can a single kitten be happy? and is a cat's teenage phase worse(more demanding) than kittenhood?

koo1kat

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Hi all,

I adopted a 3-month-old kitten about a month ago(now she's a four-month) and am constantly worrying about her developing a single kitten syndrome.
I've been wanting to adopt a cat for a long time and even moved out of my perfectly decent apartment to a new place because the place had no pet policy. I read enough forums to know that I should adopt an adult cat if I can have only one pet(the new place has one pet policy)
I did intend to adopt an adult cat and browsed Petfinder every day (sometimes 3~4 times a day) to find my "one" for about six months while waiting for my apartment contract to end.
But by the time I moved to a new place, all the cats I had in mind had gotten adopted, and I couldn't find one that seemed to be compatible with me.
Having grown impatient, I made a huge error in judgment when I saw this amazingly cute kitten. I told myself that I could make it work since I'm a freelancer working from home and therefore can spend lots of time with her. So I applied for her and got approved before I knew it.
I came to my right mind a few days later and wanted to cancel my application, but she was already on her way to being transported to the state I'm in, and I thought it cruel not to adopt her when she was coming such a long way. (now I know she would have been fine. She would have gone to a foster home with her siblings who all got adopted a few weeks later)
Long story short, she came to live with me, and it's been a crazy, hectic month, mostly for ME.
She hasn't displayed any behavior issues(biting or scratching) so far, maybe because she's lived with her siblings until the 13th week, or maybe because I'm spending time with her constantly to the point it's taking a toll on my work, emotion, and general well-being.
I'm always worrying that she might be lonely or unhappy being a single kitten. I play with her like 6~7 times a day(about 30mins each), but whenever I stop, she seems restless and bored,(or am I imagining it?) and then gets crazy zoomies or cries. She looks like she doesn't know what to do with herself. She gets so easily bored by all her toys after playing with them maybe once or twice. Playing hunting with her with a wand is also challenging because she loses interest so quickly. (I watched Jackson Galaxy videos and try to imitate the movements of worms or birds). She has lots of toys, a cat tree, and a seat by the window where she can look out the neighborhood. I recently tried to get her on flea preventive medication so she can explore the yard as well. She did seem to enjoy being outside, chasing small bugs.(but then I got worried she would eat poisonous plants or get stung by bees or spiders.)
Still, if I leave her alone, She goes to sit in front of the big barrier that blocks the way into my husband's workspace(the only place she's not allowed to because of dangerous painting materials) and yowls even when both my husband and I are on her side. I know cats do not like barriers, but she's almost obsessed with that thing.(It's like 5 feet, and this small 4-month-old kitten JUMPED to the top once)
The biggest problem is that I have been unable to work almost at all and have been stressing too much. My husband is also unhappy because I seem to be unable to think of anything other than this kitten and spending way too much money and time on her. (The fact that she's not affectionate adds to my concern. She likes to play with me, eats from my hand, but hates to be held, and doesn't come up onto my lap. I've never seen her knead or headbutt or do anything that is supposed to express love and happiness. She purrs, but that's pretty much it.)
I guess I'm fed up with these constant worries that are literally draining my soul.(it's not the kitten's fault but mine)
I'm hoping she would grow calmer and more independent once she reaches 6 months, but some people say cats become crazier and more demanding when they reach their teenage years. THAT really scares me and makes me wonder if I should rehome her while she's a kitten and has a better chance of finding a new home. Please don't get me wrong. I like her a lot and am providing good food, lots of playtimes, and a safe space.
But are my worries valid, or can a single kitten be happy with just adequate attention and play time, like maybe 4 times a day(20mins session)? Will she turn violent and destructive in her teenage years because she has no feline friends to wrestle with? Can I leave her alone and do my thing if she cries even after play time?
Are there any single kitten success stories? It would really help me to read other people's successful experiences with raising a single kitten.

Thank you for reading.
 

