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Claws extended

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I know that it isn't advisable to let a kitten play with a person's hand lest he becomes a biter when adult (or not really a biter but a scrachter big time)
but I wonder if somebody noticed a difference in the ways a cat reaches out to touch a person_I mean in a relaxed way, not when they are angry and scracht to defend themselves_ I noticed with the fosters that not always they use their claws (experience; at first they'd play with claws extended consequently I had to either retreat my hand in time, stuff a toy and say NO! because their claws were always out but now that they're more tame
they don't stick out their claws and playing is like playing with a teddy bear! That's just two of them (Nanette and Juliette) the third one keeps her claws out all the time, she's used to get a toy instead of my hand but will always swipe after I pull my hand when petting..if I say Ouch (most of the time of course) she sort of winces like "oops what did I do" I guess it is the tone of my voice.. I've been letting her 'give me kisses' (risking my face but I guess she's taming a bit more)
OTOH, Clovis who did that as a kitten, still plays with claws out and he's a housecat so maybe it depends on the cat..
post #2 of 5
Having cats will mean being scratched one way or another. I let my kitties grab my hands when playing. They will not bite because they learned it was unacceptable behavior. And although they act like they'll tear the flesh out of my hands, I never get hurt. When they are on my lap or chest they will reach for my face with their claws out. Our skin is not as thick as the bark of a tree or the sisal in the scratch post so there are accidents once in a while. I do not think we can stop cats from scratching. It's their nature.
post #3 of 5
It depends on how well the cat was socialized as a kitten. Kittens who grew up with their littermates until they were fully weaned have learned exactly what is acceptable to their siblings in terms of play-fighting, and will readily learn it with you as well if you know how to tell them. Other cats, who were orphaned or given away or taken to a shelter too early, have missed out on this boundary learning and so will possibly never understand what is too much.

They also give what they get. If you put on a kitten mitten and ever so gently bat the ends across their tummy, they'll play back gently. If you grab them and roughly wriggle them back and forth on the carpet like a crazy person (and an animal abuser) you're gonna get bit hard.

And of course it's the cats personality as well. Zissou, for one, will never break the skin on purpose (has done while falling or being scared to death by something else).

It's actually not really a good idea to use a toy in your hand either. Better to get a feather-on-a-stick toy or play fetch or something else interactive, because there really isn't much difference between a toy in your hand and your hand, as you've learned.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
If you put on a kitten mitten
I've never done that so I'll get a kitten mitten; these fosters have had it very rough, it is a wonder they are taming as they are; mom was whisked to the vet b/c she was mating again right after they're weaned and for 1 week they had to hide and survive (we thought the litter had died she hid them so well) by themselves. Right after she was reunited with them panleoukopenia struck and naturally killed two of their littermates and
sickened them and mom. All adults survived, the others made it somehow.
To top it off the house they lived by was razed by the City which freaked out everybody.
Eventually I got the survivors to tame and adopt out so we're taking it very slowly.
I've tamed and adopted out before but never had little ferals like these that's why I'm watching them like a hawk..thanks for the ideas and about the toy, I use it as shield (it is large doggie toy, they've 3 of those)
post #5 of 5
I have noticed my kittens don't even extend their claws out anymore unless they get really excited, which is when I say "OUCH!!!" and they would retract their claws. I say "NO!!" if they even look like they are going to scratch furniture. Luckily, I trim their nails constantly so the scratches isn't as bad. I think no matter what, you are bound to get scratched so definitely keep your first aid handy and make sure they are up to date with their shots.
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