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energetic kitten

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
me and my partner just got a 10 week old kitten. we both love her very much and smother her in attention but there are a couple little things that are starting to bug us. she constantly curls up inside the toilet paper bag and rips at it, she attacks the tv when it's on and chases the cursor on the computer screen whenever anyone is on the computer, she jumps in behind the tv and chews the cables, she climbs the curtains and occassionally the speakers! she constantly crawls under the couch and starts scratching like crazy at it (and of course neither of us can get to her!), she's still tearing around the house at midnight and 1am when both of us have to go to work in the morning and when we lock her in the kitchen and wash house she cries until we let her out.

i'm sure it's normal kitten behaviour but we're at a loss of what we can do. we've hit something to make a loud noise to get her attention and have told her NO! very loudly but she completely ignores us.

she was a wild kitten and i'm not sure if that has anything to do with her behaviour...??

i love her to bits and have so much fun playing with her but if anyone has any ideas or suggestions of things we could try to get her to calm a little it would be greatly appreciated!

thankyou all very much
post #2 of 9
I am assuming that the fact she is 'feral' has a lot to do with her wild behavior. But scratching and having a lot of energy is normal behavior. I have a spray that I put on my curtains to keep them from scratching at it. It really helps. Also, do you have plenty of scratching posts and boards? Those really help me too.
post #3 of 9
Congratulations on your new baby. It seems that you have an active, healthy kitten.

I understand what you are going through as my little guy was a feral prior to our adopting him at 12 weeks. Although friendly, he was a total tornado of energy (and still is to a lesser extent). I couldn't believe how much energy he had, and how little he seemed to sleep!

Before bedtime, try inter-active playing (like a laser pointer or Da'Bird) that will get her racing around and using up as much kitten energy as possible for at least 1/2 hour. Then feed her when you put her into the kitchen (or where ever she sleeps at night). She may cry for the first few nights, but then she'll get into the routine of "going to bed".

As for your furniture, speakers, etc., you'll just have to keep an eye on her and redirect her attention away from those objects towards toys that she is allowed to play with. It will take time. Play with her as often as possible. This will bond her to you as well as wear her down a bit.

Don't worry - the kitten stage doesn't last forever. Forrest had the attention span of a gnat when he was little. Now that he's almost 8 months - he sleeps A LOT more, understands the word "No" and is almost well mannered. Good luck with your little one.
post #4 of 9
You sound just like I did about 6-7 weeks ago. Jack was a stray 10-12 weeks old the vet guessed. He was crazy and I was going insane with him. Now that he has settled in, gotten a bit older, and been neutered he is calming down. You have to be persistent in making sure he does the right things and doesn't get away with the bad things. We used a spray bottle with water--avoid water in his ears causes ear infections. The only behavior it didn't curb is biting--but we are working on that.

No matter how discouraged you get, try and remember the cute/good things that happen. Makes the bad stuff a little easier. Have patience it will get better.

Jack is now sleeping the entire night on either my pillow or my husbands. This took a lot of effort but it was well worth the sleepless nights. Now he is active in the mornings and evenings before and after dinner--which happen to be the best times for us to play (before work and after work).

Although I must say we are going to completely uproot our little guy and move in 4 weeks so things may back track a little.

post #5 of 9
There isn't a whole lot to do about it - she's a kitten! I don't know how much of it has to do with the fact she was feral. All of our kitties are feral rescues - and while they were crazy and full of energy, they were totally uninterested in the TV, the computer, and the fish. So part of it is just personality.

That said - other than helping her to use up all that kitten energy, there isn't a whole lot you can do. We always had a really intense hour of play before we went to bed, and eventually they fell into our routine.

I don't know what you mean about curling up inside the toilet paper bag - but cats LOVE bags and boxes. Plastic shouldn't be left out for them to access. But paper bags left around for her to play in, or boxes left around for her to play in and with are always great. We make large and complex kitty condos and mazes out of boxes we tape together and cut holes in. We're constantly changing the placement and configuration - keeps them interested.

