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Is It Okay To Leave My 7 Weeks Old Kitten Alone For Hours?

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by dsclp, May 6, 2019.

  1. dsclp

    dsclp Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 10, 2017
    Hello. Earlier today (4 hours ago) I adopted a very cute kitten. When I went to pick the kitten up, I was hoping to find a kitten born on March 6th... Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the baby had been born on March 22nd.

    The vet from the shop I picked her up weighted my kitten up at 720grams. She sent us home with some food and I bought the same litter that she had been using.

    Thing is - I live in a small apartment (bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen). Only the doors to the bathroom and bedroom close and lock.

    I have been keeping the kitten in the bathroom since my bedroom has no floor right now - it was supposed to be installed today but now it seems it’ll only be ready on Thursday. All the things that used to be in my room are now in piles all over the kitchen and living room floor. I don’t want the kitten to stay in any of these rooms because I’m afraid that she’ll get hurt or lost. I have let her out on the living room for a bit but she promptly found a narrow place to slide into and then after a few minutes started meowing loudly. I lured her back out with a collar that is way too big for her and that I have been using as a toy.

    I put her back into the bathroom but whenever I leave it takes 5 minutes for her to start meowing. I tried to keep her close to my body in the living room but she wasn’t much of a fan, which I understand.

    Is it okay to leave her alone in the bathroom for me to sleep or is that too cruel? Will she be too lonely, will she grow to dislike me? I could maybe go stay at my grandma’s old place (no piles of things on the floor) but there’s no drinking water there and I’m not sure if some windows there can actually stay closed.

    I’m pretty upset by this situation as I wanted to get my kitten home to a place that she could explore safely but it turned out like this.

    What should I do?

  2. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    Apr 8, 2016
    She will be able to explore safely once she's older, bigger, and stronger :) For now I would make the bathroom as kitten friendly as you can (litter box, away from food and water, lots of toys and cozy places to sleep.)
    You said she immediately hid in your living room, she might like an old box layed on its side so she can walk in and out and maybe put a bed there for her.
    I would leave a radio on for her as well, low volume with some nice classical type music (save the rock and roll for later :thumbsup:)
    4 hours is not nearly enough time for her to be brave, she's only about 5 weeks old which is very young. She's a baby still, and babies need baby-proof zones until they grow.
    Make sure there's nothing potentially dangerous in the bathroom, like cords she could get hung up or caught in (hair dryers, mini blind cords, etc.), plastic bags with loop handles that she could get stuck in, or anything she could find and eat like medications.
    Enjoy your new kiddo :wave3:
    basschick, zed xyzed, neely and 2 others purraised this.

  3. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 1, 2017
    One of my brother's cats was fatally poisoned licking a tub of something the handyman left behind while work was in progress. THE TUB WAS CLOSED, the drippings of whatever it was on the side were enough to be fatal.

    In general, I think that after cat proofing its safe to let even a young kitten roam...but I've never had one quite this young, and with the handyman there, and my brother's sad experience in mind, Bruce's advice seems like common sense.

  4. She's a witch

    She's a witch TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Feb 21, 2018
    Europe/WA, USA
    I realize that my approach may seem extreme to most people, but if I were you, I would actually try to somehow sleep with a kitten.. in a bathroom :) As I would really keep her there till you have the floor installed, but I would hate the thought of her staying alone all night. If you're not stranger to camping, that might work if you're willing to :)
    neely, angels mommy and 1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  5. Talien

    Talien TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Oct 10, 2018
    If there's still any sort of work going on you definitely want to keep her confined to the bathroom until it is done. If there's room in there for you to somewhat comfortably lay down then take a sleeping bag or something to put on the floor for you to lay on and see if you being in there overnight keeps her calm.
    neely and 1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  6. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    Apr 8, 2016
    I agree. If it's not possible, a big dog cage with some food, water, and litter right by the bed can be another good plan if sleeping in the bathroom isn't going to work. At least this way the kitten can hear you, see you, smell you, etc.
    Sleep time together counts, I think.
    SDerailed, Moka and angels mommy purraised this.

