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7-month old kitten behaviour

Ella_B

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Hi everyone. I'm new here.

I'm a first time sphynx owner and my female kitten, Berlin, is 7-months old (I've had her since 12 weeks). The first few months with her were very quiet - it was the middle of winter here, so she spent most of her time cuddled up next to the radiator while I was at work. She was a very chilled, quiet little thing. Now it's getting warmer, she's bigger and she has become a bit of a terror. She darts around my apartment non-stop, when I reach down to give her a pat she'll dart of somewhere else, meow for attention and then when I try to give it to her, run away from me again, she very rarely cuddles, but does bite from time to time and she meows non-stop from 5am or whenever she can't see me, but doesn't seem at all interested in hanging out when she can (except to 'beg' in the kitchen).

I love her dearly, feed her well and give her lots of toys to entertain her, but I guess my concern is that being away from her all day while I work (usually from about 8am to 6 or 7 pm) and occasionally on business is making her a bit skittish and naughty around people. I'd get another kitten to keep her company, but my lease won't allow it. That said, for all I know, hers could be perfectly normal behaviour at this age - does anyone have any input?
 

admin

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Hi Ella_B and welcome to Sphynxlair! Yes, this could be normal behavior. Sphynx cats crave companionship and now as a kitten, this is the most important time for bonding. We all have to work so I know this makes it tough. Just try to spend as much time with the little devil as you can, but she is still in her kitten stage and is acting a bit silly which is normal.
 

MissMySphynxBoys

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Welcome to Sphynx Lair. I sounds like Berlin is trying to get you to play with her more by running up, "tagging" you, and running off. If you can't get her a companion, you may have to try to work in more intense, direct play times with her when you're home. Does she like feather teasers and other chasing toys?
 
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Candys

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You said you had toys. Do you get on the floor with her to play? Make sure you interact with her and not just leave toys out. I work too and my Dinka is 7 mos. old. Every morning before work, while I get ready, I toss a hairband to Dinka. He loves it. I toss it across the floor, shoot it up on the bed. When I get home I hold him for just a little while and get kisses. Then at night before I go to bed I put my had under the covers and move it around while Dinka attacks it. This is our routine and it works for us. I do play with him at other times too - but it is random. Good luck. :Smile:
 

holly_savage

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It does sound like she is needing more attention.
Do you have friends or family in the area that could cat-sit her during the days?
If you live in an apartment building maybe an elderly neighbor who is home most of the time?
Or could you take her to work?

That being said, they are crazy critters in general, so this may just be the way she is.
 

Ella_B

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I could probably take her to work a few mornings a week. Anyone else do this and have any tips? Admittedly I'm a little nervous of exposing my colleagues to stinky sphynx poop. :Dizzy:

I used to take her out with me fairly often when she was more relaxed (not to work, but to my boyfriend's place or the store). I stopped after she peed on my boyfriend's carpet (even though he knew full well where her litter box was) because I thought maybe that was her way of telling me she wasn't enjoying travelling. Maybe I read too much into it though.
 

lawgrl

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Choppy has a super active streak too...we call it the "Chopping Hour" (even though it lasts WAY more than an hour, lol) b/c it seems to peak at night after dinner. He tears around the house, jumps over and onto the other pets (he's an ambush specialist), randomly meowing the entire time...then finally lays down in my lap on the couch when he wears himself out enough. And we do have another sphynx and a dog for him to play with while we're gone (although Twiggy would rather be tarred and feathered, most of time, than play with the kitten, lol)!

I've found a couple of things that seem to work well to get the energy out of him (at least a little bit) and reduce the Chopping Hour to something that doesn't test our sanity: we made sure that he has access to lots of "perches" around the house for him to climb/jump to (these include the normal ones we bought at the pet store and stuff like arranging furniture so that he can get to the top of shelves and cabinets, etc.); we also got him a ton of those things on a string and stick (ex. Da Bird, feathers) and I try to make a point to play with him with his toys at some point every night. Even with this we still have the Chopping Hour every day...I think it's mostly the kitten in them

Even with other animals at home, and the fact that we come home for at least an hour for lunch every day, and the perches, and the play time, Choppy still gets a wild hair at some point every night. I think it's due, in large part, just to his personality (Twiggy was raised as the only animal in our house until she was three or four and she's always been a couch potato and snuggler).
 

