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Quite long, Feel so down since getting kittens.

in Pets & pet care
15 replies 2.7K views
I have wanted to post this for a few weeks but have been putting it off because I know it will make me sound like a terrible person. I plan on being honest about my feelings because keeping things in and hiding it will just drag this whole thing out even longer and that is not fair on any of us.

We have two six month old Kittens, one is Male, the other is Female, male has been neatured, female has been spayed. I have always thought that the Female hates me, if I go anywhere near her she seems to resent it and she will make it known that I cannot go near her, stroking her is out of the question, picking her up is out of the question, if I do manage to stroke her she will run away and hide in another room. She just always seems to be on edge, I can't even stand up to go to another room without her bolting under the couch or into another room.

I am far from a material person, never have been, as long as my house is clean I don't really care at all about anything else, and I know cats/kittens can be destructive but I feel it is getting too much, I woke up one morning to see a hole in the wall (plastered walls/painted, no wallpaper) just a hole, then the plaster from the wall was in another room, the curtains in the spare room are destroyed, walked in a few times to her sliding down the materiel on the back of them, now they are sliced to bits with holes everywhere, they have three litter boxes, which they do use all the time but I am still finding pee in the living room, usually behind the units, and for some reason they keep pooing across the fireplace and under the couch, the smell is getting worse by the day, just a constant smell of poo in the downstairs area of the house, I clean it all up as soon as I find it, using lemon based cleaners and it worked at first but now they just do it anyway. None of them will respond to their names at all, in fact they do not respond to anything.

This is the bit where people may think I am a terrible person :( I am getting no joy at all in owning them, no fun at all, quite the opposite, I feel like all I do day in day out is clean up cat poo and pee, I feel like my house is getting destroyed slowly, we only put carpets down in the house just before we got them and two of the three are now freyed and bits of fluff sticking up everywhere, I feel I am constantly on cleaning mode, and I just feel like I am doing everything and getting zero in return. I suppose I feel like I am getting the bad side of owning pets and none of the good.

To give a bit of background, my Husband works six days per week, and I was working but have been ill for years and was diagnosed with a chronic illness this year so left my job, I am currently at home all day until I find a job more suited to my illness. the biggest trigger for my symptoms is stress, and I feel constantly stressed out. So, I am doing everything regarding the Kittens when my Husband is at work, then when he gets home or has a day off I get a break and he will clean the trays, feed them etc. Of course they both love my Husband, they will both go to him and sleep on him, purring away, it is just me they seem to hate and I am finding it a bit upsetting. I have been getting thoughts lately that I don't think I can do this, that I don't think I am cut out for this at all and the thought of this being my life now for years on end is not a nice thought.

My Husband loves them and that is partly why I have been putting this off, I see the happiness in his face when he gets home and he sees them (he is a massive cat person, I have only ever had a dog when I was a kid and a turtle!) Honestly, If I had known it was going to be this bad/make me feel this way I would never have got them.

I think I was prompted to write this today because she bit me quite badly, blood everywhere, on the palm of my hand, she made these god awful noises when she did it like a cat would when they are fighting, My Husband is at work right now and does not know yet, If I tell him I think she does not like me etc he just says to give her time and she will come round, but it has been five months since we have had them.

If someone came here today and took them to give them a good home I think I would feel relief, like a weight has been lifted, not the best way to feel as a pet owner, I guess in a nutshell I feel like they never bonded with me. I know a lot of what I have wrote above is just normal cat stuff, but I have left so much out because I didn't want to drag this out more than I needed to as I am sure you don't want to read about 5 months worth of stuff lol.. I hope you know I am not an evil person, I can't help the way I feel, I have no idea why they don't like me, I just feel like we are not a good fit if that makes sense.

