that point he had been playing in my room for two and a half hours and kept me awake. Would it be an acceptable solution in the future, if this happens again, to put him outside my bedroom and close the door? I always feel like I'm going to do something to damage our relationship irreparably.

Since then I played with him for about 20 minutes to hopefully calm down his energy but nope, he's gotten even more energy and is trying to bite my sleeves. I gave him the bigger toy and he's been ripping into that for a few minutes now.

I just ... I played with him and he doesn't get tired, he just gets more energy? I was using a wand with a string attached, which he loves now and we played for about twenty minutes all over the house before I had to get back to work but once I stopped playing he just miaued even louder and ran all around, jumping off places, running all over my desk etc. I had to take him off my keyboard (while he was biting my sleeves) and put him back on the bed to get some work done but until I gave him the chewtoy, it seemed like he just wouldn't stop.

I know he's only four months, so I'm really hoping this is kitten energy and something he'll grow out of?
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by fjm »

Yes, it is kitten energy, and yes, it is perfectly acceptable to shut him out of the bedroom while you sleep, as long as he has access to food, water, a tray and a comfy sleeping place. It is great that he is so bonded to you, although I can see that it makes working and sleeping difficult! I once redecorated several rooms with the "help" of two 3-month old kittens - what with dust sheets to hide under, stepladders to climb, and the fascination of paint pots and wet brushes they had a wonderful time, although the decorating took forever as a result. I gave up on making the bed - there was always at least one kitten in there if I did...

I would try to set a routine and stick to it, so that meals, play sessions, snoozing etc come at much the same time every day. If you can take breaks while you are working a few minutes walk around/coffee for you, game for kitten every hour or so would be good for both of you. Redirecting him to maul the toy on the bed is excellent - if you do it every time he will eventually look for it when he wants to play rough. As Mollycat says anything can be a toy - a rolled up towel tied with string or tape to wrestle with, a ball of paper, even, in Tilly-cat's case, the plastic top of a contact lens solution bottle dropped into the bath for her to bat from one end to the other.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Mollycat »

You can relax, kittens can cope with being shut out of a bedroom! Just, if that's the plan, absolutely stick to it. As has been said before, if you wait and wait and wait and then give up and give in, kitten will learn extremely quickly that this means if I stick to my pestering and never give up, I will get what I want.

This might be a good day to share something with you. My Molly joined our household for Bobby's sake, as he was extremely stressed without a feline companion. She wanted to play rough, he wanted to curl up together and mutual groom, never the twain shall meet, but they lived together happily. They played chase, it felt like most of the night, and off-ground touch. She was 6 and was being rescued for the second time, and extremely timid. She was the most challenging cat I have had. She squeaked and yowled for attention constantly but ran away if I went near her. For months I believed she hated being touched, but in reality she was desperate for affection but terrified of people. I worked from home back then, she would squeak and squeak, didn't want food, ran away when I tried to go near her, but kept it up as long as my attention was not on her. One day, in sheer screaming frustration that I couldn't even scream because it would traumatise her under the bed for hours, I scrunched up a piece of paper and threw it at her as hard as I could.

She just sat there, watched it coming and never blinked as it hit her doink on the head. That was a turning point, when I realised how much she trusted me already, even if she had a funny way of showing it. I started to listen to her more. things changed, slowly. I noticed if she was startled by a noise outside, and I told her it's ok relax, she would visibly relax. She is now 14, she's been with me 8 years next month, and only this year she has started to sit on the sofa next to me. last night she didn't want to give up my pillow so I slept half the night curled up below her. Today I have come home from a stressful outing that should have been 45 minutes drive each way with a half hour appointment in the middle, I left at 9 and got home just before 1. I was about to rush back out to work, and then Molly came to lie next to me, and purred. My heart rate dropped, a weight came off my shoulders. I rang work and said I won't be in today. The squeaking? It wasn't all selfish, it was her picking up on my stress and trying to divert my attention. Now I don't work form home any more, she only really does it when I have to write a stressful email. The moral? Listen to your cat. Cats come to us just when we need them, and they leave us just when they should, and in between they give more and keep us on the right track better than we could ever know.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Serenitytipssy »

Thank you guys so much for your answer, it's really helped me to calm myself down and accept that maybe I'm not doing so horribly and I'm just very insecure and emotionally terrified ot screwing up with him haha :)

Usually he sleeps a lot during the afternoon, but I'm going to make sure to play more often with him when he's awake, even if it's just for a few minutes. My job isn't so stressful that I can't do that, it just requires me paying attention to details and talking on the phone a lot, that's why I can't entertain him for too long.

But - success! He was sleeping when I went up to cook lunch, came in the kitchen after me, I gave him his food and when he realized I wasn't paying attention to him because I was cooking, he went back into my bedroom to sleep. He woke up when I sat down to eat, but only to lay down on the sofa to sleep instead. I'll take that as a good sign.

I'm going to be honest: I can't even really tell you where he usually sleeps at night. He'll be in one catbed when I go to sleep but I noticed he moves around a lot during the night and he's usually the one to wake me so I have no clue if he sleeps in the same place or not.
I don't mind him being in my room at night, he usually quiets down when I put out the last light. But he does wake up me up every morning and today, like I said, he played from 5am onward.
I do want to close the door on him at night, so I can get some decent sleep but he only has me and I feel like he could be lonely? Idk I know I've been overthinking absolutely everything in relation to him since getting him. I'm not hurting him by separating us, right? I wouldn't want to hurt our fragile relationship, he's only been with me for six weeks and he's still so tiny.