CaseysMom

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Oh, K koo1kat , you just described my last month with little Tiny Dancer over here to a "T"! She is 5 months old, and I've had her a month too! I am so glad I am not the only one in the same boat! I feel for you! I have been making myself CRAZY with playing with her several times a day, and still not wearing her out completely. Being so worried, and everybody just saying "Just get another kitten". Well, frankly, I don't want another kitten. I can't afford one, and I want my cat to be strongly bonded to me, and I think single cats are best for that, personally (JMHO). I have always had single cats, and they have been just fine. So why am I making myself crazy this time? Probably because of information overload and everything we can read on the internet now about cat behavior and what we "should" be doing.

Do you know what's the best thing that's happened to me and Tiny since I got her? She got spayed on Thursday, and I had a fall and broke or bruised my tailbone about a week and half ago. How can that possibly be a good thing, you ask? Well, it's forced both of us to slow down for a minute and learn how to bond with each other in different ways than playing! She can't run, jump, or play for a week, and I can't either! So, instead, we are "talking" to each other, I'm petting her a lot (she is not a lap cat, but loves pets), I'm giving her treats and making a BIG deal about her meals (not overfeeding her, although I'm not sure you can do that with a kitten anyway). And she is learning to play by herself! That's part of growing up! I think this is just what we. both needed to break the almost maniacal playing we were doing together all day every day! :jump:It was starting to feel like a chore, and that's not how it's supposed to be. :headshake: Don't get me wrong, when we're both well and released from doctors' orders, we'll be playing again. But now I know she doesn't HAVE to have constant attention all day.

So, YES, single cats can be just fine! :lovecat3: Please don't re-home your kitten just because you are afraid she's not getting enough attention. if anything, she may be getting too much attention, and she's a little too dependent on you for her playtime! I wonder if working at home makes it a bit harder, too. I know when I leave for work and come back, Tiny is obviously waking up from a sound sleep, but on the weekends when I am home all day, she doesn't seem to sleep at all!! Could you leave the house for some periods of time? Do some work in a coffee shop for a couple of hours or so? Go on a date with your hubby and not think about the kitty for an hour or two? She'll be just fine!

Would I maybe have gotten a little older cat if I had really thought it through? Maybe, but I am 100% sure now that Tiny Dancer was meant to be my cat and I am 1000% in love with her, so there we are. She won't be a kitten forever, and I am determined to enjoy it while it lasts. Enjoy your little furball too! Relax! Don't go break your tailbone or anything, lol, but put your feet up and have a glass of wine if you drink it, watch a favorite show with hubby, and kitty will be just fine. Hugs. :hugs:
 
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koo1kat

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Oh, K koo1kat , you just described my last month with little Tiny Dancer over here to a "T"! She is 5 months old, and I've had her a month too! I am so glad I am not the only one in the same boat! I feel for you! I have been making myself CRAZY with playing with her several times a day, and still not wearing her out completely. Being so worried, and everybody just saying "Just get another kitten". Well, frankly, I don't want another kitten. I can't afford one, and I want my cat to be strongly bonded to me, and I think single cats are best for that, personally (JMHO). I have always had single cats, and they have been just fine. So why am I making myself crazy this time? Probably because of information overload and everything we can read on the internet now about cat behavior and what we "should" be doing.

Do you know what's the best thing that's happened to me and Tiny since I got her? She got spayed on Thursday, and I had a fall and broke or bruised my tailbone about a week and half ago. How can that possibly be a good thing, you ask? Well, it's forced both of us to slow down for a minute and learn how to bond with each other in different ways than playing! She can't run, jump, or play for a week, and I can't either! So, instead, we are "talking" to each other, I'm petting her a lot (she is not a lap cat, but loves pets), I'm giving her treats and making a BIG deal about her meals (not overfeeding her, although I'm not sure you can do that with a kitten anyway). And she is learning to play by herself! That's part of growing up! I think this is just what we. both needed to break the almost maniacal playing we were doing together all day every day! :jump:It was starting to feel like a chore, and that's not how it's supposed to be. :headshake: Don't get me wrong, when we're both well and released from doctors' orders, we'll be playing again. But now I know she doesn't HAVE to have constant attention all day.

