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Am I encouraging aggressiveness?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
So, I got my kitten from a friend's mother who still doesn't know how her cat got pregnant, since she couldn't keep the litter and I'm one of few living on my own (no roommates or family allergies to worry about; just mine!). He's typically very mellow and cuddly, but as he's gotten more comfortable with the apartment - venturing into the kitchen or hallway even, though still not allowed in the bathroom or bedroom - he's also started getting more active and violent. I got him a lot of toys and a scratcher (he still scratches the furniture, but not so often since getting used to the post), and one in particular that I'm worried about.

I understood that "Da Bird" was supposed to be loved by cats, but Socrates goes ballistic when I pull it out. It's the only time he'll jump instead of climb (anywhere/for anything), and he starts hissing. I'm worried that this may give him the impression being so crazy is okay, especially since it takes so long to get him wound down. Even taking 10 wk. old energy into account. Maybe. That's kind of where I'm not sure.

He's also begun biting things a lot since I brought it home, but I figure that is probably just a side-effect of him teething, since he still has patches of toothless gum.

Anyway, just wanted to ask this since he's an indoors-only cat and I'm not going to get him declawed, but definitely don't want him attacking company without warning as he gets older and bolder.

post #2 of 3
Cats are individuals and not all cats like the same toys. I recommend you give da bird to another cat household since it upsets your little boy so much. Try a plain string on a stick instead for chasing and leaping Games.

Give him things that are okay to bite and chew on such as a thick boot lace and a card board box with the flaps cut off.

If he is biting in play, the way to stop him is to say "NO Socrates" and turn your back on him and ignore him for a few minutes. Do this every single time he bites you. After three bites in one play session, get up and walk away and ignore him. This is how a mama cat teaches an overly rambunctious kitten how to behave.

This method should also be used when he bites while you are petting him, or any other time. Sometimes biting comes from over stimulation. To help him have success in learning to stop himself from biting, you can learn his signals and stop the activity BEFORE he bites. If he plays nice for 10 minutes, and then starts biting, play with him for only five minutes, sometimes. If he lets you pet him for 5 minutes, then starts biting, pet for only 3 minutes.

As for biting people who come to your home, tell people to leave him alone and that won't be a problem! If he is a sociable cat who wants to greet everyone, then explain to people that he is in training about biting and instruct them on how to behave to prevent any excitement biting. (tell them to just give him a pat or two, and then ignore him, for instance)
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I wouldn't say it upsets him, as it's the only interactive toy he'll really play with (he just stares at lasers as if waiting for it to come back near him), he just gets waaay too rambunctious, jumping into the air and landing side-long on the ground does not make the downstairs neighbors love him. :P Perhaps I should still get rid of it, and play with him with the catnip toys.

I've also given him numerous plain drinking straws, he seems to love chewing on those (I forget where I read this, but); I was led to believe they are good "toys" for teething kittens. But for the most part, he just goes crazy on everything but his toys unless Da Bird comes out.
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