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New Cat Mom Here, Not Sure If My 6mo Old Is Being Too Needy?

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by Perla837, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. Perla837

    Perla837 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Dec 8, 2017
    Hi There, I'm a first time cat mom to a wonderful 6 month old kitten. She's been at my house for almost 4 weeks now and she seems to be adjusting pretty well so far. Someone had abandoned her and her siblings and my friend found them so she is a stray. She's not spayed yet but will be soon. She is super friendly and a little bundle of energy. As a first time cat mom I have a few questions. It's just my husband and I in the house, no kids, no roommates. I've been spending an hour playing with her everyday when I get home from work, and a lot of times she will pick up a toy by herself and bat it around for a while, she also loves to play chase and we will play for 15 minutes before bed to get her energy out. She seems to want to play and demand attention in the mornings though, I'm having a hard time getting ready for work because she is constantly meowing at me and pawing at my legs when I'm standing at the bathroom counter. She will even jump up on the counter and sit in front of me and paw at my hands and meow. She seems to be really restless. When she meows I try to stop and pet her, and I'll go and bring some toys for her, and in between getting ready I'll chase her around a little because she tries to initiate the chase game. It actually started making me late for work so I had to start getting up earlier. I'm the first one up and I'm out the door by the time my husband gets up. According to him she usually just sleeps on the bathmat when he's getting ready. I've noticed on the weekends when my husband and I are up at the same time and getting ready at the same time, she's mostly doing her own thing. I've also noticed a similar thing when I'm in the kitchen cooking, even if I've just spend an hour playing with her, she will still want to keep playing with me and will meow at me and paw at my legs. She seems to give up a little easier because my husband is usually home, it seems like her attention is more divided between the two of us when we are both home. I also wanted to mention that we both have cuddle time with her everyday and also pet her a lot. I'm not really sure what the best thing to do is? Should I ignore her when she's doing this, or should I try and play with her some more in the morning? Am I giving her too much attention when she asks for it? I really want her to be a happy kitty and I don't want her to be mad at me and think that I'm ignoring her. Any suggestions would be great and sorry this was super long too! :)

  2. Letta

    Letta TCS Member Adult Cat

    Apr 18, 2017
    Cats tend to be more active in the morning and in the evening like at around dawn and around sunset. It's totally normal that she wants to interract you at this time as you are also up, when your husband wakes up she is already in nap time so is not trying to play with him. I would not stress too much about it and it sounds like you are doing great. If you have some time to play with her in the morning this is great! You could do 1 short play session instead of half doing it ans half getting ready. However if it stressing you because of work you could build another ritual: for example give her a special toy only in mornings (like a catnip toy or a self activitated toy), or you could chat with her and put her a video with birds to occupy her or giver her a little food puzzle or you could try to put some grains at the window to attract birds. And you can mix them up!! But don't worry you are doing great
    Kefa purraised this.

  3. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

    Feb 20, 2011
    Not so much needy as doing what she knows works, pawing at you. Cats have amazing memories when it comes to routines and if they do something that brings a favorable results they will continue to do it. You have to be very very careful that you aren’t establishing routines that she likes but you don’t or can’t live with. No need to be late to work or have to work around a pleading cat. Just start ignoring her in the morning while you are in the bathroom , or if that doesn’t stop her, shut her out of the bathroom until you are finished. She isn’t going to be happy about it but she will adjust. And when you are done, instead of playing with her toss a few toys in her direction that she can play with by herself.

    When you are cooking, you also need to ignore her and if she gets too persistent, pick her up, no talking to her and set her in a different room and go back to what you were doing. She will catch on if you are consistent.
    PushPurrCatPaws and Kefa purraised this.

  4. Marleycat

    Marleycat TCS Member Young Cat

    Dec 6, 2017
    You can get battery operated toys that shut off after 30 mins. I got one from Walmart. Acts like a mouse running around under a canvasy material. My kitten played with it for a good hour when I first got it. WOuld be good to get to keep the kitty busy while you get ready :)
    Kefa and susanm9006 purraised this.

  5. RbirdJuju

    RbirdJuju TCS Member Kitten

    Dec 9, 2017
    I have to agree with giving kitty something to keep her busy. With my JUJU when I got him as a kitten I became the Alfa (mom) so he was coming to me for grooming and comfort. As he got older my other cat became the Alfa, so he didn’t need my attention as much. Then Meeko had to be put down and Juju began his neediness all over. I read up I became the Alfa again and his routine was disrupted and a new routine had to be astablished. So your kitty sees you as the morning Alfa because your up first and what ever you do with that become the routine. So you have to create the morning routine if what your kitty does is disrupting. They are like children you are their comfort and love source. They are instinctive and routine oriented. They quickly learn what gets your attention. So if the behavior that gets your attention is not good then don’t react to it. Like children they will even act out badly if it gets your attention. Cats don’t know it is bad just that it works. Like knocking stuff off my dresser top will get me out of bed if kissing me didn’t work. Haha
    Kefa purraised this.

  6. Kefa

    Kefa TCS Member Adult Cat

    Dec 4, 2017
    All good ideas. Also she might be going into her first heat. After you get her spayed you might notice her being calmer.

  7. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 1, 2017
    If you have any desire for a second cat, another kitten would likely help. At that age, they are very likely to get along and be buds, but there are still issues, such as then running around making a rukkus at 3am. So it is a solution that is only a good idea if you would like a second cat.
    pippapurring purraised this.

  8. blob99

    blob99 TCS Member Young Cat

    Nov 3, 2017
    Sounds like normal kitten behavior to me! They are really very social and have tons of energy--both will go down as she's older.

    In addition to the other suggestions, which are all great, you might want to look into cat puzzles or other toys that challenge her mentally. Often hyper animals need mental stimuli more than physical ones. Puzzles can keep her entertained for a long time and are engaging even though they're solo activities. And they often tired out cats more than running and jumping
    PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  9. Elfilou

    Elfilou TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Dec 14, 2015
    I agree that a puzzle toy or a feeder ball could solve your problem! :) And a second cat also would. With the feeder ball/puzzle toy you'd just give her breakfast in that as you get ready. Maybe play with her for a short 10 minutes before you feed.

  10. blob99

    blob99 TCS Member Young Cat

    Nov 3, 2017
    Feeder balls are great.

    And if she's more toy motivated than food motivated, something like this is another good option:

    SmartCat Peek-a-Prize Toy Box

  11. pippapurring

    pippapurring TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jan 12, 2015
    You've gotten a ton of good advice about managing the behavior already but I just wanted to mention that this is very likely temporary behavior. Every single cat I've had regardless of breed or sex has completely lost their minds between 6-10 months old. They're in the adolescent stage and have so much energy they don't know what to do with it. The majority of this type of behavior fades away as they transition to adulthood. I really doubt you'll be in the same situation in 6 months from now :)
    susanm9006, PushPurrCatPaws and Kefa purraised this.

  12. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015

    I was just going to say something like that. :)

    Also, we might think that kittens have just one "box to tick" on their Daily To Do List of:
    1. Playtime - one half hour or one hour.

    But I've found that, especially in their first few years, their To Do List has multiple Playtimes throughout the day. Morning time is the most fun, too.

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