SherriM has a question and I know that y’all are just the ones to help me answer it!
Awww Miz Poo is a sweetie. She is my favorite along with Tommy & Sugarbutt. Did you have any idea she would be such a lovey girl when you adopted her as a kitten? I ask this because I want one of those people-lover lap cats again someday.
So… I haz questions for you and/or your readers…
Is it possible to ascertain a kittens personality at two months of age? Which leads me to ask, what stage of kittenhood do you and Fred favor? When does their personality really start to appear? Would it be wrong to adopt two kitten siblings if I work full time? So many questions….
If anyone could give advice, or direct me to a good kitty adoption reference book, I’d be forever grateful. If you didn’t live over thirteen hours away from me, I’d be seriously hoping to adopt a Crooked Acres Foster kitty. Sigh!
Miz Poo was a needy little lovebug from the get-go. I very highly suspect that it’s because she was a bottle baby, in my experience they tend to be friendlier and a bit needier than your average mama-raised kitten.
I think you can get some glimpse into their personality at two months of age, but I really think that their true personality comes out around 3 months. I actually really like them when they’re two months old, but Fred prefers them older – even older than 3 months, I think.
Whether you work full time or not, I’d HIGHLY recommend adopting two kittens together. They’ll have each other as company, and as snuggle buddies, and will chase each other around like crazy things. And there’s just something so sweet about the idea of two siblings spending their entire lives together.
How about it, y’all, do you have words of wisdom/ advice for Sherri? Please chime in!
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Talk about covered in kittens!
“Hi! Hi lady! See my paw? I has claws, too!”
“This is my Mama’s paw! It’s BIG, huh? It’s big as me! Some day I’m going to have a paw like that!”
“And this is my OTHER paw. I gots TWO of them!”
“Okay lady, you go ‘way. I gots to eat.”
Norbert’s turn to be Khaleesi’s pillow.
“What doin’, lady? You’re not going to take that picture and put it on Facebook are you? I can take a better Facebook picture than that!”
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Watch the eyes. First pic: relaxed Kate, watching her babies.
Second pic: noticing me taking her picture.
Jareth, trying to figure out what I’m doing.
Having run off all her energy, Buttercup drops and snoozes.
:::maniacal floofy laughter:::
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Sugarbutt, stressing like the stressball he is.
2012: They decided I might be okay.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2007: I think the shirt is broken, though. No one ever offers me chocolate!
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
Oh, Sugarbutt is killing me. I *need* to rub that belly. Also, the upside down selfie made me laugh.
Whoa, kitty porn alert! Are we seeing tiny harbls on Scorch in the first pic?
I noticed those things, too. :-\
We are such pervs.
He flashes those things whenever he gets a chance. 🙂
That’s a mighty squidgy looking belleh Mr. Sugar. I think it needs a face rub! 🙂
All the babies are soooo cute and it is great to see Khaleesi’s playful side!
love the sugarbutt….
Kittens: I always suggest two unless there is some reason not to. Keeps them busy and out of trouble for people who work. As for favorite age, I like them all….tiny is cute, just walking is fun, learning to run around like they are on fire is nuts. But I have to admit a serious like for those teenage boy kittens – like 6-8 months old. All long legs uncoordination and fun. 🙂
OMC! Cuteness in the morning feels so good!
As for adopting sibs, yes! I have 17 (shhhh, don’t tell the authorities…) of the hairy monsters and most are related. I have 4 brothers, a brother and sister, a brother and 2 sisters, a mom and son, and 3 sisters. Mom and son, especially, are very close. When they’re young, they are such comfort to each other.
