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MOODY Kitten question.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Our kitten is 6 months old and has been with us for 6 weeks. She came to us with a URI and roundworms and seems to be much better now if not cured. My question relates to her behavior and how it changes tracks from moment to moment. She will climb onto my lap, however, she will only do this in "her room" and when I am sitting on the floor with my legs closed. I also must be wearing my pajama pants. If I have on jeans...no way! I will be petting her and talking to her while she is on my lap and then she will try and bite me. If she has had enough petting...why not just get up? At other times, we will be playing and she will just walk away. She is starting to develop some behaviors I dislike, such as climbing on the counters, clawing the rugs, and BITING my boyfriend, however, I am not willing to be stern with her because I am afraid to break the SLIGHT bond we are beginning to have. I spend hours a day with her and just wish I knew how to make her more affectionate with us. We really love her. I guess my question is do I just continue to cater to her moods or ignore her or what? Thanks 4 ne help you can give us!
post #2 of 8
Is she becoming over stimulated by the petting to the point even your gentle touch starts to cause her physical pain?

When she bites, let out a real painful sounding yowl or ouch sound. Let her know even the smallest bite really hurts. While your petting her, keep an eye out for her tail and her eyes and watch for changes in her body language as well. If she starts to get that crazy look some cats do or seems pre-bitey, stop petting.

As for the rugs, get a sisal rope scratching post or even sisal rope door welcome mats and teach her to claw on those. Avoid an all rug post because your already having rug scratching issues and she really needs to identify that the rope is where she should be scratching.

Also trim those claws and get her used to that while you can. Gently massage her paws, extending her claws, and get her used to your touching and handling them. A little that leaves her NOT bothered is better then to much that will upset her, it will take patience and time. Don't trim to far.. you do not want to cut in to the pink part inside the claw, only the clear tips of the claws. If you have to use fingernail clippers, be sure your cutting so clippers are up/down || to match the claw not across it so it will reduce splitting.

For the counters.. keep them as clean and clear of stuff as you can. Make them absoutly boring. Anytime the kitten goes up there say "NO <kitten name>" and put her down then redirect her to something more appropriate. If you can redirect her BEFORE she jumps up, as you see her "thinking" about it.. that is even better.

Just my opinions.. I am not a vet or nutton else.. good luck!
post #3 of 8
the best advice i can give you is start as you mean to go on. she'll bond with you even if you are occasionally stern with her because kittens are social beasts plus you feed her!!

i made the mistake of spoiling my cat to the extent that i would rather she scratched me than hurt her feelings! its taken me a while to teach her not to scratch and rabbit kick me when she gets over stimulated and i wish i had trained her from the start. oh well, you live and learn!

some kittens are just not that affectionate or they are affectionate in their own ways. some grow into it when they get out of their 'ball of energy' phase.

if she hurts you eg bite or scratch the best action i have found is to hiss at her. its what her mumma cat would have done so dont feel bad.

try to think of her as a small toddler. you wouldnt want one of them running out of control would you?
post #4 of 8
Wow...what is her diet?

Are there other pets in the household?

Can you read a cat's body language? One helpful site when I was getting started had animated gif images explaining what all the different tail positions meant. There are also websites filled with mp3 files of various cat noises. When I am playing with Nano, I get several context clues if she is slowly becoming resentful. I also get clues on whether she wants "quiet play" or whether she wants to run around more aggressively.

Besides yourself (as a human toy), what games do you have for her to keep her stimulated?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi and thanx 4 the responses! In answer to a few of the questions...
We are a household of two adults and one kitten. No kids or other animals. Puppy is eating Kitten Chow which is the only food she will touch...she wont eat wet food. She loves the kitty breath mints and the Milk treat for cats! She gets one or the other every day.
Puppy has SEVERAL scratching posts. She has the cardboard box kind w/catnip. She has 2 rope posts with carpet bases. She has a kitty condo with 3 rope posts on it. She has every toy that they make including motorized and several interactive toys and she just seems bored. She sleeps a lot. She seems to get wired up in the middle of the night. This morning I woke up to the rug flipped over and the breaker blown in the kitchen. Should I lock her in her room overnight??? Thanks for all the advice!
post #6 of 8
kittens are sent to try us!

she sounds about normal. i would only lock her in a room as a last resort and she could get lonely. but if she was disturbing my sleep greatly i'd feel justified.

as long as she has food, water, toys and litter tray she'll be ok.
post #7 of 8
As Cirque suggested, she could be getting overstimulated - this is common. Try petting her for shorter periods of time. You'll begin to recognize the signs that she's about to nip and you'll learn how much petting is TOO much.

I know this isn't your main concern but... you mentioned Puppy won't eat canned food. I'd still attempt to get her to eat it by introducing it gradually. Cats can become dry food addicts, and this type of food is not the best. She'll be healthier in the long run if at least half her diet is canned food.

The behavior you're describing is typical kitten behavior - when they were babies, all my cats did the things your kitten is doing now! Don't forget that kittens teethe and are prone to chewing things for awhile. It's been a few years since I've had a kitten, so I'm not sure if she'd still be teething at 6 months. You can check with your vet about this. Also, has she been spayed? If not, you'll soon be seeing REALLY undesirable behavior!

You've sure provided her with lots of places to climb and play, which is great. It will take her some time to learn which places are off limits (like your counters).
The key to training your cat is to be very consistent. If she bites your boyfriend, tell her "NO" in a loud, stern voice.
DON'T hit her, but put your hand over her face briefly, or give her a LIGHT tap with your finger on her head. This is what a mom cat would do if the kitten got too rambunctious. Make sure to teach her to wrestle and bite toys only (get her small, soft plush toys with no bells or strings that could be chewed off) by always having a few nearby that you can grab and toss to her if she starts to show signs of wanting to bite. NEVER let her wrestle with your hand - men in particular (my husband was guilty of this!) think it's cute to play this way, til the kitten gets bigger and stronger!

If you've ever watched two kittens play, you're amazed at the ferocity with which they wrestle and "attack" each other. Much of this is instinctual, since it prepares a cat to learn how to hunt. This is what your kitten is doing with you and your boyfriend, because she has no other outlet.

My suggestion would be get another kitten!!! I know you think you've got your hands full now, but two kittens are best because their non-stop energy will be directed mostly toward each other instead of you! At her age, Puppy should have lots of energy, so it's not a good thing that she's bored and sleeping a lot. She's too young to be doing that. A kitten friend will keep her exercised and healthy and prevent loneliness since they'll have each other when you're not home. Added bonus: if you adopt a kitten from a shelter or rescue organization, you'll have saved a life!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Puppy is doing much better. I have tried many of the suggestions that have been posted and she is being a good girl! Puppy is spayed and has all her adult teeth. I moved her "downstairs bed" AWAY from the couch and put one of her rope scratching posts next to it. She has been using it as soon as she wakes up. I am so proud of her! I was thinking of getting another kitten, but David(we live together) may not buy the idea until this one at least lets him pet her. Thanks again 4 everything!
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