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Topic: Regret of buying a kitten- Help!

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. Nessa-chan
    Nessa-chan avatar
    7 posts
    21 April 2021

    Hi, I'm a 21 year old GAD who is in their third and final year of university, along with a part time job and club leader.

    Recently about 5 days ago, my dad bought a 10-week old ragdoll kitten for me. For the last few years I've wanted a pet and only about 3-4 weeks ago did I get permission to have a pet by my mum. I was only looking at some things to know about owning a cat and just bought a few things to see if I liked how it was in my room. The day after buying some things (that if I didn't want I would have given to a friend) my dad said he had found a kitten for our house, and later that weekend we got the kitten.

    I was very excited but nervous and anxious about having one. After 1-2 days I noticed that I was feeling more anxious and down then usual, and I recently have been going to therapy for my anxiety and depression. I noticed it was linked to the worry and anxiety about owning the kitten, the responsibility and the lost of my own personal alone time and space, along with time spent out of the house. I really value my alone personal time and space as an introvert, and miss going out with friends to study or eat (Missed our weekly study session).

    I think I and my dad rushed getting a kitten, as this huge responsibility was something I was not as prepared as I thought. I love my kitten so much but the anxiety of having him has caused me to lose my appetite, breakdown and cry (sometimes when I look at him I breakdown) and lose sleep.

    I don't know what to do! I really want to keep him as I love him so much, he is a great companion, very affectionate and when I look at him I have the thought "I don't want to lose him". But I don't have as much time as I thought for him. Owning him has caused a lot of mental health instability and unsureness, and I am very busy with university, part time work and hanging out with friends, and my family are busy with their life as well.

    Any advice as to what I should? Should I keep him or try selling him/ give him up?

  2. JJ1981
    JJ1981 avatar
    16 posts
    21 April 2021

    Hi Nessa!

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation...the choice that you have also made me want to cry too, and I'm a 40 year old male (or thereabouts).

    First, I'd say: KEEP HIM!

    You are feeling anxiety and depression because you are not used to the responsibilities that come with taking care of a kitten, which is not a disposable toy but a beautiful creature that needs tender love and care.

    I know you are busy, but try to incorporate the kitten into your "private" time, like when you lie down. I'm sure that, over time, the cat will want to lie down with you and give you extra company. You can "invite" him over to your friendly gatherings...I'm sure people will love attention from a cat. I have been to a cat cafe in my home city to pay "rescue cats" a visit, especially one good looking and very fluffy female cat.

    You can incorporate the more demanding responsibilities, such as feeding him, cleaning him, cleaning his litter into your regular routine...so that it wouldn't affect your studies, downtime, family time etc.

    While you do your part time work, you can try keeping the kitten in a controlled but playful space where he won't escape, preferably with a family member of yours in case he wants "attention" of some sort.

    You can also talk with your parents about your father/mother spending time with him, especially when it was your FATHER who bought him!

    Keep at it. It can seem really demanding, but you will get better at it with practice and consistency. The kitten will grow into a very loyal and loving feline friend for that.

    Good luck, Nessa!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5742 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to Nessa-chan

    Hi and welcome to the beyond blue forums.

    Pets make good companions. And to some extent cats also look after themselves most of the time. Of course there is feeding and litter tray management. The love they give is unconditional. Time spent with a pet can be helpful as time in the now vs worrying about the future. And I have a cat as well so might be a little biased.

    Our cat is an indoor cat and wife and I work. So there is time when the cat is alone. And enjoys our company in the evening and vice versa.

    This might be a new experience for you? Maybe reading about cat care on the internet will help you find an answer. Is the business of your life your concern? That maybe you won't care for the cat properly or ???

    On the other hand you might not be ready as you said. And how would giving up your pet make you feel?

  4. Nessa-chan
    Nessa-chan avatar
    7 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi Smallwolf,

    Thank you for the advice. I was wondering if it is alright to leave my kitten who is about 11-12 weeks old home when I am out at work, university or with friends? As this was my greatest concern about something bad occuring while I was gone.

    This is definitely a new experience for me as I have never had a pet before at all. The business of my life is a concern as I am quite young right now, and I enjoy having my freedom. The main reason for my anxiety is that I won't be able to care for him and that this responsibility is too large for me to handle.