Dawn, you have just become “My friend Dawn, who has more cats than I do.” 😀
Kitten advice for Sherri… Everything is so new and amazing to a two-month-old kitten. They are just learning the world and figuring out how to react to it. Personalities are just emerging but changing all the time. Three and four-month-old kittens will give you a more accurate display of their true personalities, but if you’re looking for a certain type of personality keep in mind that you can “mold” a younger kitten to a certain extent through the environment and atmosphere you create. They learn responses to the stimuli they are given. If you want a brave and playful kitten, give them a safe and engaging place. If you want a snuggler and a lap cat, make sure you give them plenty of exercise first (followed by a quiet time with perhaps a regular comfortable spot and blanket that you can later move after routines are established). And two? Double the fun, double the love, double the chances you will get a lap cat PLUS they will have company while you are at work, which leads to a happier pair of kittens (and more than likely less destruction of your furniture)
Robyn? Bow chicka wow wow on that photo of Scorch.
To the question about adopting two siblings together: I highly recommend it. As many of you know, I adopted Sungold and Mr. Stripey from Crooked Acres. These are the best cats ever! I had originally only wanted one, but couldn’t separate them and am now so glad I didn’t. They are inseparable and play constantly. If I had only one, he would be too much energy for my other two older cats. As it is, the brothers wear and tear each other out. Another factor is that two together tend to bond to each other sometimes more than the pet “owner”, which works for me because I work full time, so time is limited. Therefore, when I come home, they are glad to see me, but aren’t “needy” for constant attention since they have each other. But I have to admit my bias: I think in pairs when it comes to animals because I think they need their own kind for company also.
LOVE the selfie!!!!!!
My first suggestion is to foster. Second is to adopt a foster. You can not know the personality of a kitten with out spending time with it. Some kittens are more obvious in their personality, but some hide who they are while in an adoption event.I know a lot of people say you don’t know the personality until they are “older” but I have found it simply calms them down…save for one exception of Ollie who did not get neutered until after puberty.
While a lot of their personality is genetic, there is a LOT you can do to help form it. Kittens with a lot of interaction with people that is all positive makes kittens that seek out people. Some are not cuddlers by nature but that type of kitten will be a cat who wants to be near or in the same room with you instead of a loner. Hence the suggestions..
If neither none of these are an option, spend as much time as you can with the kitten. See if it will climb in your lap on its own. See if it is food motivated. Ask 100 questions and wait for a mismatch.
Or if you are anywhere near New England you could adopt two of my fosters 🙂
Or if you’re in Michigan, I will have three new foster kittens in another week. Connie is absolutely right. Adopt a kitten who has been fostered and talk to the foster mom (not the rescue representative that might be at the adoption event). Talk to the person who is actually raising that kitten. They can give you lots of insight into the kitten’s personality away from the store/event, where they feel safe to display who they are. They will be happy to answer your questions because it show a genuine, active interest in the best needs of the kitten they love.
I recommend Kelly’s Mama Clarice if you’re near her — a cat that’s beautiful inside and out. But I am also on the get-two-kittens/cats who are bonded and are fans of people. Two is better: I had a wonderful, kooky, terrifying-to-vets singleton for many years and now have a duo. It’s great — and I think important and humane — for most animals to have another member of their species at hand. Best of luck and much joy with your adventure. It’s going to be fantastic!
Now why didn’t I think of that? (Because the original question was about kittens, but I still should have thought of it… Thanks, Kerry!)
I agree with the fact that you can help shape personalities. I loved all over mine as they grew up and knew nothing but safety and snuggles. I have 3 cats total. Two are lap cats (one is a complete whore) and my third is one too…but different. She likes morning chat sessions lying on my chest telling me all about her escapades that night. During the day, she wants pets and conversation and a bit of lap time, then she is off playing/stalking the other two. She is my youngest….and my clown.
That is the best selfie ever! Only a kitteh could get away with that.
If you want to be sure you are getting a lap cat, why not consider an adult? Their personalities are more known at that point (although I have certainly seen shy kitties at the shelter really come out of their shells in a home) and a lot of the time the cat will pick you as much as you picking them. If the cat is social you can adopt a friend from the shelter at the same time, or sometimes there are cats that really don’t like other cats and just want their own person.