So, YES, single cats can be just fine! :lovecat3: Please don't re-home your kitten just because you are afraid she's not getting enough attention. if anything, she may be getting too much attention, and she's a little too dependent on you for her playtime! I wonder if working at home makes it a bit harder, too. I know when I leave for work and come back, Tiny is obviously waking up from a sound sleep, but on the weekends when I am home all day, she doesn't seem to sleep at all!! Could you leave the house for some periods of time? Do some work in a coffee shop for a couple of hours or so? Go on a date with your hubby and not think about the kitty for an hour or two? She'll be just fine!

Would I maybe have gotten a little older cat if I had really thought it through? Maybe, but I am 100% sure now that Tiny Dancer was meant to be my cat and I am 1000% in love with her, so there we are. She won't be a kitten forever, and I am determined to enjoy it while it lasts. Enjoy your little furball too! Relax! Don't go break your tailbone or anything, lol, but put your feet up and have a glass of wine if you drink it, watch a favorite show with hubby, and kitty will be just fine. Hugs. :hugs:
Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your experience.(and for the hugs!) It gives me immense comfort to know that you can raise a happy single cat. It's also comforting that someone understands what I'm going through. I know it won't be easy but I will try to leave the house for a couple of hours and not worry about her while I'm out. You are so right that I should try to enjoy the time with her instead of fretting over whether I'm doing things right or wrong. Glad to hear that you and Tiny Dancer recovered well! My best to both of you!
 

CaseysMom

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I realized I didn't answer the second part of your question, about if they calm down at 6 months. I think that really depends on the cat, although generally, I think they all calm down some as they mature. I haven't reached that milestone with Tiny yet, but she's a pretty high-energy cat, and I think she will always have a lot of energy.. My boy cat, Crybaby, I had years ago, was very calm after about 6 months. He was my fat lap cat who would lay there and let me cut his nails and purr while I did it. I was so spoiled from him! Casey, my last cat, was old when we adopted her, but she still had quite a bit of spunk up until she died at age 15. So, it will vary a lot from cat to cat. It seems like girls tend to be more spirited than boys, in my experience.

Also, the spay itself does not seem to have calmed Tiny down. She was a sleepy baby yesterday and even slept in my lap for a while! But the meds have worn off, and she is wanting to play again so badly! I hope I can keep her calm for a whole week! I do NOT need a trip to the emergency vet! LOL.
 

CaseysMom

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Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your experience.(and for the hugs!) It gives me immense comfort to know that you can raise a happy single cat. It's also comforting that someone understands what I'm going through. I know it won't be easy but I will try to leave the house for a couple of hours and not worry about her while I'm out. You are so right that I should try to enjoy the time with her instead of fretting over whether I'm doing things right or wrong. Glad to hear that you and Tiny Dancer recovered well! My best to both of you!
You are so welcome! I don't know if you have human babies yet, but I have 2, and I have found that having a kitten is not very different! In the beginning, you worry SO much, am I doing everything right? Do they have all the stimulation they need? And for that first month or so you make yourself crazy and between them waking you up at night and you making yourself crazy, you barely sleep! LOL. But eventually, you settle in to a routine and it all becomes your new normal. You relax and realize, "I've got this". You even look back one day on their babyhood and think of it as a sweet time and miss it. It will be the same with your little kitty baby. You got this! :rbheart:
 
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koo1kat

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You are so welcome! I don't know if you have human babies yet, but I have 2, and I have found that having a kitten is not very different! In the beginning, you worry SO much, am I doing everything right? Do they have all the stimulation they need? And for that first month or so you make yourself crazy and between them waking you up at night and you making yourself crazy, you barely sleep! LOL. But eventually, you settle in to a routine and it all becomes your new normal. You relax and realize, "I've got this". You even look back one day on their babyhood and think of it as a sweet time and miss it. It will be the same with your little kitty baby. You got this! :rbheart:
YOU ARE SO KIND:redheartpump: Whenever I feel anxious about her, I will take a deep breath and remember what you said. Hopefully, I will be able to share my "success" story with you and other cat parents in a few months! Thanks again.
 