    Giving him up would make me feel very sad, and depressed as I do love him very much, but it would also be a bit of relief as he is going to a better home and I gain my personal space, time and freedom back. It is very conflicting thoughts for me, as I don't know what to do.

  5. Nessa-chan
    Nessa-chan avatar
    7 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to JJ1981

    Hi JJ1981,

    Thanks for the advice. I am definitely feeling anxious and depressed as I have never had a pet before, and to rush and have this huge responsibility for me is a lot. I've been trying to get him use to playing and relaxing while I am home, while also use to cleaning and feeding.

    My family have been very helpful in stating that they will look after him while I am out, although I worry for the day when all of us are out of the home with stuff. I am gonna try to keep him for the next week or so (so about 2 weeks with him in total), to see how it is for both of us.

  6. JJ1981
    JJ1981 avatar
    16 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to Nessa-chan

    Nessa, keep trying with him. It's good that you are continuing on, at least for a bit.

    If all your family needs to go out, keep the kitten in a space (like a room) where he will have everything he may need whilst all of you are out (from the kitty litter to the toys...and water/milk and food, of course). It's not like your family will have a holiday without him, so you give him all those things before you go and he will...slowly...adapt to being on his own.

    Also, when you come back, give him a kiss and extra big cuddle...he will thank you for it...

    You will get better...hang in there...

  7. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    15268 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to Nessa-chan

    Hello Nessa-chan, I go along with what those above have said, at the moment it's still a kitten, they want to be played with or you can buy toys where they entertain themselves, it's only very young and once it becomes an adult all it will want is to sleep on your bed or your lap, purring away, so content.

    If you give it away, this could quite easily cause problems and that's certainly not what you want and it will adapt to your routine when you are home or when no one else is home, they have the ability to do this, like sitting on your window sill and get the warmth from the sun.

    Once you came home the first thing you'll want to do is find the cat and give it a cuddle, you will eventually love it and have many years enjoying its own little idiosyncrasies.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

  8. Nessa-chan
    Nessa-chan avatar
    7 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for the advice, I wanted to know the problems that could occur with giving him back to the previous owner? As I know that my mental health will suffer a bit, it will also bring some relief and rest.

    I've noticed that he prefers for someone else to be in the same room as him (Specifically me), and that he will follow them. So I am worried when no one is home and what he may do. I was thinking of leaving him in just my room, but I worry it might be too small for him.

    I've been discussing with my family about all the factors, and sadly were leaning towards returning him back to his previous owner. I love him very much, but with our busy family lifestyle, my unstable mental health, loss of sleep and appetite, anxiety, worry and stress, and the fact that with having him I don't have as my opportunities that I wish to explore while young. It might be best to give him back while he is young.

    He is absolutely amazing, affectionate, sweet and cute, but I think I was just not ready for this major responsibility and rushed things.

  9. Nessa-chan
    Nessa-chan avatar
    7 posts
    22 April 2021

    Yesterday, after talking with my mum, she told dad (Who was at work at the time) about my stress, anxiety and how it might be best to return the kitten. My dad came home later that night from work, and told me the previous owner was saddened by the news but was more than happy to accept the return of him and asked if the kitten wanted to be picked up tomorrow. Of course, I wanted to spend more time with him to see if I would eventually get better, but my family recommended me to return him this week, as for them they have never seen me in such a bad emotional state before, and believed it would be better to have my freedom then be tied down and depressed.

    I love him so much and I really want to keep him, but the responsible decision after talking with others is that I return him back to the previous owner so that he can find a better home that have people who can take care of him and be home with him. As my family's lifestyle is very busy and out-and-about. This breaks my heart ever time I think of returning him, to the point I am crying but I need to accept that I was not ready for a pet. Especially during a busy and vulnerable time for me.

    Tomorrow (Friday) I am unforunately giving him back to his previous owner, in hopes that he can find a better home that have the time, space and energy for him. This has lead to a lot of mental grief and angst for me but I need to understand that it was not my time and I need to be more kind to myself. As I put a large expectation and responsibility onto me, believing that I could do it and everything will be "perfect".

    I feel defeated, depressed and a lot of grief at this moment, as I truly want to keep him but I can't. I feel very guilty and a failure for giving him up. I just am so unsure of myself, to the point I don't know anymore.