Absolutely seconding this. If you need a particular personality type, get an adult. There are so many in the shelters and foster systems already, and they need homes just as much as the kittens. A healthy cat can easily live well into their late teens- most of your life with the cat will be with an adult cat, why not start there? Kittens are cute, but they’re a handful, and if you can’t be home most of the time, it’s rough on them to be alone so much. An adult cat will let you know what you’re getting, they’re a lot easier to live with, and they’ll be just as grateful as any kittens. Most of the greatest feline loves of my life were cats I met as adults, when we knew enough to appreciate each other.
Thirding this! Adult cats do not get adopted often and are more often EU’d because everyone wants a kitten!
And as a shelter volunteer, I know that cats BLOSSOM once they are out of the shelter!!!
& fourth! An adult cat’s personality is a fully formed. If you meet them in a relaxed setting and have the time to hang out for a while, you’ll definitely find the lap cat you’re searching for. S/He will be part of your family for years to come, why not take all the time you need to find the cat that you love. You can still get two! It’s not just kitties that need a playmate while you’re at work. Good Luck & keep us posted.
In response to SherriM — I adopted The Best Cat in the World, my departed boy Merlin, at the age of 4 months, from a rescue. He was a sad, subdued, scrawny-looking kitten with large ears, thick legs, and a rat tail, and I figured no one would ever want the poor thing. For the first few months that I had him he had the personality of a phone book, and I figured he’d always be just sort of “there,” but not anything approaching an interesting or interactive personality. I was wrong. He turned out to physically be “mostly Maine Coon,” although he was not an overly floofy kitten, and he eventually grew into a 20-lb. gentle giant who was the smartest, calmest, most loving and perceptive cat I’ve ever known. (Oh, and the wonderful floofy plume of a tail he grew!) Maine Coons mature slowly, I learned, not reaching their full size and, apparently, their full personality as well — until they’re 3 to 5 years old. Sadly, my boy passed away at age 10 of HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, heart disease). He will always be my most favorite cat and companion ever. Had I judged him on his personality at 4 months old, however, I never would’ve expected him to be the wonderful, wonderful cat he grew to be. Here’s a portrait I took of him:
Your boy was gorgeous! I have 2 Coon mixes and their personalities are the bomb! My friend’s cat suffered from HCM, too. Took his life, too soon. Maine Coon Cats, Ragdolls, British Shorthairs, American Shorthairs, and Devon Rexes show a familial inheritance. 2 of mine are Maine Coons mixes and my other is a Ragdoll mix. I am hoping the mix is enough to keep this away.
Sending you hugs for your loss…I know they are forever missed!!!
Shannon, Awww, he’s beautiful! What a wonderful story ….
I had a similar experience with my first cat, who is still my favorite and who also–sadly–passed almost a year ago (still miss her *every* *single* *day*). Leila was *so* not a snuggly, lapcat when I got her at two months, and for years was very much an “affection on my terms only” kind of girl. But with the passage of years, she turned into a real snuggle bunny. To the point where I couldn’t work at my computer hardly at all because she would sit on my lap the entire time with her head resting against my right wrist (which meant not simply that typing is difficult but more importantly, I couldn’t reach for or manipulate the mouse!)– that’s really an impediment when you work as an editor! Anytime I sat down or laid down, she was right there on top of me. And if I sat down and called and waved her over, she’d come right over–like a well-trained dog.
…all to say, there’s a very real possibility that that stand-offish kitten will turn into just the lapcat you’ve always wanted…
What a beautiful boy Merlin was! He sounds as though he was such a wonderful cat, too. I’m so sorry you had to say goodbye so soon.
My recently departed Zoey looks quite a lot like him! I adopted her from a rescue age 3, Zoey having been brought in by homeless kids who found her eating fast food in a dumpster downtown. She was very skittish and almost feral, completely emaciated, and had a cracked cornea, so constant eye infections. I wanted to adopt her with another cat, but she was very nervous and hissy, so in the end took her by herself. I picked her up every time I came home from work and cuddled her, holding her over my shoulder, until she asked to be put down. I was covered in bites and scratches for months, but she learned to trust me, and became the most loving, loyal, sweet cat – my true kitty love! She loved dogs, other cats not so much, and wasn’t very trusting of other humans, unless they persevered. Never a lap cat, but always a bedtime snuggler extraordinaire. I had her until she was 19.
