Experiencing severe kitty blues after getting two kittens, any advice would be appreciated!!

kittyblues1984

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
23
TLDR: Got two kittens a little over a month ago and experiencing regret, anxiety and I think what they call the kitty blues. Any help/advice for anyone who can relate would be much appreciated!

Backstory:

I have been wanting cats for the past 2 years, I read extensively about them, watched Youtube videos, cat-sitted for a couple of friends (each time around 2+ weeks, so I thought I was getting a good idea of how to live with cats). I settled on wanting Ragdoll cats based on their personality and demeanor and thought they will be good for a first time cat owner. (Note that I did not grow up with any pets, so this is my first time owning pets).

So after extensive research, my boyfriend and I located reputable breeders and was on a waitlist for around 6 months. Two kittens from two different breeders became available on the same time and we decided to get them both. We initially only wanted one but we were advised by multiple people to get two kittens so they can play with each other and burn off each other's energy. We also thought this was the perfect time as we are both WFH til mid next year so we are able to really be with the kittens full time for their kittenhood.

The first week bringing them home was blissful. We prepared separate rooms for each kitten to get acclimated to the house. We bought all the items the breeders recommended, toys, litter boxes, cat trees etc and they both appear to settle in well, and clearly well socialized by the breeders. They love cuddles, OK with being picked up, gentle around us. We introduced them to each other after around a week and they got along immediately.

Issue:

In the middle of the second week, issues started occurring. One of the kitties started to not eat, and took multiple vet trips to fix the issue. After that was over, the other kitten had watery diarrhea and got it all over her fur and the house at 2 AM. This happened twice. I only slept for 3 hours each night then. After we got her stomach issue resolved, now the other kitten is having soft stool, and having poop consistently stuck to his fur, meaning we have to repeatedly cut his butt hair and wipe his butt. (We are working with a vet to get this issue resolved)

This is where things start to go downhill for me. I'm starting to become very anxious, since I did not anticipate this many health problems so early on and start fearing for the day more serious health issues will happen. I also started becoming very paranoid about their poopy butts being everywhere and constantly checking for poop. I'm also feeling this really deep seated fear of being responsible for not only one BUT TWO creatures. I've always been used to living life just thinking about my own needs and health, but having two creatures fully dependent on me is putting me on the verge of anxiety attacks. I also feel guilty that that I don't spend enough time with them (I spend around 2 hours per day playing with them, broken up throughout the day, and they play with each other constantly too when I'm working), and just not sure if I'm good enough for them.

I'm now at the point where I feel immense regret ever getting these kittens. If I could turn back time, I wish I just stuck with cat-sitting for friends and never attempted this. I know that I will never get anymore pets after this. I'm thinking of returning one of the cats to the breeders where I know he will be cared for greatly (she explicitly stated in her contract that she will take back any of her cats should we not be able to care for it anymore and I saw firsthand the loving environment the kitten was bred in), and try to stick it out with just one cat and see how I feel.
It's weird that I love these creatures and I want to cry just thinking about the potential of giving them up, but I also am starting to somewhat resent them. I also feel immensely guilty for feeling this way, I wanted to provide them a forever home, give them the happiest and best life ever and now I feel that is an insurmountable task that is detrimental to my mental health.

I recognize that my anxiety is the problem. But at what point do I just throw the towel and say my mental health is more important? How many more months should I give it an honest try before I give up? Anyone who have experienced kitty blues have any advice or stories of how they overcame it, and how long it took them?

Thank you everyone who read the whole post.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
27,563
Reaction score
37,304
Location
Colorado USA
Hi!
Cat health issues are challenging for any and all of us, and the same for betta and other fish, dogs, horses, birds...

That your babies both had fairly serious issues so early on in your lives together on the one hand is almost unfair, yet on the other hand has shown you that you are fully capable of handling the difficulties that life can throw :)

I've read several other posts somewhat similar to yours, although they didn't have the extra health issues. One person did give up the cat. The others did not. The time-frames were different in each situation.

