Monday, January 21, 2008

Wild and crazy kittens

A few years ago, my now-husband was living in Rhode Island with a roommate. One day, they found an abandoned kitten about 2 weeks old. They took the kitten in and took care of it. The kitten grew up happy and healthy, and was named Chipi.

I met Chipi when he was about 3 months old. He was wild and aggressive, racing all over the house, ready to Pounce and Destroy anything in his path! My husband's roommate pleaded for advice on how to control this crazy kitten.

Now I'm no animal behavior specialist, but my guess is that the kitten was bored. Since he didn't grow up with any siblings, he needed to get his normal kitten play out sometime. I recommended getting a second kitten about the same age, which they did a few weeks later. After that, there was SUCH a change in Chipi! My husband said that it was like Chipi was afraid that they had gotten the second kitten as a replacement. Because they were so young (3 and 4 months old), they were immediately best buddies.

I've seen this happen three times - a wild and crazy kitten/cat who has calmed down with the acquisition of a second kitten/cat. I would highly recommend this as a method if your cat is crazy. Better yet, start out with two cats! A second cat isn't any more work, and only slightly more expensive. It's only slightly more food, and they can be less destructive in your house because they have each other to play with. I've also found that vets give a discount for the second cat if you bring them both for an office visit, so the healthcare costs are not quite as high.

If getting another cat isn't an option, try to increase the amount of play-time you have with the kitten. Get lots of toys, and rotate them so he doesn't get bored. A cat climbing tree is also a great investment. You can also try finding another kitten for a "playdate". Definitely talk to your vet if your kitten has serious issues - I read one case where a vet prescribed some "calming" medication for the ultra-hyper cat. I don't know if it's a good idea to do that, but it might be worth looking into. It's better than having your furniture, curtains, luggage sets, and everything else torn to shreds!

For further information:
Paws and Effect: My kitten acts more like a wildcat. Help!
Cat Healthcare: Cat Boredom... Find the Cure

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

When my boyfriend first wound up with a stray, he was soooo crazy. He was about 3 months old. After about a month we decided to get a second one in hopes of giving him someone to play with.

It's exactly like you just said - the first one calmed down so much! They loved to play together, and he didn't get so aggressive because he learned what was too rough. I HIGHLY recommend more than one!!!