First time cat owner...

baileybear

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My wife and I are 53 and never owned a cat. My sons friend found homeless kittens so we agreed to keep one for him. We have had kitten 3 weeks and it’s approx 8-9 weeks old. Overall things are good. Vet cleared all blood work. Kitten eats well and uses litter box.

Here is my questions. I know cats play but I am worried this cat has a problem that we are not privy to? It constantly is attacking something even if make believe. It bows up with nothing there.. it harasses our dog, runs around like it’s on drugs, and attacks our legs with claws and teeth. It’s funny to watch but I am wondering if it has a mental issue?
Thoughts?
 

MissClouseau

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That sounds like “zoomies” :-) You can search for it on YouTube and see “kitten zoomies”
They basically get these intense energy at times and spend it via running around, jumping, attacking on things like (with my cat) bed, couch, my bag...

Even if it doesn’t hurt try to stop it when he turns to your body to “attack”so it won’t become a habit when he grows up enough to hurt. They don’t understand that it hurts otherwise.
 

Furballsmom

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Everything you're describing is normal kitten behavior :) sometimes people get a second kitten to help with the intense focus and playtime energy.

You will want to avoid letting your new baby bite your hands (use/ provide soft toys in place of your hands, arms, feet, ankles). When the teething begins, around 3 1/2 to 4 months, try a (well rinsed if you use scented dryer sheets) wetted washcloth partially frozen to help ease the discomfort.

If it may help this little one at night et al, there are heartbeat toys available.

You may want to consider moving or even storing breakables as time goes on, since even a larger/older cat with the zoomies isn't always graceful lol

Just be sure it has wet food in several small meals daily (kitten tummies are small and can't hold alot at one time), --as much as it can eat. Continue with this approach of a lot of food, to support all the growth that's going on, for at least a year if not a bit longer.

First-time Cat Owner’s Guide – Cat Articles
 

ArtNJ

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Just to be clear, the "on drugs" play episodes should be time and number limited. A few of those a day, lasting maybe 5-10 minutes each (I've heard some say 15, ugh). Those are the zoomies. Normal play can be very rambunctuous of course, but to a different degree. The zoomies are a normal phenomonum too, but you are far from the first to use the term "on drugs" lol. That is often kind of what it looks like.

Just stand back and let the cat do its thing. Or use a long lure toy if you are feeling brave, but I've never found it necessary to get too involved. Play with them during other times. During zoomie time, get out of the way and laugh. Certainly don't try and touch them, they WILL play attack you roughly
 

kittenmittens84

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Very normal, even for adult cats! Sometimes their prey drive and excitement levels just go haywire, resulting in that crazy half-cocked look in their eye while they tear around the house all puffed up. They’ll do it more frequently at dusk and dawn since that’s when cats are most active. You definitely want to nip the foot biting in the bud so it doesn’t become a habit, but only 8/9 weeks is still young and as they get older their impulse control will get better too. Make sure to have plenty of playtime with a few different types of toys so he has a healthy outlet for his energy
 

rubysmama

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Hello and welcome to TCS. Congrats on being new cat parents! :petcat:

As everyone else has already posted, that sounds pretty normal for a kitten. :catman:

Since you're new to cats, here's a few more TCS articles that you might find helpful:
Kitten Proofing Your Home: 13 Practical Tips | TheCatSite
Playing With Your Cat: 10 Things You Need To Know – Cat Articles
How To Stop Playtime Aggression In Cats – Cat Articles

Plus some on introducing cats to dogs. Obviously they've already met, but there still might be something helpful in them.
Introducing Cats To Dogs – Cat Articles
How To Safely Introduce A Cat And A Dog | TheCatSite
Caring For Cats And Dogs | TheCatSite

And one from the Humane Society on Teach your kitten how to play nice. Do disregard their mention of a water squirt bottle, as that is not recommended, and in fact TCS has this article with 5 Reasons To Never Spray Water On Your Cat | TheCatSite.

Enjoy your adventures with kittenhood. Take lots of pictures, as kittens grow quickly. And feel free to post some pics here. :camera:
How To Add A Picture To Your Forum Post | TheCatSite
 
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lucicat

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sounds like a kitten to me!!! They have loads of energy and will play "attack" most anything. Make sure you are providing LOTS of outlet for the energy. . .places to climb and run especially. Toys. . .almost anything that's not your body-- balls of paper, long sheets of paper, wand toys, balls, cardboard boxes with "windows" cut out. My kids make toys out of pipe cleaners that our kittens love! :)

My high energy kitten especially goes nuts without enough play. . .and she gets bored with a toy quickly. So a toy that got her playing hard four days ago will loose it's effect and Ill have to find a new toy. We got a second kitten partly to help with all the energy!
 

