New kitten sisters and my girlfriend and I

Evisceratedinfiction

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Hi, we are both looking for some advice on our two new kittens. They are sisters, from a litter of two, so they are very well bonded. They are 5-6 months old. We picked them up from a woman who works with stray cats, and getting them adopted. The woman had pictures of her and the cats bonding, and them being very social and loving.
However, since getting them it has been a nightmare. When we received them, they were sick with a cold and one has an eye infection. So we have been grabbing them with towels and administering the pills and eye drops. When we put the medicine in their food, they won't eat it and eat around it. So it's the only way to give it to them. And they are traumatized because of it. We have a bachelor style large apartment so they can't be in a separate room, but we made a little fort for them where they have been staying it for the time being.
However, they barely come out. They won't show us any affection. And we get into big fights with them every day because we have to grab them to give them their medicine.
We've never been cat owners before so any advice would be appreciated. Is there a special way we should be handling this situation? What if we finish the medicine and eye drops and they just never want to let us touch them? We really need some help and the vets in our area just keep telling us to give them the medicine and to be patient. Just looking for similar experience that anyone might have. Thank you.
 

rubysmama

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Hello and welcome to TCS. Glad you've found us. Hopefully we can offer support, and maybe advice to help with your new kittens and being new cat "parents".

Sorry that you find yourselves having to give medicine and eye drops to your new kittens. My Ruby had a "kitty cold" when I adopted her, and I had to put drops in her eyes. She didn't like it, naturally, but I don't think she held a grudge or became traumatized by it. .

Is the medicine a pill or liquid? If a pill, maybe one of these TCS articles will be helpful:

How Can I Give A Pill To My Cat – Cat Articles
Pilling Cats: Must-know Tips For Hiding Pills – Cat Articles

TCS also has some other articles that might be helpful, since you are new to cats.

First-time Cat Owner's Guide | TheCatSite
9 Tips That Will Help Your Kitten Adapt To A New Apartment | TheCatSite
Kitten Proofing Your Home: 13 Practical Tips | TheCatSite

How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding? | TheCatSite
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat | TheCatSite
16 Top Cat Experts Share Tips For Dealing With Timid Cats | TheCatSite
14 Cat Experts Reveal: How To Get A Cat To Like Me | TheCatSite
 

Norachan

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Hi E Evisceratedinfiction Welcome to TCS.

Don't worry! As someone who has rescued and re-homed a lot of feral kittens I promise you they will forgive you.

No cat likes having eye drops or medicine, but as the eye medicine makes the infection less painful almost straight away they soon learn that you are trying to help them.

Are you wrapping them in a towel burrito when you give them the drops? This will make it much easier to hold them still. It's also less scary for them if you hold them facing away from you and put the eye drops in over their head, rather than coming straight at them, face on with the dropper. They can see you coming so don't struggle to get away so much.

This video shows you how.


Once you've helped them get better you can work on becoming friends with them again. I've had whole litters of kittens that needed daily meds, but all became very sociable after they'd recovered. I know it's stressful for you both to have to deal with, but you're doing the right thing.
 

ArtNJ

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Its true; cats have short memories.

Once the medicine issue is done, be patient first, second and third. No grabbing. No "I'll put them on the lap and show them how nice it is." Just hang out quietly by them. You might be able to entice them to play with a toy. It could be that you will be able to pet them first only when sleepy.

I have more tips, we all do, but this will get you started.

P.S. You should get them spayed ASAP if they are not already. It is going to be real hard to bond when they have the cones on, so there is an advantage to getting it done when they are annoyed with you anyway. And nowadays the recommendation is to do it before 6 months anyway. You would need to check with your vet as to whether the eye infection and drops need to be completed first, but even if they do, you could schedule the procedure right after. That way, you are not interrupting your progress, because you don't yet have any. Maybe that is a bit of a depressing view, but from a pragmatic perspective, it makes a lot of sense, ya?
 
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