  7. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

    Feb 20, 2011
    I do think she would be safest in a large dog crate. But If you choose to keep her in the bathroom, make sure that the toilet lid is down at all times and if there is a shower curtain, pull it up and fold it up on the rod so the kitten can’t climb it. One other concern I have with a kitten that age is that they may fall into the tub and not be able to get out, so maybe a thick pillow or a something to create a step for them to climb on to get out.
    neely and angels mommy purraised this.

  8. neely

    neely May the purr be with you Staff Member Forum Helper

    Dec 22, 2005
    The above members have all given you some great advice. :thumbsup: The only thing I would add is to make sure there is a bathroom carpet, (machine washable), if you have a tile floor which can get too cold for such a young kitten.

  9. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 6, 2018
    One thing I would like to add, is that it is not cruel to leave your new kitten in one room for the first little bit. When bringing a new kitty home, it's actually recommended to make a "safe room" so new kitty can adjust to it's new surroundings in stages so not to be too overwhelmed by a huge space.
    So just take precautions and kitty proof the bathroom. Don't leave any bath or cleaning products out in the open, as recommended by someone else, make sure kitty is able to get out of the tub on her own and don't leave the toilet seat up. Make sure she has plenty of food and water, keep the litter box as far from the food as you can, provide several little comfy areas for her to sleep in and leave lots of toys for her to keep herself busy. She'll be fine. And as soon as your flooring is in, you can consider making your bedroom her "safe room" so she can be with you at night. And once your home is back to being organized, she should be able to have the run of the apartment. But again, make sure you kitty proof.
    No cleaning or chemical products out in the open.
    Keep cords and the like, tied up and out of reach.
    Keep lots of toys around so she is tempted to play with those instead of other things you may not want her to play with.
    Don't leave strings, ribbons or rubber bands laying around. Some cats like to eat them and they are VERY dangerous. Also make sure your bathroom garbage has a tight lid, things like dental floss are also attractive to cats and are very dangerous.
    I have cats that like to chew on plastic bags and things (it's actually pretty common), this can be a choking hazard, so don't leave plastic out. Our cats even chew on plastic shower curtains, so we have to use fabric.
    If you have plants in the house, I would research if they are toxic to cats or not. And get rid of any that are.
    Your new addition is a kitten, so be prepared that she'll be into EVERYTHING!:lol:
    So if you think it is something that could possibly be dangerous or break and be dangerous, put it away until her kitten stage calms down or you learn how she behaves and what she has no interest in.

    Have fun with your new kitty!!!!!! And pictures are always welcome!

  10. Talien

    Talien TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Oct 10, 2018
    One other thing I forgot earlier. Do not put the litterbox in a tub or shower, any litter that gets kicked or tracked out of the box and goes down the drain is going to stick there especially if it's any kind of clumping litter, it will line the inside of the pipe and it's extremely hard to get rid of.

  11. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    1) that kitten is way to young for clumping litter, so I hope she is not using that! (Young kittens eat litter.) Also expect some accidents at that age. Give her a litter box in each room until she is at least 12 weeks old, then you can get it down to 2 boxes in 2 different rooms.
    2) yes leave her in the bathroom
    Until the flooring is installed and then let her be in your bedroom to sleep with you/play in there (great if the bedroom and bathroom are attached.) At that she young kittens will climb into sofas, lazy boys, under a fridge and under stoves! I wound up stuffing towels under the dishwasher and fridge to keep my wee minions from going under there. * personally I believe in keeping kittens restricted to a baby proofed bedroom until they are 4 months old.
    3) maybe put jingle balls and rolling toys in your tub for your kitten to play with? Maybe put the box next to the tub and a sturdy unmovable object for the kitten to climb out of the tub to? My boy loves the handicapped shower full of jingle balls and with 2 tunnels!
    4) some interactive toys and homemade puzzle feeders with treats in it should help keep your kitten from getting bored while you are at work. *a stuffed animal might be appreciated and if you have one with a heartbeat it might make her feel less lonely. I have heard of people wrapping a towel around a small ticking alarm clock for kittens.
    5) give her a t-shirt you have worn for her to snuggle in and to help her get used to your scent.
    6) they climb everything! Beware of low hanging towels or cloth shower curtains. Look under everything for loose strings or weird stuff your kitten will try to eat. :rolleyes:

    *** I’m just going to say it, that baby should be with her mom!:livid: Kittens should be with their mom and siblings until they are 12 weeks old!!! Even the old way of adopting kept kittens with their mom until 8 weeks. Your kitten may have some issues later from being separated so young. If you can, adopt a second kitten.

