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help me....Shorty is driving me up the wall!!!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi all

How can you keep cats out of everything????? And I do mean everything!! She is up on the table, the counters, into everything that there is possible to get into, she is biting your feet/legs all the time, etc, etc. I've tried swatting her (not hard, but hard enough to let her know she's not supposed to be doing whatever she is), and that doesn't accomplish anything! She just sits there and looks at you like "I'm not doing anything wrong, why are you being mean???". And it's too cold today to put her outside (it's -20C), yesterday was warmer, but we still can't put her outside b/c of when she was sick in October. Help me!!!! I'm going to go crazy!!!
post #2 of 8
Hi angel,

First let me just move to the Behavior forum.....Ok, now that you are moved, I have to say, please don't "swat" you cat. It doesn't matter if it is a light tap, it takes you (in her mind) from friend to predator and creates more problems then it ever solves.

A couple of questions are needed in order to help you here. You said she was sick? How sick? Was there an extensive vet stay for her? Did the behavior start after she became sick?

How old is she?

Is she spayed?

Sorry for the questions, but more facts will enable some of us to be able to help you and her better.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi Hissy

I don't know how sick she was, I was "gone east" when she was sick, and when I got back, she was mostly better. I don't know what she had, but I guess she was pretty sick. She didn't stay at the vets, just inside, and she had medicine. I think what she needs is other cats inside to keep her occupied somehow (but we aren't having any more cats in the house). She likes to play, but not all the time. Maybe it's just cuz she is such a young cat, and female, the other cats we have had have been males, fixed, and older. She is about 6 or 7 months old. Hope this helps some. Thanks
post #4 of 8

Putting the cat outside wont accompish anything, except for not really having a pet. Most cats are happier, safer and live longer indoors only.
6 to 7 months old is still very much a kitten.

You need to teach her not to attack your feet, keep off the table and the counters. But at the same time you also have to give her something to do and a place that is hers. Do you have a lot of toys for her, a kitty room, or a kitty bed, scratching post/cat tree?
Do you spend a lot of time playing with her?

Swating at your cat obviously isn't getting the point across, and this isn't a time where you would even need to swat at her, so there is no reason to do it anymore. Start off with a gentle approch. Say your cat is on the table, tell her "Get down kitty". If she doesn't, go and pick her up gently and say "Down" and then place her on the floor. Do this over and over every time you see her on the table/counter. It can take quiet a few times before they bother to listen, or stop doing it.

Keep your cats claws trimmed, this can help with any pain factors. Of course she doesn't think she's doing anything wrong. To her she's just being a normal and playful cat.

As far as the biting your legs/feet I can't answer exactly (if it was hands I could.) I've only ever had a couple cats who did this and it never really hurt and they stopped when I told them too.

Oppps I also ment to ask, what kind of medication was she on (this could give some clue as to what she might have been sick with.) If you have her vet records around it should list it on there.
The cat being up on counters/tables isn't really a 'problem' there is nothing wrong with her, it is just your personal preference. Cats jump and climb and enjoy higher places.
post #5 of 8
Oh yes, she is still very much a kitten and this sounds like pretty typical wild kitten behavior.

The two most important rules to changing behavior are

#1 NEVER reward undesired behavior. If she gets something fun (like attention) when she is naughty, she will keep doing the behavior. For example, she is probably attacking your feet and legs because it is a lot of fun to do so. There probably aren't mice or birds in the house to chase, so che chases and attacks you instead. Then, when she does attack, if you pull or jump away, that will all the more fun because you are behaving like prey and are making it more of a challenge for her. Jumping or pulling away (or even swatting) is very rewarding because it is fun to chase and struggle with prey.

So that you do not reward her attacks, you must stand perfectly still when she attacks. Then gently grab (don't lift) her by the scruff and say NO! in a loud and stern voice and move her off your leg. If she keeps attacking, put her in the bathroom for several minutes (only 3 or 4) until she mellows out.

#2 ALWAYS reward desired behavior. Whenever she is playing nicely or doing what you want her to do, praise her lavishly, scratch her chin, and give her lots of snuggles. When she walks by without attacking tell her she is a good kitty and give her a good petting. Whenever she sits in the kitchen without jumping on the counters (even if she has been sitting for only 30 seconds) tell her how wonderful she is. The idea is to catch her being good!

NOW you also have to remember that because she is a kitten, she has LOTS of excess energy. If you do not have many, many interactive toys for her to play with she will use you as a toy and you don't want that! So buy her some little fur mice to bat around, some feathers on sticks, wad up some paper or foil for her to chase around...the more appropriate toys you have for her and the more you play with her with these toys, the fewer behavior problems you will have.

Good Luck!
post #6 of 8

I know exactly what your going through.
My boy kitty is only 5 months old
and is full of energy...day and night.
Your kitty will do alot of things you
dont think are normal but usualy it's
their way of telling you things.
My kitten hides behind the couch
and when someone walks by he runs
and attacks them....he thinks its fun
I suppose. He is a indoor kitty so I
try to keep him as happy as possible.
Another thing you might try is buying
him a few things....like a kitty condo
that he can play in. Im having trouble with my
kitty bitting in the face right now....thats
one thing about kittens, their never perfect lol.
Anyways, good luck!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your suggestions! I will let you know how it works out w/ her.
post #8 of 8

I'm going through the same thing with my kitten about the same age as yours 22angel. Though I have the experience thanks to Russell, my cat who went through it.

You must be consistent and persevere. Eventually your kitten will understand that biting, jumping on counters/tables is not what you want them to do.

Good luck.
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