Russian Blue kitten is a maniac

KitKatLondon

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Hi there! Any insight or advice welcome. I am struggling living with a 4 month old RB. I’ve had her 1 month. Her name is Millie.

I have a 6yr old adult Persian (jasper). Very chilled. He has accepted her, but she totally terrorises him every day. She chaces him. Just playing, but each week is more aggressive with it. She jumps on him and wants to play fight, hits out at him. He spends most of his time outside to escape. She eats his food as he is eating. I pull her away but she never learns.

she is curious and getting into trouble often, typical kitten. I can’t leave her outside my bedroom of a night otherwise it’s constant crashing noises. This morning she jumped into the toilet and ran wet all over the house. She leaps up at me often - it’s terrifying!! And her claws hurt as she lands. Feeding her is scary as she goes crazy physical leaping everywhere.

as the weeks go on, it’s getting harder. She’s getting more confident and aggressive play and curiosity. At other times she can be incredibly affectionate. Almost too much!! Clingy. She sleeps on my head. Unfortunately I break out in hives from the smallest lick or wet nose on my skin. I wake up with a neck and face of hives most days.

I’m not sure I can cope with her! I know kittens can be a hand full and she will calm down when older, but I’m worried some of these attributes are just her personality. I’ve read she will calm down at 10-12 months (so long away!). She’s just leaped on Jasper now. She won’t stop hunting him.

how to cope!?Are RB kittens usually hyper? Will she calm down?

thanks!
 

vince

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Can't say as to whether it's specific to a Russian Blue, but the behavior seems typical for a kitten. Poor Jasper's doing the best he can, given his Persian laid-back personality.

At four months, Millie probably should be free-fed, as kittens are little eating machines. That might help the food stealing.

You're going to need to give vigorous play sessions to Millie to tucker her out. Wand toys and possibly a laser pointer will run off some of that kitten energy. Some kind of kicker toy or other stuffed toy will help her entertain herself. A ping pong ball in a shower or bathtub is a good active toy for cats. They are strongly attracted to the sound. Get lots of balls, as they get lost (they're cheap, however). A piece of paper, tied to a string and tied to the doorknob is good. Crinkly balls cost only a dollar apiece and have an attractive sound as well.
 

ArtNJ

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The kitten phase is uniquely challenging, but many cats stay hyperactive and overly playful to some degree until some point approaching two. And some...well, we won't go there, but suffice to say that it should get better over time, perhaps dramatically, but the amount and schedule is uncertain.

There are things you can do. If you get pounced, a loud "no!" or clapping/stopping is useful training. If that doesn't work, you can hold the kitten down by the scruff (with one hand lower as well) to make it not fun. (Firm but careful not to hurt the kitten).

Toilet seats...well most experienced cat owners tend to have them down, even if its really only necessary for young cats. Thats one of those things you learn, like to be very very cautious about leaving plastic (and sometimes other kinds of) bags around. (Because the cat will get it stuck in them, and flee in absolute terror, draggin it around like an attached parachute, knocking who knows what over.)
 
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KitKatLondon

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Thank you for the tips!! There’s more I can try here.
Jasper has 3 personal space areas where he can find quiet. I do miss jasper - he’s not in my space anymore because she has taken over. He’s quite an introvert anyhow.

Really hope milly calms down and RBs are not crazy. I nearly got a BSH and wonder if I made the choice.
 

Maurey

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To be honest, I’d suggest seriously considering returning the kitten to the breeder, as it’s likely to be the best outcome for the cats involved. Millie sounds like she’s being understimulated and possibly underfed. An RB and a Perian are a really bad match-up in terms of energy, even as adults. You sound like you’re overwhelmed, and not all her energy or people orientation are going to go away with age. You need to come to a decision, and soon. The older she gets, the harder rehoming will be on her.

The fact she was separated from mum too early, and likely undersocialised because of it, is likely complicating the play aggression and increasing her clinginess. She’d benefit from more time with cats her age that are capable of keeping up with her energy levels.
 
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KitKatLondon

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Thanks for your feedback Maurey. Millie is not underfed, I’m feeding her all the time and she has constant food available. Not sure why you are accusing me of under feeding her. I would never do that. She came to me at just under 14 weeks old - so I don’t know why you are telling me she left her mum too early. And unsocialised - She’s very affectionate and great with people. Just high energy and jumping on jasper to play.

I do appreciate your input but please be careful of making assumptions and giving out false accusations. It’s not a comfortable read. I care deeply about cats and would never underfeed them or take them from their mum too early. I would understand you asking what age she left her mum, enquiring if it was too early, but not just stating it as fact.

jasper and I are overwhelmed with her energy, yes. I clipped her nails which has helped in coping with her jumping. It’s improving at feeding times (I feed wet food twice a day, dry food is always available), probably because I’m working out to deliver it better to reduce chaos. For some reason she gets interested in jaspers food despite having her own and I have to monitor and redirect her. But this is getting better. She likes her food but gets distracted by jasper and his food.