Juniper_Junebug

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I adopted Juno (my first cat ever) two years ago under similar circumstances and I totally empathize with your worries, because I had them too. I told the rescue I wanted an adult (or young adult) blue cat, but then Juno came available and needed a foster. So when the rescue offered her to me as a foster-to-adopt, KNOWING I only wanted one cat, I immediately said yes.

And I'm so glad I did, because we're best buds! Granted, she was affectionate from the start, head bunting me and crawling onto my chest. But she hates to be held and that's OK. With my inexperience, I have definitely worried a lot about whether I'm doing right by her to have her as an "only," but I felt strongly from the start that I only wanted one cat. And I love her so much there was no way I would give her up, so I just quiet the voices (inside and outside my head) that say it's bad to have a single cat. This is us, and we'll just need to keep adjusting to each other so we stay happy.

I still worry about her happiness but I remind myself that's normal. I am 100% convinced that she would not want a companion at this point. She's got two nice perches in my home office, one stuck to the window above my desk and another small cat tree/hammock in the corner. Even on weekends when I'm not working (which is maybe 50% of the weekend), she'll often choose to be upstairs in my office rather than down with me, presumably by habit. She still sometimes meows at me in ways I cannot figure out what are wants, but I wouldn't do it any differently for the world.
 

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I don’t have a single kitten, I have two cats and their mama, but I have a few observations. Whether you have one or more than one, the age your kitten is at is in my opinion the craziest most active time. My cats started calming down around 1 to 1 1/2 years. You may not believe it now, but I look back and miss those days!

As far as being affectionate, they are too active at that age to lay and get pet and rub on you. It will come! My cats became very affectionate after growing up and calming down a little. Lots of long snuggle sessions now!

And the last thing, you say your kitten seems bored, always looking to you to entertain it, short attention span. Sometimes it is us that contributes to the problem. One of my cats is much more active than the other two. The more I play with her and focus on her, the more she bugs me. I think we actually train them to look to us for all entertainment purposes. So I stopped doing it, I play with her once or twice a day and that’s it. Eventually she will find something to entertain herself. Of course a kitten probably needs more of your time than my adult cat, but you see the point. I recommend you spend a reasonable, manageable amount of time playing with your kitten and then try to not worry about it. As long as she has things to climb, scratch, toys, boxes, crinkly packing paper, tunnels, she will eventually entertain herself.
 
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koo1kat

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I adopted Juno (my first cat ever) two years ago under similar circumstances and I totally empathize with your worries, because I had them too. I told the rescue I wanted an adult (or young adult) blue cat, but then Juno came available and needed a foster. So when the rescue offered her to me as a foster-to-adopt, KNOWING I only wanted one cat, I immediately said yes.

And I'm so glad I did, because we're best buds! Granted, she was affectionate from the start, head bunting me and crawling onto my chest. But she hates to be held and that's OK. With my inexperience, I have definitely worried a lot about whether I'm doing right by her to have her as an "only," but I felt strongly from the start that I only wanted one cat. And I love her so much there was no way I would give her up, so I just quiet the voices (inside and outside my head) that say it's bad to have a single cat. This is us, and we'll just need to keep adjusting to each other so we stay happy.

I still worry about her happiness but I remind myself that's normal. I am 100% convinced that she would not want a companion at this point. She's got two nice perches in my home office, one stuck to the window above my desk and another small cat tree/hammock in the corner. Even on weekends when I'm not working (which is maybe 50% of the weekend), she'll often choose to be upstairs in my office rather than down with me, presumably by habit. She still sometimes meows at me in ways I cannot figure out what are wants, but I wouldn't do it any differently for the world.
Thank you for your reply. How much time did you spend playing with Juno on a daily basis? Did Juno do well in terms of playing alone and learning disciplines? What was she like in her teenage years? I guess I'm worrying a lot because my kitten seems so unhappy(at least to me). I try to play with Mochi(my kitten) as much as I can to compensate for her lack of feline friends, but my husband thinks I am actually making her dependent on me too much. I think it might be true because Mochi used to play soccer for 10~20 minutes alone with a little cut-off toilet paper roll but now she doesn't even do that. She keeps meowing at the barrier(to my husband's workspace even though no one's on the other side) when I don't give her attention. I ignore her whenever she does that to discourage that behavior but so far no luck. She eventually gives up meowing but then walks around all sulking, looking miserable. She even tried to jump up on the dining table while we had dinner tonight.(she usually doesn't do that at least when we eat). I may be anthropomorphizing her too much, but I really am worried that she's unhappy:(
 

