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Help save a kitten...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm new here, and hoping someone can give me some ideas to pass along to my daughter. She has a kitten, about 7 months old, who has a terrible chewing habit. She started out with phone cords, then shoestrings, and has recently advanced to clothing. My daughter was advised to get more toys, change food, even treat suspected targets with bitter apple, etc. None of this has changed the behavior. Kitty gets lots of attention, even has her own little human(age 4) whom she adores, but seems to get into trouble when the folks are away or sleeping. She didn't leave home until she was four months old or so...My daughter says she will put the cat down if this does not stop. Can anyone give us any other ideas? Thanks. DebLW
post #2 of 7
Cats really dislike like citrus smells. Try to find a citrus spray or even just put orange/lemon peels out near what you don't want chewed.
post #3 of 7
Yipes, that's a tough one. I'm going to give it some thought, but I will also move this to the Behavior forum where our experts can take a look at this and try to help you.
post #4 of 7
Please tell you daughter that putting a kitty down for chewing is not a good thing to do. The kitty could just be being a kitty- and they chew. They chew on cords, and shoelaces, and fingers and each other if you have two. You can give this kitty a stuffed animal- like a beanie baby. Something soft and pliable to chew upon. Just be sure there are no removable or chewable items the kitty can take off and swallow or choke.

Interactive playtime with the kitten during the day, giving the kitten an outlet for the energy. Cat trees and cat ramps would be good. But first and foremost if kitten is chewing above and beyond what is normal,(and it sounds like this is the case) a vet visit is in order and some bloodwork needs to be drawn. There could be a nutrient or vitamin lacking in this kitten's body and this type of chewing on clothes is obsessive and sometimes referred to as "pica." Or if the kitten is licking concrete or bricks, it could be anemic. A good vet will be able to tell your daughter what is going on, prescribe medication and a proper diet for the kitten to also help. If this is indeed the case, the kitten cannot help herself, it is an internal mechanism that is driving her to do this. I hope your daughter can sort this out- and if anything please tell her to find a new home for this kitten instead of just putting it to sleep.
post #5 of 7
This kitten may be getting in it's adult teeth. Of course it will have to chew to loosen the baby teeth and help break the new teeth through. By 7 months all the adult teeth should be in and the teething over.
Have the vet check the kitten over to rule out any other cause.
They could keep it in a kitten proof room with toys to chew on when left alone. The toys can have rope bits to chew on.
Please try to convince her that to put the kitten down is cruel as that little one isn't doing this on purpose. There are homes out there with caring people who will be happy to take in that kitten.
I hope this helps some!
post #6 of 7
My kitty, Lila, will bite and pull the plugs right out of the outlet! She only does this when she is trying to tell me something-

When I got her 1st collar for her she was so angry- trying to get anyone to take it off. No one would, so she went around the house while we were asleep unplugging everything. I was late to work and I woke up trying to figure out if the electricity was out or not

I got a lemon and rubbed the juice all around the area of each plug (not on the outlet or anything!) and she has not done it since. Maybe that will work for you!

charlottiek, Ninikitty, Lila
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for all the great suggestions. Sure hope it helps the problem. (By the way, I won't let kitty be put to sleep--if necessary, we'll find a new home, but hopefully it won't be.) I still welcome any other ideas you can come up with! DebLW
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