Yes they do have different energy levels. So I wonder does this mean they should not live in the same home? Jasper is a gentle introvert. I had another cat Charlie who was a people pleaser social extrovert - they lived together 6 years. Not close but could live together fine. Jasper as a kitten would hassle Charlie and she hated it. She would push back and have none of it. Jasper is not like that, he’s not good at setting boundaries or pushing back. Time will tell if she will ease off or not. It’s up and down.

as I’ve not had an RB before I can’t unpick what is normal kitten chaos and what is RB traits. I read that RBS are calm as adults.

The last time I had a kitten I also had an adult cat for them to adapt too. I had a flat mate too and we found the cats naturally bonded to one of us each so it worked out quite easy to manage them. Now I’m on my own.
 

Maurey

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Cats with significantly different energy levels are generally not compatible, as they’re more likely to get into squabbles. Your Persian is less likely to be able/willing to set boundaries with the kitten when she bugs him, because he’s both much lower energy than her, and cats are matriarchal, meaning she’s pretty much in charge, by default.

I’d really love a Bengal or Ocicat one day, but not while I own Maine Coons — the energy of a kitten or even adult of either breed would be really unfair on my cats, and they’re a moderately active breed. It can of course be mediated with a lot of play with the most active cat, but it’s not always doable.

I didn’t intend to imply you were under feeding her on purpose, just that she likely needs more at meal times (as well as more play to tire her out before meals) if she’s always acting crazy around food, which was my impression from your post.

You mentioned on another forum that you need to have her stay with a neighbour while you’re at work — that’s just going to be more stress for Jasper, as she’ll always come home smelling weird to him.
 
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KitKatLondon

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She has access to 2 bowls of dried food - 24 hrs. Mealtimes are wet food. I'm not underfeeding her.

"The fact she was separated from mum too early, and likely undersocialised because of it, is likely complicating the play aggression and increasing her clinginess."

She was not separated from mum too early. You can't state this as a 'fact' when it's a false accusation. You seem quite set on framing me as a bad cat owner.

Anything else you want to criticise about me?
 

danteshuman

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The kitten phase is uniquely challenging, but many cats stay hyperactive and overly playful to some degree until some point approaching two. And some...well, we won't go there, but suffice to say that it should get better over time, perhaps dramatically, but the amount and schedule is uncertain.

There are things you can do. If you get pounced, a loud "no!" or clapping/stopping is useful training. If that doesn't work, you can hold the kitten down by the scruff (with one hand lower as well) to make it not fun. (Firm but careful not to hurt the kitten).

Toilet seats...well most experienced cat owners tend to have them down, even if its really only necessary for young cats. Thats one of those things you learn, like to be very very cautious about leaving plastic (and sometimes other kinds of) bags around. (Because the cat will get it stuck in them, and flee in absolute terror, draggin it around like an attached parachute, knocking who knows what over.)
My idiot cat is a danger with all string. Make sure you are supervising all string toys!
 

danteshuman

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This sounds very kitten behaviorist. My advice? Spread the food, litter, bed, toys all around every where so the kitten can not guard anything. Lock the kitten in a kitten safe room with food, litter, water, toys & a bed for up to 12 hours a day (I would do 6.) That way Jasper gets a break and hopefully an hour or two of your time without the kitten every day. Play with Jasper to help him destress every day (1 on 1, no kitten!) I heard play referred to as therapy for cats once and it seems apt. Milly is a kittens dog at her hyper-est point in her life. You just need to get her to 6 or so months and she will be less annoying. By 2-3 years she should be calming down. Most cats start calming down around a year.

if they were my cats I would give them both a quick cuddle, play with using a wandtoy, feed them then entertain her with some hexabugs why I cuddled the older cat. The kitten would be in the kitten room while I was at work so my adult cat would not feel the need to be in the backyard to escape.
 

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Norachan

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she is curious and getting into trouble often, typical kitten. I can’t leave her outside my bedroom of a night otherwise it’s constant crashing noises. This morning she jumped into the toilet and ran wet all over the house. She leaps up at me often - it’s terrifying!! And her claws hurt as she lands. Feeding her is scary as she goes crazy physical leaping everywhere.
She sounds exactly like my four month old kitten! Don't worry, it's very typical kitten behaviour and she will calm down as she matures. Russian Blues aren't particularly high energy cats, so you don't have anything to worry about.

Does Jasper like to play with her at all or does he just avoid her? Forest Cat, in my banner below, is a very laid back old guy and my kitten does seem a bit too much for him at times. Other days he's actually the one chasing and tagging her. Kittens learn how to interact with other cats through play. Does Jasper growl or hiss when she is annoying him? It can take a while, but kittens soon learn that this means "Stop". She's just testing his boundaries, the way toddlers do with adults.