  10. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5742 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to Nessa-chan

    Not a failure at all. Perhaps replace that statement with

    I wish I could have a cat and I am not ready yet

    View this as an opportunity to learn from ... for next time?

  11. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    216 posts
    22 April 2021

    Hi Nessa,

    Im sorry to hear this turned out to be a stressful time rather than a happy time.

    Ive probably joined this conversation a little late as it seems you have come to a decision already, but you should take a little bit of pride from knowing you tried. It was something you wanted to do for a long time, so good on you for giving it a go.

    it may not be of help now, but cats do fine on their own. They sleep for a crazy amount of time (like 20hrs a day) so once they pass the crazy kitten time you will discover they are (mostly) very chill. For future reference, cats like routine, so if you will be out most days, just make sure you have set times for feeding & some play. A good idea is play before dinner, then let them eat, then the cat will generally want to clean & sleep 🤣

    Another thought, if you ever decide down the track to try again, you could always adopt a senior cat. They will tend to sleep even more so won’t be so reliant on you being around all the time.
    Just because you weren’t ready this time, doesn’t mean you won’t be ready down the track to try again with another pet.

    Another tip that might make getting a pet a little less stressful would be just reading up on the different types of breeds & their personalities as well as general information on cat care.

    I often watch a show in Foxtel called “My Cat From Hell” & it’s all about people who have probably adjusting to their cat, or the cat adjusting to them. So this guy called Jackson Galaxy comes in & teaches them how to care for the cat & what to do/not do, I’ve picked up a lot from that show.

    ooo, just had another thought. If owning a pet is not something you can fit into life right now, what about volunteering at a local pound or dog/cat rescue? Quite a few places rely on volunteers to help clean, feed or exercise the animals. My friend used to walk the dogs at her local pound once a week which I always thought sounded quite fun.

    Best of luck with your decision with the kitty. Don’t feel bad if you do say goodbye. Giving the kitty back to the previous owner is the best thing to do in such a situation & im sure a kitten will find a new home very quickly.

    im not an expert in any way, I just love animals so am happy to share my knowledge with you if you ever have questions.

    lve had dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, a rat & fish over my time & they all have their own unique qualities.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    15268 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to Nessa-chan

    Hello Nessa, I understand the commitment while you are struggling but there could be a possibility of getting the cat back when it's fully grown and feel comfortable looking after it and it doesn't mean you can't go and visit it, it will still remember you and then have a change of heart and adopt it back.

    Even though I love pets, there are still some I wouldn't get, but just get yourself well again.

    Geoff.

  13. Sleepy21
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    Sleepy21 avatar
    4153 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to geoff

    hi Nessa!!

    i just wanted to offer u reassurance, reading ur post. i was wandering if it is possible to step back from the worry about if its better to keep or return the kitten -

    i personally think it's more about the anxiety then the kitten.

    Either way is fine - keeping or giving away the kitten (u can also get a kitten at another point !)

    But moreso i can see ur anxiety is an issue.... i was wandering if u've heard of ACT as a therapy, because part of it is about accepting that anxiety is a huge part of life for us all - worries, doubts and negative thoughts, and learning to live with it

    new experiences will always present a lot of horrible or mixed feelings - but living a life according to our values means we accept and allow the anxiety, while still working on steps to get the life we want.

    if u do want an animal at some point i'm sure there are ways to do so while managing the anxiety. and defnitely cut urself some slack, it's all good either way with the kitten - u are truly trying ur best which is enough. and u cared and tried. good on u for trying with the kitten and giving it a go. That was a wonderful attempt. i've never even tried to have my own kitten.... so well done to u.

  14. Nessa-chan
    Nessa-chan avatar
    7 posts
    23 April 2021

    Thank you to everyone who has commented on my forum. This advice has reassured me in some way that even though I am giving up, I might not be ready just yet, and may need to find a older cat which will be better suited to me.

    I have been recently going to therapy, and my psychologist said ACT therapy would be the best for me. I have had a few sessions but I guess I wasn't able to accept and acknowledge that is okay to feel this way. I truly do want to keep him and try longer, but my family have told me that it is not doing well for me to continue to have him and cause me so much distress, stress, anxiety, worry and emotional crying.