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I agree with arr arr -- young cats can be a PITA whether you have 1, 2 or 6. And middle aged cats can become lazy and inactive. Sure, single cats have certain tendencies, but that isn't the real issue/concern here. I don't really think the issue is that you have one kitten. The issue is that you have a kitten, kittens are demanding as *&^!, and its seriously stressing you out. This makes you human and normal, but if your feeling bad enough about it, then your not ready to be a cat parent and yes, you can surrender the kitten, which is indeed still young enough to be rehomed. Nothing to be ashamed about whatsoever. If you make such a decision, then its best for the kitten.

Just, you know, don't have a human kid yet. Because they are even more stressful. And you can't just rehome them ;)
 

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I foster kittens and have 2 foster fails and I 100 percent agree with others that the 4 month mark is when they get crazy! It's basically their preteen months where you are no longer cool enough for them and they are Just go go go!
As for single kitten syndrome it totally depends on their personalities. Some of my fosters I tell the rescue when it's time to place them that they absolutely must have a friend in their new home and others that I think will be fine without. Usually the really high strung and hyper guys I'll say need another animal that they can interact with ( not necessarily another cat, just someone to help run that energy out and teach them appropriate boundaries)
Some ideas for helping with her perceived boredom:
Don't just leave all the toys out they do get bored with them just laying around. I suggest only taking out a handful of them and rotating through puting new ones out each week or swapping out 1 a day, whatever works best for you your and mochi. Also cat toys aren't always as exciting as we think they will be to them. Try finding toys that are completely unlike ones you already have, some of my most popular finds are from the dollar bin of toys or one's made for small dogs. One of the unexpected hits in my home for all ages has been a high bounce ball. It doesn't take much to get the rolling and they bounce back haphazardly off of anything they bump into especially on wood floors.
Kittens at the age to have a lot of energy they need to get out so the zoomies are totally normal and encouraged. That's actually her entertaining herself!
The biggest thing is keeping their brains engaged. Try puzzle feeders and treat balls if she has any food drive. I am also a huge fan of harness training and taking cats ( especially social or wound ones) for little adventure walks around the yard or block depending how into it they are. There is so much activity and things to see outside and it really engages all their senses. Just start off slow and in a contained area until they are comfortable with the harness and the outdoors before venturing out too far or into overwhelming spaces.
As for the yowling at the barrier. It may never stop, some cats are just like that. My girl screams to go into the garage every night like clock work just to be unimpressed and come right back in. It's just the sheer idea that shes not granted free access that drives her crazy.
My first foster fail was from a litter but she became an only cat for about a year and a half before our next fosters and honestly she's a way more adjusted and we'll behaved cat then my second foster fail who's had her and other foster kittens around his whole life. He's actually never learned to just entertain himself like my girl has and is so reliant on kittens to entertain him when she won't.
As for her not wanting to be picked up or cuddled that's pretty normal for that age. But I DO recommend working on her with liking to be held! It's a learned habit, it doesn't usually come naturally so teaching her now will make handling her as an adult sooo much easier. Just pick her up and pet her for a minute, or offer something tasty and put her down when she starts to wriggle away. Just a few times a day to get her used to being held. Also make sure to hold her with her facing outwards not towards your face. A lot of people like to hold them towards their face to smooch on them but it's actually super uncomfortable for most cats especially in the beginning.
Otherwise if she's not being aggressive or destructive she seems to be doing fine! If her needs aren't being met she will let you know by becoming a jerk. Also if she was with other kittens and then suddenly became a singlton she's gonna have an adjustment period. I find that when we are down to the last kitten of a litter that they become a little depressed and restless for a few weeks so she may still be adjusting. If you are still worried maybe try finding a friend with a cat that will be open to play dates? Or try some calming pheromone sprays, or even a hot pad wrapped in a towel where she sleeps to simulate another kitten body.
So to answer your question yes your are thinking way to much into it! If you described the amount of time and effort you have given your new kitten in an adoption application for one of my fosters I would be so happy and excited for this wonderful attentive home for them!
 

