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

Finding a kitten.. From 5 weeks to 5 months

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Aimz&Alan, Oct 6, 2020.


  1. Aimz&Alan

    Aimz&Alan PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    15
    Hi!

    At the very end of May, we found a tiny kitten at the side of a country road. No buildings around, no other cats to be seen. After some stalking (he was very hissy and skittish) we caught him and brought him home. We weren't planning on keeping him - we have a 16 year old dog, guinea pigs and fish, so not really set up for a cat! He still had blue eyes and we think he was around 5 weeks old (weighed 611g).

    Long story short, he's still here! He's called Alan, had his kitten jabs and finally last Wednesday was chipped and snipped. We're going to let him outside tomorrow. He is desperate to get out! At times he can be incredibly affectionate. He plays well, eats and drinks well. He is a bit of a biter when he tries to wrestle your arm/hand/leg/foot, but we try to ignore and/or make a noise to disrupt him or put him off. He no longer plays with his claws out, which is good! He does chase our old dog, which we find upsetting as the dog doesn't know how to react and has always avoided cats. We are hoping being outside will curb this - what do you think?

    Also, I have read about supervised outdoor time initially. However, he is quite big, long and lean. We will not be surprised if he is straight up and over the wall - if he is (was!) feral, is this side likely to come out when he's 'free'? We can't even consider keeping him indoor only, it would be completely unfair on him. He will always have a home here, food and warmth, but I am stealing myself for the fact he just might not come back..!

    Any experience/advice?
     
    Whompingwillow and OrientalSlave like this.
  2. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Messages:
    8,103
    Likes Received:
    19,665
    Hi @Aimz&Alan

    For the biting, try a kicker toy to give him when he tries to play that way. Without littermates or a kitten friend, he is playing with you the way he would another cat.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kong-Kicke...s=Kicker+toys+cats+Kong&qid=1602004702&sr=8-1

    I haven't had an outdoor cat but from what I understand people usually wait till around one year to allow out. I would try to keep an eye on him as much as possible the first period he is outdoors.
     
    Whompingwillow and Aimz&Alan like this.
  3. Marg.

    Marg. PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    387
    Just over 2 years ago, we adopted a beautiful long furred blue kitty from the RSPCA, she was gorgeous, she was very shy & lived in the bedroom, hardly ever came down, then one warm evening she came down without us knowing & we never saw her again, we only had her 8 months, I was heart broken. Three weeks after she went we got Lola, she was only 9 weeks old, we kept her in until she was about 14 months old, then let her out but I was paranoid in case she went off but we are lucky, she loves to go out but has only been in the back garden, has never tried to go out any further than the gate, so the gist of this story is.......try to keep her in the house & garden, don't let her out to roam, it will break your heart if he disappears.
    Sorry about the long post.
     
    Aimz&Alan likes this.
  4. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    23,757
    Likes Received:
    68,917
    He really is too young to be allowed out, kittens are like kids, they don't have a lot of sense and aren't always aware of dangers and there are a lot out there, so I wouldn't let him out for a few more months yet. You could always build him a cat pen outside if he doesn't like being confined indoors, otherwise, its best to catproof your garden if you can.
     
  5. Aimz&Alan

    Aimz&Alan PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    15
    Thanks for the replies. We've read lots about kittens going out from a week post-neuter, and our neighbours 6 month old has been roaming for some weeks!

    For context, we're in a village, in a cul-de-sac and do have an enclosed garden. I only plan on letting him out before brekkie for a short while initially, to get him used to it. We have to let our dog out multiple times a day which means holding him or shutting him in the utility, so not having to worry about opening the door will be great! We've also had cards made with his photo/my number so people know who he is...
     
  6. mrs phas

    mrs phas karma is a funny old thing

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    10,230
    Why ask for advice
    and then ignore it,
    because it's not what you want to hear
    when experienced cat people ( literally hundreds of hours of experience when combined) reply
    People take time out of their, busy, lives to read your post, put their experience into words
    Only for you to say...
    "Well my neighbour......."
    How do you think that makes them feel
    Perhaps less inclined to answer you, when you have a real emergency, maybe?
    (Not that anyone here would though)
    A little less 'ump
    And
    A little more thanks for the advice
    Would go a long way

    *Steps down from soapbox
     
    SusieRainbow likes this.
  7. Arny

    Arny PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,419
    Likes Received:
    1,941
    I'd definitely wait till at least spring to let him out.
    These darker days aren't the best for his first ventures outside.
     
    Calvine, Lurcherlad and Aimz&Alan like this.
  8. Aimz&Alan

    Aimz&Alan PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    15
    @mrs phas apologies if it came across as not taking advice. Not nice for a newcomer to have a strip torn off them! I have owned cats for years and this is the first time I have ever heard of not letting them out until a year - even the vet said it was fine. And yes, I thought noting what my neighbour (an owner of several current cats of various ages) was doing was an Ok thing to do.

    No offence was meant, and if 'thanks for the replies' wasn't clear enough to those who had replied - thank you sincerely for the advice. I will take heed and he will have short, supervised outdoor time initially. He's got feral blood so if he does a runner there's not much I can do but hope he comes back. He is long and lean and ready to be outside - he does not look like a domestic kitten at all.

    Again sorry if I upset anyone for not appearing grateful enough.
     
    Calvine, Summercat and Whompingwillow like this.
  9. Whompingwillow

    Whompingwillow PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2018
    Messages:
    3,178
    Likes Received:
    14,926
    If you’re worried about him jumping over the walls can you cat proof it? Or take him out on a lead?
     