Based on what I have said is it in the best interests of the Kittens to find them a good home, or do I stick this out? Does it get better when they get older? If they don't seem to like me at all since we got them what chance do I have of them coming round with more time? If they never bonded with me and I am their main care givers then its not really fair on any of us.
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Replies

  • ElsewhereElsewhere Forumite
    752 Posts
    Why should you put up with being made miserable in your own home by an animal? Get rid of them, or if you think that will upset your husband too much, have you got room in the garden for a warm shed with a run for them to live in?
  • I don't think you're an evil person at all; to even post here about it shows the opposite, many would've had them on Gumtree by now!

    You say you clean the mess up with lemon based cleaners, do they have ammonia in as that smells to cats like their pee & they will keep going back to that area. Have you tried a Feliway plug in? Also, do you know if the female had any problems with women in her previous home? Maybe she senses you dislike her & is wary? Do you ignore her when she does wrong but praise her when she does right?

    Have you tried other cat litters, types of tray & locations? Could a tray be put near anywhere she goes? Do they have lots of toys/can they go out?

    I have two kittens that are 10 weeks old tomorrow, and one has tried to pull the wallpaper off where it is coming off anyway (I distracted him with a toy & just told him ah ah!) but they have a 6ft 3 scratching tree & lots of toys & playtime, so hopefully won't get worse!

    These are just ideas. Maybe she is trying to get your attention, as when she behaves badly, maybe you correct her/yell etc but maybe if that's the case, ignore any bad & just let her come to you (don't try to pick her up etc) just have a really high value treat that she wouldn't normally get, and let her come to you, throw her a bit & then next time a bit closer, or longer before she gets it

    Sorry these are just ideas, i'm no expert & will probably be here in a few months saying mine are the same! Good luck x
  • edited 27 August 2016 at 3:04PM
    farfromhomefarfromhome Forumite
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    edited 27 August 2016 at 3:04PM
    Dear liasoa, no, you are not a bad person. A lot of what you describe happened to us with a little female (we also had her brother and mother) who we had when she was 7 weeks old, the destructive behaviour, the messing everywhere, ripping of curtains and more. We were seriously thinking of asking Cats Protection to take her back but we persevered. What really helped us were the books about cat behaviour by Vicky Halls (I borrowed them from the library) and we concluded she was terrified of us; why we don't know but eventually - it took weeks - she became the most loving little cat although she would never take to visitors and as soon as the door bell rang, she would hide and not come out for hours. My husband and I were the only people she ever trusted but it took a long time.

    We found the best way of dealing with her was to ignore her and not shout at her when she misbehaved, just say a firm and stern No. We found that humming would also stop her in her tracks when misbehaving.

    Are your cats indoor cats? Do you have a secure garden? We found that, when we let them out at about 6 months old, after spaying, a lot of energy was spent in the garden and the litter trays were hardly ever used.

    As you were bitten very badly, are your tetanus injections up to date? If not, I would go to A&E if possible, the infection from a deep cat scratch or bit can be very serious.
  • I don't think you're a terrible person but you're clearly not capable of caring for animals. Speak to your husband about finding a more suitable home, preferably with someone that understands the responsibilities of owing a pet.

    Please don't consider keeping them in a shed, warm or not.
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    I don't think you're a terrible person but you're clearly not capable of caring for animals. Speak to your husband about finding a more suitable home, preferably with someone that understands the responsibilities of owing a pet.

    Please don't consider keeping them in a shed, warm or not.

    Ouch, that's a bit of a blanket statement. I'm not a cat person so can't offer any helpful advice, but having had a foster dog with issues that I just couldn't bond with I can see where the OP is coming from. I have however had many other dogs over the years and am a responsible pet owner. The OPs situation may or may not be salveagable, but it doesn't mean she's completely incapable of having a pet.

    OP, could your stress about your work situation be magnifying or projection onto how you feel about the kittens?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • liasoaliasoa Forumite
    2 Posts
    It's not that I don't like them, not at all, just I feel there is no bond there, I am doing my best to look after them, I clean up after them, feed them, try to play with them, they have plenty of toys, two cat trees, the male will play if I get one of the toys with a mouse on the end of the stick, the female just does not want to spend any time with me at all, If I go into a room to get something and don't even acknowledge her she will still run away, I just feel like even my presence in the same room sets her off. I'm not a shouter, I just tell them no if they hang off the curtains etc.

