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Unread 11-09-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Wink New Kitten Is Really Clingy!

Hi guys and gals! This is my first post here (:

I've had cats and kittens all my life (that would be about 19 years worth of meows!) and have taken in many strays and injured cats as well as had pedigrees. However, this is my first time owning a very young adopted stray kitten in an apartment, all by myself.

I'm a student so I have to go away during the day and leave at random times of the night for school and other things that college students do... But my 7 week old kitten is SO clingy! Even when I am at home, at least 7 hours a day, she insists on being with me and not only that, ON me! I have to do a lot of work on the computer and she walks all over me and my laptop. I bought her loads of toys to keep her entertained, quality interactive toys she can play alone or with me, but she wants to be sitting on me all the time.

I hope I don't sound heartless, because I really do love cats and ALL other animals. I have turned my little two-bedroom apartment into an animal sanctuary for my 3 mice and one female sugar glider. However I need to know, will she become more independent over time? I would really appreciate a chilled-out cat, because one stray my family took in before remained annoyingly clingy throughout her life. She was adorable and I loved her lots, but she needed me so much because the other cats made her feel bad (they were mom's evil trio of proud pedigrees that despised other animals, including myself! One of them would even chase me around the house!) and when I moved out, she ran away ):

Anyway, the bottom line is how on earth do I encourage independent behavior before this gets out of hand? I know from experience that strays are more affectionate and I would REALLY love it if my kitten stops tripping me, jumping on me and sitting on me while I work. I play with her at least one hour a day and watch TV with her and even take naps with her!


Edit (after reading comments on similar questions): OH, and seriously, PLEASE, don't say stuff like "You're lucky to have such an affectionate cat" or "You don't care for her, give her to someone who does" because that is NOT what I'm looking for. Those who give me answers like that obviously don't know what it's like-- I may be young but I've had an entire lifetime's worth of cat experience, so please don't treat me like I don't know anything.

Last edited by McAwesome; 11-09-2009 at 11:52 PM.
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Unread 11-10-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Hello!
It could be something that she'll grow out of. She is still very young & may see you as her 'mother'. You could try giving her a nice snuggly box or bed with a heat pad or a hot water bottle in it, she may be snuggling up to you for warmth.
You may have to be 'harsh' with her and shut her out of the room if you have to study. Not easy, I have a clingy cat (she's 2 now) and she loves to be on my knee all the time, I feel bad if I have to move her to go to the toilet!!
Not great advice, I know but hopefully someone will be along with some better ideas!
Helen
p.s. Loved the story of one of your mom's 'proud pedigrees' chasing you around the house!!
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Unread 11-10-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Anna,

Helen is right about your kitty being very young and seeing you as her mother. Did you know that in the animal kingdom, when little tigers or lions grow up into adults, their mother will abandon them in order to force them to be fully independent. I am not saying you should give up on your cat. What you can do is spend some time giving no attention to her, but while you are doing that, provide other stimulants to keep her busy and interested.

Does your kitty get very anxious and unhappy when you are away? I have written an article on separation anxiety in cats that might give you some information on certain cat behavioral problems.

Separation Anxiety in Cats | Love Meow - for Ultimate Cat Lovers

Hope it helps.
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Unread 11-11-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice you two! Yeah, I read about very young kittens being separated from their moms too young. The foster told me that Princess is 6 weeks old, but she's actually pretty big and has a loud developed purr. Her meow is still chirpy but I have a feeling she's a bit older than that. So now I'm not really sure how old she is!

Anyway, Lovemeow I'll check out your article! I think she does get anxious, but I wouldn't know...

How do I "ignore" her if I have to get her out of the room or move her somewhere? What if she sits next to me, do I just leave her there or go somewhere else?

And Helen, weren't you successful in declingyfying (! ) your 2 year old cat or don't you mind?
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Unread 11-11-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Hi there,

first of all I have to say, that frommy point of view kitten should stay with their moms at least till the 10th week. I'm aware that a lot of people in this forums are taken cats in when they are 6-8 weeks old. My best friend did so too, but I really think that being together with their family for longer time gives them an easier start into life. They are more socialized and therefore more independent. Sure there are exeptions, but most of them are.

But in your case...it's a stray, so you can't do anything about it.
I think too, that there is a good chance that your cat will grow out of it, but that's only a "maybe".
If you want to do your cat a favor, then get her a pal to play with. Maybe one which is a little older (up to one year). In that case they will get used to each other quite quickly because they are still young and your little one has someone who can teach her all things cats need to know.
She'll love you still a lot and might also come to sit on you or your laptop from time to time, but I'm sure she'll learn much quicker to be more independent.
I'm not an expert, but that's what I've experienced very often.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McAwesome View Post

How do I "ignore" her if I have to get her out of the room or move her somewhere? What if she sits next to me, do I just leave her there or go somewhere else?

And Helen, weren't you successful in declingyfying (! ) your 2 year old cat or don't you mind?
I'm probably not the best person to advise on this as I didn't do too well with Newt!
I really don't mind, she is just such an adorable, affectionate little pudding! I do think it has a lot to do with warmth, I sometimes feel like I'm just a self heating cat bed! I have often been cruelly cast aside in favour of a sunny windowsill. That's why I suggested a heat pad or a hot water bottle in a bed or a box.
I would move her if you need peace to work. If you move somewhere else you might just reinforce her natural sense of entitlement to have first choice of seat! It might be a case of experimenting with toys to see what sort she likes the best & what keeps her occupied the longest.
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Unread 11-13-2009   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigger481971 View Post
Hi there,

first of all I have to say, that frommy point of view kitten should stay with their moms at least till the 10th week. I'm aware that a lot of people in this forums are taken cats in when they are 6-8 weeks old. My best friend did so too, but I really think that being together with their family for longer time gives them an easier start into life. They are more socialized and therefore more independent. Sure there are exeptions, but most of them are.

But in your case...it's a stray, so you can't do anything about it.
I think too, that there is a good chance that your cat will grow out of it, but that's only a "maybe".
If you want to do your cat a favor, then get her a pal to play with. Maybe one which is a little older (up to one year). In that case they will get used to each other quite quickly because they are still young and your little one has someone who can teach her all things cats need to know.
She'll love you still a lot and might also come to sit on you or your laptop from time to time, but I'm sure she'll learn much quicker to be more independent.
I'm not an expert, but that's what I've experienced very often.
Yes, this is sound advice and what I would recommend. This kitten is a tiny baby, not much past infant. She needs much care and attention. A cat young enough to play, but old enough to teach would be ideal.

Along with the second cat, get a feliway plug in
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