View Full Version : Uh Oh. College Student with Kitten

Oct. 18, 2009, 02:02 AM
I've always gotten on to kids out here for getting animals and trying to keep them in dorms but here I am with a 4 week old kitten sitting on my bed desperately trying to kill my fingers while I'm typing. Ooops! So now I have a kitten that I have to keep in hiding for the next few weeks til I go home. Now I do have some emergency back ups in case I run into trouble here like my manager discovering my little stow away :uhoh:, but I would like to not have to resort to that. So are there any other deviants out there who kept a pet in student housing? How did you manage it?

Now for those of you who are curious about how I acquired the little monster, I've been hearing this really pathetic meowing for the past few days down at the barn but I've never been able to find the source. Well today I went in search again and found the poor little thing standing in the middle of a cow pen. So I scooped it up with only minimal hissing and spitting and was pretty much sunk from that point on. Now the BO refuses to spay/neuter any of his cats so he has a huge feral cat popluation of which this little one is one of the newest additions. Well, yesterday while we were standing around listening to the meowing he told me that he saw one of the adult cats killing a kitten the day before. Of course that ran through my mind while this kitteh was crawling all over me desperately looking for food so naturally it's now curled up next to me with a full belly. Sigh. It's just too cute. And I'm really surprised how social it is considering I'm pretty sure I'm the first person it's ever come in contact with. The other kittens down there I've tried to socialize would not have any of it but this one is completely comfortable and content.

So my obvious irresponsibility aside I would really appreciate any advice or experiences about secret kitten keeping so that I can get this little one back home with minimal drama. Thanks

PS. Horse has a vet appt. on thurs. so I'm going to take kitten along and get it checked out to make sure it's nice and healthy.

Oct. 18, 2009, 02:25 AM
Well, you just cannot post a kitten thread without pictures!!!!!


Oct. 18, 2009, 02:52 AM
Of course pictures. Well my camera is broken so phone pics will have to do for now.


I'll get some better ones tomorrow

Oct. 18, 2009, 04:31 AM
You saved a life.

What a cute kitten!!!

Oct. 18, 2009, 05:56 AM
No advice, sorry, but what a cute little tiger. Looks just like PP's tiger kitteh.

Oct. 18, 2009, 08:09 AM
Oh how cute! My grandmother used to say "Where there's a will, there's a way..." So, I have no practical advice for you on hiding the little one until you can get him or her back home to safety - but I'm sure you can do it!

Oct. 18, 2009, 10:21 AM
Well we made it through the first night. Apparently we differ on our ideas of snuggling so needless to say I didn't get much sleep with the furry beast trying to sleep on my face, but we made it. Now just trying to keep it entertained. It's got quite the mad fighting skills and has conquered all the paper balls and string I have and decided to move on to bigger game. On to Walmart to buy some kitteh toys and bandaids :D.

Oct. 18, 2009, 10:50 AM
I thought someone had found me out and posted about me for a minute! Phew, I'm still in the clear!

First of all- ADORABLE! I have an M cat of my own, named Medea from Greek mythology. I'm not sure if it's a "kitten thing", but your M cat's M is VERY pronounced, lovely markings. Again- ADORABLE!

Guide to Keeping Kittens/Cats in Dorms:

1- Beware the Age of Knocking Things Over: this extends from a few weeks of age to death. Secure your knickknacks! Don't leave cups w/ liquid in them lying around (use waterbottles instead). Secure everything else. I find a bureau/dresser/closet is a wonderful way to messily chuck everything where Kitten can't get at it. Remember- there is nothing more suspicious than a loud clang/bang/boom coming from your "empty" room. And the mess isn't much fun either (read: butternut squash soup (now cold and sticky) all over the floor).

2- Soundproofing: an "anti draft snake" is a wonderful invention, use it. It will keep everything you want in the room, well, in the room. This includes heat (unless you lived in my room last year you were apparently cold; we enjoyed the tropics), noise (meow meow), and any errant smells- which brings me to...

3- Waste Management: here is how you do it- small litter box WITH LID/kitty door. I would suggest getting a smaller plastic storage container from Target and cut an entrance in the lid half. Zipper sandwich/snack baggies- not fold over! for emptying said litter contraption. Remember to put in a non-clear bag before putting in the communal trash. Obviously clean about 42 times a day.

