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Kitten Running and Attaching himself

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Our kitten keeps running and trying to attach himself to the legs of everyone in our household. This can cause considerable pain when someone has bare legs due to dresses or shorts.

We have tried saying no firmly and moving him away. We have also tried spraying him in the face with water when he tries this. We absolutely cannot tolerate this behaviour. He cannot run up to our house guests and use them as moving climbing tools. How do we tell him "No" in a very firm way so that he will get the message?
post #2 of 13
How old is he?
post #3 of 13
First off, please stop spraying him in the face. You could get water in his eyes, or ears, and cause damage.

I also wonder how old is he? At what age was he taken from his mother?
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
He's 9 weeks old. We got him from a shelter, and his mother had not been brought to the shelter. We've had him for a week and a half and the shelter had had him for a week before that, so he was probably taken from his mother when he was about 6 weeks.
post #5 of 13
Based on my limited experience, that's a very young kitty, and a week and a half is not much time for him to adjust to his new home.

I think if you provide alternative play activities for him, he'll grow out of that stage soon enough.

I adopted my two kitties when they were eight weeks old. I still have some scars on my leg to show for it.

After three months, they've learned to restrain themselves for the most part. However, they've had the advantage of each other to practice on and learn limits.
post #6 of 13
I think it's an age thing. He never had his mother (or littermates?) to teach him his boundaries. So you now must do that for him.
post #7 of 13
He's very young, and was taken from his mother far too young (around half the age he should have been at seperation - I know this is not your fault, his mum was not there, but it's not his fault either!) and as a result he hasn't learned important lessons from mum and siblings about play and hunting - the most important being 'how much is too much'

I have one who is similarly inclined, he's now 2 1/2 and has never completely given up his foot-hunting obsession. The best thing you can do is ignore it - we wore wellington boots around the house for months on end so that we didn't react when he would claw and bite our legs and ankles, and many is the time I've shuffled down the hallway with a cat clamped upside down on my leg. The others I have that were separated from mum at a later age (around 13 weeks) have never even attempted anything of the sort and are much more gentle, they know to retract their claws and not bite.

Besides ignoring it, the best thing you can do is provide interactive play to tire him out and fulfil his need to practice his hunting skills. Watch his body language so you notice when he wakes up and needs something to occupy him, and get the toys out - wand toys, toys on strings, toys to throw - as long as all play encourages him to stay away from your hands and feet. It is a good idea to play before mealtimes as it simulates natural hunt->eat behaviour.

Please do not spray him, he could get an ear or eye infection or become fearful of you, you would not spray a human infant for crying so please don't spray your kitten! You just need to keep him busy and work off his energy.

Do you have any other cats? An orphaned or too young kitten can really benefit from having a similar aged playmate so they can learn to play together without being too rough, as long as both are vaccinated I would recommend getting him a friend - it will take the focus off your legs as his main plaything
post #8 of 13
My ex partner used to get Rosie clambering up his bare back when she was a kitten Interact with him with some fishing pole toys to distract him, or get him another kitten to play with, but like the others have said, please don't spray him with water
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
We set aside a ton of play time for Thomas. Both my partner and myself have had other animals and fully realize the importance of exercise and play. That being said, we cannot just drop everything to play with him all the time

We live in a small-ish apartment that interconnects with frame doorways except for the bathroom. I don't particularly relish the idea of putting him in the bathroom while we work as both of us are happy to pet him and talk to him while we work, however, we can't get anything done with him constantly trying to latch himself to our legs.

Since he gets over an hour and a half of active play time every day (and much much more lap time, petting etc) I'm not sure if lack of attention is the problem or he's just formed an obnoxious habit? We love him dearly but neither of us can tolerate tons of scratches on our legs indefinitely. The spraying seemed to actually be working - so if that is not an appropriate method to get him to stop, please can you suggest one that is?
post #10 of 13
Would another kitten not fit into your apartment?. Unfortunately this is what happens with young kittens and weve all been there, so it's all about patience and the scratching will stop.

Have you got a laser pen as well?. That's one toy that will keep him amused and you don't have to leave your seat
post #11 of 13
Nine weeks old isn't old enough to have formed habits. He's brand new on the planet and just running around crazily exploring and playing.

In addition to the other tips suggested... Does he have a large, solid scratching post or cardboard scratcher in every room? Have you tried clipping his claws or using SoftPaws?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
We have a scratching post in the office, though not one in each room. He actually seems to be improving on his own though, and seems to be realizing that quiet cuddling = petting + treats and climbing up legs = irritated human. It helps too that it's getting colder and we're wearing long pants so on the rare occasion it does happen, it doesn't produce quite as violent a reaction.
post #13 of 13
What a funny kitty :p

I say you're lucky to have such an amusing little furball. Just trim his claws every few weeks and enjoy his craziness.
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