Also, don't leave all her toys out at one time. Just have a few out, and rotate them every week or so. They get bored pretty easily.

Taking a kleenex box and dropping a ping pong ball or something in it can provide lots of entertainment while kitty tries to get it out.

Cat Dancer http://www.catdancer.com/products.htm makes lots of great toys that keep kitty entertained - the "Cat Dancer Compleat" (sticks on a wall) ALL of our kitties (when they were kitties) went nuts for.

This toy - which you can play with kitty with or which they can play with by themselves - absorbed hours of time: http://www.cat-alog.com/pump_run.html

All of that aside - if you don't want kitty on the computer desk/table, you need to start teaching her that. To do this, blow a short, sharp puff of air directly in her face and say "NO" firmly and set her down. Just keep doing it. Some catch on quickly and stop it. Others catch on quickly and don't care that you don't want them there. Some it takes a while to figure out. It can be a battle of wills - just like with a 2 year old baby. Persistence and consistency on your part WILL win out. Kitty WILL learn what "NO" means. But right now, think of your kitten as about a 2 year old baby. Into everything, probably pretty much understands what you're communicating (at least the tone of it!) - but not necessarily willing to listen, but definitely pushing boundaries.

Chewing the cables has got to be discouraged. The best way to do this is with bitter apple, sold at most pet stores. You can try just putting this on the cables, and it may work. If it doesn't, I hate to say it, but you have to spray a little in her mouth. She will hate you for a while - but she will stop biting those cables you sprayed with it.

Make sure you have lots of scratching posts, or cardboard scratchers, or mat scratchers - plenty of appropriate places to scratch. It won't be a big thing with her at 10 weeks, but it's going to be an issue, so best to make sure she's got what to scratch on to begin with.

Also, she'll start to teethe around 3 or 4 months. When you notice she's lost a tooth or you notice she's starting to become very "bitey," buy a box of bendy straws and scatter them all over your home. She's got to have what to chew, or she'll go for your hands and ankles - and people are not toys, and she'll have to learn that.

Also, REALLY important, is positive reinforcement. Just as it's important that she understand what you don't want her to do, it's important she understand what you want her to do. When she's playing with her toys, praise her to high heaven - even if it's with an interactive toy you're waving around for her. If she jumps up to swat at the computer screen, and you blow in her face and set her down - if she walks away or stays down, tell her WHAT a GOOD girl she is!

Most importantly - when you think you're losing your mind, just remind yourself that this time next year you'll be wondering what happened to all those crazy antics that - in retrospect - were so entertaining.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all very much for your help! I will definitely start pulling boxes out of cupboards for her to play with. We've got a pole with bright coloured feathers on it and she goes crazy with it but is constantly taking off with it and it takes me a day or two to find it

You've all been very helpful and I appreciate it a lot. Thank you!
post #7 of 9
Also for the chewing problems, get some Bitter Apple spray and put it on the cords, wires, etc.
post #8 of 9
It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's SuperKitten! My Butzie gets up the stairs by leaps and bounds! She has yet to figure out that I can't do the same.
I would get lots of those wand toys and notice when she is most playful. Butzie has me trained. I spend time playing with her when she is ready which is not when she is sleeping. Also, Butzie gets some of her toys and plays with them without me. Really nice.
Boxes, definitely. They can keep a kitty occupied for hours. Pipe Cleaners work for Butzie, too. I call them her caterpillars.
Forgot to say that Butzie is 2 1/2 and we only adopted her in June.
Enjoy your Olympic kitten!
post #9 of 9
Sounds perfectly normal, kittens are exhausting! She will calm down a bit when she grows up, but in the meantime it's up to you to invent lots of games to tire her out Cardboard boxes and paper bags (without handles to get heads stuck in!) are firm favourites at our house Throwing balled up paper for them to chase is also fun! Although it's infuriating and tiring for you at the moment you will probably miss the mad antics and look back with fondness when she grows up and calms down a bit
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