Tik cat's mum

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It definitely sounds like normal kitten behaviour they certainly keep you on your toes. When the zoomies start just sit back and enjoy the entertainment. Welcome to cat parenthood ;) kitten's need to burn loads of energy.
 
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baileybear

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Very normal, even for adult cats! Sometimes their prey drive and excitement levels just go haywire, resulting in that crazy half-cocked look in their eye while they tear around the house all puffed up. They’ll do it more frequently at dusk and dawn since that’s when cats are most active. You definitely want to nip the foot biting in the bud so it doesn’t become a habit, but only 8/9 weeks is still young and as they get older their impulse control will get better too. Make sure to have plenty of playtime with a few different types of toys so he has a healthy outlet for his energy
Thanks all for responding. The vet has cleared all tests and so far so good. Lots of energy. Definitely bringing some joy and fun to the house. Our dog (lab/border collie mix- 10 yr old) has accepted her and they eat side by side. Cat tries to play but Bailey not to sure yet... we want them to sleep / snuggle together but letting that take its own course... Kitten is just like a woman... lovey dovey when she wants something, but independent and elusive the rest of the time... 🤠
 

Maria Bayote

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Congratulations on your new kitty! I can just imagine her with your dog and I am sure its so sweet. :)

Yep, as what others said, she's a kitty alright! Even adult cats are doing that zoomies thing, just hope she won't knock any fragile things over. :)

You can schedule her to be fixed by 4-5 months old, depending on the advice of the vet.

ENjoy and take lots of photos. Kittens grow up too fast.
 

furmonster mom

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We often would buy stuffies that were at least half their body size, if not larger, for them to attack.

This blue bat was one of the faves, I think because the wings were floppy...




Shoes were occasionally viewed as "prey"... This is actually not the greatest option, as they will then attack feet wearing the shoes... but it was too cute for the moment.






Basically, you want something on hand that you can distract them with when they go into hunting mode. Like I said, though the shoes are amusing when you're not wearing them, you will want to train them away from shoes (and feet that wear shoes)!

When our kittens got bigger, they actually stole some of the dogs stuffies. Poor Babee lost her carrot chew to the cats.
 
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vince

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A kicker toy that they can "kill" is good for burning off energy. They'll roll around kicking and biting it and you can throw it for them to chase. If you don't want to buy one right now, make your own from old sweat socks. Jut tie them up in knots and the cats will love them just as much. Besides, if they smell like you (best if you don't wash them), the cats will like them even more!

A good toy is to tie a piece of paper with a string and tie the other end around a doorknob. You can also use it for an interactive toy that they can pounce on. Drag it across the floor. A ping pong ball in a bathtub is another favorite. That's particularly good for wearing off excess zoomie energy.
 
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baileybear

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Toys - of course we have bought several. But the favorite was created by accident. My wife balled up a paper towel and through it towards trash can but missed. The cat attacked it. Now my wife has to make a ball daily. Paper towel balled up with 1 piece of scotch tape around its equator and 1 around its poles. The cat goes nuts chasing and attacking it. It’s like a small mouse..
 

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Talien

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The best thing to keep a Kitten occupied is another Kitten. It may sound like it will be more work, but they will play constantly and burn off the excess energy so there's less rambunctious (and potentially destructive) behavior. If your son's friend still has any consider bringing another one home for a while and see how it goes.
 
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baileybear

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Update: We have really been enjoying our cat. Such personality. Different that a dog but very enjoyable. We had no idea a cat plays fetch. She brings my wife a fake soft mouse and fetches it about 10 + times almost daily.

Not having to let her out to relieve is also great.
She is like a battery. Sleeps, then discharges, then sleeps. She wakes my wife up to play at 4AM a lot.

She just had her first “ in heat”. She was talking crazy and rubbing on us and raising her backside. It was sweet but we figured out she was in heat. Wife going to schedule for spay. We hope it does not change her personality.
 

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Its not that unusual for a cat to carry a favored toy in the mouth. Or even to bring it back in your general direction, and once in a while right to ya. But to consistently and reliably play actual fetch is something I've never had.
 

Furballsmom

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She brings my wife a fake soft mouse and fetches it about 10 + times almost daily.
Lol, a neighbor of mine has a little feline sweetie that LOVES to play fetch, to the point I suggested he try and find another type of interactive toy for her or she would wear out his arm ;)
 
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