    Me? I would be sleeping in the bathroom with the kitten until the flooring was installed in my bedroom ..... but you are talking to someone who basically lived with 3 kittens on my chest (under a blanket) for most of the day, for the first week. (They were 4 weeks old, all made it. :catlove:)
    5starcathotel purraised this.

  12. dsclp

    dsclp Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 10, 2017
    Hello again. Last night I slept in the bathroom using a folding mattress and whenever I woke up (I don't sleep well), the kitten was sleeping beside me. It was very heartwarming. I will continue with the sleeping arrangements until we can move to the bedroom.

    Here's some pictures:
    photo_2019-05-07_23-53-53.jpg photo_2019-05-07_23-54-54.jpg

    I'll try to answer everyone and address your concerns but first I want to properly explain my situation. You can skip the next paragraph, I guess I wrote it simply because I don't want to come off as totally irresponsible.
    Last month my mom's friend posted online about kittens up for adoption. On April 22nd I was told that the kittens were 45 days old. When I got to the pet store where the kittens and mom were being kept, the store's vet handed me a paper in which the kitten's birth date and other recommendations were written. I got to see the mother cat and she looked healthy but very young, I'd guess not much older than a year if she even was that old. The vet told me that some time ago a cat had been left there for a bath&grooming combo but the address the "owners" left was fake and the cat had been pregnant. From the way she spoke I guessed that she wanted the cats to be gone soon. They were being fed cheap pet food instead of the not that much more expensive one that is recommended for lactating mothers and kittens. I was very anxious and that the time I couldn't stomach just leaving the kitten there.

    I went to buy more cat food today and managed to get one made for lactating moms and babies - the grains are much smaller than the ones the kitten was sent home with. I have been mixing the new food with the food I was given, and intend to do so until the old one is finished. Is that okay?

    The bathroom currently has:
    • the cat carrier with a very soft blanket inside it,
    • a bowl with cat food, a bowl with water,
    • a paper box with a stuffed rabbit inside,
    • a sheet wrapped into a nest-y shape, a rug,
    • the litter box (as far away from the food as possible),
    • my folding mattress, a comforter and pillow
    • the toilet seat + sink + a cabinet (very tall, kitten can't climb or jump up to it. I have combs and an empty plastic soap dispenser up there)
    • the shower "box" (no bathtub!) with plastic sliding doors (thank god the kitten hasn't figured out how to open it yet. I live in a country where plumbing isn't yet up to the challenge of toilet paper being flushed away, so I'm keeping the trashcan inside the shower box for now).
    The toilet seat is always down, I keep something heavy on top of it as often as possible just in case.

    Regarding the litter: I bought the same one that was being used in the pet store, which happens to be a clumping litter with very small grains (about the size of "rough" sand). The kitten has been using the litter box without incident. I've been throwing the dirty clumps away into trashcan - there's usually 10 or 40 minutes between the kitten using it and me "cleaning" it.

    Silica litter has been recommended to me - would it be okay to use it with the kitten? What size litter grain should I be looking for? I've read that kittens should be kept away from clumping litter until they are 4 months old. Should I follow that or should I keep an eye at how the kitten develops? Is there a way to know if she's eating litter?

    The kitten seems to enjoy drinking water but sometimes she sneezes after. Should I change her water bowl?


    Also an unrelated question: my boyfriend has 4 outdoor-indoor cats which roam the streets... As far as I know the cats haven't been tested for Fiv or Felv. Is it safe for him to handle my kitten?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2019
    Furballsmom, 5starcathotel and Talien purraised this.

