Breeder issue or normal kitten?

angelicat09

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Hi everyone, I’m a new member and apologize if I’m in the wrong category but I’m feeling a bit desperate with my new kitten.
I’ve been in contact with this breeder for 2 years, waiting for an appropriate time to bring a kitten home (new home/remodeling and didn’t want to stress a new cat out unnecessarily). That time came about 2 weeks ago.
From the beginning the breeder was a good communicator and her website was reassuring to me.
Then at the time the kitten was born (yay!) I was sure I was about to have a new kitten and was expecting regular updates and answers to question, which i did not get. I looked over her website 100 times, and compared to others, and it seemed like she was just busy.. and i started feeling like a bother texting (and offering to call to go over things).
I received no pictures of kitten despite asking.
Her website says kittens go home at 10-12 weeks which sounded good to me, and just trying to put pieces together i assumed he was about 12, but when she brought him to me he was an 8 week old kitten. Or so i assume. I still have not received papers she said she would email. I’ve asked how old he is and got to answer. He also didn’t have his first shots because she “couldn’t get them in until next week”. I regret now letting her give me $35 off his price for me to take him for shots. Now here’s the biggest issue to me.
I believe his behavior shows that he’s just too young and i feel like i can’t reverse the damage thats been done. I expressed to her that i think he needs to be back with his littermates or i feel i should adopt him a kitten friend. I can only pet him when he’s sleeping/eating because he takes it as play otherwise no matter how much i play with him with toys.. Her response is that he will adjust.. i’m at home all day with him now and although he likes following me around he also just seems to have so much energy that any affection i try to give overstimulates him.
I feel dumb, and i feel gipped.. and mostly i feel bad for this kitten. It’s exhausting giving so much effort to him and feeling like i do more harm than good. The more i touch him (while he’s active) the more he sees it as a game and just runs away from me and then at me to play (which i have to ignore because i dont want him to see me as a toy or enemy). And just the last time i left home and came back he totally ignored me as i walked in.. everything seems to be getting worse every day. What should i say to the breeder, if anything at this point? Is it normal for a 10 week old kitten to not want human affection aside from when sleeping? When i sit on nthe floor with him he only comes up to me to play attack me.
Sorry for the very unorganized rant. Somebody please help me. And please go easy on me. Im really trying my best and feeling very discouraged.
Thanks for reading.
 

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angelicat09

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Sorry but i’d like to add, its not really an option to adopt another kitten/young cat for him to play with because my husband is not on board with that, and i feel the same way. I can’t even imagine the guilt and shame i’d feel if that ended up not helping and i just have two unhappy cats in our home.
 

Sarthur2

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He’s adorable! :lovecat2:

The only problem is he wants to play and you want to snuggle. He will be an energizer bunny the entire first year (and maybe beyond), and that’s why kittens need a buddy their own age to play with, jump on, tackle, and chase. It’s normal kitten behavior! So get a toy on a stick and spend some time playing. Try to make the best of it and eventually he’ll be a lap cat when he’s older.

I’m curious why the breeder would give you an eight-week-old kitten though. And you are indeed owed his papers. Your breeder sounds overwhelmed.
 

Kieka

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You are owed the papers, $35 off for not having shots isn't a fair deal and if you know for sure he is 8 weeks not 10/12 weeks then I would say it all adds up to a bad breeder. But.... the hyperactive only wanting to play is normal for a hyperactive kitten. Link was non-stop until probably 18 months. I only got a break because we got Rocket when he was about a year old. But prior to that I would play with him until he dropped basically whenever I was home. An hour before work, an hour after work, and an hour before bed was designated play times but any time he got hyper between I'd grab a toy and run him out. Even now, at 7 years old, he has a very narrow cuddle range and will trigger into play aggression very easily with petting. He just isn't a cuddle cat and has a ton of energy. I'm seeing it tone down a little now with him tolerating a little more petting without going into play mode but he's 7 years old so that's not unexpected. It's just between about 18 months and now he isn't constant play mode.

Not reassuring I know. But there is hope.

You can direct the play to toys by keeping toys around the house or toy points. We have scratchers and toy baskets all over. When Link was a kitten we kept wand toys tucked around the house and would just mindlessly dangle them when he was bouncy but we weren't ready for full on play. Toss toys to throw and him chase were on any flat surface to redirect him. We also have a few track toys that he could solo play with in any room. As he's gotten older, we've been able to reduce and consolidate the toys but he still has his toy box and a few toys scattered throughout the house. We also had to be very firm with him that human bodies weren't toys and bed wasn't a play place. Any jumping on people would get an immediate "ouch!" yelp from the human in question and Link ignored for a ten count. He learned very quickly that playing would end if claw or tooth touched skin. He also learned that if someone was laying in bed he wouldn't get played with. Bedtime is strictly enforced in our house with a play session, dinner and bedtime right after to keep him from waking us up at night. Any attempts on his end to get attention beyond petting are ignored if someone is laying in bed. These habits mean that now he usually puts himself to bed and will yell at me if I am not I'm bed at bedtime.