4- Mealtime: you can get kitten (and cat) food in pouches rather than cans. They don't need to be rinsed, take up way less space, don't require a spoon, and are considerably less obvious in the trash. If you have a fridge and aren't feeding an entire pkg of food baking soda really does help. Depending on how easily you can clean dishes paper plates might be the way to go. Towel underneath the water bowl that is absorbent enough to soak up all of the water (see #1).

Have fun! I've got two former feral kittens of spay/neuter age at the moment, and there are four more who are still with their mom in the barn we're hoping to socialize soon.... I will need a LOT of help to prevent me from adopting those four as well! And this is only from the couple of cats we haven't been able to catch to neuter/spay yet and a fairly small colony, can't imagine what it's like with NO ONE fixed! One less intact feral today is a LOT less tomorrow, you did a good thing!

Oct. 18, 2009, 11:06 AM
Keep the TV on--preferably animal planet!

Put all things glass and breakable away

Tell one trustworthy friend about said kitten. In case there's a fire alarm while you're in class or something and you're in class, someone can get him out.

Practice hiding him under a jacket or sweatshirt or in a tote bag, so he's used to it and quiet and doesn't yowl or scratch or fight in case he needs to be moved quickly and discretely.

Oct. 18, 2009, 11:16 AM
well, you obviously found Tadgh's doppleganger, so of COURSE you had to rescue him.

NOT that I'm condoning the behaviour... but...

Getting him used to a crate (at a time when 'staff' would, say, be at class, or out, or, basically out of earshot) is a VERY GOOD THING. A big enough crate for a small litter pan, some toys and some food...

But small enough that it fits either a) in the closet, b) under a table (with a tablecloth) or can be faked as a nighttable bedstand when a cloth or coloured sheet or such is thrown over. Closet, is of course better, most especially if you can muffle sound. But best if kitty is happy in the crate so he trundles off to sleep if he has to be stashed.

I've passed polygraphs in the past, and I may have to again, so I won't really say how I know this method works... but... we'll just leave it at that. :uhoh:

Oct. 18, 2009, 11:19 AM
Yay! I'm so glad I'm not alone. Great ideas Eventaholic. I'm definitely going to add some of those to my walmart list. I'm still worried about the room next to mine though as the walls are paper thin but the girl in that room isn't the most observant person I've ever met so I'm hoping she just won't even notice. But dang is this thing noisy. I can't leave for a second before it starts it's row. Luckily our school has a weird semester system and I don't actually have classes except for some online ones, so I really don't have anywhere to be where the kitten can't go with me. Oops looks like I'll be missing yet another week of church :cool:.

So my next question is how to I tell what gender it is? I've heard the colon/exclamation point thing so I'm thinking it's a he but I'm still not sure. Anyone have any other ways to tell?

Ok here's the latest. The little monster is already an expert at the famous kitty skill of hindering whatever the human is doing. They must be born with it


Meredith Clark
Oct. 18, 2009, 11:45 AM
I had a kitten my senior year of college. I worked at a tack store and I found him in the drainpipe behind the store.

I lived in an apartment (campus owned) so it was easier to keep him hidden.

However.. the first 2 years I did live in a dorm and I had a guinea pig! The nice thing about UM was that there were laws protecting student's rights. The RAs couldn't just enter our rooms without notice unless they thought were were in serious danger and they couldn't open closets or trucks without a police warrant.

When we had scheduled room inspections he went to hide at the Sorority house and if we ever had to leave the door open or go in and out he got stuffed in the closet.

My RA's knew about him and said as long as I didn't flaunt it or get caught by the RD (resident director) they didn't care.

cherish the moment 07
Oct. 18, 2009, 12:35 PM
oh my gosh he is soooo cute!
Honestly the thing that I would do is not tell a living soul except for one person that you really trusted for emergency purposes, such as someone else suggested.Even if someone doesn't mean to get you in trouble they may end up talking about it and someone else could overhear.
Good luck! He is so very cute!
I also have an "M" cat named Marvin!