  13. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    Hi , she is adorable!!! :happycat: Just beyond cute! I would take lots of pictures and videos; they grow up so fast! You can take a picture of her next to the same object every week or month to show her growth.
    I’m sorry for the situation that made it necessary for her to be separated from her family (it sucks when those things happen.) She may need extra help learning boundaries to not bite or scratch the humans. Plus the poor dear must be lonely, it was why I suggested a second kitten.
    About your bf, I would have him wash his hands, take off his shoes right by the door and change his shirt (but I’m over protective.) The minimum would be wash his hands. Yes because of FIV but also because I was extremely worried about my babies getting panleukopenia (feline distemper) before they were old enough to get vaccinated. Because your kitten is so young it couldn’t be vaccinated for that yet (and it takes multiple vaccines.) I would call a local vet, bring her in and ask your questions and figure out when she is old enough to start getting vaccinated (?10? Weeks?) If you have friends or family that are cat lovers you could ask them who their vet is, because they might be able to recommend a Vet you can trust/will love. Either way keep your kitten inside, away from all other cats until the vet says it is OK.
    (Yes the kitten food is better for them and easier for small mouths to handle. They make kitten wet food to! Just do not give fishy or fancy feast to her or she will reject the healthier stuff ;) )
    5starcathotel purraised this.

  14. SDerailed

    SDerailed TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jun 10, 2017
    I'd like to chime in. FiV is spread through deep bites or wounds and not a major problem with your boyfriend casually petting. Until he has his vaccinations Felv, kitty distemper and others are concerns. And even if the cats get checked since they are outdoor guys, it's not a guarantee that once they get checked that they wouldnt get it later on.
    Many of these diseases can be carried on ones clothes and shoes, so it may be worth doing g a quick change before coming over. When I volunteered at the shelter I used to go to the gym, change, and change shoes before I came back home. Omw day the unthinkable happened. We had a virus some person spread by petting the cats in medical and then not washing properly. We had to put 200 cats down from this fatal disease.l, it was awful. But luckily that ounce of prevention in changing my clothes and washing up spared my kitties from the same fate.
    danteshuman and Furballsmom purraised this.

  15. Talien

    Talien TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Oct 10, 2018
    Good for you. If you had another Kitten to keep her company it wouldn't be quite so much of an issue but since she's by herself having you there at night is going to be comforting to her.

    Yeah, not a very good situation. If the vet is giving them the cheapest food available she's really not being very responsible, especially if she sent you home with the same food. If you can get some KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement) at least for the next week or so to go along with the food you got it would be better.
    Good, especially having the carrier with a blanket in there. If you can get her to see the carrier as a safe haven then it will be much easier in the future getting her into it when you need to take her somewhere like for a vet visit. You may want to keep some toys in it too just to make it that much more attractive to her.

    How big is the litterbox? Unless it's very small you shouldn't need to clean it that often, just once or twice a day is sufficient. There's nothing wrong with cleaning it more often though, it just isn't absolutely necessary.

    I've personally not had any issues using clumping litter with young Kittens, and I've never had problems with them eating the litter. I know it does happen occasionally but the rescue I volunteered at used clumping litter in the Kitten room and I never heard of Kittens eating it there. But that said, there's nothing wrong with using a different kind of litter if you want to be extra careful.

    No, no need to change the water bowl. Kittens often shove their whole face in the water before they learn to just lap it up with their tongue so sneezing is normal for a while.

    It should be safe for him to handle her, FIV and FeLV are spread through fluids so even if one or all of his Cats have it your Kitten isn't really in danger of catching it from being handled by him, but it couldn't hurt to make sure he washes his hands just to be sure. I would be more concerned with fleas and such, if his Cats are mostly outdoor then then it's likely they have fleas or other parasites unless he's treating them with something like frontline or revolution.

  16. dsclp

    dsclp Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 10, 2017
    Hello everyone. The kitten is now 55 days old and has been with me for 10 days.

    I'll start with the question first because this ended up being a long post lol. When I adopted the kitten, the vet whom I adopted her from sent me home with a plastic bag full of dry food. I have since bought kitten-appropriate dry food and have mixed it with the old food until only the food I bought was left.
    So now I'm wondering about wet food. The kitten drinks water often, usually when she eats but also randomly through the way. I change her water two or three times a day but she didn't seem to mind when I forgot - I plan on continuing to change it often.
    But still, from what I've read, wet food is recommended as a way to ensure proper hydration. Can I start her on wet food right away? How often? Should I look for wet food meant for kittens (when I went looking for it, it all seemed marketed towards kittens older than 4 months) or is any sort of wet food ok? My mom suggested giving her some pieces of boiled chicken (no spices or anything), would that be ok? And also...
    Should I post on the Cat Nutrition forum instead and stop with the gazillion questions? lol

    Now for the news:

    My bedroom now has a floor, a bed and all the wardrobes are back to their proper places. My mom (who spent the last week here) helped me with getting things back inside the wardrobes and so the living room is a safer place for Brie (the female kitten!), who loved jumping and sneaking between boxes and bags. As the wardrobes are now back in their proper places, the kitchen is free of potentially dangerous pieces of wood. We have a new couch, which isn't as fun to scratch as the old one, thank god. Here's Brie on it, personally I think that she color matches the couch quite a bit.