But it isn't damage and it isn't irreversible. You just have to accept he is a hyperactive kitten and play with him. He may or may not settle into petting and cuddles but that likely is his personality regardless of the age he came from the breeder.

TL;DR, Routine, lots or redirects and consistency are the big key with hyperactive kittens.
 
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angelicat09

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Thank you both soo so much for your help. Just to have someone ‘listen’ is such a relief, but its also reassuring to hear your advice. Thankfully he does great through the night for now. I guess i just wasn’t expecting him to never get tired all day!
I’m really wondering if two would be harder or easier, especially when life inevitably gets busier for me (expecting a baby).
In the past I had 2 littermates and it was night and day from this situation. So i’m beginning to consider talking husband into it now, i just fear getting the opposite outcome.
 

Sarthur2

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I agree with Kieka Kieka ! I have 10 cats and when the last two arrived they were a 4-month-old stray brother and sister. They are now 10 months old and still driving me crazy, but at least they have each other. I also have an 18-month-old male cat who plays with them quite a bit. My other cats are older and much calmer and it was a big adjustment for me to have kittens again, but we’re getting through it.

All of my cats are spayed and neutered. Are you responsible to get your guy neutered also? Once he is neutered - preferably before 6 months - he will calm down more as well. You definitely don’t want him getting all his testosterone.

But try to enjoy him! Kittens can be really fun!
 

Sarthur2

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Oh, a baby on the way! Congratulations to you! :redheartpump:

Yes, I would truly advise getting a litter mate. It makes a world of difference! I think your life will be easier.
 

sivyaleah

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I will refrain from bashing this breeder, who clearly isn't reputable for so many reasons. I think you're just going to have to realize you got taken somewhat and move on and concentrate on raising a happy, healthy kitten.

First your cat is beyond adorable! Second, as already mentioned there's hope ahead. He is way too young to be away from his mother and siblings so that's one aspect of this and the other, is kittens are a bundle of non-stop energy no matter where they come from and whether bred well or not. It's just their nature to be active.

When we brought home our Maine Coon at 16 weeks old, I had no experience with kittens and was truly astonished just how on the go she always was. There was a time period where I was convinced she never slept LOL. The worst was when she got to be around 7 months and was getting larger and went through a phase of mad dashing at us in our bed. OMG. Thankfully that only lasted a couple of weeks and ignoring her completely (hard as it was) surely was part of the reason she stopped doing that. Kittens do need boundaries and need to be taught that our fingers and feet are not toys.

You need to find the time to wear him out with play sessions with wand type toys so your hands are out of reach. The one I always suggest is Da Bird which mimics the way a real bird flies. Cat of all ages go nuts for it. Or with chase type toys like balls, crinkly things, stuffed small cat-safe toys. If he goes to attack your hands, stop everything and give him a few seconds of time out from that activity. Then redirect with an appropriate toy. Remember he's also probably teething and being mouthy comes with that too.

I hope you've brought him to the vet to be checked out for parasites, or any other types of illness by now also. The vet will be able to give you some tips too for age related milestones to look for. If you ever need help with his health, behavior and feeding you've come to the right place.
 
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angelicat09

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Thank you everyone!
Thats another problem. Her website says all kittens come altered which I didn’t think to question because I know that is standard. Well, he is in fact not neutered.. I’m in Florida, where the breeder says early spay/neuter isn’t allowed? I can’t find anything on the legality of it so i’ve contacted a couple shelters, but got no answer. I also took him to the vet for his shots/fecal analysis and all, and was told the vet “recommends” between 6 and 8 months, but i didn’t get an answer as to whether i can choose to have it done earlier which i definitely would if able. So i need to reach out to them or somewhere else again for sure.
 

sivyaleah

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Thank you everyone!
Thats another problem. Her website says all kittens come altered which I didn’t think to question because I know that is standard. Well, he is in fact not neutered.. I’m in Florida, where the breeder says early spay/neuter isn’t allowed? I can’t find anything on the legality of it so i’ve contacted a couple shelters, but got no answer. I also took him to the vet for his shots/fecal analysis and all, and was told the vet “recommends” between 6 and 8 months, but i didn’t get an answer as to whether i can choose to have it done earlier which i definitely would if able. So i need to reach out to them or somewhere else again for sure.
The consensus is out about what age is best to spay/neuter. Shelters routinely do it once a kitten reaches 2 lbs because it's easier to move them out of the system if already done plus this way it assures the cats placed will not contribute to the overpopulation of cats without homes.

Some breeders of larger cats (Maine Coon) recommend waiting until even past 6 months because they feel that the bone growth plates of the cat will fuse better. There is no conclusive proof on that and many reputable breeders and people I know fixed their cats earlier than what was recommended. Our breeder does not spay/neuter early since she's a believer in waiting but we were entitled to Luna's pedigree to register her once we proved she was spayed. We personally had it done just shy of 6 months old because it fit into ours and our vets schedule better. The breeder never said anything about it and provided the papers needed no issues.

