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nature vs nurture

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
we are lucky to have an exceptionally well behaved cat who only has a few obnoxious habits and my husband thinks it is due to my "parenting". I think I completely lucked out with this cat and it's her temperament which I helped blossom. I could easily have adopted a hell's angel cat and all my limits and training ( like scat cans and walls of aluminum foil and attention and treats etc) would have been useless if the cat wanted to climb the drapes. BTW I have silk swags in the dining room which puddle onto the floor and the cats leaves them alone.

Whats the general opinion here... nature or nuture?
post #2 of 6
I agree with you.
Mikey is the sweetest most loveable cat ever!
He totally trusts me and allows me to dress him up, swaddle him like a baby ect.
now i have raised stewie since he was two weeks old. lots of cuddling, playing, napping, yet he is a demon cat who hates to be touched.
I totally think its just part of his nature. and his kitten attitude
post #3 of 6
Hmmmm good question! Using your curtain example, since I had 4 the same age, raised the exact same way:

When 4 of mine were months old, the only one I had problems with climbing the curtains was Ducky. All I would do is take a chair where I could reach him and get him off the curtain, sometimes, walking around with him in my arms to change his attention.

I never used any "tactics" to get him not to climb the curtains, except to just take him off the curtains. There were incidences where he would pull the whole curtain down and still go back for more. He finally just stopped climbing the curtain.

I have never been a "punisher" with my cats at all. They pretty much do whatever they want and what I dont want them doing, I keep away from them. My cats are well behaved, extremely loving and come to me when I call them.

I think its a combination of both. I do believe they have their own personality, but I also believe that you can raise them in secure surroundings it helps, too.

I would be interested to hear other's thoughts on this.
post #4 of 6
I think a lot of it is their nature - but I do think cats are "trainable" to a certain degree. I definitely think with patience and repetition they will learn.

For example - Cosmo is an explorer and very curious. The first week home he was constantly up on the kitchen counter. This is really one of the only places in my home I DO NOT want him to go. Every time he was up there I would put him back on the floor and tell him "nope, not for you" (no yelling). He doesn't even try anymore.

He's not a lap cat (nature), BUT he is learning to sit nearer to me. I carry him to bed every night religiously and put him by my feet. He now waits for me to do it, and he stays in bed with me - where the first few weeks he'd only stay for like 2 minutes and then off he'd go.

So I do think some of it can be "nurtured" into them
post #5 of 6
It's a bit of both imo (yeh I know - cop out answer!). A lot of it is down to socialisation when they are young kittens but some is down to genetics. When I got my first 2 kittens - Jaffa and Magpie - they were littermates and approx 8 weeks old. Both had had the same upbringing up til then and were exposed to exactly the same socialisation and environment once I got them home. Magpie turned into a chilled out cat who was happy to be fussed by visitors (a little nervous at first but he was soon rolling over to have his tummy rubbed) whereas Jaffa just runs and hides. Two totally different personalities. However, I'm sure that if Jaffa had had been brought up a bit differently - eg in a family environment rather than with just one person or by being an indoor/outdoor cat - I think he would be a bit less timid.

Mosi is the most laid back, friendly cat who loves everyone and I think that's a lot down to his early socialisation but natural temperament must also play a role.
post #6 of 6
I believe nature plays a bigger role than nurture, in part based on Jamie's two brothers who have remained together, and thus have received the same nurturing. One is friendly, adventurous, and outgoing, while the other is very much an "invisible" cat; the latter was even like that as a very small kitten.
Jamie was very rambunctious as a kitten, and while we've managed to train him not to climb the walls (literally - we have cork wallpaper in the hallway) or to shred the furniture, he still gets into stuff. Last week he decided to climb up a curtain to catch a fly, and broke the curtain rod (not surprising, since he now weighs 14.5 lbs.)
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