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New kitten Questions

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BloodyMaryKML View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Jun 2011 at 12:04pm
Hello, there.

A bit of background before I get to the questions we have. My husband and I recently (6 weeks ago) lost one of our two adult cats. We searched for her with no luck, and we just started moving to another town about 20 minutes away. Our other cat is very upset and panics whenever we leave her in one room without either of us there. This behavior is understandable, but we can't both stay with her 24-hours a day. We considered getting a new cat once we move into our new house.

The other day, my son brought us a new kitten. The new kitten was abandoned by his momma about a week before my son brought him to us. His momma had been feral, but the tom was domesticated.

He is the first male cat we have ever had, and the first kitten.  We took him to the vet for a basic checkup, and the vet gave us advice on feeding and caring for him.

Now the questions:
1) He nuzzles and digs into my armpit or the inside of my elbow - is he searching for a place to suck? Or is he just getting my scent?
2) When he plays, he is very energetic, but he will bite us. He rarely claws anything unless he is trying to climb it, but he will gnaw at our hands, arms, and clothing - even our faces. Why is that, and how can I encourage less painful play?
3) He is eating kitten food mixed with formula, and he will drink the milk but he won't eat the hard pieces. Will the pieces make him sick if we leave them to soak in the milk for a while? I have noticed that he will return to his bowl after an hour or so to look for more food.
4) He will try to climb into my shirt to sleep, rather than sleeping in his basket. Why is that?
5) How do we introduce the new kitten to the older cat without risk of the older cat hurting him?
6) Since we are moving soon, we have him in a separate part of the house from our older cat. He spends the night in a small bathroom right off our bedroom. We put a heating pad under the shirt in his basket. His food, and his litter box are also in the room. We made sure there was nothing dangerous he can get into anywhere in the room. During the day, I have a large box that I put his basket, food, and litter in. I can cover part of the top with a towel to shut out some of the light, and we have the heating pad for when the AC is turned up. Is there something else I can do to make him comfortable until we move?
7) We are only going to be here for another week, then we will be in our new house. Once we get there, is there anything I need to be careful about when acclimating the cats to the new house?

Please let me know if you have any suggestions. As I mentioned, he is not only our first  kitten, but our first male cat too!

Thank you,
Erin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scratch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2011 at 11:17pm
Hi Erin,
 
You have a lot of questions so I am just copying your post and answering them below to the best of my ability
 
The other day, my son brought us a new kitten. The new kitten was abandoned by his momma about a week before my son brought him to us. His momma had been feral, but the tom was domesticated.
 
How old is this kitten?

He is the first male cat we have ever had, and the first kitten.  We took him to the vet for a basic checkup, and the vet gave us advice on feeding and caring for him.

Now the questions:
1) He nuzzles and digs into my armpit or the inside of my elbow - is he searching for a place to suck? Or is he just getting my scent? he is suckling and looking for comfort. if he is under 6 weeks old, he still should be with the mom (at least until he is 12 weeks old)  He is looking for her belly and her milk bar that he is used to. www.snuggleme.com  has a good tool to help comfort him
 
 

2) When he plays, he is very energetic, but he will bite us. He rarely claws anything unless he is trying to climb it, but he will gnaw at our hands, arms, and clothing - even our faces. Why is that, and how can I encourage less painful play? Because he wasn't allowed to stay with mom and the littermates, guess what? You are the substitute for that family. He is being a normal kitten and playing with you as he would his mom and littermates. You can cry out sharply when he hurts you and then withdraw from him. if he bites you- push gently into the bite instead of pulling away and he should let you go. Best case scenario, get him another older kitten to play with so he can learn from that kitty or your resident cat- but introductions need to be done gradually. Kittens can be overpowering. Most vets will now neuter if the kitten is two pounds, so if you can find this type of forward thinking vet, neutering will help
 
 

3) He is eating kitten food mixed with formula, and he will drink the milk but he won't eat the hard pieces. Will the pieces make him sick if we leave them to soak in the milk for a while? I have noticed that he will return to his bowl after an hour or so to look for more food. If you are feeding him cow's milk, please don't. There is to much in the milk these days for it to be any good for kitties. If you are talking about the formula- then it is fine to soak the hard pieces and feed the mush to the kitten. They don't usually go after the hard kibble until they start teething. Royal Canin's BabyKat 34 (I think that is the number) is a good dry kibble to start baby kitties on because it is smaller than most kibble
4) He will try to climb into my shirt to sleep, rather than sleeping in his basket. Why is that? He wants your heartbeat and your body warmth. I let kitties sleep inside my shirt all the time, you are the substitute mome now.
5) How do we introduce the new kitten to the older cat without risk of the older cat hurting him? It just has to be done gradually- depending on how old your resident cat is. I would wait until after you move- at least a period of 2 weeks after the move so the changes don't stress out your resident cat.
6) Since we are moving soon, we have him in a separate part of the house from our older cat. He spends the night in a small bathroom right off our bedroom. We put a heating pad under the shirt in his basket. His food, and his litter box are also in the room. We made sure there was nothing dangerous he can get into anywhere in the room. During the day, I have a large box that I put his basket, food, and litter in. I can cover part of the top with a towel to shut out some of the light, and we have the heating pad for when the AC is turned up. Is there something else I can do to make him comfortable until we move? Sounds like you are covering all the bases.
7) We are only going to be here for another week, then we will be in our new house. Once we get there, is there anything I need to be careful about when acclimating the cats to the new house? Just be aware that any change in the routine can upset most cats and stress is the number one cause of health issues in cats. I would set up a room ahead of time for your resident kitty with some of your dirty clothes already on the floor, her favorite toys, food, litter pan, cat posts whatever you have. Shut the door of that room with her inside and tell the movers that no one is to go in there. If you have a CD player the CD Harp of Hope is excellent to reduce stress. It's an animal therapy CD you can Google it. I highly recommend it. Over a period of weeks introduce the cats to the rest of the house, one room at a time and look for signs of stress with them. And get the new kitty neutered as soon as you can.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions. As I mentioned, he is not only our first  kitten, but our first male cat too!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BloodyMaryKML Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2011 at 4:26pm
Thank you for your input.

We are using a milk replacement formula that the vet recommended, as well as the Babycat 34.

We will definately take your advice for introducing the new kitten to our older cat.

Thank you again!
Erin
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