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My cat is a little troublemaker!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi, my kitty Benny is a little troublemaker, he is just the most hyperactive kitten I have seen in my life. He has enough toys to play with, but he just delights in doing things he Knows I don't approve of, like climbing up the curtains, hop onto the table, climb into the cabinets, not the ones in the floor but the ones that are way up and where my mom keeps her collection of rare botles. And the thing that people say that their kittens do, like running sometimes for no reason at all, he does that ALL the time. He is also very agressive when he plays, he bites really hard, and I know no one in my house has ever done anything to encourage this kind of behavior, he is just So hyperactive I think he just can't help himself. I just want to know if this is a stage he is going through (he is just 5 months old),
and he will get over it or will I have to take him to the vet to get some tranquilizers. I just love him to death during the night when he just totally transforms into loving kitty, but in the day he just makes me so mad and desperate. What can I do ?
post #2 of 20
It sounds like Benny is a wild child! Some kittens are a bit more energetic and wild than others, but even the wild kittens can learn how to behave.

The number one thing you need to do is to kitten proof your house. Have your mom put baby locks on all of the cabinet doors. These will keep the kitten away from the breakables. Make sure you put away anything that she can get into that will cause problems. You will be able to bring back out these things in a few months, but for now, it is better to put them away so they will not be broken.

Do a search of this site for answers about stopping the aggression and biting. There are several excellent strings about this very problem.

Also, do a search on scratching furniture and getting on counters for ideas to stop this behavior.

Most important...you and your family must be absolutely consistent in how you deal with his naughty behavior. If one family member lets him bite or get into things, he will continue to do so. But if everyone keeps him from being naughty, you will have more success.

I wish you luck with your wild child.
post #3 of 20
Just a thought LOK.

Has Benny been neutered yet? Everyone tells me that this helps modify overactive behaviour. 5 months is old enough so might be worth doing now.

Also, look up information on St. Johns Wort. It is on this site but I can't remember where. It takes a little while to work as opposed to Bachs Remedy but it is for hyper behavior and may be your solution.

Good luck. I know its a problem for you but your kitty sounds like a real character and makes me laugh (although I truly do sympathize.
post #4 of 20
So sorry Honeydew and Lotsocats....

I addressed my post to the wrong name. Please forgive....
post #5 of 20
I don't know that St. John's Wort would be helpful. It is for sad or aggressive kitties. I've never seen it used with hyper kitties, but...who knows....maybe it would work.

The book "Is My Cat Crazy?" begins with a story about a kitten who sounds just like Benny. Perhaps Honeydew could order the book (try Amazon.com) and see what the animal behaviorist suggested for that wild kitty. (I loaned out my copy of the book and it was never returned, so I can't look it up for you. )
post #6 of 20
Thank you LOK.

Whether I post or just read, I always learn something. I thought St. John's Wort was also for hyperactivity. If the neutering doesn't work, I would probably give it a try.

That book sounds interesting. I'm going to check at my local library. Apparently you found it worthwhile and that's good enough for me.

Honeydew, I bow to LOK's wisdom on cats as I'm fairly new myself.

LOK, what do you think about the neutering?
post #7 of 20
Honeydew; I definitely think that neutering will calm him down.
Also, do you spend time playing with him or just watch him go crazy? Kittens this young usually want desperately to "interact" with ther owners. Play games like "foil ball" or play with a feather toy or a light pen; games that make him jump and flip and use up some of that energy!!! As far as training to stay off counters and tables; I have found that a squirt in the face from a water pistol or spray bottle is an excellent deterrent. You do have to be right there when they excute the unwanted activity and "squirt" them immediately.(this does not work with some kittens who LOVE water!!!) Also, you might try giving him some catnip. Sometimes in overactive kittens; catnip acts like Ridilan in AD children and calms them down. . . . . GOOD LUCK If can think of anything else I will be back.

We are very happy to have you and
Benny with us at the CatSite.
post #8 of 20
I am going through the same thing with my Rocky right now and he is about the same age. He will be fixed at the end of the month. He is a wild man. Into everything and just crazy. He also is now trying to mate with my female who is the same age and is to be fixed at the same time as him. I asked the vet to fix him sooner but she wont till Aug 27th. Hopefully that will calm him down. Untill then I would like to find the thread on St. Johns Wort as I have some in the house right now.