Cats tend to recuperate faster when younger plus most people don't want to deal with with their female cats ever going into heat as besides being noisy female cats are at high risk for mammary tumors and the incidence is nearly zero if the cat is done before first heat. And with males, most don't want to take a chance of male cats beginning to spray.

I will add our vet prefers to spay/neuter around 6 months, not earlier mostly due to the anesthesia types being different based on weight. But again, plenty of others are happy to do it earlier. If the kitten is healthy, I see no reason why earlier should pose a problem and it just may come down to your vet's preference.
 

sivyaleah

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PS: Unless you literally signed a contract with this breeder - you are free to do as you please with your cat.
That person has not been forthcoming or very truthful with you; personally if it were me, not even bother with what they said or what can or can not be done at this point.
 

Sarthur2

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Where in Florida are you? I live in Florida and had my original set of kittens spayed and neutered at 12 weeks. If I recall, the SPCA and Humane Societies will spay and neuter at 2-3 pounds. Private vets prefer to wait, which I find absurd. The earlier the better. My male kittens never developed their testosterone and are better off without it. Do you have a local SPCA clinic or Humane Society clinic in your area?
 

Kieka

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Link was neutered at 10 weeks old, as soon as he hit 2 pounds (he's a big boy, now 16 pounds) by the humane society. Rocket wasn't spayed until she was 6 months old, because she was sickly and small. Rocket I got spayed by my private vet just for safety because of her frailer condition as a kitten. But in California it's illegal for the shelters to adopt out unaltered so they routinely do it the moment an animal hits 2 pounds. I've heard the argument about waiting and I will agree it applies to large dogs but I have yet to see any convincing scientific evidence for waiting with cats.

And yes, do see if your husband will agree to get a second kitten. Two really isn't more work than one in the energy area, if anything it's a little less. There are increased costs with double the food and double the litter box scooping but you'll have a cat who doesn't depend solely on you for playing and affection so that helps. I currently have three of differing temperaments and it really is nice. I'd stay away from the breeder and search resuces for a 3 to 6 month old male that is a little more cuddly to balance out the pairing. I say male because I prefer male cats in general so that's my own bias.
 

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There's really no evidence of early neuter causing physical problems in cats, including larger cats / larger breeds.

Some breeders and owners prefer to neuter later because they feel it is aesthetically pleasing for the male to get his secondary sexual characteristics (big head, jowls)... but the jowls mostly go away after neutering anyway. In my opinion this is not a very good reason.

Some vets prefer to neuter later because:
  • Many vets are simply older vets and are set in their ways... this is probably the biggest reason. They have been telling people to spay and neuter at 6-9 months for decades.
  • Older vets weren't originally trained to neuter / spay young kittens, and are more accustomed to doing it on 6-9 month olds, so they might not feel comfortable working on a young kitten.
  • Decades ago, there was a belief that early neutering was related to urinary blockages in cats, but this has been disproved over and over in multiple studies.
  • Dogs can have issues from early neutering, and some vets assume it is the same with cats... but cats are not dogs. No ill effects have been found in cats.
There are some helpful resources for both owners and vets here at the Fix By Five web site:
 

cataholic07

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Unfortunately it sounds like a very untrustworthy breeder and you could report her or at least spread the word about her so others aren't scammed by her. I couldn't even guarantee that kitten is a purebred unfortunately.

But I would look to adopt a 2nd kitten from a good rescue. Go for a well socialized kitten thats 12 weeks and fixed. I have fostered over 38 kittens and it was soo much easier when they were in pairs and not singletons lol. I foster failed 2 12 week old kittens and they were a lot easier than when I adopted my first cat at 10 months old lol. Man did she get into a ton of trouble. Now it won't be 100% easier but it can help burn off the energy and help prevent some play aggression. Adding extra enrichment will help to. I'd recommend getting the book Think like a cat by pam johnson bennet, its a great book. Decoding your cat is also a great book. She should have been more upfront of what to expect with a young kitten.
 

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Oh gosh, I can't imagine how people deal with single kittens. Even my older *very* patient cat gets miffed by the little one at times and begs at my bedroom door to be let in for some peace (they are usually not allowed in the bedrooms). My kitten is about 14 weeks old and practically bouncing off the walls.

My kitten doesn't like being held or loved on unless she's sleepy, she usually just wants to play - I've read that this is normal. This is fine by me, I'm not one who likes to cuddle and play with my cats and prefer to watch them play with each other. I'm training her to calmly tolerate to being held by using food as an incentive (holding her during meal times and such), and it's working wonderfully. I highly recommend getting another kitten, or even a young cat... I think the only reason my furniture is still intact is because she's redirecting all her energy at my older boy.

Wow, there seem to have been so many red flags with that breeder... I agree with cataholic and think you should get the word out so other people are saved the heartache. On the bright side you have an *EXTREMELY ADORABLE, SQUEAL WORTHY KITTEN* :redheartpump: :heartshape: :redheartpump:
 
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