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How do I discipline a kitten whose so adorable?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm at a loss. I have taken little Sunny and put him in the bathroom no less than 6 times today. He is insisting on climbing the birds cage and I told him that if he did it again, I would put him up, as he hates being locked away from everyone. This is something that he doesn't normally do, however, today it's ALL he wants to do. I have tried spraying him in the past, however, he doesn't really mind that - he thinks it's kinda fun.

He's out of control today. How am I supposed to discipline my kitten?
post #2 of 26
He's doing it to get your attention. Get out some of his toys and play with him until he's too exhausted to think of doing anything else but finding somewhere for a nap.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
At our house, it's all about Sunny all the time He's napping right now. We play for a couple of hours in the morning after he eats and then again in the afternoon, we also have several bouts where I have to hold him and carry him around with me. His dad gets home at 4:30 and he's showered with attention all over again. He's a very needy cat. There isn't enough attention for him in the world as he even bites our toes at night in an attempt to have us wake up and play with him in the middle of the night.

I don't think his problem is that he wants attention. He's certainly not lacking in that department.
post #4 of 26
Does he have a feline friend? If not, get another kitten. I can't imagine raising a single kitten. Wait, I can imagine it, that is why I wouldn't do it.
You might try this product at petsmart called ssscat.
post #5 of 26
I know what you mean. For some reason Toby was into everything today. I had a wooden spoon in the sink and I've lost track of how many times he pulled it out to play with. Everyone else was napping, but he wasn't in the mood today. He usually has Tweety to play with, but Tweety must have needed his space, he was hiding somewhere. I got a lt of exercise getting up and down to shoo him out of the kitchen. I think some days they are more stubborn than others. Hope tomorrow is better.
post #6 of 26
I know it isn't funny but this made me laugh all the same. My youngest is a year and a half and kittenhood is fresh in my mind! The trouble with Seti isn't disciplining him. It's getting him to slow down enough to realize he's been disciplined!
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsgirl374 View Post
At our house, it's all about Sunny all the time He's napping right now. We play for a couple of hours in the morning after he eats and then again in the afternoon, we also have several bouts where I have to hold him and carry him around with me. His dad gets home at 4:30 and he's showered with attention all over again. He's a very needy cat. There isn't enough attention for him in the world as he even bites our toes at night in an attempt to have us wake up and play with him in the middle of the night.

I don't think his problem is that he wants attention. He's certainly not lacking in that department.
Man you have no idea how jealous I am. My cats somehow got totally independant. Neither comes up for petting anymore, and they isntantly want to get away when i go to pet them. Sometimes it bums me out.

Tinker will get up one the blanket I leave next to the computer for them to rest on, and when she does she'll reach out and touch my left hand with her paw and go to sleep. Sometimes she'll rest her head on my arm instead.

But that's ALL the affection I get and the whole point of getting these two monsters was for companionship. i've been GIPPED!
post #8 of 26
It's natural for a cat to want to get at birds. Put the bird cage somewhere that he can't get at it. You shouldn't discipline a cat for what's natural and normal behavior.
post #9 of 26
Hmm. not sure I agree with that. just because it's natural doesn't mean it should be allowed and ignored. by nature cats scratch pretty much everything to sharpen their claws, but we can't allow them to do it to our furniture?

Training is the process of teaching someone or something to do things differently than they do to get better results.
post #10 of 26
Perhaps I'm making a distinction between "discipline" and "training."

BTW, you don't really train a cat to not scratch furniture anyway, you provide something else that they can scratch in its place. That's called "redirection." Natural behaviors can be channelled into more acceptable means of expression without resorting to discipline, or even without resorting to spray bottles, if you consider that training.

I stopped using spray bottles very early on because I discovered they knew where the water was coming from and were deterred only when I was standing right there with the bottle. I can't do that 24/7/365. A determined cat will do whatever you're trying to prevent as soon as your back is turned. A minority of agreeable cats will humor us and allow us to think we trained them.

In response to the OP's problem, the only practical solution is "cat-proofing" -- prevent the cat from having access to the bird cage.
post #11 of 26
get a can, put some coins in the can, tape the top shut.

when kitty gets into something say, no and make sounds with the can,, Also for the times they really do something i dont want them to do, i will hiss at them.

sounds silly but it works.
post #12 of 26
I agree that the bird situation is something separate from other discipline problems. You can train a cat in ways that will make it mesh better with a human household (although with a kitten expect to repeat everything a thousand times, and for his energy to last longer than yours).