Oct. 18, 2009, 12:38 PM
Yeah Pintopiaffe, now to just come up with names as creative as all your ittybitties :). He's already pretty good at traveling in my purse so I've been able to keep him hidden from my roommates so far. I'll go get a crate and start crate training both for emergencies and so that I can get some sleep at night without the little fuzzball climbing all over my face. Of course now he's passed out in my lap so that I can't move. Oh so is life with kittehs.

Oct. 18, 2009, 12:41 PM
My freshman roommate did the same thing. We named him 'Covert' because he was a covert operation :lol:.

Oct. 18, 2009, 12:46 PM
We have some naughty college girls on ths board. :lol: You guys have this thing down to an art.

What a cute kitten...I'm so glad you rescued her, she definitely looks like a keeper.

Oct. 18, 2009, 12:54 PM
You go girl! One more pweciousness saved from being person-less, good for you.

My junior year my roomie and I each picked up a gerbil at the pet store. Things were okay until wala, one day both of our male gerbils have babies. Then it got a little crazy. Fortunatley our Bio prof was an enabling partner in crime, and helped us raise, then place, the little monsters. So we litterally bred gerbils under the RA's nose, she never noticed, until towards end of term one of them managed to exercise his plastic ball out the door and down the hallway. That was kind of hard to cover up, but she only knew about one - we obediently gave that one to another hall mate and were able to nod obediently when asked if we'd gotten ride of "it".

Also little did she know another hall mate had a Siamese cat. Poozer was fortnately quiet, old, and settled, and everyone on the hall loved him. RA never figured out about him, hallmates banded together to keep him safe (Poozer's owners' parents had broken up and put him in a shelter - they never figured out their daughter snuck him into school instead!).

One caveat - the more people find out, beware of that odd monster of a person who has heard of pranks to play on cats - one day I found poor Poozer with his paws taped together lying in the hallway. Drunken party going on at one end, some frat boy thought it was hilarious. Grabbed him and got him out of that predicament asap, but just beware there are a**holes that don't like cats and get drunk enough to do stupid things, they seem to be even more prevalent in college dorm situations.

Best of luck with your widdle tiger witten!

Oct. 18, 2009, 01:33 PM
Meredith brings up a really good point- at least at public schools (and it may vary, but I'm pretty sure this is standard) RA's are not allowed to enter a room without asking. Although they will go get Camp if you don't let them in most likely, but I doubt they would in the case of an errant mew or two- more like people stumbling over drunk. They also need you to open any drawers, trunks, closets, or dressers.

Maybe hide a small crate behind a large stash of undies and tampon boxes?

Oct. 18, 2009, 02:25 PM
yeah I'm an RA - and while I would be completely cool with any of my residents illegally having pets (hahaha) we really generally do not ever have reason to enter someones room. Since its this late in the semester you really have nothing to worry about (and I assume you don't have a roommate?)
Just keep him, he is really really cute!
I would keep a kitty in my room if I found one! And I'd probably be in more danger of losing my job for that. But people just don't go in others rooms- your fine

Oct. 18, 2009, 03:03 PM
Well the RA's don't make a habit of randomly entering our rooms but unfortunately I go to a really strict private school so they could go where ever they wanted if they have reason to be suspicious. Plus our buildings have camera's in the stairwell so I have to make sure I keep him hidden all the way up to my apt. So although I don't have to worry about any drunken partying, theres always at least one roommate who would be self righteous enough to tell on me. But our apt. manager is really nice so even though I know she would tell me to get rid of him I don't think I would get into any trouble. Besides I'm usually the quiet, rule follower so I don't think anyone would ever suspect me. :winkgrin:

Now can anyone help me with clipping his claws? Can I do it with something other than an actual kitty claw trimmer, or should I just invest in one of those? He has quite the sharpened set on him and if I show up with anymore scratches on me someone is bound to suspect something.

Oct. 18, 2009, 03:18 PM
Make sure the kitty does not have access to any window sills were it can be detected by passers by while he is watching all the cool happenings.

Oct. 18, 2009, 03:39 PM
I have used regular nail clippers for people in a pinch. The easiest way I've found is to flip kitty on his back in your lap (head up so he looks like he is sitting up) and clip one foot at a time. My cat has no problems with getting his nails trimmed since he learned about it when he was a tiny kitten. Good luck!

