Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Advice re 8week old kitten not used to being handled?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Jillth666, May 3, 2011.


  1. Jillth666

    Jillth666 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello all!

    Niall and I got George last Thursday and he has come from a home with seven other cats and has not been handled much/at all, and there were only three kittens in the litter in total.

    He is eight weeks old and my two year old cat Tilly has taken to him fine. The only problem is he is scared of being handled and picked up in general. He is gradually getting used to other noises eg: washing machine, hoover, us pottering around, the tv etc. We have put a small kitten collar on him with a bell on it and that has helped boost his confidence and get used to another noise type when he is running around and playing- which he does a lot of!! :)

    We keep him in the dining room, which links onto the kitchen, so he doesn't have the run of the whole house yet. And his toys and cat bed are there which he sleeps on or he sleep on the radiator bed that Tilly does not use anymore.

    So I was wondering:

    1) Any tips/advice how to get him used to us and handling him? Or being 8 weeks old is it virtualy impossible as I read somewhere there is a cut off point at 8weeks old as to how much you can do if a kitten has not been handled?
    2) When would it be ok for him to have the whole run of the house? I am presuming when he is used to being handled just incase he gets overwhelemd by suddenly being allowed to explore?
    3) Any tips for trying to get him used to his name? We have beensaying it to him an quiet soft tones but he doesn't seems to listen- like his ears don't twitch or anything. It's difficult cos I am comparing him to when I got Tilly and she knew her name from day 3.

    It's such a shame as he is lovely I don't understand how someone who has seven cats cannot find time to bother with kittens! :(

    Sorry for the essay! And any information/advice or personal experience would be great! I will post a pic of George later when I back from work!! :D
     
  2. Emma-Jayne

    Emma-Jayne PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,306
    Likes Received:
    19
    I'm not really the best person to answer. I'm sure someone will be along who can help.

    My Moriarty is very timid but has got used to people with time and patience. So all I can say is don't give up and hopefully George will come round.

    Em x
     
  3. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    34,937
    Likes Received:
    32,004
    Sit in a room with him and read aloud, ignoring your kitten. Do it several times a day if you can. That way he will get used to the sound of your voice and gradually come to you. When he comes to you don't instantly go to pick him up let him come on his own terms, offer him your hand to sniff or let him climb on you if he wants and just give him a gentle stroke, talking quietly to him all the time. I am sure he will get used to you soon enough.
    I think if he has been largely ignored it may take a while for him to get used to human interaction :(
    As to not responding to his name yet, does he react to other soft noise? You might need to try saying it a little louder for him to start with at least.
     
  4. Gratch

    Gratch PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    42
    I had the same isssue with Gratch when I got her at 8 weeks old. She only got handled by the adults to be put in the litter tray and the kids didn't go near her because she was 'the one they didn't like' and bit one of their friends. She was very squirmy but I got through to her by keeping her by my side and stroking her and forcing her to settle and picking her up quickly, giving her a kiss and putting her back down again. She wasn't held long enough to get distressed, she was getting affection, getting put back to a comfortable level and learning that nothing bad was going to happen when she was lifted from the ground. She quickly started presenting herself for kissies and let me hold her like a baby.
     
  5. missye87

    missye87 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,599
    Likes Received:
    33
    Sounds like a sensible approach, I vote for that :)
     
  6. Kitty_pig

    Kitty_pig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    Messages:
    3,289
    Likes Received:
    66
    Probably the same as what Gratch has said, I would handle for small periods of time but often. Hopefully it will help kitty get used to things but it may take time and a lot of patience xxx
     
  7. CandyApocalypse

    CandyApocalypse PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    3
    I agree with the lovely people above. The key to getting a cat to come to you often seems to be ignoring it. :D Just sit in a room with George, so he can smell you and get used to your voice etc.

    At the moment, the home is still new to him, and he's getting used to that, as well as being handled, so it's a lot for him to deal with at once. Just let him keep smelling you, and gradually increase the handling. As Gratch said, just lift for an occasional kiss, or gentle cuddle and then put back down, if he mews at all, put him straight down. That way, not only will he associate being picked up and handled with lovely things, he will also know that if he tells you he is unhappy, you listen to him. If you let him come on his terms, he will relax a lot more I'm sure.

    Some cats will never like being picked up, but will still be just as loving, and given time, I'm sure George will adapt. Do let us know how he comes along though :)
     
  8. Jillth666

    Jillth666 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone so much for your advice, I really appreciate it! Little update so far- George comes up to me on the sofa when I am there working on my laptop or studying and doesn't mind me reaching out to stroke him slowly. He is still a bit wary when we are walking around but guess it is just a case of building his confidence up etc.

    Thanks again for the advice and I will update again! :D
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice