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horrible kitten behavior! at wits end

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have an 11 week old kitten. He was a feral kitten living in a 96yr old ladies yard along with about 20 other cats (that we seen anyway!) Well, I am having some issues with him that I do not know how to deal with. This is my first kitten by the way!

When ever I open up the refrigerator door he runs and jumps inside the fridge! I cannot believe he does this, but for some reason he thinks its a good idea!

When I am eating he will get right next to my face and will try to even take food out of my mouth!

When I am sleeping sometimes he bites me. Even on the face.

Whenever I open up the door, he runs outside

And he plays too rough with the dogs! He will bite their faces and hold on.

Sometimes I cannot even walk through the house without him running and attacking my toes. This kitten goes for blood!

He is cruising to be an outside cat, because if this doesnt stop I am not sure I can take anymore. He is a little terrorist! I am very attached to the little guy, but its getting ridiculous.
post #2 of 26
Many of the behaviors you are experiencing is due to him being born outside and having to compete for food. He's also a KITTEN. It takes time to learn proper behaviors. At that age, it would be a good idea if you could adopt another kitten about the same age or a bit older (both kittens should be neutered/spayed now so they don't breed). Another playmate will help with the activity.

Do NOT let him outside without being neutered! You'll need to start with feeding him in another room and even keeping him in there while you are eating for awhile, till he learns. Stealing food from you is a result of having to do that when he was outside. Some cats outgrow it, some don't.

The fridge is a food place and even when I got Charlie (he still does it) he went in every open door, cupboard, fridge and you have to just take him out.

Be sure to start clipping his nails - that will help with the rough play. As far as the dog - maybe he learned that in defense when outside.

Be patient and start training him now and he'll grow out of all that roughness. And he will calm down some after being neutered.
post #3 of 26
Well, I have to say that although this is your first kitten, you could have been more prepared. A kitten doesn't just drop into your house, live by your rules, adjust straight away in exactly the way that you want it to, rather like a baby doesn't. Adding to this that fact that it is a feral kitten will obviously make some things different. My kitten was a toe nibbler/fighter, had his nose and paws everywhere, all over the house and in every cuboard. A kitten is very curious, very excitable, playful. Also, a cat will play fight, this is a natural part of a cats life as they did not start out laying on a couch eating out of a packet or tin. Your kitten is semi wild if not all and therefore needs patience, love and understanding. A kitten needs to be taught boundaries, what can and can't do. This can be done quite simply, by saying no, pulling away from kitty if trying to bite you, ignoring kitty. Have you bought a scratching tree so kitten can scratch claws on it? It would be a good idea as then kitten won't use you or furniture. What about toys? Try free feeding your kitten too. A kitten should be allowed as much food as wants in the early stages, therefore food out all that time would be fine and would also help to stop kitten 'fighting' for food' as an instinct. Your kitten will learn if you have the time and patience to teach, if you don't have that then I would suggest trying to find someone who can.
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandakay View Post
I have an 11 week old kitten. He was a feral kitten living in a 96yr old ladies yard along with about 20 other cats (that we seen anyway!) Well, I am having some issues with him that I do not know how to deal with. This is my first kitten by the way!

When ever I open up the refrigerator door he runs and jumps inside the fridge! I cannot believe he does this, but for some reason he thinks its a good idea! Belle does this. Both of my kittens love me opening doors that are usually closed. Once he figures out that there's nothing in there for him, he will likely stop. Don't let him see you taking anything HE eats out of the fridge.

When I am eating he will get right next to my face and will try to even take food out of my mouth!LOL...sorry...it sounds cute...but I'm sure it's annoying. Don't feed him what you are eating and just move him away as quickly as possible. Don't reinforce the behaviour by paying attention to him.

When I am sleeping sometimes he bites me. Even on the face.I can see how that could be a problem! He probably just wants some attention and that's how he got it from mom. Belle comes and purrs in my face...she has started nibbling my ears before. Don't give him any attention when he does that - just move him away quietly and go back to sleep (no pets, no scolding).

Whenever I open up the door, he runs outside It's going to take him a while to figure out that his home is inside now! I have cats that have never lived outside and still dart at the door when I open it.

And he plays too rough with the dogs! He will bite their faces and hold on. Eek. What do the dogs do? It seems to me that they might teach him a thing or two if they don't like his behaviour! This seems like something a kitten will do but will grow out of as he matures.

Sometimes I cannot even walk through the house without him running and attacking my toes. This kitten goes for blood! Again, he wants your attention and your feet tend to smell strongly (like you, not smelly feet!). My suggestion would be to invest in a good pair of slippers until he figures out that this is not appropriate behaviour.