Good luck with your Benny. I cant offer much as I am in the same boat as you right now. If you can get him fixed at six mons hopefully that will calm him down. I am hoping it works with Rocky.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
You are right, he is not yet neutered, but he will be next month. I do play with him a lot, but you should understand that I sometimes get tired since he has so much energy he doesn't tire out at all, and we can go on playing for hours at a time. Another thing with the cabinets is that he doesn't go inside, he likes to walk on top, and that is where my mom keeps her bottles. He is not bothered by the water bottle so that doesn't work, he is not scared of loud noises, or anything else for the matter. When I say no or something, he just looks at me with that bored expression and when I turn my back he is at it again. Don't misunderstand me, he makes me laugh a lot and I just adore him, but he also makes me nuts. And the biting, if he is biting me like i'm a prey or something and I say no, he bites harder, if I move he bites harder, if I spray him he won't let go, and if I grab him by the back of the neck he thinks i'm playing. And believe me, he can jump really high and he actually grabs my arm and holds onto it with his teeth. I try to ignore him when he does this, but he meows so heartbreakingly that I just can't. I love him so much, but he is definitely a personality. I hope he calms down with the neuturing. And thank you all for your replies .
post #10 of 20
Elinor, I found the info on St.Johns Wort and moved it to the top.

It is in the 'health and nutrition' forum under 'Bach's Rescue Remedy?' thread.

Honeydew, I also have those dropped cupboards and one of my cats takes a run and jumps on the counter, the fridge and then the top of the cupboard. So far she's never broken anything but if I had anything I cared about up there, I would definitely move it until Benny settles down.

My grown kids laugh at me because I put a towel up on the cupboard so Buttons can nap there when she wants. They think its funny!

I'll bet when Benny settles, he is going to be one great personality!
post #11 of 20
This is a a perfectly natural stage of life, including the trying to mate with his female friend -- and he would try on his male friends as well. Be careful, because your males sometimes injure their partners when they try to hold them still-- I have had two kittens with bite wounds on one of their forelegs -- both of which were hidden bites and became infected, the upper leg extremely swollen, and the necessity of antibiotic shots and pills. Another kitten got a bite wound in the nap of her neck, but I saw it and treated it immediately with success.

This whole behavior is very natural and will not necessarily go away entirely over the cat's lifetime -- and please note, that neutering does NOT entirely eliminate the occasional ritualized attempt to mate...especially in males that desire to be the alpha in a group of cats (the old "using sex as a tool of dominance" to which some human males are prone).

The cabinet climbing is something that at least a quarter of my cats have done, and in the beginning I had all kinds of accidents. Fortunately one day it simply stops, but it seems to go on for ages, with each climbing feat being more dangerous than the last. Since I take in kititens almost every year, I have tried to child (cat) proof things. I am also launching an ambitious program to put up strong wire panals to block off the pathways to the top of the cupboards. I intend the panals to serve a barrier to the cats, and a place to hand pots and pans that are taking up valuable cupboard space in my tiny kitchen. I am lucky in that I have a number of very climbable trees, and many of the latest kittens have turned their energies to playing dangrous games of tag through the high branches.

Some of the things recommended by others was two-sided sticky-tape. I haven't yet tried it, but it sounds very promising. Agressive behavior? This is a psychology game -- lots of quiet talking when the kitten is in its rare quiet modes. Resisting the human need to hug or hold the kitten -- he is probably too active for it at this stage, and needs to always have an open side he can use to get away from you without encountering restraint -- that way leads to bloody scratches and bites. Avoid touching him in ways that seem to inspire him to bite (one cat I have immediately curls up around my hand and bites if I touch him on the belly -- other cats love to be stroked there and will actually go to sleep they are so relaxed). If he bites, immediately take him firmly by the skin at the nap of his neck and set him down on the floor. DO NOT USE RESTRAINT!! He will learn that you don't enjoy the rough play. Cats are very intelligent observers of other-species life.

I would not entirely rely on neutering to achieve behavior modification. Each cat has its own personality. Some will remain a little wild for all their lifetime.

Patience and love.
post #12 of 20
I know what you mean! I've had kittens that are very active who terrorized me during their first year! I'm having problems with one of my babies now, but he is older than 1.
I agree with threeleggedkat, I've used catnip for kittens before, they might initially run around crazy after eating it but they eventually calm right down.
It may seem like he's running around mad for no reason but he's really just burning off some of that kitten energy. Specific toys may help him do that also, like the fishing rod style toys with a ball on the end.
As for your curtains and the table and other things like that I find the best method to curb that behaviour and train your kitty is a water bottle. Hope you have some luck with your little guy!
post #13 of 20
Has anyone tried Rosemary as an alternative to catnip? Some of my cats go completely ballistic when the rosemary starts to shed its flowers and needles to make way for new growth. They roll in it, and then dash around in circles and seem to be extremely happy.

I hope I am not starting a new fad when I mention that rosemary made in a strong tea (it is very bitter without other ingredients plus honey) is a mild halucenogen for people. But cats and people do not always react the same way with mind-changing substances.