    Tried two different trays so far and different litter, currently using catsan. I clean the trays at least once per day because they do both use them and they get stinky if they are left.

    The boy will go outside but tends to just stay on the grass in the back garden then he comes back in after a while, she will not go outside at all and seems happy to just stay inside, at the moment anyway.

    I didn't mean to make it sound like the World was ending, I think I was just trying to get the point across that I am looking after them, caring for them, trying to be affectionate to them but not getting anything at all in return, I can't even get five minutes in an entire day where I can pet them, I was picturing having so much fun with them both but they just seem to have rejected me right from the start.

    I know owning pets is not easy and I am not expecting it to be a breeze 100 per cent of the time, I just expected that I could at least stroke my own cats, or play with them, maybe it is their personality, maybe it's just me and I am trying to hard, really not sure.

    Maybe I am just looking into things too much.
  • edited 27 August 2016 at 6:00PM
    tesuhohatesuhoha Forumite
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    edited 27 August 2016 at 6:00PM
    Have you got a scratch post for them? Quite a big sturdy one is best. Zooplus do some good ones. Mine have a cat tree but they like their scratch post as well.

    Maybe you should try talking to them. I talk to mine non stop in a friendly affectionate voice. Let them sniff your hand before trying to pet them. Another thing - try not to stroke their bodies at first, try rubbing their cheeks with the back of your hand gently. Sometimes cats will bond if you brush them with a soft brush. Get a cat frenzy toy, (see below) most cats can't resist them and they solve a lot of bad behaviours. If your kittens start chattering at the flying bird that is a good sign. I stopped my cats scratching me by growling at them if them scratched and then ignoring them. Another thing you can try is a slow blink. The next time one of your cats stares at you give them a slow blink with squinty eyes. The cats take that as a smile. When I do that to my cats they do it back but you might find it takes a while.

    Stop trying to pick up the cat or over petting or making it do anything. Try leaving the cat be with very occasional laid back overtures on your part. this guy is brilliant. I don't agree with him about litter trays being in the main living area but generally he is very clever about cats.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si-yk1KxYX0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERJXwaTVPI8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XZxyWEiQZM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEbtXkd2XF4

    There are lots more videos by him.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/PurrSuit-Feather-Cat-Toy-LONG-Safer-Plastic/dp/B01H463R2U/ref=sr_1_2?srs=11065645031&ie=UTF8&qid=1472319046&sr=8-2&keywords=cat+frenzy

    http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/scratching_posts/scratching_posts/385123
    The forest would be very silent if no birds sang except for the birds that sang the best






  • barbiedollbarbiedoll Forumite
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    Just as not all little kids are cute and cuddly, so it is the same with cats. Some are just not cut out to be loving pets, they have their own personality and some cats are just very hard to love.

    Your first mistake was buying two kittens when you have nice carpets and furniture. An older, already house-trained cat would have suited you much better, you can find a cat that loves laps, that loves being stroked, that loves being fussed over, etc etc. Kittens are an unknown quantity, their personalities are still developing, just because they look cute, doesn't mean that they are!

    If they are giving you intolerable stress, then you would be best to rehome them, via a reputable charity. Kittens are apparently easier to rehome, so do it sooner rather than later. And if you can afford it, please donate to the charity too, even if it is just a month's worth of food that you would have bought anyway. And maybe think about adopting an older cat, one who is used to people and who won't be quite so destructive? Although I can't think of many shelters who will let you take one, not if you can't care for two kittens.