He is cruising to be an outside cat, because if this doesnt stop I am not sure I can take anymore. He is a little terrorist! I am very attached to the little guy, but its getting ridiculous.
Hang in there. He's just a little guy getting used to a new environment with new people and animals. All kittens have pretty spunky behaviour - it just seems that your little guy has some of them to the extreme. My guess is that he will calm down and settle in eventually. Give him lots of attention/love/praise/treats when he is being a good boy, and no attention when he is misbehaving. Since he's feral and did not have a mom who could teach him how to behave indoors, you will have to be the one to teach him!
post #5 of 26
Sounds like you have a normal kitten. You have to be Mommy cat now for a young one. Face biting, not good, hiss at him and mean it, I mean HISSSSSSSSSSSSS. They get it. Scruff him, mommy cats do this, not to hurt, to teach, you can do it without causing pain.
You will do fine, read the cat, respond like a mom cat. Food will be an issue, keep a dish of dry at all times filled. He wont eat it all, but it is comforting for him to know its there.
post #6 of 26
Good for you for caring enough to give this wild child a home.

Has your kitten (what is his name?) been to a vet for necessary inoculations, worming etc.?
That is very imporant...
at 11 weeks your vet might be willing to neuter him.
If funds are an issue for you, there are usually low cost clinics that neuter inexpensively....
your local humane society should have that info for you.

Obviously you care about this kitty...
do what you need to do about his heath care, diet etc.
kitten proof your home...
be patient, his kitten craziness will calm down as he matures and you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion.

Please keep us updated about your progress.
post #7 of 26
Re the taking food out of your mouth: Has he been checked for tapeworms? (Does he have diarrhea?) The vet can easily treat it.

My oldest cat did the same thing when I brought him home. I adored him but would have to put him in another room if I wanted to eat. Turned out he had a tapeworm.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Whoa, thank you guys very much for all of the help!

Goldenkitty, I really cat have another cat right now. I wish that I could, but its probably not a good idea. And I have started clipping his nails. Its helped out quite a bit on not making me bleed AS bad.

Althekitty, we have toys galore! but no scratching post. He has never scratched anything yet. If he needs a post I will be happy to get him one. I have been thinking about getting him some cat furniture, and they double as a scratching post dont they? Also, he is free fed. He actually eats a whole bowl a day. I am surprised he isnt fat. LOL
Althekitty, I do have the will to work with this cat. I love him! But I just didnt really understand what I need to do to get him to stop being an "evil" kitty! I admit that I did bring him home in a spur of the moment decision. He actually was only 5 wks old when I brought him home. I was even unaware that he was too young! The lady said that they were eating solid food, so I thought that he would be okay to bring home. I did give him milk re-placer in his food though until he turned 7 weeks old. I went to the library and got a load of cat books, but none of them really had how to stop unwanted cat behavior. Just basics like food, grooming, health, etc.

Xocats, his name is Train. Hubby named him, and I am embarrassed over his silly name, so I call him cat or kitty when I talk about him. LOL
Train has been to the vet for a well kitty check up. He has been wormed and gots his vacs. I was unaware that he could be neutered so early. I am not sure if I want to neuter him. But if it is what is best than I will do it. I dont want to stunt his growth neutering him so young.

Maybe I should worm Train again. He is actually skinny and eats all the time, he is always hungry

Thanks again everyone!!!!
post #9 of 26
Make sure you're feeding him enough. A kitten eats 2-3 times more than an adult cat.

Also, try to feed decent quality food!

Hiss when he does something bad. He's the kitten, you're mama cat now, so you have to teach him what's right and wrong. Never feed him your food, that will only encourage him.

Oh, and Hennessy did the fridge dive when I brought him home too. I shut him inside once (for just a few seconds) and he's never done it again.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Train is free fed so he can eat as much as he wants. and he eats a bowl a day! (its a pretty big bowl too, I honestly didnt know he could hold that much food!) and he is skinny skinny. You can see his bones a little bit, and there are indentations on his sides between his hips and his rib cage. The vet said he was a little thin, but didnt tell me anything special to do. She recommends Purina kitten chow.
post #11 of 26
It sounds like you are on the right track! Just keep being "momma cat" and he'll learn. If he was only 5 weeks old when you took him, he was hardly socialized at all by mom and siblings, so behaviour is acceptable.

Get him a scratching post at very lest BEFORE he starts scratching other things! Cat furniture can double as a scratching post, but it never hurts to have more than one. If you get a cat tree/condo, make sure it has at least some sisel rope on the pillars.

For the price you pay for Purina Kitten Chow, you can probably get a better food. I don't know how much it is, so I can't tell you what brands you can substitute. Authority from Petsmart is cheap and much better quality than Purina I believe. It's not the best, but as I said, it is a good value for its money...visit the health & nutrition forum for more information!
post #12 of 26
Purina's not hideously bad, but it's far from the best choice out there [even price-wise!]. are you in the USA? this is a good thread to check out what others are feeding: what food do you use & why?
where i live, there aren't any pet supply stores. but there are 2 in a town only 20 minutes away, plus a feed store. the feed store carries the Chicken Soup brand [a decent food] & the pet supply stores carry a wide variety of foods, ranging from supermarket brands to super-premium brands. if there's a Petsmart or Petco near you, you'll be able to find a better food than the Purina if you want to.
post #13 of 26
AhHHHH the rest of the story

You are right, bringing him home at 5 weeks old was a bad idea. Even if kittens are eating solid foods then, does NOT mean they are ready to leave mom, siblings and they need important social behavior from staying together.

Between the ages of birth to 3 months old, they learn how to handle siblings, how to play properly, how to eat, use the pan, and be a cat. Unfortunately your kitten didn't get that chance because the owner didn't know or care when they left home.

So now YOU become the siblings and that's why he's acting the way he is. He will grow out of it but it will take longer then if he stayed with mom/siblings for those first 3 months.

As far as the scratching post; I'd invest in a good solid tree house type that is a minimum of 4 feet high. Maybe look for one about 5-7 feet tall. The kitten may not use the top now, but he will as an adult. A mixture of the sisal rope and carpet on the tree house would be great. You can get the flat cardboard ones too as some cats like to use that.

Keep the nails clipped at least once a week
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandakay View Post
Xocats, his name is Train. Hubby named him, and I am embarrassed over his silly name, so I call him cat or kitty when I talk about him. LOL
Train has been to the vet for a well kitty check up. He has been wormed and gots his vacs. I was unaware that he could be neutered so early. I am not sure if I want to neuter him. But if it is what is best than I will do it. I dont want to stunt his growth neutering him so young.

Maybe I should worm Train again. He is actually skinny and eats all the time, he is always hungry

Thanks again everyone!!!!
Train is a cute name.

When did your vet want to see Train for his second worming?
If I remember right, they usually need to be wormed twice to get them all.
You can discuss neutering with your vet then.
I think you will find that neutering will make Train a healthier and happier (not smaller) kitty.
post #15 of 26
I'd like to have your problem. Our little feral kitty, Miss Scaredy Cat, has been a major effort just to get her to do anything but run and hide under the bed. We've had her for six weeks and my wife has yet to so much as touch the little kitty. She's bonding to me and will let me pet her, but only in specific non-threatending situations. If I'm standing with her at my feet, she won't let me reach down and pet her.
post #16 of 26
I see, your kitten is so young that he hasn't learnt the 'basics' from mummy as was taken away so soon. This doesn't mean that your kitten will always be as you describe 'evil', it does however mean that you are now sole mummy and will have to teach kitty yourself . It should be an honour for you! Your kitten is only displaying behaviour that all kittens do, only minus the ticking off it would get from mummy kitten when being naughty! Thats where you come in. You are now sole parent to a rather lost little kitty, he doesn't know that some of the things he is doing are wrong or that there are alternatives. Patience here is the key and you seem to be up for the challenge A cat tree would definately help, scratch his paws along it so that he knows what it is for too and that way he will hopefully avoid you and your furniture and yes, it will also be an amusement too! I would also say that if your kitty eats all of his bowl of food then top it up. Cats and kittens usually self regulate, but either way, your kitten is at an important development stage and therefore should have as much food as he wants, especially if he is a little on the thin side. If you are feeding all dry, makew sure that kitty has lots of fresh water too. I ignore my kitty when he is being naughty, telling him off just leaves him bewildered, he doesn't intend to hurt me or damage things. Walk away or move the things he seems to want to ruin! Your little kitty needs you and will definately improve with time and patience. Good luck!
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks alot guys. I thought that this behavior was pretty normal, i just didnt know to what extent. He can be a good kitty too. Most of the night he sleeps in bed with me and purrs. he can be sweet, but thats only like 30% of the time. LOL
post #18 of 26
Aaah, he'll get better as he gets older, he's just soooo young at the moment. Ideally he would still have been with his Mummy longer, but here you are together! I am sure it will work out, just let him know whats right and wrong and let him be a baby for a while. I wish you all the best, too be honest, I am a little jealous, I would love another kitty
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandakay View Post
Thanks alot guys. I thought that this behavior was pretty normal, i just didnt know to what extent. He can be a good kitty too. Most of the night he sleeps in bed with me and purrs. he can be sweet, but thats only like 30% of the time. LOL
After my precious kitty Mew at age 16 crossed to the bridge, I adopted Dexter and Sadie at 6 weeks old.
I had forgotten how crazy young kittens can be.
We hardly survived the first few months but finally they calmed down and we settled into a routine...sort of.

