New 3 month kitten, did I make a mistake?

LightningM

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Hello!

I adopted a 3 month old kitten from my best friend whose cat had kittens. I have always been a “cat person”, grew up with 2 male cats since they were kittens and I was 6 years old. I honestly love friend’s cats and seeing cats, always petting them and seeking them out. When my friend asked if I wanted one I meet them, fell in love with Minnie’s beauty and what seemed like her sweet temperament (yet she was shy). She was fine with petting, didn’t sit on my lap or anything but okay with petting and showed signs of playing. I thought about it for a couple weeks before making a decision and doing research and all that. I became obsessed with the idea of having her. I thought I was prepared so I agreed and brought her home. I was excited and happy for a bit then I weirdly started having anxiety and almost regret or what I’m researching now as “adoption remorse”. I feel overwhelmed taking care of a little kitten. I’ve been doing everything right in terms of proper care and feeding her 3 times a day and playing with her. She bites (during play time and I’ve been trying to train her my body parts are not acceptable). She has her own kitten room for comfort with all her essentials but I started slowly introducing her to other areas of the house at her own pace. Whenever she’s down on our main level she goes wild like running around, biting, scratching, playing, climbing. Im sure she’s discovering and learning. I’m trying to reel her in. It’s like she thinks our first floor is a play zone because I’ve had some toys down there and her other essentials are upstairs. I’m just worried she won’t settle down, that she won’t be affectionate (sometimes she tries to bite or swat when I pet but that’s usually after some sort of play or while she’s hyper so I chalk that up to play behavior and try to train her that’s not acceptable by shutting down the play or walking away), that she’ll develop “single cat syndrome” and become an aggressive cat or something. I worry I’m not able to give her all she needs and as a result she’ll not turn out to be the cat I hoped she’d be. I’ve questioned if I should get a second kitten to iron it out to be better in the long run or if that’s double the anxiety and trouble and I’m more in over my head. Also side note that’s in the back of my mind. My husband and I do plan to start a family in the next year or two and I’m afraid when that time comes it will be a challenge with a then 1 year old cat and a newborn. Do I need to give it more time for her to adjust (I know these things take time), should I get a second kitten so they have each other and will that help adjustments now and with future newborn, or did I make a huge mistake? I suppose I was hoping she’d also be a sweet lap cat but naturally all cats have differing personalities! Any advice would be most appreciated! I’m really struggling with anxiety over all of this!
 

ArtNJ

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I think what is going on is that you expected easy and affectionate right away, and kittens quite often arent that.
The cats you had growing up might have been a bit more chill as kittens, and this one might be a bit more revv'd up, but Minnie does sound totally normal. Its just that kittens range from 8 to 11 on the 1 to 10 activity scale at this age. Common or not, an "11" can be draining, so I do understand. If your patient, Minnie will be more affectionate as time passes. Right now, let her play, and don't try to force the affection. Maybe she'll only really let you pet her when she is tired, but that doesn't mean she wont be much more affectionate once she calms down a bit.

Try to enjoy watching the antics, as long as nothing is being destroyed. You can throw some ping pong balls, crumpled balls of paper or aluminum foil, random things like that can help occupy the kitten when your tired of actively playing. Kicker toys can help as well. But yeah, scratching furniture, climbing curtains, biting, there are behaviors that you'll want to work on. Use a loud "no!" and only play with the kitten with toys, not with hands. You'll learn when the kitten is too rev'd up for a hand to be nearby.

I don't recommend adding another right now. Two is definitely not twice as much crazy, but I think people that claim its actually easier are also wrong. Maybe 125% as crazy? The demands on your attenion may be less, but there may be more climbing the curtains or whatnot with two. So if you had a kitten demanding constant attention it would be a closer question, but where its activity and training stuff stressing you out, I'd say no.

Try to think of it as practicing your zen or something, because human kids can be stressful as heck quite often as well :)
 
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LightningM

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I think what is going on is that you expected easy and affectionate right away, and kittens quite often arent that.
The cats you had growing up might have been a bit more chill as kittens, and this one might be a bit more revv'd up, but Minnie does sound totally normal. Its just that kittens range from 8 to 11 on the 1 to 10 activity scale at this age. Common or not, an "11" can be draining, so I do understand. If your patient, Minnie will be more affectionate as time passes. Right now, let her play, and don't try to force the affection. Maybe she'll only really let you pet her when she is tired, but that doesn't mean she wont be much more affectionate once she calms down a bit.

Try to enjoy watching the antics, as long as nothing is being destroyed. You can throw some ping pong balls, crumpled balls of paper or aluminum foil, random things like that can help occupy the kitten when your tired of actively playing. Kicker toys can help as well. But yeah, scratching furniture, climbing curtains, biting, there are behaviors that you'll want to work on. Use a loud "no!" and only play with the kitten with toys, not with hands. You'll learn when the kitten is too rev'd up for a hand to be nearby.

I don't recommend adding another right now. Two is definitely not twice as much crazy, but I think people that claim its actually easier are also wrong. Maybe 125% as crazy? The demands on your attenion may be less, but there may be more climbing the curtains or whatnot with two. So if you had a kitten demanding constant attention it would be a closer question, but where its activity and training stuff stressing you out, I'd say no.

Try to think of it as practicing your zen or something, because human kids can be stressful as heck quite often as well :)
Thank you! She’s honestly just super active and playful and I think you’re right that while I read about what to expect it just hit me like uh oh can I handle this? Haha She honestly is affectionate I guess just in not the way I was expecting. She follows me around and cries when I’m not around. & does rub against my legs and okay with me petting her and purrs. she just wants to play for like an hour and a half straight and it feels like she has never ending energy! I’m just afraid of not being able to provide her the adequate constant time and play she might need. I’m afraid she’s lonely and it will result in bad behavior that lingers into adulthood & with planning for a baby it scares me. Right now both my husband and I work full time and with our rotating schedules she’s by herself for about 5 hours at a time in a kitten proof room with all her essentials including toys that can keep her occupied.
 

silent meowlook

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I would get a second kitten so they can play together and keep each other company. It would also be good when you have a baby because they will have each other. If you can afford it of course. Are there any of her brothers or sisters left?
 
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LightningM

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I would get a second kitten so they can play together and keep each other company. It would also be good when you have a baby because they will have each other. If you can afford it of course. Are there any of her brothers or sisters left?
So that’s the way I was leaning because I’m afraid I don’t have enough time that the kitten deserves. Plus I’m just exhausted & the primary caretaker. So she has one sibling who I wanted to take but my friend did not want to let the other kitten go…it was a litter of only two.
 
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