I agree with the others, adopting an adult cat is so rewarding – and you can still, with patience and love, have a positive effect on their personality.
I second (or 10th as it may be) the suggestion of two cats. I had a Siamese cat as a single cat for 5 months and he was so lonely that when I got home he’d climb the walls (and me) for joy that someone was home for him to interact with! He didn’t much settle down come bedtime either so I eventually got another cat to keep him company. The change in his demeanor was pretty amazing; he was no longer frantic about me coming home once he had the second cat to play with. When he died, the second cat spent the nights wandering the halls crying for the Siamese so we got two kittens. She hates them but they occupy her attention and she isn’t desolately lonely anymore. I would imagine siblings would be even better because you don’t have to worry about them bonding as they already have.
I’d adopt a cat at 3ish months old; my Siamese was 7 weeks old when I got him which was way too young. I was always “Momma cat” in a somewhat unhealthy codependent way. The second cat was 8 months old when I got her and she is much better adjusted. That said; I love the floofball stage where they are still kitten-y looking but mostly running around showing the world how fierce they are. The lanky teen age is pretty fun too.
The pink paws and teeny claws! Squeeeeee! Loved the “I keel you” eyes on Kate. She’s such a beautiful girl – even with the look o’ het.
Kittens show cuddler potential around 2 months. We currently have 4 in our units at one pet supply store. The kittens play hard and sleep just as hard. One is going to be a cuddler–she settles down when anyone holds her.
I agree with adopting 2 kittens. They can wear each other out and any mature pets hopefully won’t have to deal with so much “attention”. I’ve heard kittens do best when left with their mother for 10-12 weeks. You’ll find most kittens are put up for adoption at 8 weeks unless they have a pedigree.
I like adopting one…bonding with it, then adopting the second. Else, they are bonded to each other and I really like the close relationship. The second cat will belong to the first cat and not you (same as in getting two dogs). That way, you do have one that is yours…
I lucked out with two of the three being mine mine mine (I think it is because of age difference of 9 yrs). The youngest belongs to the middle child/cat. My current eldest came in as a stray (from Chic Filet) and was younger than my two previous cats by about 14 yrs who passed in 2003 and 2006.
Similar situation. My first two belonged to each other (brother and sister). Then the third one (a stray Norwegian Forest cat I took in) bonded with me so tightly I will always miss him. The older male took on ‘raising’ Taliesin but he was MINE, I tell you. Then I got a mini dachshund (Katie) which Tal raised. After I lost the older girl, Eleanor, I got Bridie then Finn a few weeks later. Katie raised the kittens and Finn bonded with her. Bridie bonds with no one. She is God Empress Of Dune 😀 She cuddles on her terms. She is also occasionally known as Demon Spawn.
Are most kittens inclined to bite your toes? And how much do you usually put up with from them before you have to tell them to stop? Aslan looks like he’s perfectly content to keep nomming on them, sharp teeth and all!
I’ll pile on and say, yes, two at a time, especially if you’re not home for big stretches of time.
However, one puppy plus one kitten works, too. That’s what we’ve always done and all our cats and dogs have been best pals.
Just wanted to let all you cat lovers know: one of the National Geographic channels (can’t remember if it is National Geographic or National Geographic Wild) is airing a documentary this Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT called (I think) “The Wild Side of Cats.” I remember watching another NatGeo documentary years ago called “Cats: Caressing the Tiger,” which was absolutely brilliant (if you’ve never seen it and can find a DVD or whatever, do watch it), so I have high expectations for this one.