    The bed is a double and we only have 2 single mattresses, so Brie is currently sleeping in a blanket set atop a pillow in the space left on the bedframe. During the night she usually curls up with me or with my mom. Here's a pic of her sleeping on her blanket.


    I bought a bigger litterbox (the old, smaller one was enough for her but she often ended up kicking some litter outside of the box....) which is now in the bathroom, close to where the old one used to be. The old one is currently on the kitchen.

    Me and mom stepped outside for 6 hours on Saturday, and then around 7 hours on Sunday. When we left, Brie was sleeping, and when we came back she was sleeping also, on the same place. The same happened when we left for smaller periods of time this week. She didn't seem distressed when we came back, she sometimes took a while to wake up before starting to run around playing as she usually does in late afternoon. I'm wondering if I should ask someone to take a look at her this weekend, since I'll be gone for class for 10 hours on Saturday and for another 10 hours on Sunday.

    Mom and Brie love each other, which is a huge relief to me. Mom babytalks to her often and they play together a lot. When my boyfriend came over he first washed his hands and then used rubbing alcohol to "sterilize" his hands before petting Brie.

    I think that's it. Thank you for all your help and the time you take to both read and answer my posts.

    Here are some pictures of Brie on the old couch and on my mattress.

    photo_2019-05-16_11-08-51.jpg photo_2019-05-16_11-08-56.jpg
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  17. Talien

    Talien TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Oct 10, 2018
    The general rule is canned is almost always preferable to dry, even the cheap brands like Friskies and 9 lives simply because of the higher moisture content. Cats are designed to get most of their moisture intake from their prey so they don't normally drink much water, eating dry food is not natural for them at all and although it does make them thirsty it's not uncommon to not drink enough water to make up for not getting any moisture in their food. A dehydrated Cat is not going to be a happy or healthy Cat.

    A canned food meant for Kittens would be best, but if you can't find any you could mix KMR with whatever canned food you decide on.

    As far as asking someone to check in on her, that couldn't hurt. If your mom can do it all the better since they're already familiar with eachother. If she acts distressed or upset when left alone for long periods of time then you may want to consider a second Kitten to keep her company.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    dsclp purraised this.

  18. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    Hi! Canned Kitten food, as mentioned, but you can also utilize food that is designated All Life Stages, and the Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR) is a great suggestion, either mixed in or on the side.

    The site moderators decide whether a thread is in the correct place but personally I think you're fine here because your questions are covering a lot of issues up to this point, and nope, there's no need at all to stop with those questions. This is what we're here for :) --speaking of, some boiled chicken should be fine.

    You've gotten marvelous advice above including the music suggestion ;)

    In addition to the ticking clock (and as also mentioned, muffled with a towel if it's too loud) or a heartbeat toy, you could try a sock partially filled with dry beans, rice or corn grits to help as something for your sweetie to snuggle if necessary.

    I must say, however, looking at the photos your baby meezer seems to be a remarkably well adjusted, relaxed and calm little feline :redheartpump: :sunshine: :clap2:

    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    dsclp purraised this.

  19. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

    Aug 29, 2014
    It would be better to ask your food questions on the Nutrition forum :agree: Quick answer: offer both dry and canned / wet kitten foods. Kittens eat a lot and need all that food to grow. And it's good for kittens to be exposed to different types of foods. Any food labeled as for kittens is fine. Plain cooked meat can be offered as a treat. You can even feed your kitten a properly prepared home made diet (raw or cooked). The Nutrition forum is the best place to get more info on what to feed your kitten:)
    danteshuman and Furballsmom purraised this.

  20. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    She is adorable!
    Furballsmom purraised this.

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