Nofuratu

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I also aggree with everyone else that you should start bringing her places again. I find travelling with Nofuratu really tires him out! Your kittens behavior sounds normal though!
Something else you may try to encourage cuddling is get a nice fuzzy microfibre or fleece blanket and scoop her up when she is not in too much of an excited stage! Try wrapping her up and putting her on your lap and massaging her ears and nose between the eyes, legs etc. This may encourage her to seek you out for cuddling in the future.
When I want to cuddle Nofuratu, and he doesnt want to, a fuzzy blanket and ear massage leaves him dozing on my lap for hours. He is easily bribed!
If she doesnt settle down after 5 mins or so, then just let her go and try again later!
 

klreese

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Here's my 2 cents, for what they're worth :)
i think she does need more attention, although i'm sure is difficult with your schedule. You are gone the majority of the day. she's missing you i'm sure and is so excited to see you when you get home. She's playing with you. The family we got our Bea from, said Bea used to run up and claw their legs terribly "playing" (but they did NOT like it lol)... however, she's now the sweetest baby girl you would ever meet. never runs, very sleepy, none aggressive, etc. anyway... Bronxe was a terror when he was little too. He would play with my fiancee and hold onto his arms with his teeth and nails! John would often have cuts and bruises from bronxe! if your hand was hanging off the couch/chair bronxe felt it was his perfect chance to 'get ya!!'- and he did! to help we engaged in play time, and would get pretty rough with him to get him sleepy. we also bought an 8ft tall cat tree. it doesnt take up much room AT ALL, it was 45$ from walmart, ive seen them at meijer too. he LOVES that thing! we've had it since he was a kitten and he would run laps around the house and run on all the levels of the tree. so i think, playing with kitty/showing her attention would help greatly.
As a PP said, whenever i come in the house from being ANYWHERE i love on my babies for about 5-10 mins AS SOON as i walk in the door. To show them that i missed that just as much as they missed me.
We also keep our tv on whenever we are gone so it isn't bare silence, so they dont feel completely alone while we are gone.
 

ckutkuhn7

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I think this is her way of playing with you. Cat trees and interactive toys are great while your away from home. Once your home sit in the floor and play directly with her with cat teasers/chasers, feather wands work great. This should help some.
 

Ella_B

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So I've been trying to spend more time with my naughty baby, but things seem more dire than ever. She'll gladly play with a teaser or chase movement under a towel/blanket, but the moment I try to touch her directly she runs away. I'm at a point now that when I need to bath her or do anything that requires actually holding her, I have to try and catch her mid-dart, which really pisses her off and - I'm sure - makes things worse. I had her spayed three weeks ago and part of me just wonders whether she stopped trusting me after that. I'm a little depressed about it. I am terrified that she doesn't like me.
 

ilovemysphynx

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You can not be blaming your self here, I am sure she is just full of energy. We are gone most of the day and have not had any problems. Did this start before or after she was fixed? I am thinking there is a underlining problem we are missing. You said she went potty on the floor at your boyfriends house, is this the only time she has missed the litter box?
 

Ella_B

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That was the one and only time she didn't go in her litter tray. Health-wise, I don't think there's any problem. At six months old we had an anxious few days when she stopped eating and drinking, but the vet put it down to teething, gave her a shot for pain and she was fine after that. She's been eating Royale Canin Kitten since she first started on solids and we haven't had any gastric problems. I don't give her catnip, so it's not that making her fidgety. I just don't know. If she's lying on her bed and I reach down to stroke her, she almost always stands or sits up - she'll purr, but try to duck away at the same time.

Another sphynx owner suggested putting a little jumper/t-shirt on her whenever she's hyper. She's never been a clothes-wearing cat, but I have noticed that when I put her harness on her (I'm trying to prepare her for leash training) she'll slow right down, maybe because she feels a little less mobile.
 
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