But a bird is prey and food, and will never stop being that to a cat. It's primal. The bird should be put somewhere where the cat can never get to it.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
get a can, put some coins in the can, tape the top shut.

when kitty gets into something say, no and make sounds with the can,, Also for the times they really do something i dont want them to do, i will hiss at them.

sounds silly but it works.
I thought you were going to say to put some coins in the can, tape the top, and give it to him as a toy. We have an empty turtle food canister with coins in it... Nova likes to knock it down and roll it all over the place.

To the OP, I agree that the easiest (and most effective?) solution may be to just move the cages so kitty doesn't have access.
post #14 of 26
I have to agree with those that are saying you probably wont get the cat to stop trying to get to the bird. It may be able to be done, but I have never known anyone who has sucessfully "trained" their cat to stop wanting to hunt the small critters that also share the house once they have decided that is what they want to do. To me its kind of like putting a big bowl of snausages in a room with a dog and expecting them not to attempt to snarf them down. Oh sure, the dog may resist while you are in the room, but turn your back and there go the snausages!
Perhaps since your cat is young you can deter this behavior, but I would err on saftys side for the birds sake and move it to somewhere the kitty cant get at it.
post #15 of 26
As someone who fosters kittens all the time (I have 2 now) I know how crazy it can be to have them into everything and climbing you, the walls, the bird and whatever they can get into.

Since he just wants attention though, he may actually want to be put in and out of the bathroom because it involves you interacting with him. Cats that are bored will go with any attention, even negative attention.

Someone on this site said that if you want a kitty to stop doing something, the best way to do it is to give them something more enticing, interesting, or tempting. I think that is the way to go with your little baby.

I agree with the people who are saying get another kitten if you can. And indeed move the bird if possible. And if he doesn't already have a cat tree where he can look outside at birds, that might be a good investment.

Also kittens love those round pads that have the ball in them that they can bat around in a circle, especially the flashing ball. I just got one for my fosters, along with those little aluminum foil crackle balls. They love to play with them!
post #16 of 26
I always carry small toy mice that have little sound makers in my pockets when I'm at home. Whenever I catch my 4 month old kitten doing something he is not supposed to be doing, I get a mouse out of my pocket, rattle it, and throw it in the opposite direction of where he is doing the thing he is not supposed to be doing. The chase instinct in him kicks in and he stops what he is doing and chase the mouse.

It's worked pretty good so far. At first I was afraid that he would associate doing something bad in order to get the mouse, but really he seems to understand that I would rather him not climb the curtains and instead chase the mouse.
post #17 of 26
What kind of birds are they? I've actually seen large birds and cats do just fine together since large birds can pack a punch all of their own. If they're tiny birds I'm in agreement with the others who say either move the birds or restrict your cat's access to their room.
post #18 of 26
I have kept birds and cats harmoniously for many, many years.
To those saying to put the bird where the cat can't get at it, next to impossible.
I know lots of people do it, but cages should never be hung, they move when hung and it upsets most birds and it is visually confusing to them.
Now, as long as the bird is not of the psittacine variety and has company of it's own kind, you can put it in a cat free room.

If the bird in question is a parrot of any kind, and is solitary, you cannot do that, it is emotional neglect as far as a parrot is concerned.
When you are their only flock member, they expect to be where you are when you are around.

Most cats lose interest in pet birds as they get older, so don't be discouraged.

I simply would take mine off the cage and tell them no firmly and give an appropriate toy.
Even my two month old foster ignores the bird now.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Sunny has only just begun this behavior this week. Our bird is a quaker parrot named Tiki. Tiki has been our bird since he was 2 mos old - he's now 3 years old. Tiki is in a very solid cage and there is no where to move this gigantic cage in the house. Since Sunny can get on top of the refrigerator, there's no place that we could move the cage if it were small enough to move that he couldn't get at it if he wanted. Shutting our bird in another room is not an option either as he is a flock bird and calls for us constantly. He already has been restricted to his cage (except for a few hours a day) whereas he was NEVER confined to a cage. Since we love our bird as much as we love our kitten - THEY ARE NEVER LEFT UNSUPERVISED!

Sunny has been our cat for close to 4 mos. now. When we found him he came in off and on for the first week. He is afraid of Tiki since he is VERY loud and screamed at him. Sunny is not trying to eat the bird - he's afraid of him.

I told DBF that Sunny would like a kitten of his own to play with as we have 3 adorable feral kittens we care for that Sunny plays with through the screen door. I even went as far as to tape a note to Sunny's collar (from Sunny of course) that read: Dear Daddy, Can I please have a kitty of my own? I'd especially like one named Zowie. DBF didn't fall for it and has said no for 4 days now. I'm hoping to get him to cave.....soon.