    Summercat and Aimz&Alan like this.
  10. Aimz&Alan

    Aimz&Alan PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    15
    Thanks for your advice.

    the dark days do worry me, but we’ve already had to remove the curtains he’s climbed, and we only have one back door which is constantly opening for the old dog, so it’s tricky confining him. The utility room is now his cat room; massive windows, cat boxes at every level, so he’s happy there, but equally he loves being in the living area and kitchen with us, and it feels cruel to confine him if that makes sense?

    we tried him on a harness and the devil came out as soon as a lead was attached! Fear of course but I would prefer to avoid that reaction outside. I am envious of those of you who have walkable cats!

    he loves (really loves) his food, so I’m hoping that will be enough of a draw. We have 6 to 8 foot brick walls/fences around the garden. The only weak spot is under a fence into a neighbouring garden which I’ve done my best to block, and the garage roof. The layout means part of the garden is midway up the garage wall, so that’s only a 3-4 jump. We’ve got some wire panels I could attach. Am I right in thinking a 45° angle is best to deter jumping?

    thanks!
     
    Whompingwillow likes this.
  11. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Messages:
    3,131
    Likes Received:
    5,677
    How rude!

    This OP has taken in a very young kitten, unexpectedly, and has cared for them. They come on here for advice, and your first post is this? Just because you have your opinion on it. They weren't rude to you, so why are you rude back?

    No need to apologise.

    Thank you for caring for this young kitten, especially when you have a house full! If you have an enclosed back garden where he can't escape, I think it's reasonable for supervised visits outside during the day, but obviously, I can't see your garden and cats will fit through the tiniest of holes. Ideally, he should stay in for a year, but that's not always practical, and you know your cat. Before I came to the forum, I didn't know that you shouldn't let cats out for a year, so you're not alone, but for me, it's about doing what's best and maximising safety. You're in a cul-de-sac, you have a good garden.
    We let our cat out, she loves it, I know the risks, but she prances around and lets out a lot of energy. Advice from members is one thing, rudeness from others is another thing altogether.
     
  12. Whompingwillow

    Whompingwillow PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2018
    Messages:
    3,178
    Likes Received:
    14,926
    I think so.. I have never done it myself but seen people on the forum do this! So it’s probably best someone else answers that one as I’m not too sure xx
     
    Aimz&Alan and Summercat like this.
  13. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Messages:
    8,103
    Likes Received:
    19,665
    To be fair, asking for advice & opinions does not mean one has to take the advice or agree with the opinion. I found nothing rude about what @Aimz&Alan said.

    I have never cat proofed a garden but other members have. I will find the cat safe garden link & post it.
    Many ways to go about it, either as a do it yourself or hiring a company.

    From reading other threads here since I have been a member, it is sometimes the low traffic areas, that can be more a danger, as the cats let their guard down and the occasional speeding car or other careless driver leads to heartbreak.
    Not all neighbors are keen on cats either. For safety with a bit of freedom, I would would go with a catio or cat proofing a garden.

    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/cat-runs-cat-proofed-gardens.211361/
     
  14. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Messages:
    10,879
    Likes Received:
    13,061
    What you plan and what Alan has in mind may not be the same thing!! If you have an enclosed back garden, maybe see if you can rig up some way of containing him at the start. And yes, before breakfast so he has an incentive to hang around home for the next meal. Me too, I never had one that would take to a harness; they tend to throw themselves dramatically onto their backs and use it as a Kickeroo while you use them to polish the floor.:Cat
     
    Psygon and Aimz&Alan like this.
  15. Aimz&Alan

    Aimz&Alan PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    15
    Thank you all for your replies - very appreciated! We had no intentions of getting a cat, certainly not a kitten who was so young he needed weaning, but we couldn't give him over to a rescue - I was too attached, so here we are..

    As I type he is in the garden, well, garage! I went out early this morning and put panels from the guinea pig run around the bottom of the wooden fence, wire panels on the low roof top, he is currently covered in cobwebs but so happy, and has run back in, meowed and run back out - I took that as a thank you!

    He didn't bolt, and he is just enjoying exploring. He'll get his breakfast at 10am today.. It is lovely seeing him walking around with his tail up, and I'm relieved he didn't just run.

    Haha yes polishing the floor is what we were doing, and the walls, and almost the ceiling!

    I really do appreciate all of your advice, and am listening!
     
    mrs phas, Psygon, Jackie C and 2 others like this.
  16. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Messages:
    3,131
    Likes Received:
    5,677
    It sounds like he's enjoying himself! It's good that you let him out before breakfast as it's his incentive to come back in when he's hungry. Thank you for taking this kitten in and caring. x
     
    Aimz&Alan likes this.
  17. Aimz&Alan

    Aimz&Alan PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    15
    He came in and was the most affectionate little man, ate until his belly was full and went to sleep! He is really content now!

    I'm glad we kept him. He was so feral and hissy when we found him, I'm not sure what sort of chance he'd have been given at a rescue - he had us 24/7 (literally at his beck and call, even at 3am!).

    @Jackie C , thank you!
     
    Whompingwillow, Jackie C and Psygon like this.
  18. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Messages:
    3,131
    Likes Received:
    5,677
    He sounds delightful!
     
    Aimz&Alan likes this.
  19. Aimz&Alan

    Aimz&Alan PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    15
    @Jackie C he really is! He has given us all kind of issues but they're all outdone by the crazy, lunatic love we get! He still kneads and suckles the dressing gown I used to tuck him down when I slept out with him on the sofa when he was teeny - just 611g! He's over 2kg now but still loves a cuddle when the mood takes him!
     
    Whompingwillow likes this.
  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