Not sure if i'm cut out to be a cat owner

mxphs

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Hi everyone

I joined today to seek advice from what seems to be a massive amount of experienced cat owners here.

I've had my male kitten (5 and a half months old now), neutered, all shots up to date as well for about 3 and a bit months and I'm questioning if I'v emade the right decision. When things are good, it's great. But then there are times when he really tests me and I start to go into panic mode.

Things that really concern me is that he's very vocal. He always wants to eat and he seems to always need to be stimulated. I live in a one bedroom apartment with a big window and a big cat tower, lots of toys and plenty of places he can perch and rest, but it doesn't seem enough sometimes. Sometimes he just sits there and stares at me and then meows. He seems to want me to go into the kitchen all the time. He's very affectionate there (wants food most likely)

He uses his litterbox OK, but has recently started to only cover his pee and no longer his poop. Behaviorally, he's very loving, friendly and engaged with play. He would play all day if he could. He always seems to want to eat. I've seen the vet twice for a check up and they both had nothing special to say about his health, just that he was normal and to keep looking after him.

I wish i could give him everything - a catio, more cat friends but it's not feasible for me. It's so hard because you don't really know until you've actually GOT the cat and now i'm just wondering, am i really cut out for this? He's my first ever cat too. Anyone whos been in a similar position, how did you make it through? What helped?
 
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mxphs

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I'll also had that he's from a breeder and not from a shelter, so the only experience he's had in the past are his littermates and the breeder herself
 

Margot Lane

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Talk back! Get to know him! Cats like conversation. Sounds like very early days yet & you’re both sussing each other out. Sounds like he has lots of great gifts but I think it’s really you getting to know one another, and that just takes time.
 

Mamanyt1953

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You are still very new to each other. This takes time. Also...kitten. That means he is either operating at warp speed, or knocked out and unmoving at all. There is very little in-between at that age. SO...gird up your loins, breathe deeply, and settle in. He's going to outgrow most of this, or it will reduce drastically in intensity, within a few months. A lot of it will be gone by his first birthday, although he will continue to settle and mature until he's around two years old. Also, how often are you feeding him? At his age, it should still be three times a day. That might account for some of the vocalizations. It is almost impossible to overfeed a kitten until they are about nine months old or so, and no longer perpetual motion machines.
 
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mxphs

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Hey eveyrone, thanks for all your advice and responses, it's really nice to have people to talk to about this

A lot of it will be gone by his first birthday, although he will continue to settle and mature until he's around two years old. Also, how often are you feeding him? At his age, it should still be three times a day. That might account for some of the vocalizations. It is almost impossible to overfeed a kitten until they are about nine months old or so, and no longer perpetual motion machines.
Yep, i feed him 3 times a day, its a mix of dry food and wet food. He's just so obsessed with eating though. I really hope he outgrows this as it's basically the ONLY thing i can't take. I can literally do everything besides the meowing it really sends my stress levels up
 

Neko-chan's mama

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When Neko-chan was a kitten, I gave her 2 wet meals a day and left kibble out around the clock for grazing. Kittens are cute, but hard work! And some cats are just more vocal than others. Neko-chan sometimes follows me around squeaking at me. My previous cat only really purred. My saving grace for the playfulness was a sturdy kicker. I would toss it and watch her race after it, grab it and spend a couple of minutes biting, licking, and wrestling with it. Then she'd wash her face and take a nap. That way I didn't always have to take out the interactive toys.
 

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Cats settle down when their stomachs are full. A kitten, up until a year old, cannot be fed too much. Feed wet three times a day and leave kibble down in between. As much as he will eat. Cats usually do not get heavy until they get older. Then get good quality weight reduction dry. right now he is a kitten, ALWAYS getting into stuff and always on the go. that will change. You are going through new 'parenthood' right now, and it is normal to doubt yourself. Cats usually 'talk' a lot when they have some kind of Oriental background. Ferals are almost silent. If you just fed him and he still meows for food, ignore him, try to distract him. Giving in will just make it worse. Make sure he had as much as he wanted though, kittens use a TREMENDOUS amount of food to produce all that energy. Physical punishment does not work with cats, remember that. They are not 'pack' driven like dogs and give in to an alpha. Say NO firmly and use a lot of distraction. i got a couple of kickeroos on Amazon, a long catnip-filled cat toy, and threw it towards them when they were into something they shouldn't be or were getting annoying. They work great. Place some toys in a bag filled with catnip and leave them for a day to refresh them. Your little one is lonely and will take as much stimulation as you will do right now. YOU have to set the limits, this stage won't last forever. Cats are the ultimate house pet, they are independent, unlike dogs that need a lot more care, (walking, grooming, bathed, etc.) and as he gets older more likely more lap friendly. He doesn't cover his poop now because confident, secure cats don't. You are doing fine, just try to relacx and enjoy his anctics, one of this worlds greatest traesuers is receiving a cat's love, it is well worth all the trouble of kittenhood!
 

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di and bob di and bob got here before me. Yes, three wet meals, and dry down to graze on. You really cannot overfeed them! Let's see if that helps. Then again, he's kinda at that stage where, if human, he'd be tugging on your sleeve, saying, "Mama, why?" every 15 seconds. That, he will probably outgrow in the next few months. I highly recommend Mack's pillow soft ear plugs for temporary relief.
 
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mxphs

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YOU have to set the limits, this stage won't last forever. Cats are the ultimate house pet, they are independent, unlike dogs that need a lot more care, (walking, grooming, bathed, etc.) and as he gets older more likely more lap friendly. He doesn't cover his poop now because confident, secure cats don't. You are doing fine, just try to relacx and enjoy his anctics, one of this worlds greatest traesuers is receiving a cat's love, it is well worth all the trouble of kittenhood!
Thanks for the reassurance, it feels good to hear this as he really is such a great cat.I can sense that he's going to be the perfect cat for me once his kitten energy subsides a bit. He's already so loving, affectionate and gentle.
 
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mxphs

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I agree with all the above. He's just a kitten, and one day you will be wondering where your rambunctious kitty went. Hang in there for the long haul.
Feels good to hear this. I just wanted a chubby boy who i could hold and kiss and who would keep me company when im watching tv, he does this too but it'll be good when he calms down more as he gets older.
 

di and bob

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Yes, they get much more lovey as they get older. Just keep things consistent. Cats HATE change in routine. In anything really. He will worm his way into your heart. Right now he is a teenager that needs guidance. You both will learn together. It WILL happen!
 

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Yes definitely has to do with how young he is. Take a look at a cat body index chart and start cutting back on food when he begins getting out of the optimal area (slight cut). He's growing still and very busy so it's likely that he is actually hungry.

My cats like music, both of the cat calming variety and regular music. You can also try one of those heartbeat friends if you can.

You can put his dry food out in ways he will eat slower. There's lots of DIY food puzzles and and such you can make just with stuff you have at home! That will bring him some calmer enrichment and slow his eating down so that he has things to do that aren't you focused.

A bird feeder on the window can be your best friend. Even for people who can't have a Catio and the like. (Or haven't gotten around to making one, like us 😅)
 

game misconduct

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i think you need to stop over thinking things and second guessing yourself its easy to sense in your post that you care and want to be the best cat parent you can be.just allow those feelings to guide you within reason. so you dont fill your apartment with cat junk like i did. :biggrin:just talk back to him when he meows at you at 5 months he is still growing so he will eat lots still he needs those calories to pack on size good luck
 

Furballsmom

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Hi
Just to weigh in and reinforce the fact that kittens need a lot of food. One way I look at it is that there should be a little bit left on the wet food plate each time.

Try and ensure that he's truly satiated, so that he hopefully stops meowing at you and asking you to go to the kitchen.

See if a heartbeat toy or purr toy helps his feeling of contentment.

There might be something here as well :)
First-time Cat Owner’s Guide – TheCatSite Articles
 
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mxphs

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Hey everyone, thanks for all your suggestions. I've started to up the amount that I give. Yesterday when i came back from work, he only did his weird meowing two times and then got over it. We had a solid play session and it was such a cute evening, looking forward to seeig him grow up and learning more from all of you!
 
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