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#1
Old 11-13-2013, 08:33 PM
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At what age does a crazy kitten start to calm down?

I got a kitten last week. She's 10 weeks old and she's insane. She's very sweet but she won't leave us alone for a single second if she has her way, and our hands are covered in scratches because she plays rough. If I close the door to the room I'm in, she just meows outside the door incessantly (she does have a really cute meow at least). She even keeps trying to climb up the inside of the curtains, she was almost to the ceiling before I got to her. I can handle this for a while but only if there's an end in sight!

Also, maybe she's just lonely for her mom and siblings since we got her only 5 days ago and she won't demand our undivided attention all the time once she gets more used to being at our house?

We do have lots of toys for her and a cat tree and she gets a lot of attention but it's just never enough. We've always had low-key cats and the person we got her from said she was the calm one in the litter, so I wasn't expecting crack kitty.
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#2
Old 11-13-2013, 08:44 PM
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We have a 3 year old cat who has just barely calmed down from the real kitten craziness. She's still very, very active.

You probably need another kitten to keep this one busy.
#3
Old 11-13-2013, 09:05 PM
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Sometimes crazy, 'curtain-climbing' kittens mature out of it, sometimes they don't. They usually do at least a little, if not completely. I agree that the best solution would be to get her a playmate. Possibly even an adult cat.
#4
Old 11-13-2013, 09:34 PM
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We have two 17-week-old kittens. They are wildly active and incredibly playful, but they burn most of their energy out on one another, which helps a ton. For the past week one has been confined to a kennel due to a sprained leg, and the other one has been noticeably more insane--more clingy, more needy, waYYY y more jumpy and crazy. My conclusion is that not having her sister to burn off all that energy with is making them both a little nutty. (And us, too.)
#5
Old 11-13-2013, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackberry View Post
I got a kitten last week. She's 10 weeks old and she's insane.

-- snip --

Also, maybe she's just lonely for her mom and siblings since we got her only 5 days ago ...

-- snip --

We do have lots of toys for her and a cat tree and she gets a lot of attention but it's just never enough.
If you want a warm, affectionate and quiet cat later, you need to be doting on the kitten now. Make sure she feels safe. She needs several quiet and safe spots to hide. You need to occupy her time when you are home. Physical contact is a must. She just may grow out of it if you play your cards correctly.

We acquired three kittens in July. They are coming up on seven months old now. With our two adult cats we have a full house. Think of a herd of elephants up and down, up and down, up and down, the stairs almost nightly after work. The cat tower gets used alot, as do the toys. Noisy paper grocery bags on the floor in the living room. They settle down after an hour until we go to bed then the herd starts all over again after lights out for about 15 minutes. Then silence, until about 1 am, 2am, 3am, 4am when our bed becomes a playpen. Every night.

Ever have a kitten walk up your body at 3am, sniff your face (snort, actually) then slip you the tongue? Multiply that by three.

We expect a few more months of this. Maybe more. Maybe less.

We wouldn't have it any other way.

Good luck and have fun.
#6
Old 11-13-2013, 10:42 PM
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One of mine is ~7 years old and hasn't matured mentally since age twelve weeks . He does sleep longer though, so there's that.

But typically they start settling down from the hyper phase after ~six months, sometimes as early as four or as late as twelve. Their metabolism will definitely slow as they hit adolescence. Mine went from hoovering every morsel of food up and staying thin, to suddenly slightly chubby almost overnight. I had to start regulating their feeding thereafter to get them back down to weight.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 11-13-2013 at 10:44 PM.
#7
Old 11-13-2013, 10:44 PM
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She may burn more energy if the toys and playtime you're using are interactive, like wand toys with string and a bunch of feathers on the end. Yes, it requires a person on one end, but the playtime is much more energetic and might get her more tired out quicker.

Also. Trim. Her. Nails.

I can't stress this enough. Start young, do it every 2 weeks. Mitigate damage to people and to furniture. If it's routine for everyone, it's takes no time at all. I trim three cats nails in four minutes, I timed it once just out of curiosity. Its no big deal when they're used to it, and they figure out quickly that it's harder to climb stuff like curtains and learn not to do it. But - that doesn't mean you can then use your hands/feet as toys, it's still bad behavior, especially if they start biting!

How long will she be like this? It's really hard to say. Part of it really is being separated from her siblings, I'm sure she used up far more energy on them than the person in the house knew. I would give it at least a couple of weeks before thinking she'll be like this long term. It really may take a couple years, it might subside at least a little once she's old enough and can be spayed. I have a four year old who still flies around the house at times, but with a couple other cats plus me to bother, he's generally calm enough!
#8
Old 11-13-2013, 11:11 PM
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This is why I like my kittens like I like my boobs...in pairs. Let them use those little needley claws and teeth on each other!