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You have a baby kitten/need machine that wants you to be prey, littermates & a surrogate mom! So if she is to much, then rehome her in the next week. people can have trouble adopting 4 month old kittens & by 5 months? Forget it in most cases! That said in 3 months or less she will be a whole different cat behavior wise!

My advice? Lock her cute furry but up in a room with food, some toys, water & a litter box while you work. Work the same hours every day so she can learn your schedule. Midmorning, lunch & afternoon give her a 10 minute play break in her room. Run a box fan or two to drown out her loud protest meows until she adjusts. Then before work and after work, play with her 10 minutes every hour you are awake (until she calms down a bit.) You can give her dry food in a simple puzzle feeder while you work, to keep her entertained. Ideally you would hang bird feeders by your bedroom window, so she can bird watch from the window. When she gets older, you can give her a cat bed on your computer table/by your work station. Teach her to let you sleep.

Routine and a daily schedule will help a ton in training her! Single kitten syndrome rarely plays out on kittens that are raised together until 12 weeks. Interactive toys you rotate help.

If you do give her up, please know you are doing what is right for her (& you.) If you keep her; you might be in a place to adopt in 1-5 years.
 

danteshuman

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I have a hyper kitty and he needs to be entertained! So every month I give him a new box filled with tissue paper/some small toys or a new cardboard scratcher playhouse. This last month I bought him this pop up cube/tent that has some tissue paper in it...... he loves it! It was under 7$ off Amazon so they need not cost a lot!
 

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Neko-chan's mama

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Neko-chan was a single kitten who is now a sweet 3 year old. I think the single kitten syndrome every one warns about is more for kittens that are adopted before the 10-12 week mark. Kitten hood doesn't last forever! I found my cats calmed down after being spayed or neutered. Cats are emotional sponges. If you're calm, they'll be calm. Make a routine for play time. 3 or 4 times a day, take out the interactive toys and play, same time every day. Before you know it, your cat will let you know when it's play time by sitting at the closet you keep the wand toys and meowing or just staring holes into you. Sometimes I think kittens cry just because they want you to talk to them. Once you acknowledge them with your voice they calm down. It's not hopeless! I've had 2 single kittens, and both grew up to be wonderful cats.
 

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Your little one is NOT bored or unhappy, All kittens are tiny powerhouses of energy that have unending curiosity and will take all the attention you can give them and then demand more. You are like a new parent, you worry constantly and stress out when none is needed. A single kitten who has been with its siblings up until 12 weeks will be fine, they have learned how to play nice and some manners. Just give them all the food they want, some toys, and offer some affection and you will be fine. There are countless single cats living very happily in this world. She is too busy being a kitten to entertain the thought of lazy snuggles and quiet time right now, that WILL come later when she is older. Definitely get a corrugated cardboard scratcher at Walmart. Turn the pad over to gain double use. she will scratch on this and hopefully leave your furniture alone. Get a cat tree for hours of entertainment. Set boxes around with holes cut in them. Set her down on the floor each time she jumps where you do not want her and tell her NO firmly. I give my cats a small table with a blanket they are allowed up on near where they really want to go. This seems to satisfy them. Once she is spayed she will calm down a lot. Constant (and I DO mean constant) crying means she is going into heat. Last of all, STOP worrying! she is fine, don't let her monopolize all your time and energy, take some time for yourself. There is a saying I cling to in times of newborns and teenagers, it is "99% of what you worry about DOES NOT COME TRUE!". Try to enjoy that sweet little girl, they are only kittens once (thank goodness) The older she gets, the more comfortable you will get. Time is what you need, everything comes in time. We are here ANYTIME you need advice or help. I have had over 60 years of living with cats. There is not too much that all of us together can't figure out!
 