We adopted 2 of our cats at 6-8 weeks. We were told that Amy would be a lap cat, and that turned out to be true. I have no idea how they knew. Two of our cats have been with us since they were born, and Sugar, as soon as she could walk, crawled into my lap, looked up into my face and fell asleep, stealing my heart. She still crawls into my lap, even 5 years later. Her brother Loki is not much of a lap cat, though he will come and sit in my lap if I’m up very late, I think because he doesn’t want to sleep alone in the bed with my husband.
As for adopting in pairs, we have 6 cats and none of them pay much attention to each other, except to growl or smack when one gets too close to the other. Amy and Luna were fostered together, but are unrelated, and were our only two cats for 5 years. They never played with or slept with each other, or anything. Sugar and Loki are littermates, siblings, and they don’t really pay attention to each other either. Loki used to try to play with Sugar, but she expressed her dislike for this by growling, smacking and running away. But she’s much smaller than he, and he’s not too bright, so I think he thought she was playing back.
But I’m sure other pairs of cats would be different. My husband and I tend to wind up with the oddball things in life, as we’re oddballs ourselves.
And now Loki has jumped onto my lap at 11 in the morning, making me a liar.
I also agree with the idea that you can, to an extent, help shape a kitten’s personality.
I adopted two sisters (another vote for this being a fantastic thing to do!) When I was at the shelter, they handed me Zelda first. She settled right into my arms and started purring, then got a little squirmy but kept purring and then even gave me a tiny little love bite. She’s still the same way – definitely a snuggler, but of course she’s still a cat, so she has to be in the proper snuggling mood 🙂
Mrs.Parker was very watchful but when they picked up her up to let me hold her, she was instantly squirmy and she squeaked so pathetically. I could tell she wasn’t going to tolerate being held very well at all.
When I got them home, Mrs.Parker continued to be more skittish and didn’t like being picked up, but I realized that she instantly calmed down if she was under a blanket. I started picking her up often, but making sure I had her held either in my robe or under a big sleeve. She slowly learned that being picked up and cuddled wasn’t a deadly threat, so now I can pick her up and she’s fine for a few minutes before she squeaks, which is her cue that she wants to go down. She also began – on her own – to cuddle with me under the covers when I went to bed. If I’m on the couch for longer than about 20 minutes, she’ll come and hang out on the couch next to me or, if I have a blanket, she’ll nose her way under the blanket and lie down on my lap.
I think if I hadn’t figured out how to make Mrs.Parker more comfortable with contact, then she’d still be much more aloof than she is. The key might be to figure out what makes the kitten feel secure, and then start associating that with contact with the human. And of course, pay very close attention to their limits. When they start to squirm or complain, don’t force it. But keep at it and be consistent and the results will be better.
I thought of you when I saw this (since you showed us the kitten toy made of their mother’s fur).
Hmmm, I can’t see what you’ve linked to without being a member of the site. Is it the book about crafting with cat fur, by any chance? 🙂
Yes, that’s it exactly!
I look at that book every time I’m in the book store. One day I’m going to cave and buy it!
My lap cat, Cookie, showed up in my backyard when she was 3 years old. She had been abused by humans and was malnourished. I am always amazed at how loving and sweet she is to me after the horrors other humans put her through. Wherever I go in the house or yard, Cookie has to be by my side. I adopted three young cats after Cookie, and she has gone on to become a very loving foster mom to all three. I guess what I’m trying to say is that a cat’s true personality can be surprising. As for adopting siblings, I agree that having two cats together is better for them if you have to be away at work.
Another option, which allows you both to give a home to less adoptable older cats who might otherwise be euthanized and to have the fun of watching 2 play, sleep, etc together, is to see if a shelter near you has a pair of bonded adult cats. Sometimes cats come to a shelter together when an owner dies or is forced to give up his/her pets due to age or whatever and the cats will retain a bond with each other as “siblings” from the same household even if not the same litter.