I can't answer regarding what you should do but I see a loving, warm human being who has quite a lot of inner strength. If you decide to keep them (I'd keep them both), they will be very fortunate kitties to be in your home 💖

By the way, if I may, I don't think it's them you resent, it's the stink, the extra cleaning, the loss of sleep, the scares and vet visits, and the fact that a darling little sweetheart of a cat got sick.

Those darling little sweethearts are still there with you, and hopefully are on the mend and getting past the being sick part for a good long, long while, both for you and for them.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

kittyblues1984

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
23
Hi Furballsmom, thank you so much for the heartfelt reply 💕 it helps so much just writing it all out and having my feelings validated

You are spot on with me probably resenting the cleaning, loss of sleep, etc. When they are just sleeping and cuddling eachother, or sitting on my chest and purring, I feel nothing but immense love for them. I just wish I can protect them from any sickness/bad things but I know that is not realistic and just adding pressure to myself.

Since this is my first time owning kittens, I also notice that I'm trying to "control" them too much. I always want to have eyes on what they're doing. For example, I keep them in the bedroom with the door closed with me when I'm sleeping so I know they're not getting into too much trouble, but their midnight zoomies are causing me to lose sleep which messes with my head and elevates my stress levels. I kitten proofed my entire house tonight, and will try to leave my bedroom door open tonight so that they are free to explore at night without bothering me. Hopefully by doing this I am able to get a better night's sleep and lower my anxiety and be more level headed about my next steps.

Also, thank you for letting me know about similar posts, it helps to know that i'm not the first person to feel this way :itslove:
 

verna davies

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,246
Reaction score
11,932
Location
Wales uk
Having one kitten is tiring but having two is even more so and as this is your first time around must be exhausting. Even experienced cat owners forget how much energy they have and how much attention a kitten needs. It's all new to you but you will get used to them, learn to relax and really enjoy their company. As for kittens, they soon grow and settle down. Lots of kittens have tummy upsets, change of home, new smells, new people, sounds, food. Try giving them a probiotic mixed in the food for a while, I use s boulardii and soon sorts out the runny poop issue in my cats. Try to find a good quality food that they both like and suits them. Any pet makes some additional cleaning, it's part of being a pet owner and once you have sorted out the tummy issue the extra work you have now will disappear. You will make a great day mum, the fact that you already care so much shows that, just try to relax and accept this time as a teething problem that won't last for long. You will get to know your kitties and get so much pleasure from them. A month is a short time for such a big step, you will get there. Remember there is so much experience and knowledge on this site so any worries just post a thread.
 

Willowy

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
27,949
Reaction score
21,227
Location
South Dakota
Having one kitten is tiring but having two is even more so
Honestly, I think it's the opposite. A single kitten wants attention all the time. Think of all the time kittens spend playing with each other, cuddling with each other, grooming each other, etc. If it's a single kitten, his friend is YOU! That can be pretty exhausting. So I don't think sending one back is the answer.

Most people have some level of "what have I done?!?" feelings when they bring home a new kitten or puppy, and the sleep deprivation sure doesn't help. Things will improve with time, but only you can decide whether that's something you can handle or not.
 

GreyLady

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
398
Reaction score
779
Location
Maryland
I think maybe youre in shock because you said you've never had pets before. SO you didn't realize the emotions and responsibility. And that there are a lot of "punches" to roll with. You never know what will happen next with baby animals. I think your anxiety will ease as time goes on and as they get older and day to day life is more steady. You will learn to not bat an eye at messes or cats zooming in the night ;) And as your bond grows they will be even more precious to you.
 

klunick

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
2,033
Reaction score
5,090
Location
Solomons Island, MD
Getting kittens is like having your first baby. You read all the books, watch all the videos, go to all the classes, watch other people's kids, etc but until the baby/kitten is yours, you have no clue what you are in for! Just take things day by day and crisis by crisis (whether it be health related or crazy kitten antics related). It's bumpy now but things will smooth out over time and you will be shocked that you ever doubted yourself and wanted to give them back. :hugs:
 

arr

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
14
Hi Kittyblues,

I have felt many of the same things as you as I too suffer from anxiety disorder. We took in two stray kittens in May of this year. I didn’t really want them but my husband has wanted cats again for a long time. I love cats, have had them all my life, but we have been without cats for the last ten years and I didn’t want the responsibility again. Anyway, they came into our life and we too felt it was good timing due to the pandemic.