    This was a learning experience for me, to learn not rush in making sure a big decision and that I need to first make sure I can commit to the pet (and preferably get an older one). I do hope to get one when I am a put more older in the future and when I have found my place within society. My friends and family have been super supportive with me, and trying to help me with my mental health issues.

    Today, though is the day I have to give him up. I am very distraught, stressed, sad, depressed and feel worthless that I was unable to take care of him and that I am giving up so easily and quickly. I've been second-guessing myself as I love him so much and he loves me so much. I wished I could keep him, I truly do, to the point I am crying about losing him. But at the same time, the stress and intense worry of having him has caused me a lot of suffering too.

    It breaks my heart to lose him, but it was just not my time. I am still quite young, and have a lot of exploration to do, along with maturing and growing. I hope to eventually get a pet that I can truly take care.

    Until then, to my dear baby kitten Tuffy,

    I love you very much baby, and know that I am not giving you up because you were bad. It was me that could not handle it, with my unstable mental health. I hope you will find a family that will give you so much space to run around and play with you lots. And be there for you when I couldn't. To cuddle you and give you the best bed to sleep on. You are an angel that I know will brighten up someone else's life. I am distraught and depressed to lose you, but know you will find a better family, home and parent. I will miss you so much. I will always love you my baby Tuffy.

    From your mother, Nessa-chan

  15. JJ1981
    JJ1981 avatar
    16 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to Nessa-chan

    Or...if you do need to hand him back, you can visit him from time to time and "look after him" within each time. Maybe, it will help you adapt more slowly to the needs of a cat...you will also continue to befriend him and, quite possibly, you will be in a position ready to take him back as a more mature cat (with less "maintenance").

    Just an idea anyway...I'm sure you love Tuffy very much...why let that love go?

  16. Nessa-chan
    Nessa-chan avatar
    7 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to JJ1981

    Unforunately the previous owners are going to try and find him a new family, that I probably won't be able to contact or meet with. I wish I could visit him from time to time, but I don't think it will be possible. I wish to get a pet, but even now with everything in my life I don't think I could handle getting another pet.

    I love Tuffy and will always have that love him. I just had to do the right thing which was give him back, in hopes of finding a family and home that actually have time and space for him. I've noticed that he is not as happy when someone from our home leaves for work or something else. And I fear that he may end up depressed or sicked while I am gone. Sometimes when you love something, you need to make the best decision for them.

  17. Ggrand
    Community Champion
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    Ggrand avatar
    9046 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to Nessa-chan

    Hello Dear Nessa-chan...

    I think you done a very unselfish and beautiful thing, by giving back the little kitten....They are so cute and so easy to love even within the first few minutes...

    Thanks to your beautiful soul, Tuffy will get a very loving and caring forever home....

    Yes you will miss him...When you feel able to get another pet, I know they love in your heart will go into making your pet very happy.....So true Nessie, sometimes love can hurt by doing the right thing...You are a beautiful person Nessie..

    My kind thoughts dear Nessie..

    Grandy..

  18. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    275 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to Nessa-chan

    Hi Nessa,

    I identify with so much of what you have been discussing. First of all, I have suffered from GAD since around preschool age.

    I have had this affliction where I get emotional attachments to.... people and animals and .... things too. Even after brief periods. I have 3 cats haha and a bird and.... as of the last couple of weeks .... a dog. The dog is the only decision I made after I was 100% sure..

    In a way there was no right or wrong decision no matter what you did with the kitten, but I can relate so much with the despair you were going through. I feel the same thing about..... well everything.

    This may make no sense to you; it doesn’t really to me - sometimes in some moods a flow of ideas comes to me, and sometimes it is coherent but sometimes it is not. I seemed to notice something I notice in myself by reading about your decision and despair followed by rationalisation of your decision to try and calm yourself.

    Hope things are becoming okay with you.

  19. CourtneyJ
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CourtneyJ avatar
    25 posts
    16 May 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    Dear Nessa-chan,

    I am totally having flashbacks. Below is a link that input up on this forum when I adopted a kitten a few years ago

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/anxiety/post-kitten-adoption-regret---can-anyone-relate-

    I haven't tried to adopt a pet again but I'm sure when my living situation changes I'll look into it again :)

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