🙂 Best wishes for the new kitty(ies) in your life Sherri. We got our kitty from the neighbor conveniently last September when she was about 8 wks. They had 3 new kittens and couldn’t keep them. I held two of them as the other was already being claimed. A calico and a tuxie. I thought I wanted the calico on first glance but when I held them the tuxie snuggled with me more than the calico. My husband agreed the tuxie was the one. She is a great girl. When she was little she would curl up on my chest while I did my morning computer stuff. As she’s gotten older she does this less and instead just walks across the keyboard and sticks her body in my face to be petted for a few moments before moving on to simply sleep next to me on the couch or go up to the bedroom to curl up on my bed. So my recommendation is to spend a few moments with the potential adoptee. You might find that the right one will pick you.
Kelly-do you ever go back to reread the past posts? The 2012 post is the one where you are contemplating your new adventure of Teeny Tiny Tabby Town. It seems like the spring is an adventure time for you. I’m glad you took the plunge and we could all follow you as you did 🙂
Sign me up for the getting two together list, whether they’re kittens or adults. We got our two older siblings (13yr old brothers) when they were kittens and I remember them playing all the time; they didn’t snuggle with each other much though. Because they were each other’s playmates the other cats weren’t annoyed by them trying to play with ’em. Now these two are the older cats with two new kittens that are also brothers. And again they have each other to play with. And after a year they still snuggle up like newborns. Love it.
I thought for sure Merry would be the snuggler because of how he was as a baby (my MIL had them from birth) and Pippin would be more of the aloof kitty. But it’s the exact opposite. There’s hardly a day that goes by that Pippin doesn’t come up to me on the couch and just plop in my lap. Where Merry only does this every now and then.
So yeah, you can help mold how they’ll be. Because I thought Merry would be snuggly since he’d come sit in my lap for petting when he was just a baby and little kitten I didn’t pick him up near as much as I did Pippin who didn’t do this very much. And now it’s Pippin whose so much of a lap cat.
Good luck getting some great kitties, young or older.
Robyn – Sorry if this has been brought to y’alls attention already, but Des Hommes et Des Chats is a must-see. Had me laughing at the end of a very exhausting day: http://deshommesetdeschatons.tumblr.com/ Merci to the genius who dreamed this one up!
(I should say for the sensitive amongst us that this site shows in addition to cute kitteh pictures some photos of …er…well-sculpted human men. Nothing that wouldn’t be seen at the beach, except for the next to the last photo which is a full back view.)
I follow that blog religiously! 😉 But I didn’t even think to share it (duh!), so thanks for reminding me to do so!
LOVE THIS! Thanks Webthistle…I am in your debt!
Wait, I was supposed to be offended by something here? *fans self*
OMG, Ember, you are KILLING me with that hugging your mama’s paw. /Dead/, I tell you.
SherriM, I adopted two kitten siblings for the same reason you mentioned – I work a lot, and I wanted them to have some company when I wasn’t home. It worked out well, since as others have mentioned, they had each other to play with so they didn’t attack me for attention as soon as I got home. I adopted them at 10 weeks old, and I think I was able to see glimpses of their personalities at that age. Tristan was very bold as a kitten – when I met him for the first time, he walked right up to me and jumped in my lap! As an adult, he is very much the “alpha male” and thinks that he is the one in charge around here. (Who am I kidding? Of course he is in charge!) Bella was very timid as a kitten, and is still a little wary around strangers, but is such a sweet little love-bug with people that she knows. They are now 4 1/2 years old, and I’m so glad I adopted them together. They certainly have times when they bicker, but for the most part they love each other and enjoy the companionship. I would definitely recommend getting two kitten siblings together!!
In my opinion, it’s always best to get two kittens. Especially if you work.. they will yetrorize your house less. As for personality…. you can adopt a 2 month old kitten based on the personality it has whilr living wherever you got it from. BUT personalities always change, especially in kittens, when they’re brought into a new environment. Maybe it’s quieter than where it lived before. Getting the personality you want can depend a lot on you.
I appreciate your advice SO much, everyone. This is very helpful for me, as I have gone back & forth on whether to get one cat (older) or two kittens… etc. I am definitely leaning towards adopting two siblings or two bonded cat buddies, now. As one of you suggested, I will take my time and not rush into it. Thank you! 🙂