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Is My Kitten Crazy (new cat owner)?? Please Help!!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My kitten, Frances, is 8 mos. old, male, neutered, sole cat in household. I've never had a cat before and need some advice.

1) He won't drink from a bowl of water. He dips his paws in it, daps the floor, and repeats until bowl is empty. Needless to say, I'm less than happy about having to clean up water every day. I've tried just putting an inch of water in the bowl, he still does it. Started doing it 3 weeks ago.

2) Every night, he jumps up on the kitchen table and all of the counters and knocks everything over. I've caught him doing this, tried throwing water on him, spanking him, etc. Now he only does it at night and when I'm out of the room. I've thought about just shutting him up in the half bath (the room with his litterbox) all night, but hate to have him confined to such a small room. Also hate having to clean the counters daily, not to mention the broken things.

3) 6 weeks ago, tried to toilet train him. He pretty much had the hang of it until about 3 weeks ago (same time he started being all crazy with his water dish). Suddenly, he stopped using the toilet (which still had a bowl full of litter in it - not that different from the litter box) and started going all over the house. I immediately gave him the litter box again. But now - sometimes he uses it, sometimes he doesn't. He was fine before!

I've never had a cat before and maybe these things are normal, but I'm spending an awful lot of time stressing out/cleaning up after him. I hate to keep him confined but not sure what to do. Please help!!! Any advice is greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 15
I want to welcome you here to TCS
When a cat starts peeing out of the litter box then there is something wrong with him . Most of the time the cats have a infection (bladder/kiddney) and need to go to a vet . He is more then likely in pain while peeing , so you need to go ASAP to a vet . Next , PLEASE don't spank your cat or throw water at him . You never ever teach a cat in spanking or throwing water at him anything at all . Do you play with him ??? Maybe if you start palying really hard with him befor you go to bed it would help him to calm down . He sounds like he is pored doing that on the counters . Do you have a cat tree or a scratching post ? If not I would recoment one for him to climp up and down , cats like to climp and is just a normal thing to do . Also the water thing is maybe a game since he is pored . Do you have some catnip mouse ? That is a great toy to keep them playing also some nice little ball. You never said anything about if he trinks at all . So is he trinking at all ???
If not , you need to go to the vet right away or he may die .
post #3 of 15
It sounds to me like you are stressing this cat out and causing some of the problem yourself. Spanking a cat, throwing water on him, is not an acceptable form of behavior modification. You do not hit, tap or slap a cat in any fashion, doing so, causes the animal to stress out, can cause the cat to become ill. If you get water in your cats ear by mistake, you may find yourself with a hefty vet bill.

I would take this cat to a vet right away and make sure he is healthy. Have him checked for urinary tract infections and other problems. I would stop trying to get this cat to behave the way you want him to, using the toilet etc.. this is not natural, and to be honest, i know of no one who has successfully been able to train a cat to do this for peeing and pooping. Mostly the cats will urinate but that's it. Give him two brand new litter pans and let him use those.

I would also just let him play in his water, this is another sign that this cat is stressed because of the environment and playing in the water, releases his stress. You add to that stress when you scold him for releasing his!

Please just take a deep breath and re-group with this cat. And get him to the vet pronto, in case there is something seriously wrong with him and it becomes to late.

I would
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks for the advice! Vet, let him play in the water, and no more spanking. This cat thing is harder than it looks!
post #5 of 15
I am sure it will be easy after a while . If you start playing with him rolling a ball and he chases after it I am sure you will start enjoy your cat . But make sure you go to the vet with him and tell the vet the peeing problem .
post #6 of 15
Hi julia!
Cats generally are not that hard to care for in my experience. As long as you keep them healthy and love them. There are some easy chores (litter box, feeding, dangleing the ocasional string) but nothing to hard. I really hope you can become comfortable with your cat. I have such a special bond with my cats, im sure you can as well.

Does your cat have toys? Mice, little balls with bells, stuff like that? I also think he probably is bored. 8 months is still pretty young and kittens are very frisky. I would suggest, and this is just my opinion, maybe get another kitten. When my two were babys they had each other to keep them busy. Kittens are sooo cute to watch playing together.
Also, are you cleaning the litter box every day? If the litter box s dirty he may not want to use it. My grandmas cat is an older only cat. He will not go in the box if there is even one poop or pee in the box. My grandpa has to clean it every time he goes. Some cats are very picky.
I dont think it is possible to train a cat to do or not to do anything. My Lilly is 6 months old. She has her big brother Jerry to play with and the kids to keep her busy. So she gets to vent her energy quite a bit. However she is a whirlwind! She runs through the house it sounds like an elephant! I have had knocked down things, spilt popcorn...the list goes on. I dont scold her, I just gently pick her up and tell her she has to calm down. Then I love her and pet her while taking her away from the place she shouldnt be. She is getting much better.
I promise your cat will grow out of kitten-hood one day!
post #7 of 15
Think of a young cat as a child in school. Unless you teach them what you want them to learn, they won't read your mind. That's why hitting and water spraying doesn't work with cats. You are only telling them they are doing something wrong and not redirecting them to what is right.