    No, you're not a bad person and you're not the first to be caught out like this. But everyone should research cat ownership before they buy, there are so many tales like yours, with people just not understanding cat behaviour and expecting their new pets to behave like something out of an advert. That's why the shelters are full of them.
    "I may be many things but not being indiscreet isn't one of them"
  • barbiedoll wrote: »
    Just as not all little kids are cute and cuddly, so it is the same with cats. Some are just not cut out to be loving pets, they have their own personality and some cats are just very hard to love.

    Your first mistake was buying two kittens when you have nice carpets and furniture. An older, already house-trained cat would have suited you much better, you can find a cat that loves laps, that loves being stroked, that loves being fussed over, etc etc. Kittens are an unknown quantity, their personalities are still developing, just because they look cute, doesn't mean that they are!

    If they are giving you intolerable stress, then you would be best to rehome them, via a reputable charity. Kittens are apparently easier to rehome, so do it sooner rather than later. And if you can afford it, please donate to the charity too, even if it is just a month's worth of food that you would have bought anyway. And maybe think about adopting an older cat, one who is used to people and who won't be quite so destructive? Although I can't think of many shelters who will let you take one, not if you can't care for two kittens.

    No, you're not a bad person and you're not the first to be caught out like this. But everyone should research cat ownership before they buy, there are so many tales like yours, with people just not understanding cat behaviour and expecting their new pets to behave like something out of an advert. That's why the shelters are full of them.

    Agree with this. Well said Barbie.

    OP, you shouldn't feel bad, sometimes things just don't work out with pets. My brother actually had a puppy about 2 years ago, and the puppy was fine, and fairly well behaved, but him and his wife just didn't have the tolerance for him, as he whined through the night, pooped and peed in the house, and wanted lots of attention. This is all very typical puppy behaviour of course, but they couldn't tolerate it.

    So they took him back to the pound after about 4 weeks. They were very upset as they felt they let him down, and their kids were devastated, but it wasn't them looking after them, it was mostly my SIL. They got a cat a few months after, and have always got on fine with her.

    One of our cats is very affectionate and loving and quite obedient (for a cat!) but the other one is a right misery half the time! She never lets you pet her or hold her, and hisses at you if you try to pick her up. Basically, she is affectionate sometimes, but on her terms only. She really is a funny one. But some cats are like this; hissy and stroppy and unpredictable. Have you never heard the term hissy fit? That comes from cats and their little strops LOL!

    I would normally say give it time, but as it's been 5 months, I doubt if things will improve now. And if you are ill and stressed, it's not fair on your OR the cats to keep these cats. If I am reading it right, you are on your own with them mostly yes? So it's OK for your husband thinking they are wonderful when he isn't looking after them!

    I would definitely look into getting them rehomed. Is the male kitten a pain in the bum too? Could you consider just keeping him? Or do you just want a clean break?

    Also, I wonder why they are still pooping everywhere? They should have been litter trained before you had them.

    Anyway, whatever you decide to to, here's a funny cat video to cheer you up, and show you that cats ARE funny, awkward little sausages sometimes! :D

    And don't beat yourself up about how you feel about your cats. Sometimes, things just don't work out!

    https://www.facebook.com/SmetanaTV/videos/215226035547161/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED
    Proud to have lost over 3 stone (45 pounds,) in the past year! :j Now a size 14!


    You're not singing anymore........ You're not singing any-more! :D
  • Mrs_ZMrs_Z Forumite
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    Dear OP, you are not a bad person, you are an honest person!
    Kittens can be a handful. I recall having our first cat and yes, she was all over the place, swinging from the (net) curtains best part of the time! and me thinking if it was ever going to end! All I can say that ours did calmed down after her 1st birthday. I remember feeling it was like having a baby around and wondering if she'd calm down after being spayed (8-9 months) - no, but after 1 year the change was noticeable. She was never a lap cat but would come and curl up to you on a sofa when she felt like it. Very adorable and intelligent but some cats are just like that, not lap cats.
    In your situation, maybe you would be better off with an older or an elderly cat or you could trust that given time, your kittens will calm down... eventually
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