But in a couple of weeks, it will start to chill, and by a year most cats are well on their way to mellow, if that's the temperament they're going to have. Others stay cookoo for cocoa puffs for their entire lives. She's not a calico, is she? I know it's breedist of me, but...they crazy.
#9
Old 11-13-2013, 11:36 PM
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I am so onboard with the second kitten suggestion. I love kittens, they are cute and playful and cuddly and I just want to bring them all home to live with me, but holy cow, they are just totally flipping nutz. When you see them at adoptions, they are always calm looking but thats because they are stressing out because they are in cages in strange places.

Once you get them home, they just go totally mental. We foster kittens until they get adopted, they are much different at adoptions than in their room. Two kittens are much better than one.

Listen to SDT about the interactive toys. One of our PC's (Personal Cats) lied to us and told us that she was 2 years old and wormed into our hearts and home. We are used to cats lieing, but she still managed to fool us and the vet. She was about 6 months old when she did that, she's about 2 now. She still meets us at the door demanding that we pull out the cat fishing toy for at least half an hour before she stops bouncing around on the counters.

Also, yeah, trim her claws on a regular basis and don't use your hands as toys.

I'll bet you spend a lot of time laughing at her antics, and thats a lot of fun, but kittens are nutz.
#10
Old 11-13-2013, 11:44 PM
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14 years and counting!

Just kidding - she only gets the crazies once or twice a day now.
#11
Old 11-14-2013, 12:51 AM
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Another vote for second kitten. But he may never calm down completely.

I have two cats. They are 10 and 15. The 15-year-old cat has calmed down a lot, but she still has a crazy period, every night. Usually right after we go to bed. She goes tearing around the house, chases things that aren't there, and a couple of times got stuck in things, like once, a shopping bag, the paper kind with handles. That was hilarious. She didn't think so but I think even the dog was laughing.
#12
Old 11-14-2013, 01:08 AM
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Maybe I should get another kitten, but I'm just worried that then I could have two kittens climbing the curtains, etc. I'm also hesitant to double the cost of food, litter, and vet care. But if it would make things much smoother, I would do it. If I was going to get two, I wish I would have just gotten one of my kitten's siblings while I had the chance though (my mom and my mom's friend who I got her from both thought I should only get one since I live in an apartment). What if I get another one and they don't like each other?

As for cutting her nails, I'm just scared to try! I cut my guinea pig's nails, but I never cut them as short as I could because I'm scared to cut too far, and he's not crazy and his nails aren't sharp. Do you just use a regular nail clipper or what?

I'm fine with my kitty being crazy sometimes for her whole life, I just really need it to not be all of the time!
#13
Old 11-14-2013, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackberry View Post
...and our hands are covered in scratches because she plays rough.
From what I've read this is one habit you should gently but firmly break her of. Not breaking out the cattle prod, of course, but
Quote:
In a litter of kittens, rough play is common. When you are playing with your kitten and she becomes aggressive, stop playing immediately. A stern NO or loud clap of the hands is usually enough of a warning. If you continue to try to wrestle your kitten, she will interpret this as a continuation of the game. Stop the game so she knows the rules.
#14
Old 11-14-2013, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
If you want a warm, affectionate and quiet cat later, you need to be doting on the kitten now. Make sure she feels safe. She needs several quiet and safe spots to hide. You need to occupy her time when you are home. Physical contact is a must. She just may grow out of it if you play your cards correctly.

We acquired three kittens in July. They are coming up on seven months old now. With our two adult cats we have a full house. Think of a herd of elephants up and down, up and down, up and down, the stairs almost nightly after work. The cat tower gets used alot, as do the toys. Noisy paper grocery bags on the floor in the living room. They settle down after an hour until we go to bed then the herd starts all over again after lights out for about 15 minutes. Then silence, until about 1 am, 2am, 3am, 4am when our bed becomes a playpen. Every night.

Ever have a kitten walk up your body at 3am, sniff your face (snort, actually) then slip you the tongue? Multiply that by three.

We expect a few more months of this. Maybe more. Maybe less.

We wouldn't have it any other way.

Good luck and have fun.
http://somethingpositive.net/sp11112013.shtml

Even the calmest of cats seem to get the midnight crazies, or the midnight rips. It's like they save up their energy for when you are too tired to effectively threaten them with beating and/or skinning. Cats just have a different schedule, and a different agenda, than humans.
#15
Old 11-14-2013, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackberry View Post
I can handle this for a while but only if there's an end in sight!
The end is already in sight. Give her about 2 more months, and you'll be getting nostalgic for the good ol' days when she wanted to be with you constantly. And 2 months after that, she'll be too heavy to climb the curtains.
In the meantime, give her constant attention, with LOTS of physical contact and petting. She'll eventually lose the crazies, but she'll still like to be petted.