Looking back, I wish I could spend just one more day with them as tiny little kitties where, in their eyes, everything, including a piece of dust, is amazing.

Remember....this too shall pass.
post #20 of 26
I got Monster from a feral colony by my work. How old was your guy when you brought him into your house? Monster was only 4 weeks, and he has never had to compete for food. The behavior you describe sounds alot like what i went through with Monster. He is neutered now and is not a kitten anymore, so his bad behavior is non existant. he does have his moments when he is like a lil devil, but most of the time he is good. He used to ALWAYS go for our feet when we were walking by him, but now he only does it sometimes. He does try to go out when we open the door to let the dog in or out. My bfs mom trained him, but he only listens to her. When im opening the door for any reason and he is there, I pick him up and hold him, or scruff him while i let the dog in and until i can close the door. Get him neutered, it will get better
post #21 of 26
I understand what you are saying. My first experience with cats was two orphaned kittens that I bottle fed. They did exactly everything you described. It was hard to teach a kitten when you don't know how an adult cat behaves.

Some things that I learned that might help:

Get those plastic bendable straws and have them handy everywhere. Any time Train starts to bite or go for your food, give him a straw. I tied a few straws together to look like a spider---big hit. This redirects the unwanted behavior.

Blow air in his face if he goes after your food or bites face, then hiss at him and put him down. This worked well, gentle blows so not to take his breath away.

For chasing your feet, tie a string around your ankle with a tiny toy (or straw) tied to the string. You can tie a metal bolt or washer to the string to weigh it down so it will drag behind you. This redirects the bad behavior to the toy that you are moving around and not the feet.

One of mine will still dart to an opening door. Cat curiosity. Got to know what's on the other side. I just back out the doors so I can scoop kitty back away from the door and crack the door coming in to scoot kitty back in. They will get bored with this.

Scratching will be important before long. Have a couple of different textures handy.

Neutering will be important before long. Around the 6 month mark he will start to mature. If he sees or smells other cats around at night (you will not necessarily see what he does) he may start to spray to mark his territory. They 'can' get aggressive at that age too. Neutering will stop that.

My last orphan suddenly started changing at that age and I got him neutered ASAP. He is now back to his old sweet self.

You are doing a great jod. Like everyone said, you have to be the momma and teach him correct kitty etiquette. It will get easier.
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
yeah, it would definally help if I had ever even been around an adult cat then i would know to to respond better to train being naughty. You guys helped alot. I am putting all of your tips to good use!
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandakay View Post
I dont want to stunt his growth neutering him so young.
The Winn foundation did a study on early altering and found that cats who were altered at a younger age were larger, taller and longer than those altered late (Of course genetics also plays a part in how big your cat will be)

Another benefit of having them done young is they recover from the surgery much faster, often coming home from the vet ready to play like nothing has happened.
post #24 of 26
My kitty was like that!!! We took him to the vet, he would have been done at the rescue place but couldn't due to cat flu. So, we took him in and we had both taken a day off and were really nervous for the little lad. We went off to distract ourselves (i might add that bf was more anxious than me) When we went to pick him up, we thought he would be a bit sorry for himself, but nope He was running and playing and bouncing around, you'' never have thought that he had just had his bits removed Bless
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandakay View Post
I am not sure if I want to neuter him. But if it is what is best than I will do it. I dont want to stunt his growth neutering him so young.
That's an old wives' tale. Bijou was neutered at 4 months and he's 18+ lbs and has a lovely masculine muzzle. Mika, his full sister, is 8+ lbs and as feminine looking as you can imagine.
post #26 of 26
The kitten is just being a kitten. Be consistant in rules boundries and limitations (I know, I sound like Caesar Milan), and he will, in time, learn what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Give him acceptable ways to work out his energy, and when he is behaving unacceptably, redirect.
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