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I guess I was lucky when I found Mojo. He's over 6 months now. When he arrived in our store to be adopted (I work in a pet store) he was so affectionate right away. He loves giving headbutts and having his upper tummy rubbed and will rollover to let me do it. He also lets me hold him like a baby. Of course he still has crazy kitten moments like last night and this morning. Last night he had the zoomies and was running back and forth at top speed. We also had crazy playtime. Then this morning after jumping on me in bed he jumped on a table knocking over a lamp in an effort to get my attention to feed him. As for single kitten syndrome I have never heard of this.
 

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Thank you for your reply. How much time did you spend playing with Juno on a daily basis? Did Juno do well in terms of playing alone and learning disciplines? What was she like in her teenage years? I guess I'm worrying a lot because my kitten seems so unhappy(at least to me). I try to play with Mochi(my kitten) as much as I can to compensate for her lack of feline friends, but my husband thinks I am actually making her dependent on me too much. I think it might be true because Mochi used to play soccer for 10~20 minutes alone with a little cut-off toilet paper roll but now she doesn't even do that. She keeps meowing at the barrier(to my husband's workspace even though no one's on the other side) when I don't give her attention. I ignore her whenever she does that to discourage that behavior but so far no luck. She eventually gives up meowing but then walks around all sulking, looking miserable. She even tried to jump up on the dining table while we had dinner tonight.(she usually doesn't do that at least when we eat). I may be anthropomorphizing her too much, but I really am worried that she's unhappy:(
You've gotten some great responses from people with a lot more experience with cats than I have.

Juno was 4-5 months when I got her, though she was sickly for the first several weeks. Once she was feeling better, I tried to play with her 2-3 times a day for 20 minutes, sometimes 30-40 if she was into it. When I first got her, I was better about routines, so she knew when to expect playtime. I freely admit that I'm bad at routines now; my work hours are really unpredictable (even when I'm home), so I feel good just having a morning and evening play session, whenever I can get them in. But I do think giving your kitty structure and predictability is probably helpful if you can swing it.

I still haven't totally really figured her out tbh. At around maybe 8 or 10 months or so, she started having these moods where she would jump up on my desk and meow like something was wrong (she is not very vocal) and then it would quickly escalate to her batting me over the head and getting really angry. I posted here about it, actually. I never could figure out what she wanted bc sometimes she would do it right after I'd fed her or tried to play with her. But it did worry me: like, what am doing wrong and is it because she's an "only." I finally just started unceremoniously placing her on the floor anytime she meowed on my desk, to avoid it turning into something physical, and it's gotten much better.

I don't do much in the way of "discipline." She's not allowed on the kitchen counter but goes up there at least once a day, still, and I just remove her.

I probably had it a little but easier than you, because Juno displayed her contentedness from the outset in ways I understood, like head bunting. But that's just her personality, I think, nothing to do with me.

I just want reiterate that you're feelings of worry seem pretty normal to me. It seems like everywhere you turn for advice on cats (especially all those cookie-cutter sites that pet- related companies have), you read how bad it is to have a single cat. Just ignore it, it's noise you don't need.
 
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koo1kat

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I agree with arr arr -- young cats can be a PITA whether you have 1, 2 or 6. And middle aged cats can become lazy and inactive. Sure, single cats have certain tendencies, but that isn't the real issue/concern here. I don't really think the issue is that you have one kitten. The issue is that you have a kitten, kittens are demanding as *&^!, and its seriously stressing you out. This makes you human and normal, but if your feeling bad enough about it, then your not ready to be a cat parent and yes, you can surrender the kitten, which is indeed still young enough to be rehomed. Nothing to be ashamed about whatsoever. If you make such a decision, then its best for the kitten.

Just, you know, don't have a human kid yet. Because they are even more stressful. And you can't just rehome them ;)
Thank you for your reply. I've decided to focus on the fact that I'm providing her with a good home and trust that she will turn out fine as long as I play with her regularly and keep her safe and healthy. I still have inner debates about returning her especially when she's being difficult, but I can see that she's attached to me even though she's not the most affectionate kitten. So I will try to make this work. Thanks again.
 