Bogart was a water-dish-paw-dipper and a faucet drinker. I bought him a pet water fountain and he no longer does that. All cats like to be in high places (like counters and tables), so a tall cat tree works wonders. If you have these items, you can tell them "no" when they do what you don't want, but then have the right tools to show them what they should be doing. Always follow a "no" with a redirection to positive behavior and lots of praise and treats afterwards.

And an 8 month old kitten is a young teenager - full of energy and wanting to explore everything in life. You have to teach them what is right! And remember your deep breathing mantra: patience, patience, patience! It will all work out soon enough.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Frances has a flat scratching post and a few scattered catnip mice, but no tree. I'll pick one of those up this weekend and try that. Who would've thought that I'd have a teenage already! Okay, I will try to learn to be more patient. I always thought that cats just laid around in the sun all day, but I will learn to work with this little devil!
post #9 of 15
Julia123 I am so happy that you are willing to work it out with Frances , cute name for a cat by the way .
post #10 of 15
When you go shopping for a cat tree you might also want to consider getting an interactive toy like the one in the picture. You just hold on to the pole and keep moving it around so that the cat will chase after and pounce on the toy or object at the end of the string. It's an enjoyable way to interact with a cat, and it will help the kitten get rid of some of his excess energy.
post #11 of 15

They do lay in the sun, they just do this when they get a bit older! One thing you can do for him that will really help is find a large cardboard box like a small appliance size? Cut the flaps off of one end, make some cat sized holes off the ground level that the cat can get in and out of easily, and toss in a few ping pong balls. He will play for hours inside, and the balls are so light, they seem to take on a life of their own. It will also help to lower his stress level. I have 3 5month old kittens that are still terrors around the house, they love their ball bin and it does help to redirect their energy and enthusiasm.
post #12 of 15

I had the same prob with Spike, one of my cats, he LOVED to chew on a part of the pet water foundation and would often push the bottle (full of water) off and the water would get EVERYWHERE) and the carpet would get SOAKING wet.

I bought a plastic mat with a raised rim on the edge so if water did get splashed out, it'd land on the plastic and not on the carpet. It helped me a lot- didn't have to get a towel and try to absorb all the water out of the carpet. Maybe you can try that too? All pet stores carry that. (I bought mine from Petsmart). Hope that helps.

I agree with others- take to the vet to be safe. Keep us posted and I'd love to see some pics of Frances!

Every night, he jumps up on the kitchen table and all of the counters and knocks everything over. I've caught him doing this, tried throwing water on him, spanking him, etc. Now he only does it at night and when I'm out of the room. I've thought about just shutting him up in the half bath (the room with his litterbox) all night, but hate to have him confined to such a small room. Also hate having to clean the counters daily, not to mention the broken things.
Tell me about it! Many statues, vases, plants, lamps got broken by my cats while they were kittens. I learned to put valuable things in SECURE places such as in glass enclosed shelves, I put see through wire around lamps and attached to the walls so the lamps wouldn't topple to the floor, and got rid of most of the plants. I only put things that aren't breakable or not harmful on the table so that way I wouldn't worry about the cats..

Welcome to TCS- it's a GREAT place to come for advice and/or to just talk about cats and life in general.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys! I've tried today to be very very patient, and I'm already noticing less water splashing. Pamela, I'd love to post photos, but don't have a scanner...but he looks just like the photo of Elisa on one of the above posts. I've been told that he's a tabby and unusually large (not fat)for his age. I'm excited, I've always wanted a big soft cat!
post #14 of 15
yea , that is great news . You will see in time that he will be a wonderfull companian for you . Did you talk about my Elisha ? MY Elisha is also a red tabby and white and he is a sweetie boy . I am sure your boy looks very pretty the way how you talk about him .
post #15 of 15
Good news to hear that you kitty is already learning his manners. You could even try balling up a piece of aluminum foil and batting it around the ktichen floor with him. Cats love to play "soccer" and some even learn to fetch. Buy a jar of chicken flavored baby food. When you are playing with him, reward him for good behavior, tell him good kitty and give him a little taste of the baby food. Then anytime he does something good, reward him and say good kitty and he will associate his good behavior with kind words and treats.
Cats can understand the tone of your voice. If they learn what "good kitty" and "no" mean at a young age, you should have no problem teaching them good behaviors.

Keep us posted!
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