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New kitten is crazy, maybe overstimulated?

  1. #1

    New kitten is crazy, maybe overstimulated?

    4 days ago, I adopted a kitten from a foster home. She is 4 months old.

    When I first brought her home, I kept her in the bathroom to help her adjust (on the advice of her former foster dad). For those first few days, she was sweet, cuddly, and friendly. She would purr almost the second I started petting her, and then settle in on my lap. She was also playful, so we'd play with a string toy for twenty-ish minutes at a time. Eventually, she'd get bored of playing and settle back down. Normal cat behavior.

    By day 3, she wanted to get out of the bathroom. She would wait by the door and try to walk through when I went in or out. This seemed normal to me because I figured she would want to explore. So, I moved her (and her litter box, food, water, etc) into my bedroom, which is still fairly small. Since she's been in my bedroom, it's like she's a different cat entirely.

    I absolutely can't get her to settle down anymore. I will play with her for a long time (an hour or more) to the point where she's panting, but when I try to stop, she is still hyper. If I'm not actively playing with her, she starts sprinting around the room with that crazy look in her eyes. I tried leaving the room to stop stimulating her and let her calm down, but as soon as I go back in, it's crazy eyes and running around again. When I tried to go to bed, after playing with her for the better part of 3 hours, she would not stop attacking my feet under the blanket. After about 20 minutes of that with no sign of her settling down, I gave up and slept on the couch. The next morning, it was more of the same craziness.

    Does anyone have any ideas what might be going on? I've never owned kittens before (just adult cats), so I don't know what level of "hyper" is normal. Is she overstimulated by the bigger room and the windows and the furniture? (She especially loves biting/attacking the blankets).

    Please let me know what your thoughts are. What happened to the sweet cuddlebug I had during the first couple days in the bathroom?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    5,873
    what's going on is she is a kitten, she gets bored and wants to explore and come and go as she pleases. If she is "an only child" let her out of the bathroom, let her explore and do cat things, If there are other cats or a dog then you have to watch that they don't attack her but if she is alone there is no reason to confine her in one room. Take her out of the room, show her where the litter box and food and water dishes are and let her go, she'll calm down in her own time. As far as attacking your feet that is normal, I call it hunting for toe mice. My two cats are adults and will still try to get my feet if I move.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Florida
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    I agree with Linda on this one. "Normal" energy levels for a kitten vary. Attacking your feet is just being playful - cats see them move and think they are hidden toys. My cat Daisy did that when she was a kitten. With so much energy to burn, your kitty needs more space than a small bedroom. She probably needs more toys to not get bored.
    Rescued is my favorite breed. Don't shop, adopt!

  4. #4
    Thank you both for the advice! I was worried about overwhelming her by introducing her to the whole apartment at once, but it sounds like I actually did the opposite and she's bored.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    New Hampshire
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    If you really want to solve your problem get another kitten for her. They like having their own kind to play with, they will amuse each other and keep each other company when you are not home. They get lonely. Two is no harder to take care of than one, they will both bond to you but also to each other.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Florida
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    441
    Quote Originally Posted by linda2147 View Post
    If you really want to solve your problem get another kitten for her. They like having their own kind to play with, they will amuse each other and keep each other company when you are not home. They get lonely. Two is no harder to take care of than one, they will both bond to you but also to each other.
    And you save another life.

    Years ago when one cat died, the other was lonely because she had never been the only cat before. Daisy tries to play with an outdoor cat who has little interest in her despite being indoor only.
    Rescued is my favorite breed. Don't shop, adopt!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    USA
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    10,736
    I agree that as long as she's using the litter box, she should be able to explore all rooms in the house. I'd put the litter box in a place you plan to keep it permanently. When I brought my kitten home we had an older dog, and the cat had bad diarrhea from the start. We confined him in the bathroom for nights only and when we weren't home. In a couple of days when we decided to let him out and about, we kept his litter box in the bathtub. Once he knew his way around and felt at home, and had no more diarrhea, we moved the litter box downstairs in the finished basement, in the shower area.

    When you're in bed and don't want the kitten attacking your feet, you can keep a small spray water bottle on the nightstand, on a medium spray. When she attacks, spray and simultaneously tell her "No!" firmly, but don't shout.....I think you can break that behavior pretty quickly. She does need some toys, furry mice and busy balls for play, also a nice cat tree with a couple of levels to hang out and relax if she wants or look out a window. She should be able to look out several windows for amusement too. Good luck and welcome!

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