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Question
Hello I just recieved a new kitten that is 8 weeks old but ever since I brought her home about 7 hours ago she will not stop meowing. She also hisses everytime I go near her is she just calling for her mom? Is thete anything I can do to help her, thank you

Answer
Cody,

8 weeks of age is really too young for a kitten to go to its new home.  It is barely weaned and, probably has not had all of its shots.  The odds are that the kitten is experiencing some separation anxiety being separated for its mama and its siblings.  The hissing is due to being afraid.

Kittens by nature are love human attention, but with this kitten it is on its own terms.  Cats are very territorial and rehoming a cat or kitten is somewhat traumatic. Couple this with (possibly) new food and different water, litter for its litter pan, and you can see why the kitten is a bit nonplussed.

Normally, within a week or two, most kittens adjust. This kitten just has not had enough time.  Also, what you may do is to not approach the kitten except to feed.  Let the kitten come to you. Cats and kittens do better interfacing with people if they think it is on their own terms, so let the kitten make the first move. If the kitten invites you to pet it, then and only then should you pet the kitten.

Two questions: (1) is this kitten going to be indoors only or allowed to go out of doors? and (2) Is the kitten socialized to people, i.e. when you can pet it does it engage in more aggressive scratching/biting behaviors? The first question will determine what shots the kitten should have. The second will determine if the kitten needs socialization (not at all difficult).

When you have your first visit with your veterinarian, do not let the vet give the kitten every vaccination known to man! The first shot should be a "3-in-1" vaccination to protect against panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, and calici viruses. Three weeks later you can get the kitten its "3-in-1" booster. I would not give shots any more frequently than once every 3 weeks. This kitten has enough stress getting used to its new surroundings and family, it does not need any more than the necessary vaccinations at this time!!!!! You will probably have to get a rabies vaccination, but at 8 weeks, the kittens immune system is not sufficiently developed for the rabies vaccine to do any good! So you will want to plan that inoculation for when the kitten is at least 4 months of age.

Unless the kitten is used to lots of room, you may want to confine it to a smallish area (a bedroom, for example). Let the kitten get used to the new house in this way at first. The area should have its food, water, and litter pan.  You should show put the kitten in the litter pan, so that its knows where it is. It should know what the litter pan is for. This way you and the kitten can avoid mistakes.

Please come back to me with any further questions.

Best regards... Norm.

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Norman Auspitz

Expertise

I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.

Experience

I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.


Organizations
Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Publications
Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

Education/Credentials
I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

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