You’re probably here because, like many other new kitten parents, life with your new furry family member isn’t going as you expected. I won’t lie, having a kitten is exhausting and many owners experience what are called the “kitten blues”.
Please don’t worry, it is perfectly normal to regret getting a kitten, but there is hope in sight! Read on, with a short answer first, following by the detail to help you survive the kitten stage.
When do kittens calm down? In my personal experience kittens calm down by the age of 10 months. By this point they should be toilet-trained, with chew and bite less, and hopefully sleep through the night. Much of this change will be the responsibility of the owner and their training routines.
However, don’t let your guard down completely. Kittens can still be very manic up to 18 months of age and will still be very over the top until this point in time. It’s how you manage and deal with it though.
I promise you; kittens do get easier to deal with… here’s all you need to know.
When do kittens get easier to take care of?
Many kittens will start to get easier to deal with between 4 and 6 months of age. But it is a progressive ladder of development so don’t expect it to suddenly be easier overnight.
That’s why I initially said 10 months… I have always found my kittens a lot easier to care for at this age. But the earlier ages of 4 to 6 months is when things start to get easier.
The reason it will start to get easier at this age is because kittens develop better control over their potty habits during this period. Plus, they’ll can be fully crate trained at this age, meaning they’ll can get used to sleeping alone without causing chaos.
But there’s still a lot of work to do… you still might not be able to get your life back after getting a new kitten. And as I said, it is perfectly normal to regret getting a kitten? In fact, do you know there’s a term to describe these regretful feelings?
Having a kitten is exhausting: here’s how long it gets before it’s easier
If you’re a new kitten parent, you probably imagined starting life with your kitten was like what you saw in the movies — the happily-ever-after kind of living arrangement.
Then reality sets in.
The kitten you brought home to add meaning and happiness to your life is slowly turning out to be the thief of joy you never had.
Having a kitten is exhausting.
You may think there’s no silver living, but if there’s anything I’d want you to take away from this article, it’s this: raising a kitten does get easier with time.
When your adorable furry friend is 4-6 months old, managing them won’t be as difficult as it is during the early weeks of bringing them home.
Why four to six months? You may ask.
Well, that’s because the worst nightmares for almost every kitten parent happen when a kitten isn’t yet 4 – 6 months old. Here’s what I’m talking about:
- Potty accidents — It takes about 4-6 months for a kitten to be fully potty trained.
- Kitten teething — A kitten develops adult teeth when they turn six months old. So, they tend to exhibit annoying chewing behaviors before they hit six months.
- Crying at night — A kitten stops being a nuisance at night and fully learns to enjoy sleeping alone when they’re about six months old (when crate training is and must be involved, of course)
So, it’s safe to say that things get much, much better when you put in the effort to ensure your new kitty:
- Is fully potty trained.
- Is fully crate trained.
- Fully adopts appropriate chewing behaviors.
But even as you focus on these three, make it a priority to get your kitten on a routine and consistently train them on good manners. This will ensure you have less headache managing your kitty even before they hit four months.
Introduce crate training early enough
If you don’t crate train your feline baby as soon as you bring them home, they’ll suffocate you with their constant whining for attention day and night.
As I mentioned earlier, it takes almost six months for a kitty to be fully crate trained.
In the beginning, have the crate (make sure it has comfortable beddings inside) in your room when it’s time to sleep so your kitty can feel secure knowing they are in the same room with you at night.
Once you notice they’ve grown fond of the crate as their favorite sleeping den, you can permanently move it to another area of your choice.
When its daytime, place them inside the crate for short periods. Be sure to fill it with their best toys and special treats your kitty doesn’t get as often. That way, you won’t have a hard time making them stay in the crate when you have other things to do in the house.
Routine! Routine! Routine!
I guess you’ve heard this a million times, but I don’t mind repeating it one more time.
Kittens are routine-oriented creatures. They behave well when there is order in their day-to-day life.
So, what does that mean for you?
You must introduce your new kitten to a routine as soon as they come home. A routine, in this case, means scheduling their feeding time, exercise/play time, potty time, and sleeping time.
There’s no fun dealing with an uncontrollable kitten that’s stressed out because they don’t know what to expect when they wake up.
Potty training your kitten
No one prepares a new kitten parent for the stress that comes with handling their kitten’s inappropriate potty habits.
That’s why more than anything, you must have a strict feeding routine for your kitten. You’ll be able to predict when they’ll need to pee or poop.
Make sure your feline baby relieves themselves at the same time, same place every day after their meal. Also, reward them whenever they do the right thing. You’ll make great progress in the potty-training process.
All in all, make peace with the fact that no kitten adopts proper potty behaviors overnight. It takes 4-6 months for a kitten to fully control their bowel and bladder. Until then, expect toilet accidents to happen.
Make basic training a priority
Introduce your little feline friend to training so you can lay the right foundation for proper manners early enough. Plus, be consistent with training, so you’re kitty eventually fully understands what you expect of them.
The goal of training is to make your kitten familiar with instructions. When you’re consistent, you’ll be able to deal with those annoying behaviors like a pro!
Coping with kitten teething
The teething phase, which often ends when a kitten is six months of age, is one of the most dreaded parts about kitten parenting. That’s because your adorable fur baby turns into a little monster right before your eyes.
A kitten that’s going through teething tends to chew and bite anything they find.
That said, correct unwanted chewing and biting behaviors as soon as you spot them. Make sure there are lots of assorted chew toys in your home so that your kitten has plenty of alternatives to chew on.
And most importantly, be consistent in issuing commands to stop your kitten from pursuing the destructive chewing behaviors that annoy you.
Another thing to also mention is neutering. There is some belief that neutering and spaying can calm down kittens. Many vets won’t do this until a kitten is nearer to 9 months though.
Is it normal to regret getting a kitten?
Yes, it is normal to regret getting a kitten, I think this happens to all new owners who’ve not owned a cat before.
Raising a kitten is anything but easy. It’s a full-time job. If you find yourself wishing you didn’t bring your kitten into your life, you’re experiencing what we call the kitten blues.
That’s when the excitement of having a fluffy bundle of joy wears off after a few days, and all you’re left with is regret at getting a kitten.
Many new kitten owners get hit by kitten blues. You’re not alone. And no, you aren’t the worst kitten parent alive. It’s perfectly normal to have these feelings.
Truthfully, there’s no specific time frame as to how long kitten blues last. Everyone’s experience is different. But it mostly depends on how soon you are able to control the kitten habits that drive you nuts.
Take comfort knowing that the regretful feelings are only temporary. Soon enough, you’ll reflect on the nerve-racking times with a smile.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional kitten trainer for better perspectives on some of the kitten parenting challenges you’re facing. It also helps to have a support system, particularly friends who are cat parents.
When you have a constant source of encouragement, you’ll slowly overcome the horrible feelings of regret… but please be rest assured: kittens do get easier.
At what age are kittens the most difficult?
I believe that kittens are the naughtiest at their most difficult stage of 2 to 3 months old. They are not fully potty and crate trained. They will want to roam the house, chew your shoes, and destroy everything in sight!
At what age do kittens start settling down?
Kittens tend to be calmer when they are around six months of age. That’s when they’re almost approaching maturity.
At what age are kittens the naughtiest?
A kitten is most naughty when they’re going through teething — between 3 to 6 months of age.
The frustrations of raising your new kitten are more than the beautiful moments you anticipated, and all you may be thinking about is when things will get better. If this is your situation, you’ve come to the right place.
Yes, it’s completely normal to experience kitten blues. Luckily, the regret is only temporary.
It might not seem it now, but kittens will get easier.