or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Aggressive hand-reared kittens
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Aggressive hand-reared kittens

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I took my kitten, Akita, to the vet's...I mentioned him in another post. My vet didn't like the fact that Akita was trying to bite my hand while we were there. I have been working on blowing in his face when he bites me, he can get quite fiesty at times although, the rest of the time...he's as sweet as can be.
My vet scolded me and told me I've got to work toward correcting Akita's behavior now because he's afraid he'll be aggressive when he's older. He said that alot of hand-reared kittens tend to get so aggressive toward humans, because they don't have a mother cat to show them right and wrong, that alot of them get put to sleep when they're over a year old.
I've hand raised 16 kittens between the ages of 5 days to 4 weeks old (3 of which were raised by themselves without littermates) and none of them came out aggressive, if anything, they were much sweeter.
Has anybody ever heard of this before?
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oops, I'm sorry...I just realized that I should've put this post in the Behavior section of the forum. Sorry...I'm new here!
post #3 of 11
I think your vet needs a reality check! To say that hand reared kittens are more aggressive is ridiculous! Each kitten has it's own personality and inhierited traits. If it is raised as an object without any socialization... it could have problems.
post #4 of 11
I think PROPERLY hand raised kittens do wonderfully!
But yes dispite any efforts of the owner, cats do have their own unique personalities!

Does this kitten really try to bite you, or is he just awefully mouthy? At any rate, I hope you can curve this behavior, we don't want a bitey adult cat on our hands!
post #5 of 11
Your vet is not very well informed. I have multiple hand-raised kittens and they are all a delight! I would be looking for another vet especially in light of this man/woman's mindset. I will move this to behavior for you.
post #6 of 11
MoeMoe was very bitey as a baby, and he still lightly nips when playing. But that is just his him, his brother neo is a sweet heart and never bits. I think he just depends on the kitten. When ever Moe bits play time stops, she he has been getting better over the years!
post #7 of 11
I did a google search and found some information for you. According to this site http://home.gci.net/~divs/behavior/behav_kitten.html hand raised kittens may not realize when they are playing too roughly.

The following information was taken from the section on play aggression and applies to hand raised kittens that have been isolated from other cats.
When playing with other kittens, if one kitten bites too hard, the playmate may either stop playing or react with defensive aggression, thus relaying a message that the play aggression was too rough. Kittens that grow up without isolated from other kittens (i.e. hand-raised) may miss out on these early lessons and have less inhibition when mature.

Cats that exhibit play related aggression need to have appropriate daily interactive play using remote toys. Any play that results in owners' body being the target of the play should be avoided. The owner should initiate play periods and can try to anticipate and redirect the "attack" to a toy (e.g. carry a ball to toss). The owner should avoid giving any type of reward for the play aggression – running and screaming may only encourage the behavior. The owner should not deliver any direct interactive punishment (e.g. hit the cat) for the behavior as it may induce fear or defensive aggression. The owners can interrupt inappropriate play behavior with remote punishment (squirt bottle, alarm) or exit the room if cat instigates inappropriate play. Adding another cat of a similar age and energy level is a treatment option.
post #8 of 11
Just don't use a squirt bottle please. Just walking away from an aggressive kitten is enough of a message that it is inappropriate behavior.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Angelzoo...Akita is a bit more prone to biting but I just attributed it to regular kitten play, after all, I realize he doesn't have any body to play with right now. I also thought maybe he is just a bit opionated...if he doesn't like something, he'll let you know. Like when I wash his rear after he poops (he still doesn't quite understand a litter box), he especially hates this, he'll spit at my hand and start biting the closest thing to him...usually the blanket. Also, sometimes...when I give him a kiss, he'll give me a little slap in the face and nip my lip, yet other times, he loves it when I nuzzle my lips to his face. But personally, I still just attribute all of this to a kitten who has nobody else to play with at the moment but me.
It was kind of funny...the vet acted like Akita was the devil incarnate! Akita got mad that the vet was injecting fluids into him so he started screaming and then attacked my hand...because it was the closest thing to him. I am going to try to be more serious about correcting Akita but it really doesn't worry me, I have had kittens that acted similar to this and grew up perfectly gentle and sweet. I was just shocked at what the vet was saying and was curious if anybody else had heard of that.
post #10 of 11
This kitten is just acting as well, a kitten! Keep up with letting her know that the swatting at your face and biting is not going to get her the reaction from you that she wants, you aren't going to play back with her, and dispite what your cat thinks, it is YOUR house, not theirs, lol.

Just about every kitten I have had has been mouthy at one point and we had to get pass that stage where they learned that biting specially too hard was not welcome, same with using their claws on me in play.

Im sure the kitten will be fine, and yes it can be rough for a kitten to grow up with out their mother, or at least an appropriate "roll model". But that's why you are there to help her, just do the best you can, and of course we are here for any further questions.
I would be considering finding another vet... going along with what Hissy said here.

By the way, the devil already spawned a cat, her name is Suki and my family was the proud owner.
post #11 of 11
Daphne and Josie were rescued when they were days old, and since I wouldn't let the other cats near them for a few weeks after that all they had was Hubby and Me. One of the first things they learned was if they bit or scratched me (except accidentally) that I can hiss too -- just like momma cat. After I'd hiss I'd put them down and walk away. If they were good I'd sort of chirp at them and hum --best I can do for a purr. They grew up so sweet and non agressive they let the lab mix mutt carry them around by their heads.
So -- I think the vet is misinformed, badly. It depends on the cats personallity and on who is rasing them.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Aggressive hand-reared kittens