Anyway, I would be most grateful is some of you would try sprinkling rosemary needles in your cat's bedding and see if they react. Or, if anyone knows of a reason NOT to permit the cat to come in contact with rosemary, I would very much like to hear about it. I have 5 very large semi-trees of rosemary in my garden, and because of our climate, they flower at least 3 times a year and sometimes 4 times, and each time the flowers begin to drop, there is also a carpet of needles.
post #14 of 20
That's something I've never heard of before but I'll give it a try with Dius after I do a little research. I work a lot with herbal therapy and I've never heard of Rosemary being bad for any animals. And if it hasn't bothered your babies yet, it can't be bad.
I'll let you know what I find out.
post #15 of 20
You have totally described my cat Oreo to a T!! When he was a kitten, he was completely crazy, and went into kitchen cabinets too!! Anyways, neutering him did NOT fix the problem! I urge you to take measures to fix it now, b/c Oreo was my 1st cat and I didn't know how to handle it, and to this day, he gets in his attack mode and he is so big now that he will bite and draw blood. I have scars all over my arms and legs mainly from his bite marks.
Do you have another kitty for him to play with? When someone suggested that to me, I though H*** NO-not another one!!! I mean, I absolutely love my cat to death, but the thought of 2 kitties that crazy was out of the question. But we recently got another one a few months ago, and it has helped soooo much for him to have a playmate. 2 cats is not all that differnt from one, but it makes a world of difference for the cat.
post #16 of 20
Catspride, I have found that rosemary contains the chemical terpineol (also called terpene alcohol) whereas catnip contains monoterpene.. As it is obvious, they are different forms of the same chemical (which is terpinene)..

Could this shared chemical might be the reason of rosemary showing similar effects with catnip ??

We don't have any rosemary, so I won't be able check it, sorry
post #17 of 20

Dearest Honeydew :angel2:

I am really not shocked to hear of this behaviour at all!
Nope, I've had about four of my males behave that way prior to nuetering. Now, it took about another month after they were nuetered to settle down, but they did. After that it's been a breeze for me. I do however have indoor/outdoor babies I think this also plays a large part on their ability to create havoc outside and bring their tired little tushies home and play nice inside. Not to mention and lot's of it too. So, when it's really nice outside (I live in Florida) :daisy::flower: they love to play in the field next to my home and I am very happy that it's there for them. I live in a very quiet community at the end of the road, so, I do feel that they are safe. My neighbors love my cats too and are very cautious when backing out their driveways...etc...I feel very blessed with my little pride

Love, Peace &

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I really hope that he will settle down a bit after neutering. I really don't want him going outside because I have already lost a cat because he got into a huge cat fight. Also he is terrible afraid of dogs and i'm scared he will wander of because of it. Maybe when he gets neutered he'll go out a bit. By the way I have a red tabby too.
post #19 of 20
Dear Honeydew...

When you get the opportunity please send a pic! I'd love to see them...Opie's my first red/orange/gold...:laughing2 whatever color he is....kitty. I'm so happy to have him...he's my angel :angel2:

Of course my other babies are beautiful too, Opie's the alpha (the baby too!) the tallest and he dominates everyone...including me! :laughing2 :LOL::laughing2:LOL:

Take Care
Love, Peace &
post #20 of 20
Dear Dodo, thankyou so much for discovering a real link between catnip and rosemary. You can buy "whole" rosemary (not powdered-- although that ought to work just as well) from any spice display in a supermarket. If you haven't discovered its delights yet in your kitchen, take a fatty fish (whole, or a thick slice -- we use the Nile Perch here), put good green olive oil in a frying pan over moderate heat (olive oil loses its Vit. E with too much cooking heat), add crushed or minced garlic (I use lots), then sprinkle your rosemary in (also I use lots, but maybe try less in the beginning), and last, lay the fish on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the top to your taste, and lightly fry for about 5-10 minutes (depends on the thickness of the fish piece). Then liift the fish with its rosemary and garlic (usually sticks to the bottom of the fish, quickly sprinkle more garlic and rosemary on the bottom of the pan, and turn the fish, uncooked side down. Salt and pepper lightly on the up (cooked) side. After a few minutes, squeeze some lime (or lemon if you don't have a lime tree) over the fish (I am usually generous with the lime and less so with lemon), cover the frying pan, and cook until done. DO NOT overcook. A total of 10-20 minutes (depending on thickness -- 20 minutes is for a whole fish of some kind) is all you need. The fish should be just cooked through.

This is fit for kings. Don't get silly with onions and wine. The mixture of strong olive oil, garlic, and rosemary (of course, fresh if you can get it, in which case you just lay whole sprigs in the pan each time), is unbelievably fabulous.

Wandered a bit there.

I will pursue this subject of catnip and rosemary further with my vets, since they found the cat's reaction to the rosemary surprising. I can now surprise them further thanks to you.

Caterina, your photos are so very good. I wanted to save some of them just for the pleasure of seeing them again and again, but I find none of my many programs will open them once I push the save buttons. Can you give a brief lesson on this? I take a lot of pictures and have a scanner, but I have not yet tried to scan them in and save them in anything but jpeg (or whatever it is), which acrobat opens, or TIF files, which are opened easily by PhotoShop.
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