My original question is (and still remains to be answered) how do I discipline him? Spraying him with water and coke cans with pennies in them have NOT worked. It seems that the older he gets, the sassier he is also. I need to nip the behavior in the bud before it gets out of control.
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
I have kept birds and cats harmoniously for many, many years.
To those saying to put the bird where the cat can't get at it, next to impossible.
I know lots of people do it, but cages should never be hung, they move when hung and it upsets most birds and it is visually confusing to them.
Now, as long as the bird is not of the psittacine variety and has company of it's own kind, you can put it in a cat free room.

If the bird in question is a parrot of any kind, and is solitary, you cannot do that, it is emotional neglect as far as a parrot is concerned.
When you are their only flock member, they expect to be where you are when you are around.

Most cats lose interest in pet birds as they get older, so don't be discouraged.

I simply would take mine off the cage and tell them no firmly and give an appropriate toy.
Even my two month old foster ignores the bird now.
I totally agree with you Tiki is a flock bird and has been our sole pet for the past 3 years. He's been through enough of an adjustment already. He's had to go from only being in his cage when we left the house (or to sleep) to only having a few hours a day that he can be out of the cage.

This is only recent behavior. We had Sunny fixed last Tuesday and it seems that he's been doing this approx a week or so. He previously ignored the bird as he is afraid of him (Tiki is too loud).

I am hopeful that the two can go back to living in harmony.
post #21 of 26
I have three orphaned kittens that I bottled raised. Teaching them without another cat to learn from was new to me. My daughter is a human behaviorist and she taught me how this compares to animal behavior. She also has cats. The key is in what others have posted already. Redirect the behavior from an unwanted behavior to a more acceptable one.

This was written by a TCS veteran http://www.thecatsite.com/Behavior/4...-Dont-Mix.html

This article about training won a Cat Writers' Association award.
http://www.shojai.com/articles/trick...ing-tabby.html

May find in the article some way to divert the attention elsewhere. The more you redirect the attention the hope is the bird will become boring.

Something verticle of his own to climb (in another area away from bird) may help as he is able to get on the refridgerator. There are inexpensive online cat towers that offer free shipping.

Seems like he may be going through the "teen" stage. This will get better as he ages. Lots of patience helps.
post #22 of 26
Hehe quakers are awesome little parrots, I miss my quaker girl.
But she was my trouble maker in the cat/bird relationship.
That little stinker used to call the cats to her "here kitty kitty" and then bite them!
So my older kitty goes out of her way to avoid all birds.

Just keep taking your little devil off the cage and redirecting him, he'll get it eventually, or, if your Tiki is anything like my Abby was, he'll bite Sunny and Sunny will not want anything more to do with him.

Best of luck to you, cats and birds can be so stubborn
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
I know lots of people do it, but cages should never be hung, they move when hung and it upsets most birds and it is visually confusing to them.
How is this possible? Tree branches move more than a cage does and that's where birds would be sitting if they weren't in a cage. I don't understand.
post #24 of 26
Because cages have bars and tend to spin as well.
When a caged bird has been hatched and raised in a world of cage bars, they think of the "nest" as a static area, one of no changes.
When a cage spins (I'm not talking about centrifuge, but minute changes in direction), birds only know that their safe "nest" has changed, and it can really cause issues for them.
You have to remember that most all cage birds, huge thank you to C.I.T.E.S., are domestically bred and raised and have never known anything other than cage bars and/or free flight in a home.
The same goes for round cages, they look pretty to us, but to a bird, a prey animal, they are very visually confusing and do not feel safe.

The other issue is that a hanging cage is still not out of a determined cat's reach and the added weight can cause a cage to fall, which, as anyone with birds can tell you, means that most likely, the bottom tray and grate will slip out, meaning easy snack for kitty.
Bird cages are safest on sturdy, weight bearing stands.
post #25 of 26
That's interesting. I never would have thought of all that.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsgirl374 View Post
My original question is (and still remains to be answered) how do I discipline him? I need to nip the behavior in the bud before it gets out of control.
Time-outs have worked pretty good for me. Perhaps where your time-outs have failed is that they're either not long enough or don't occur immediately after the behavior so the cat doesn't know why he's being separated from his people, or perhaps haven't been consistent. For example, with biting and scratching, if you just dump the cat on the floor, and walk away, and do it immediately, and do it consistently, the cat learns that when he bites and scratches he gets deprived of your company. He wants your company and so he learns not to do what loses him something he wants. This is NOT discipline, this is TRAINING.
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