The mama cat had some sickness so we had to take the kittens a little early, around one month old, so they were very fragile. I felt so emotional and overwhelmed about how we were taking care of them, would they be okay? Then came the sickness. They went through bouts of not eating, diarrhea, vomiting, to the point that each kitten went to the emergency vet at different times. I can relate so much on the sleepless nights, the helplessness. I would literally lay on the couch and cry, huge heaving sobs. I was a wreck. We spent hundreds of dollars and honestly I feel we didn’t get any answers. I feel I learned more researching online than I learned from the vets. We were able to help them as much as we could and I prepared myself that they would either make it or not. Well slowly but surely they got better and stronger. Looking back I think they might have caught whatever bug the mama had or maybe just adjusting to leaving the mama a little early and to all solid food a little soon.

It helped immensely once they started feeling better but even then I still felt this weight of responsibility that these little creatures depend on us so much. Just looking into their big eyes would make me so sad, I’m a very emotional and tender person and I just feel everything so strongly. This time around of having cats I also educated myself much more, which actually makes things worse for an anxious person because I would analyze every little thing and wonder if I was giving them the best life possible. It’s the downside of having the internet and all the research right at your fingertips.

To end things on a good note, now that it’s been about six months I can tell you that the anxiety has calmed way down. We are set up with everything they need, we have gotten comfortable with how we’ve chosen to feed them and raise them. I have found a good balance between all the opinions of what cats need and following my own instincts. The kittens are a joy, I get nothing done anymore because I love just watching them all the time. And me who didn’t want cats in the first place, decided to take the mama cat too, because I couldn’t bear to put her back on my uncle‘s farm where we found her. As far as having one or two, I strongly suggest you keep both. It’s actually the cats interaction and bond with each other that is so entertaining and joyful to experience. I can honestly say now that I’m so glad my husband pushed for the kittens. I’m loving it! The only thing I’m anxious about anymore is leaving the cats if we take a long trip. But since travel isn’t happening anytime soon, we have time to figure things out.

From one anxious, sensitive person to another, please give the whole situation more time. People like us need a lot of time to adjust to change, and taking in two new fur babies is a huge change to your life. And as far as the sickness, I truly hope they improve soon. Just remind yourself, this sickness stage will not last forever. It is temporary. You can make it through. Educate yourself, but also trust your instinct and your love for your kittens. A lot of fun and cuddles and great times await you. Hang in there!
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
27,563
Reaction score
37,304
Location
Colorado USA
The kittens are a joy, I get nothing done anymore because I love just watching them all the time. And me who didn’t want cats in the first place, decided to take the mama cat too, because I couldn’t bear to put her back on my uncle‘s farm where we found her.
:bouquet:
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

kittyblues1984

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
23
Hi Kittyblues,

I have felt many of the same things as you as I too suffer from anxiety disorder. We took in two stray kittens in May of this year. I didn’t really want them but my husband has wanted cats again for a long time. I love cats, have had them all my life, but we have been without cats for the last ten years and I didn’t want the responsibility again. Anyway, they came into our life and we too felt it was good timing due to the pandemic.

The mama cat had some sickness so we had to take the kittens a little early, around one month old, so they were very fragile. I felt so emotional and overwhelmed about how we were taking care of them, would they be okay? Then came the sickness. They went through bouts of not eating, diarrhea, vomiting, to the point that each kitten went to the emergency vet at different times. I can relate so much on the sleepless nights, the helplessness. I would literally lay on the couch and cry, huge heaving sobs. I was a wreck. We spent hundreds of dollars and honestly I feel we didn’t get any answers. I feel I learned more researching online than I learned from the vets. We were able to help them as much as we could and I prepared myself that they would either make it or not. Well slowly but surely they got better and stronger. Looking back I think they might have caught whatever bug the mama had or maybe just adjusting to leaving the mama a little early and to all solid food a little soon.