One thing that helped my other cats accept the new kitten was playing with a few of them in a group. I got a wand toy and allowed them all to have a chance to chance and catch it.

It took a while and I was dealing with a lot of inappropriate spraying for the first couple of weeks, but they're all friends now.

Sounds like you're doing a great job! Just enjoy the kitten time and take plenty of photos of her now, they grow so quickly and you don't want to miss any of her cute kitten period.

:heartshape:
 

mani

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Yes, I agree with Norachan Norachan and others who say that this is kitten behaviour. I have two Russians and their kitten energy levels were not up there with moggies and some other breeds.. they're quite laid back. Also 12 weeks is not considered too early for leaving a mother.. it's the earliest, but not unacceptable.
 
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KitKatLondon

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Hi all, thanks for your responses! Just wanted to give an update...

Things are improving! Kitten jumps on me and Jasper a lot less (as if understands it's not liked). Jasper can find his own space for peace. There are still moments of kitten irritating jasper, lunging into unwanted chasing and clumsy play with flinging arms, but it happens less and Jasper is handling it better. In fact, past 2 nights they both slept on my bed! One of which they were curled up right next to each other. Sometimes kitten wants to snuggle up to Jasper. Jasper is not sure - suspicious and cautious. They have only been together about 6 weeks. So early days, but really progressing.

I've just had covid the past 3 weeks. This happened only 3 weeks after adopting kitten. 2 weeks I was very sick and I couldn't cope with kitten at all. Or Jasper stressing out. It was hell. I could barely look after myself (I live solo). Also, on sunny days my flat (lots of glass) bakes boiling hot and I can't open my terrace door or windows for cool air (so as to keep kitten safe). I live on top floor of a block of flats, with a large private roof space that covers the whole building (see pic attached). We had 3 hot days recently - it was uncomfortable. I've yet to pull out and set up my noisy portable air conditioner (I was too sick). I was miserable, and this perrfect-bad-storm led me to rehome kitten. I have found someone suitable who can collect her next week.

But now I'm having second thoughts. Kitten behaviour is improving, jasper is improving, and I can cope now I'm not sick. I've been training kitten on the leash outside, it's going well. Now, my main problem is the flat heating up when closed windows and terrace door. I use internal block-out blinds, but it can still get too hot inside. I'm looking into external window blinds to reduce the sun hitting the glass. I have a portable air conditioner. Pain in the ass to use. I can use it when I'm home, but not when out / at work.

From next week I have to go into office 2 days a week. I will be away for 11 hours a time. A neighbour friend has offered to work in my flat on those days. Even if just a few hours, to make sure kitten is not alone longer than 4 hours. I need this arrangement until she is 6 months old. Kitten is currently 4.6 months old. Then I will leave her (and Jasper) alone for 11 hours - twice a week. Indoors. Sometimes a hot flat. Does this sound reasonable?

If the above can work, then I can keep her. Kitten is gorgeous, so affectionate, I love her more now things have improved and I'm not sick.

But there is 1 more complication... I need kitten to be an indoor AND outdoor cat eventually, so my flat can get aired and cooled. I would like this in 1 year's time, so kitten will be 1.5 yrs old adult. I've owned 3 other cats here that accessed the roof with no problems. I know Russian Blues are calm, but I wonder how she will take to the roof space. It's rather big, covers the whole building. Hense, I'm taking her out on a leash to get familiar. On one side of the building (opposite end of my flat) she could walk onto the neighbouring building. I used to have a neighbour who had 2 cats who also used this space with no problems. They have moved out now. It's a private space. No other people or animals have access. It's like a small field on top of the building.

I don't think I can live here with a 100% forever indoor cat because there are days my flat is too hot and I need to open the door and windows. Unless I shut her in a room when I have them open!? Not sure kitten or I will like this. If I can get to a life where kitten grows up and can use this space independently, then this is how I've lived here the past 12 years with 3 other cats - and it worked. If not, as there's more risk with a Russian Blue (I don't know if there is or not?) - then I should rehome her now rather than later.

Just to add - she has a good life here. I'm a real homebody, home all the time and love my cats. They get lots of attention and all that they need and quality food. I want kitten to be happy and safe. I worry about the stress of rehoming. But I really need to figure out if I can keep her, or if I'm overthinking all of this and worrying too much - as I have had 3 other cats here and didn't go through this worry, they were indoor and outdoor.

Not sure what to do. Thanks if you read this far!
 

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meowpassion

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Can you find more info from the breeder about her socializing period? I do not know much about RB but would read more about their personality.
 

cataholic07

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Indoor only is safer for her unless she can't leave the home via cat fencing. Can you not just get fans and have secured window screens?
 
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