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koo1kat

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You've gotten some great responses from people with a lot more experience with cats than I have.

Juno was 4-5 months when I got her, though she was sickly for the first several weeks. Once she was feeling better, I tried to play with her 2-3 times a day for 20 minutes, sometimes 30-40 if she was into it. When I first got her, I was better about routines, so she knew when to expect playtime. I freely admit that I'm bad at routines now; my work hours are really unpredictable (even when I'm home), so I feel good just having a morning and evening play session, whenever I can get them in. But I do think giving your kitty structure and predictability is probably helpful if you can swing it.

I still haven't totally really figured her out tbh. At around maybe 8 or 10 months or so, she started having these moods where she would jump up on my desk and meow like something was wrong (she is not very vocal) and then it would quickly escalate to her batting me over the head and getting really angry. I posted here about it, actually. I never could figure out what she wanted bc sometimes she would do it right after I'd fed her or tried to play with her. But it did worry me: like, what am doing wrong and is it because she's an "only." I finally just started unceremoniously placing her on the floor anytime she meowed on my desk, to avoid it turning into something physical, and it's gotten much better.

I don't do much in the way of "discipline." She's not allowed on the kitchen counter but goes up there at least once a day, still, and I just remove her.

I probably had it a little but easier than you, because Juno displayed her contentedness from the outset in ways I understood, like head bunting. But that's just her personality, I think, nothing to do with me.

I just want reiterate that you're feelings of worry seem pretty normal to me. It seems like everywhere you turn for advice on cats (especially all those cookie-cutter sites that pet- related companies have), you read how bad it is to have a single cat. Just ignore it, it's noise you don't need.
thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. Being a freelancer, I am pretty bad at forming a routine, but I think you are so right that raising a kitten needs a routine. I've decided to have 3 play times a day, 20~30 minutes at a time, and leave her to find a way to entertain herself when I have to work.(rotate some automatic toys too) It's better for both of us that I keep my job.... Also, I'll stop reading opinions about how bad it is to have a single kitten and try instead to focus on the fact that I am providing her with a good, safe home. Thank you!
 
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koo1kat

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Your little one is NOT bored or unhappy, All kittens are tiny powerhouses of energy that have unending curiosity and will take all the attention you can give them and then demand more. You are like a new parent, you worry constantly and stress out when none is needed. A single kitten who has been with its siblings up until 12 weeks will be fine, they have learned how to play nice and some manners. Just give them all the food they want, some toys, and offer some affection and you will be fine. There are countless single cats living very happily in this world. She is too busy being a kitten to entertain the thought of lazy snuggles and quiet time right now, that WILL come later when she is older. Definitely get a corrugated cardboard scratcher at Walmart. Turn the pad over to gain double use. she will scratch on this and hopefully leave your furniture alone. Get a cat tree for hours of entertainment. Set boxes around with holes cut in them. Set her down on the floor each time she jumps where you do not want her and tell her NO firmly. I give my cats a small table with a blanket they are allowed up on near where they really want to go. This seems to satisfy them. Once she is spayed she will calm down a lot. Constant (and I DO mean constant) crying means she is going into heat. Last of all, STOP worrying! she is fine, don't let her monopolize all your time and energy, take some time for yourself. There is a saying I cling to in times of newborns and teenagers, it is "99% of what you worry about DOES NOT COME TRUE!". Try to enjoy that sweet little girl, they are only kittens once (thank goodness) The older she gets, the more comfortable you will get. Time is what you need, everything comes in time. We are here ANYTIME you need advice or help. I have had over 60 years of living with cats. There is not too much that all of us together can't figure out!
Thank you so much! "99% of what you worry about DOES NOT COME TRUE!" I should keep telling myself this! I think getting her a small table of her own is a great idea. I'll probably get her a ceiling-to-floor cat tower later(not for a while, I spent way too much money already:bawling:) so she can look over the barrier to my husband's workspace. I think she's just too curious about what's going on over there. Thank you again!!!
 
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