Last edited by chappachula; 11-14-2013 at 05:15 AM.
#16
Old 11-14-2013, 06:45 AM
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A four minute video from Cornell on trimming a cat's nails.
#17
Old 11-14-2013, 08:10 AM
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I have a little kitten in a house full of adult cats. Little twerp was bottle raised, and so thinks he owns the world. When my big cats want to tell him off they first grumble at him in a low tone, and if that doesn't get his attention there's a hiss, and finally he gets a swat AND a hiss.

So I've applied this when he gets too rambunctious with me. I'll put him down a few times in a row, and if he still is playing too rough I'll growl and "tssst!" at him, and as a last resort he gets a quick light tap on the head. Usually that's enough for him but sometimes it ends up being a rapid-fire tap-tap-tap-tap. Then he stops, blinks, looks worried, and purrs again when I pick him up and snuggle. I always end a reprimand (if he actually stops what he's doing) with a pleasant hands on experience. I don't want him to be afraid of hands - just stop attacking them Blowing in his face works pretty well too.

Some of the neediness may be because he misses his siblings and mom, so definitely lots of hands on attention. And now is the time to teach him not only about nail trimming, but being held and manhandled in general. Get him used to you playing with his mouth (he'll need medication at some point in his life) and with being held for longer than he wants to be held. While they're little it's much easier to just hang on and wait 'til they stay still for a few seconds before putting them down. Increase the time you make him stay put slowly. You'll get LOTS of protest, but you aren't hurting him and he needs to learn to deal with not getting his own way. Trust me, at some point in his life you're going to have to do things to him that he doesn't want done, getting this lesson installed now will save you both a lot of stress and scratches later!

Last edited by saje; 11-14-2013 at 08:11 AM.
#18
Old 11-14-2013, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
A four minute video from Cornell on trimming a cat's nails.
I use the little trimming scissors like the show in the video, and I'm much more comfortable with those than the bigger, guillotine-like clippers the vets use. I second getting your kitten used to getting nails trimmed - my cat doesn't like it, but she tolerates it.

As for rough playing, I think a lot of that depends on the cat, too. My cat never, ever scratches me. My husband's cat would disembowel us if she felt like it, so we backed off when it was full-on "kill the humans" time. I think you'll figure it out as she gets older (and discouraging really rough play).
#19
Old 11-14-2013, 01:15 PM
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All cats are crazy, in their own specific way! I can't offer specific advice on calming kittens because my family has always adopted adult cats from the shelter, specifically because we never wanted rambunctious, unpredictable kittens. If you get a second cat (do it do it DO IT!) consider a young adult. If you adopt one from your local shelter, you will most likely be able to spend more time in the cat room and see how they behave around other cats and strangers. I chose my 22 pound orange fuzzball because he was the only one that would let me roughhouse him for a good five minutes without so much as a whimper. My sister chose hers because she liked the way he was coloured and he hasn't stopped being evil in the four or so years she's had him, despite constant training. Personality matters, but it doesn't really set until they're about a year old!
#20
Old 11-14-2013, 01:17 PM
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Thanks for the advice, everyone I sprayed the cat with a water bottle twice today when she started climbing the curtains, and I think she's going to learn pretty quickly to stop doing that.

I wonder if she can be friends with my guinea pig. I've been holding her up to him in his cage (even with the cage door open) and they're both very interested in each other and she's not trying to pounce on him or anything. Right now they're almost the same size, so if they get to be friends when he's too big for her to see him as prey, maybe she won't later either. Not that I could ever trust it enough to leave them alone together, of course, but it would be nice if they could hang out with supervision.
#21
Old 11-14-2013, 04:33 PM
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A kitten with a guinea pig! Squee! Why are there no pictures in this thread? Keep a sharp on eye them, though. You never know when the prey drive kicks in.

Are you moving the kitten to the cat tree after you discipline her for climbing the curtains? Getting her to associate curtain climbing with bad things happening is the first step, but she should also know that the tree is her safe place to climb and that's where her attention should be directed.
#22
Old 11-14-2013, 06:12 PM
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A year at the very least... maybe a little longer. I feel your pain. My Kitten from Hell is about a year and a half, and a few months ago, she FINALLY settled down somewhat. Even so, she was a feral that we bottle-fed and she had terrible mange for the first couple of months and we didn't think she was going to make it. Now she will crawl up on my chest and nuzzle me and purr but taking her to the vet is still an ordeal. I took her a couple of weeks ago for shots and it took the doc and two technicians to hold her down for shots. The vet's office just freaks her out completely.

I do love her. When she was a baby, I loved bottle feeding her. I used to sing to her, "Me & My Shadow." I still do when she snuggles on me.