Yesterday he slept in my bedroom while I was hanging out in the living room for a few hours and that's absolutely what I wanted: for him to be a bit more independant and not have to be by my side all the time, to the point of waking up to follow me. But then when he wasn't there yesterday, I kept thinking I should look to make sure he's fine - which he absolutely was, he was sleeping.

You see - overthinking :| :| :|

@Mollycat: thank you so much for sharing your sweet story about Molly, I'm glad to hear that even after so many years you are making new advancements still :) I can't really tell how much Aslan (my kitten) trusts me yet, but I'm guessing he likes me somewhat? I've not had him this long, but he makes it clear sometimes he likes to be pet and held (especially right after waking up) and sometimes he absolutely does not want that and will start chewing on my instead.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by fjm »

It sounds as if he is already learning to be a little more independent, which is good - it doesn't mean he is not bonded to you, more that he now has the confidence to choose to spend some time alone. It's your choice whether or not to allow him into the bedroom at night - you may find it more restful to know he is curled up beside you than lying awake waiting for crashing noises from the other room - but if he wakes at 5am and you don't want to I would definitely put him in the other room and close the door. If he is waking because he is hungry leaving down a bowl of dry food so that he can help himself might improve things.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Serenitytipssy »

fjm wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 10:57 am I would try to set a routine and stick to it, so that meals, play sessions, snoozing etc come at much the same time every day. If you can take breaks while you are working a few minutes walk around/coffee for you, game for kitten every hour or so would be good for both of you. Redirecting him to maul the toy on the bed is excellent - if you do it every time he will eventually look for it when he wants to play rough. As Mollycat says anything can be a toy - a rolled up towel tied with string or tape to wrestle with, a ball of paper, even, in Tilly-cat's case, the plastic top of a contact lens solution bottle dropped into the bath for her to bat from one end to the other.
Sorry I forget to comment on this but yes, I've pretty much have a routine down :)
He gets breakfast at 7:30 am, usually I then play with him for 20 to 30 minutes but today for example that just made him even more active so idk if I should be playing with him longer, shorter, later?
He gets lunch around 1pm to 2pm, depending on if he's sleeping. He sleeps pretty much all afternoon until I'm done with work at around 6pm. If he's awake at any point during the afternoon, I tend to play with him then. Usually he sleeps again after that. Depending on whether he sleeps or not, he gets dinner between 6pm and 8pm. I usually play with him again after that or, if I'm too tired, a little later. Then he sleeps again until around 10pm or 11pm and we got to bed at 2am. I don't usually play with him right before bed because either I'm too tired or it's too late and I don't want to bother the neighbours.

I've been trying to redirect him to chewing toys every time and I realized that if I say "ouch" really loudly, it will register with him and sometimes he will stop. However, if he's in one of his chew-y moods, he just won't care and getting him to let go of my arm/sleeve at that point is nearly impossible and I have to physically pull him off. Sometimes I try to just ignore it but well, it tends to hurt quite a bit. The doctor said he might be getting his grown-up teeth at the moment, so that might be the reason for that.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Serenitytipssy »

fjm wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:55 pm It sounds as if he is already learning to be a little more independent, which is good - it doesn't mean he is not bonded to you, more that he now has the confidence to choose to spend some time alone. It's your choice whether or not to allow him into the bedroom at night - you may find it more restful to know he is curled up beside you than lying awake waiting for crashing noises from the other room - but if he wakes at 5am and you don't want to I would definitely put him in the other room and close the door. If he is waking because he is hungry leaving down a bowl of dry food so that he can help himself might improve things.
He doesn't sleep on my bed. He's never tried and I've never tried to get him to do it either - I'm happy with him sleeping on one of the many sleeping possibilites in my room, usually. He does have a few of those in the livingroom, too, however, so that shouldn't be a problem. He has access to everything he needs from the livingroom thankfully. Funnily enough, he has dry food out all night, so if he really gets crazy cravings, he can eat that. He doesn't like dry good much but if he should really need something to eat, he has access too.
I think I'll try it tonight!
Serenitytipssy
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by Serenitytipssy »

Yesterday and today has been a rollercoaster.

Yesterday was pretty chill until the evening. He woke up at 8pm and would not go to sleep until I went to sleep at 2am. I feel like for a kitten to be awake six hours is quite long, no? Is that just too much energy?

Then he woke me up again at 6am by miauing incessantly. Didn't get up until 7:30am to feed him, as usual. I just don't understand how he was up again after four hours after not having slept since 8pm??
During the day, an emergency happened and I had people come in and out of my house for several hours, kitten did not sleep a wink. Even after all the people left, he wouldn't sleep and got really bite-y when I was trying to clean up. I had to physically remove him several times.

Does his sleep pattern mean he needs more playtime? I'm at a loss because I feel like I already play with him a lot and I read that I should play with him for an hour before bedtime but at 1am, that's just not possible - I'm too tired and I can't disturb my neighbours like that. Was the biting today maybe a sign of overstimulation? Or was he trying to tell me something?

Any ideas, as always, are very appreciated.
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fjm
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by fjm »

The biting does sound like over-stimulation, and it is possible that long play times in the evening are having the same effect. Trigger stacking is a recognised issue with dogs and humans, although there does not seem to be much research in cats. I would try a routine alternating short periods of play with relaxed downtime, rather than solid hours of play. Try some calming signals - slow blinks with half open eyes while breathing slowly yourself are a good way of soothing things down.
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Re: First time cat owner, need help with kitten

Post by bbbonbon01 »

I would say it all sounds pretty normal
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