Kitten behavior change after adoption

Here she is our new kitten

Here she is our new kitten


My hubby and I got a 4-mo. old kitten a week ago. In the shelter she used to be a very relaxed, friendly and lovable kitten. She allowed me to hold and pet her even though I was new to her. She even purred.

The first couple of days she was of course a bit timid and she was scared of almost everything in her new home and of every noise. She wasn't scared of me or my husband if we were to pet or hold her. She'd come and sleep on top of my pillow and purr during the night.

Ever since then though (and I think especially after the first day we had to go to work and leave her alone for 8 hours) I feel like she's been mad at us. She doesn't allow to be petted and all she wants to do is play (bite, chase, scratch something).

Basically, as far as I know she used to be a pretty quiet and lovable kitty and now, for a week in our apartment, she became a little tomboy.

Currently, she doesn't want to be held at all, she let's us pet her for about 2-3 seconds before she attacks our hands. (And we've been playing with her actively at least for an hour a day, we clean her litter and give her food & water properly, and trying to be gentle with her, so she doesn't get more aggressive)

I don't have a problem with her behavior change, but I'm wondering if she actually wants to play, or if she's annoyed at something/us. Also, I wonder if she'd get
more aggressive and not let us touch her at all.

Sounds to me like she has settled into her some so much that she feels relaxed enough to be herself.

The initial behavior could well be that she was unsure of what was going on and so being overly affectionate to the new people in her lives. A sort of appeasement if you like. I had a cat once that this did this too.

Now her behavior doesn't indicate that she is mad at you at all. in fact this is not a cat emotion at all. we have to be careful that we don't try and think of our cats as humans with the same sort of thoughts an emotions. they are cats and they react to life and things around them as a cat would. Understanding cat behavior is a complex but fascinating subject. I have pages on my site which cover some aspects of different cat behavior which you may find of further interest

As for your cat biting you, this play or rather bad play. She has not learned that biting during play is not acceptable and she needs to be taught this to prevent possible problems with strangers as she gets older. please see my page about how to try and change this behavior here

I'm sure that given time she will settle down into your new home and learn the ropes as it were. It can take some time and you will notice all sorts of changes in behavior. It can be a real fun (or not) roller coaster sometimes :)

best wishes kate

Comments for Kitten behavior change after adoption

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Similar situation, Siamese was so sweet, now seems depressed
by: AutumnLibra

Believe it or not, Jesibel came to our window a week ago & we brought her in because we hear someone is poisoning cats in our neighborhood. At first she was so happy, affectionate (head-butting, weaving through our legs, even patting us w/her paws & talking to us). She was so hungry & thirsty. Well, we already have 4 cats, & for the first 2 days we spared her dealing w/tha info. When we introduced her, slowly at first, but we didn't segrigate her long, now she's quiet, mostly lies on stomach, paws & tail underneath her. She used to come when called, no longer. She does come, tho, if she wants, & she does purr when petted, but she just stays in one place a lot. She does step up & get her food. There is no more grumping from anyone. The others, especially Pixie, our only other female likes her. Maverick too. Bell seeems to like Pixie fine, but can take or leave the others. I think she had a home, & misses it. & maybe doesn't like baing w/the others. We've tried finding her home, no luck yet.

Thank you!
by: Vikki

Thank you for your quick response!

This information definitely helps. I also looked up the articles you recommended a couple of days ago.
I try to implement the "ignore" rule.
I don't want to speak to soon, but I have to admit that it seems to be working. :)

Thank you very much for your advice!

Oh, and this is probably going to be weird, but thank you for being against declawing! I just think it's extremely crewel and unnatural.

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