Here she is (the black one) giving my older cat Max a hard time. God, he was patient with her. This was about a year ago. The other black cat curled up asleep at the end of the sofa has since died. She was 15. She did not take One Bit of Crap off the kitten. One swat took care of that. Max never would swat her-- too much of a gentleman?
#23
Old 11-14-2013, 06:41 PM
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I noticed there was a lack of kitteh pictures in this thread, too.

Here is my little poopsie - she fits in it, so she sits in it.

Kitteh being weird, as usual.

ETA: I love that video, ThelmaLou. Giving Max a hard time, indeed!

Last edited by Cat Whisperer; 11-14-2013 at 06:43 PM.
#24
Old 11-15-2013, 02:26 PM
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The little weirdo cat has taken to spending all her time here, on top of the guinea pig's cage. She has beds, couches, pillows, cushions...but all she wants is this little plastic box we store on top of the guinea pig's cage because he sits in it when he's out of his cage sometimes. I even put a large cushion on top of the cage for her to rest on instead, and she ignored it.

And here are the little ones getting acquainted.
#25
Old 11-15-2013, 02:50 PM
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Yup - cats is weird.

(What a cutie!)
#26
Old 11-15-2013, 03:41 PM
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KEE-fucking-yute!
#27
Old 11-15-2013, 04:03 PM
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IME single cats get weird and dysfunctional (more prone to sending you unpleasant messages, attacking visitors, hiding from you). I think letting her play with the guinnea pig would help with that as much as a second cat would. And large rodents are far from helpless if confronted by a kitteh.

Otherwise, LOTS of hands on and cuddling. I've got a 5 year old, 17 pound eunuch who will walk up my chest, throw his arms over my shoulders and bury his nose in my neck. Nothing better in the world. Um...just to be clear, the eunuch is a cat, not a pygmy. That would be really weird.
#28
Old 11-15-2013, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Sun Jester View Post
<snip> Um...just to be clear, the eunuch is a cat, not a pygmy. <snip>
{Skeptical voice on}Mm-hmmm.
#29
Old 11-15-2013, 04:49 PM
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...busted.
#30
Old 11-15-2013, 06:00 PM
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All but three of you violating the cardinal rule of cat threads? For shame.

These two moved in a year ago, age 8 weeks. They mostly calmed down about 6 months in. There's still a daily stampede, chasing each other up and down the hallway. Usually at around 5:30am. I go to work at 9 and live half a mile away.

Last edited by goldmund; 11-15-2013 at 06:02 PM. Reason: I can count!
#31
Old 11-15-2013, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by goldmund View Post
All but three of you violating the cardinal rule of cat threads? For shame.

These two moved in a year ago, age 8 weeks. They mostly calmed down about 6 months in. There's still a daily stampede, chasing each other up and down the hallway. Usually at around 5:30am. I go to work at 9 and live half a mile away.
Hmmm...that two-headed cat should be supporting you. What good is a two-headed cat if it's not bringing in money? Have you explained this to them it?
#32
Old 11-15-2013, 08:16 PM
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Our youngest, Hermes, is three now.


We're still waiting for him to calm down.


of course, before we had him, Hestia was our chat lunatique, and she's calmed down now. Although it might just seem that way by comparison.
#33
Old 11-15-2013, 09:20 PM
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My 7 year old cat is still a holy terror when he wants to be. Very affectionate, but a complete little shit when he puts his mind to it. Barreling through the house jumping from floor, to the top of his kitty condo, to the table and then more laps around the house.
#34
Old 11-15-2013, 09:55 PM
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In my experience, the kitten nuttiness is calmed down considerably by like 6 months. Not totally, but when you have a 6-month-old next to a two-month-old, you can see the difference.

Also, this thing is a lifesaver for me sometimes. Yesterday, when I was trying to clean cages, one of my little darlings was very insistently trying to climb on my head, which tends to slow progress. Her brother was bothering my boss and another one I don't have a picture of (wait no, yes I do, but he's grown a bit since then- the little black and white one) was chasing my hands. I finally pulled that thing out and it was like parking thirty kittens in front of the TV. There was suddenly peace. I use it sparingly because I'd rather they interact with people or each other, but it's great when they're all full of beans and I have work to do.
#35
Old 11-15-2013, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldmund View Post
All but three of you violating the cardinal rule of cat threads? For shame.

These two moved in a year ago, age 8 weeks. They mostly calmed down about 6 months in. There's still a daily stampede, chasing each other up and down the hallway. Usually at around 5:30am. I go to work at 9 and live half a mile away.
That's a whole lotta fuzzy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurrenderDorothy View Post
<snip>Yesterday, when I was trying to clean cages, one of my little darlings was very insistently trying to climb on my head, which tends to slow progress.<snip>
It's amazing how helpful cats are - mine "helps" us with absolutely everything we do.
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