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Kitten aggression?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
:: back again...

Well, I bought some Bitter Apple Spray (well, it was a dab top - couldn't find the spray - didn't matter as I applied it with a napkin anyway), and I started applying it to the wires in the living room, because I've seen Cleopatra attacking them, and I think she may be biting them as well.

I let her sniff the top to 1) satisfy her curiosity, and 2) make sure she didn't like it - she kept away for a bit, but kept coming back (she kept trying to play by swatting at and biting my hands - Generally, this hasn't hurt too much yet, but I'm trying to discourage it - she does bite hard, but I usually get my hand away in time). Anyway, I finished applying the bitter apple, and I started petting her - she was purring for about a minute, then went crazy on my hand! I shouted, which scared her off, then I went to my room and closed the door (where I'm typing) - she whined because she wants to be let in my room, but I won't let her since she automatically goes behind my nightstand to play with the wires there, then goes and hides under my bed.

I can see where this might be a reaction if some bitter apple is still on my hand, but she's actually been doing this for awhile. Amidst the running away and hiding from me half the time anyway).

So, I have two questions:

1) How often do I have to apply the bitter apple to the wires to keep her from playing with/chewing on them (She's now 4 months old - I don't think she's teething yet, but I figure she probably will be in the near future, so I'd like to take as many preventative measures as I can afford to).

2) Is there anything I can do to control this behavior? I've spent a lot of money on her in the past month, so I'm balking a little bit about getting a Feliway diffuser (especially sine it seems the refills are expensive as well), but I'm starting to lean more in that direction.

She seems used to the condo by now, so I don't feel like she's still adjusting. I can probably win back her affection a bit with treats, but that's just a temporary fix.

(I suppose the bright side to this is that she definitely has lots of energy, and I think she's over her URI - she still has occasional sneezes, but my place is a bit dusty, and it's not anywhere near as bad as it was before where she just kept sneezing. Vet said to just give her two more doses of the antibiotics and leave it at that.)

Any advice?

EDIT: Needs an edit because I think I may have overreacted to it. She's being playful, I think (when she's not running scared that I'm going to pick her up, anyway - at least I don't have to give her her antibiotics tomorrow). Still, I would REALLY like to discourage the biting, especially of the wiring, and of me as well.
post #2 of 9
I think when she bites, yell loudly in pain and then stop play immediately. Maybe it takes doing this over and over til she gets it?

I'm not sure how often you should spray the wires, maybe once or twice a week would be good. Is there a way you can cover the wires with something else, like put a box over them or something, so she can't get at them?

I'm glad she's feeling better though. Sounds like she's just learning, playing, being a kitten--with a nasty biting habit unfortunately! I'm sure all will work out though eventually, just keep at it.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have read that - I really need to work on the yelling when she bites and claws, as opposed to a minute later, when I'm just not happy. I also have a tendency to pull my hand away before she actually bites down, so I don't actually get hurt that often. :: I think my timing's just off, because I don't think about trying to train her until after it's too late for her to make the connection, I think.

The thing is, that I have a fair amount of electronics, and I can't see a setup that would allow me to cover the wiring properly, as it really doesn't stay together very well, except near the plug point. I was actually told by a friend recently that cayenne spray doesn't wear off like the bitter apple stuff does. Is that true? If it is, it might be easier to coat the wires with just that if I only have to do it once - even once a month.
post #4 of 9
I used a store brand equivalent of Vick's vaporub--something with camphor in it. I only had to put it on the wires two times, about a month apart. You'll want to use disposable gloves because the smell stays on your hands forever, even after washing with soap and water. Of course, that might stop her from biting your hands. On the other hand, she probably won't let you pet her either. Hope you find something that works.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
I used a store brand equivalent of Vick's vaporub--something with camphor in it. I only had to put it on the wires two times, about a month apart. You'll want to use disposable gloves because the smell stays on your hands forever, even after washing with soap and water. Of course, that might stop her from biting your hands. On the other hand, she probably won't let you pet her either. Hope you find something that works.
Wow that worked for you? My cats go nuts over it, can't keep them off me when I have a cold. It contains peppermint which many cats react to in a similar way to catnip. If I put it on wires they'd probably eat them Maybe the store brand one you got doesn't contain that - but the Vicks brand one certainly makes mine go a bit silly
post #6 of 9
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20837
Blossom was aggressive, biting & clawing at our hands, legs & feet for about the 1st year of her life. Still does occassionally. I used the above link among others to help.
As to the wires, can you put conduate around them or something similar like large cardboard tubes.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Wow that worked for you? My cats go nuts over it, can't keep them off me when I have a cold. It contains peppermint which many cats react to in a similar way to catnip. If I put it on wires they'd probably eat them Maybe the store brand one you got doesn't contain that - but the Vicks brand one certainly makes mine go a bit silly
Interesting. Store brand (CVS) active ingredients: camphor, eucalyptus oil, menthol; inactive ingredients: cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, thymol, turpentine oil, white petrolatum. No peppermint.

I can see where that could be a problem. My cats don't react to catnip at all but they love peppermint. If I make a cup of peppermint tea and leave the teabag on the counter or in the sink, I can guarantee the next time I go in the kitchen the teabag will be ripped open on the floor with the cats trying to eat the tea leaves.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
Interesting. Store brand (CVS) active ingredients: camphor, eucalyptus oil, menthol; inactive ingredients: cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, thymol, turpentine oil, white petrolatum. No peppermint.
Menthol comes from either peppermint or mint.
post #9 of 9
Menthol is a peppermint extract
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