Wizard of Oz's
Oct. 18, 2009, 04:27 PM
I've found a kitten abandoned at the barn also that I'm going to take to my dorm within the next few days. My RA is really pretty lazy, doesn't care about any rule breaking, and they never do room checks, so I'm not worried about that lol. I was wondering though, do you guys leave the kittens out when you go to class or do you keep them in a crate? I don't have a roommate but my room connects to the room next door because we share a bathroom, and my suitemate is my good friend and would cover for me if needed.

I was worried about it making noise but leaving the TV on is a good idea!

Oct. 18, 2009, 05:02 PM
I would make sure to have the kitty's rabies vaccine done before attempting nails..just to be safe. If kitty bit you and you had to go to the hospital/report it...without rabies, they would quarantine kitty. Maybe I'm paranoid...but considering he was a feral kitten before you got him, I would want to make sure that this was covered before doing anything that could result in a bite or scratch...just a thought.

Oct. 18, 2009, 05:28 PM
Just in case you haven't already googled around..

My sister's cat came from a feral litter; at 5 weeks, she was miniscule, virtually the size of a particularly robust hamster, with a little rat tail. As I recall, she ate kitten milk and underwent a transformation around Week 7 from being a quiet, timid little animal that didn't even try to leave her box to being a bold and wild huntress who slipped away every time you blinked. Drove the dog crazy.

Oct. 18, 2009, 05:30 PM
(Poozer's owners' parents had broken up and put him in a shelter - they never figured out their daughter snuck him into school instead!).

Argh. Good for her. I knew someone whose dad took her old dog to the pound when she went to college. Jesus, some people.

Oct. 18, 2009, 05:37 PM
Good for you, Sillymoose! That kitty is adorable!!
Eventaholic, I used so many of those tactics successfully in my past!! My two kitties can attest to their success! Esp coming cross country staying in hotels w no specific pet policy. I know, shame on me!

Oct. 18, 2009, 06:54 PM
My roommate and I had a kitten/cat (that looked A LOT like your kitten) for the entire year. We adopted her before starting college and always had the option of stashing her at my parents house (an hour away) if needed but we made it the entire year.

We moved her into the dorms in a TV box. In the elevator, someone's dad heard her moving around a bit and gave us a look but didn't give us away. My advice is to go through a list of people that might "find you out" and figure who is trustworthy and who is not, so that you know who you are really hiding from.

We would come home from class and find two tiger striped kitten paws reaching out from under the door crack so take a look at your door and find a way to block the crack, if necessary (a hardware store can sell you weather stripping that you can use).

Leave the radio on or some other noise blocker (box fan, TV, etc.) to muffle any meowing. Create a place that he/she likes to hang/out and sleep that is somewhat hidden to cut down the possibility of someone walking in on you (our kitten loved the laundry basket kept under the bed with laundry or a towel inside).

If you only need to hide her for a short time and you really need to make sure no one come inside your room -- come up with a mysterious/contagious disease and keep a sign on your door that you are sick -- don't enter.

We had a rash of people pulling the fire alarm and we would bring her downstairs wrapped in a bathrobe or towel -- no one ever asked questions and there were other students out there with "mystery packages".

Good luck!

Oct. 18, 2009, 07:40 PM
I am going to be the descender that says you should move the kitten to an appropriate home (one where it is allowed!) now, not try to hide it from your RA and other residents. Just read this article in the paper this morning http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/64634167.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU and I would think the same to be true of cat hair and dander. I really pity an unknowing person in your building who may have a cat allergy and may be having problems and have no idea why. You will have your whole adult life to choose to live whereever you want and have whatever pets you want, you don't "need" to break the rules and have a kitten when it is clearly not allowed.

Oct. 18, 2009, 07:50 PM
I had one my senior year. Found her starved under my car. We bonded instantly over some leftover sushi in our fridge.

We did have the maintenance man come twice unexpectedly and I told him to wait outside because my roommate was naked. (it was an apartment) While he waited, I hid the litter box, bowls, and the kitty in her room. Close call. Roommate wasn't actually even there, but the excuse bought me a few minutes.

Also, cats like to sun themselves in windows. I had two friends get busted this way.

Moderator 1
Oct. 18, 2009, 08:05 PM
Good luck to the OP and her kitten, but we're going to close the thread as it's not farm-related.

Mod 1