It helped immensely once they started feeling better but even then I still felt this weight of responsibility that these little creatures depend on us so much. Just looking into their big eyes would make me so sad, I’m a very emotional and tender person and I just feel everything so strongly. This time around of having cats I also educated myself much more, which actually makes things worse for an anxious person because I would analyze every little thing and wonder if I was giving them the best life possible. It’s the downside of having the internet and all the research right at your fingertips.

To end things on a good note, now that it’s been about six months I can tell you that the anxiety has calmed way down. We are set up with everything they need, we have gotten comfortable with how we’ve chosen to feed them and raise them. I have found a good balance between all the opinions of what cats need and following my own instincts. The kittens are a joy, I get nothing done anymore because I love just watching them all the time. And me who didn’t want cats in the first place, decided to take the mama cat too, because I couldn’t bear to put her back on my uncle‘s farm where we found her. As far as having one or two, I strongly suggest you keep both. It’s actually the cats interaction and bond with each other that is so entertaining and joyful to experience. I can honestly say now that I’m so glad my husband pushed for the kittens. I’m loving it! The only thing I’m anxious about anymore is leaving the cats if we take a long trip. But since travel isn’t happening anytime soon, we have time to figure things out.

From one anxious, sensitive person to another, please give the whole situation more time. People like us need a lot of time to adjust to change, and taking in two new fur babies is a huge change to your life. And as far as the sickness, I truly hope they improve soon. Just remind yourself, this sickness stage will not last forever. It is temporary. You can make it through. Educate yourself, but also trust your instinct and your love for your kittens. A lot of fun and cuddles and great times await you. Hang in there!
Hello, thanks so much for taking the time to respond, definitely resonated a lot with all the emotions you described. I'm glad to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I'm glad to hear you are bonding so much with your kittens :)
They are doing much better and we had no poopy incidents for the past two days but I cant help but to feel that something bad is going to happen in a matter of days, which I know is just my anxiety talking and I have to learn to take things day by day.

Another thing I noticed is that due to COVID, I've just been staying at home all the time which means my mind is on the kitten channel 24/7. I've just realized that ever since getting them the only times I went out of the house was to either go to the Vet or the pet supply shop to get something for them. I miss being able to go out and do my own things without having to worry about them. To make matters worse, my boyfriend who was supposed to help me out had to leave town for a couple of months due to unforseen circumstances and wont be back until early next year. All this in combination is leaving myself with zero sense of balance - and just giving every ounce of energy to the kittens and none to myself.

I've scheduled some time with a therapist again who will hopefully help me out with my moods and help work with me to find a healthy balance here. I definitely WANT to be able to get to a place where I can be at peace with two kittens, and work to find a routine that works for everyone.

Thank you again for the words of encouragement, I'll be trying my best.
 

arr

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
14
Hi Kittyblues,

I don’t think it was mentioned but how old are your kittens? When they are very young and/or sick, they kind of are 24/7. My husband had to miss our annual family camping trip this summer (Which we have never missed in over 20 years) because somebody had to watch the kittens. I remember the first time we left them alone for one hour I was so nervous. Now at six months going on seven, we can leave them for a whole day with an automatic feeder and they are fine. I think something many new cat owners don’t realize is that little kittens are a lot higher maintenance than adult cats. The time will go fast and before you know it you’ll be looking back at pictures of how cute and tiny they were. Definitely once the sickness is under control, try to get out a little more or engage in some other activity or hobby. It’s important to take care of yourself too.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

kittyblues1984

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
23
Hi Arr,

Ah yes I forgot to mention that they are both around 5 months old (one is exactly 5 months old this week and the other is 18 weeks old).
I'm also feeding them mostly wet food 4 times a day, but definitely looking to transition them to part kibbles and bigger meals at longer intervals as they get older so I don't have to constantly be home to feed them.

