Not sure if he’s the right fit :(

caitlinparigen

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My sister-in-law’s cat had 6 kittens on March 1st and I decided the day they were born that I would take one. I have a cat already, she’s about two and a half and an absolute angel. She’s literally my pride and joy. She’s sweet, loving, vocal, and very calm. She actually chose me, and I’ve been in love since. There are no words that can describe my love for her.
However when she adopted me, she was a pregnant stray. The vet urged a spay abort because she was very young so I obliged. She lost her 5 babies and was devastated and ever since responded to kitten meows on TV or in videos even for years to follow. It always broke my heart.
So the day these kittens were born, I said, this is perfect! So of course, I asked moments after their birth if I could have one and they agreed! I knew I wanted a boy, so at 13 weeks old (last Sunday) I took my new baby home. I wanted the all black male, and he was very sweet when I held him and he seemed very mellow. He fell asleep in my arms for an hour as I chatted with my brother and sister-in-law and I took him home.
It was chaos from the moment he entered my apartment. Resident cat was not happy, she was hissing and lashing her tail. I live in a studio apartment so I had set up my bathroom to be a little room for the kitten while they got used to each other’s scent. He has everything he needs at all times. He was scared so after calming him down I went ahead and put him in bed, and I was up ALL night because he was crying. I responded a few times and each time he would cry louder. I was so overwhelmed I was in tears because I didn’t realize exactly what I had done. I knew the first night would be rough but this poor baby was wailing out for his family.
I stayed up ALL night with him. I got 45 minutes of sleep.
The next day he was running around my apartment crying, getting into every crevice he could find, being a psycho, and became trapped inside my couch. I almost had to cut the couch open to get him and I thought he would die because there’s a pull out bed in my couch and lots of hardware. I have really bad anxiety so I had a panic attack and put him in his little room while I cried for two hours and questioned what I had done. Every time I let him out he would find a new place to explore and I would get terrified. He’s so small and it worries me that he could hurt himself!! He cried almost all night again, I managed to get 5 hours of sleep. I had been playing with him almost nonstop this day until the incident.
Over the next few days I decide to try to play with him more which somehow led him to think he could bite me and scratch me whenever he wants to. It hurts! He still does it now and I don’t know how to get him to stop. My arms and legs are shredded. He even cut my favorite tattoo.
We did bond more but nothing has helped with the craziness. He runs around all day long and goes between getting into EVERYTHING, knocking over everything, chewing on me, scratching me and taunting my resident cat. Their relationship had seemed to improve slightly but she still hisses at him when she’s had enough and has begun hiding in the closet which she never did before. I don’t think she’s happy.
I tried a spray bottle for getting into places and it doesn’t work, I have to grab and hold him myself and he ALWAYS escapes because he will scratch and bite me. He even scratched my freaking eyelid. It hurt sooo bad. I don’t think it’s malicious I just think he’s playing a little too rough.
I try to distract him when he’s being crazy like this by playing with him which fixes the problem for maybe 15 minutes until he gets bored and becomes destructive and hyperactive again.
My resident cat is irritated, I’m irritated, he was so sweet when I met him. I really do want to keep him because he is a beautiful black smoke tabby and he CAN be sweet but those moments are few and far between. He’s really just too high energy, and absolutely freaking insane. It’s thrown of the entire dynamic of not just my home but my life. The scratches are getting so bad I’m afraid people at work will believe it’s something worse than cat scratches!
Please tell me he will calm down. As of right now I would like to wait until next Sunday to decide how I feel but it’s hard when he stresses me out so much everyday. He’s literally going to give me grey hairs and I’m 23. I just didn’t realize what I was getting myself into, especially with our initial interaction going so well.
I didn’t sleep much last night either, he still meows a lot when he’s in the bathroom but I can’t let him be free at all times for his safety. I’m feeding him plenty and I really am trying to play with him! I feel uncomfortable leaving him here when I go to work because he already ripped up part of my shower curtain.
I’m just not sure this kitten is really the best fit after all. I think he would be happier in a family that can handle his high energy levels. My home has always been very mellow hence why resident cat and I have always had such a good relationship and why this new kitten has made a major disturbance. It also was taking a toll on my mental health as I’ve had some really bad panic attacks over him. My whole family would be disappointed if I returned him but my sister-in-law assured me I could if it didn’t work out even before I took him home.
I just expected it to be different. I do love him. I just don’t know if I can handle him
 

ArtNJ

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Kittens and cat to kitten introductions are always tougher in a studio. I had two kittens in a studio many years ago and I'd sure never do it again. And it is a fact that if kittens range from 7-10 on the activity scale, it often feels like you are the one with an 11.

As far as the cat-kitten relationship, one never knows, a week is not long at all. They could be friends in a few days. But it could also be gradual improvement towards toleration over months. We can't know right now. You can train the kitten not to bite. As far as being crazy active though, unfortunately many kittens stay extremely active for a long time. Typically, its a gradual decrease from maybe 6 months to 2 years of age. However, there are certainly people with one year old cats having terrible trouble due to the *extremely* high activity level -- sometimes the drop off in activity level, or most of it, seems to come later than that.

I'm of two minds here. On the one hand, a week is just not very long. They could end up friends in a few days. However, the cat-kitten issue isn't the only issue here, and the activity level is not likely to fade. Based on what I'm hearing, I think it is likely it will remain very difficult and challenging for you for quite a while. With the stress and anxiety you are feeling, and the fact that it is currently very easy to rehome kittens due to Covid-19 increasing the demand, I don't think it would be insane to give the kitten up. You might be better off waiting until you have a home -- it is so much easier when you and your older cat have a little room to breathe.

I would not surrender the kitten thinking you will get another. Yes, he may be at the high end of the kitten activity scale, but he is not abnormal. Kittens in studios are just very challenging. If you surrender the kitten, do so understanding that now is not the right time of life for you to pull the trigger, and you'll have to wait until you move somewhere bigger.
 
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