Do you mind letting me know how much and what times you feed them? It would be helpful to get some sort of guidance to what I should be striving for in terms of a sustainable feeding schedule. Thank you!
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
27,563
Reaction score
37,304
Location
Colorado USA
Here's some information for you and any readers and lurkers. You're right on track regarding feeding them 4 times a day, and giving them canned food - once they're about a year old, or when you see that they're consistently starting to leave food on the plate/in the bowl, you can begin to cut back. You might consider an automated feeder for the canned food which might give you more flexibility;

How Long Can You Safely Keep Cat Food Out For? – TheCatSite Articles

Choosing The Right Food For Your Cat – Part 2 – TheCatSite Articles

How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat? – TheCatSite Articles
 

denice

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
15,415
Reaction score
8,231
Location
Columbus OH
I think we kind of have in the back of our minds before we get cats that cats don't get sick. Even if we read differently we grow up with the idea that they are self reliant and don't get sick the whole cats have nine lives. Do you like and trust your vet? One thing you might want to consider is a cats only vet clinic. Give it some time. The issues you are having with them health wise is not uncommon. Once these issues are taken care of then you will probably feel differently and begin to really bond with them and enjoy having them around.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

kittyblues1984

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
23
Thank you so much everyone ! Im so glad I decided to join this forum, and have a place to ask for advice, really grateful for everyone's support.

Furballsmom, for the automated canned feeder, do you have a specific model you recommend? Unfortunately the link in the article you sent over is dead. I found one for $3000 but I don't want to be dropping that kind of money :eek:

I think we kind of have in the back of our minds before we get cats that cats don't get sick. Even if we read differently we grow up with the idea that they are self reliant and don't get sick the whole cats have nine lives.
This is true. I was always taught and told by my friends who have adult cats that cats are easy. This is contributing to the feeling of failure I have that I cant handle a couple of kittens by myself :(
 

arr

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
14
Hi Arr,

Ah yes I forgot to mention that they are both around 5 months old (one is exactly 5 months old this week and the other is 18 weeks old).
I'm also feeding them mostly wet food 4 times a day, but definitely looking to transition them to part kibbles and bigger meals at longer intervals as they get older so I don't have to constantly be home to feed them.

Do you mind letting me know how much and what times you feed them? It would be helpful to get some sort of guidance to what I should be striving for in terms of a sustainable feeding schedule. Thank you!
Hi Kittyblues,

We feed them three times a day. We used to do four times a day but as they got older they just weren’t that interested in a fourth meal so now we do three. We feed at around 7am, 1:30 pm, and 8 pm. We feed majority canned and a small amount of dry food. On the rare occasion that we are both out for the day, we feed them before we leave, leave dry kibble in the timed feeder for the afternoon meal, and then feed them when we get home. Since they are still growing, we feed them until they are satisfied at each meal. Eventually you will see a pattern emerge and be able to calculate about how much they want to eat.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
27,563
Reaction score
37,304
Location
Colorado USA
I don't have a specific brand (my apologies about that dead link, we're working on updating things) but I did find this one on Amazon, plus there are other brands, and another site to check would be chewy.com
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YJD11PS/?tag=thecatsite

cats are easy.
They can be, as long as they receive good nutritional food, lots of fresh water, play activity and some mental stimulation--think bird feeders outside windows, grooming and claw clipping and wellness checkups with a good vet, and love, and have good-health genes (my opinion) and a relatively stress free environment, and when there is stress that aids such as cat music and other things like purr toys and marshmallow beds are used to help them...
I don't know about easy, but they sure are wonderful, and so, so worth it.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20

kittyblues1984

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
23
Thanks for the link!

Something just happened that made me feel a bit discouraged again.

One of my kitties just pooped (her poop was good, not soft, tootsie roll shape sorry TMI!!!). However when she got out of the litter box I saw a whole sausage stuck to her butt :eek: , like she didn't manage to push it all the way through or something Luckily I managed to catch her pretty quickly and grabbed the poop from her fur. I also cut off some of her butt fur that were smudged.

Does this happen a lot to kitties and does this get better? I understand if its diarrhea, but her stool was normal. This is also the first time that a whole actual turd was stuck in her butt fur.

What can I do to prevent this? This is giving me some anxiety of letting her roam around the house at night when I sleep, in case it happens again and she smudges poop all over the house. Would a bigger litter box help? The current litterbox I have for her is quite spacious so not sure if that is the problem..

Thanks again!
 
Top