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Really need help with a cat!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My little monster is just about 11 weeks old. So far I haven't had to worry about her clawing up the furniture. She likes the backs of my legs much better, and she gets me every chance that she gets. I've had friends suggest a squirtgun. It does no good. She likes it.

Someone else just told me that she will eventually grow out of it. This is my first experience with a cat of my own, and I'm not sure what to think at this point. Is this constant clawing and biting a "kitty stage" that she will eventually grow out of? If not, can someone give me some idea of how I might break her of this?

I've been trying to stay away from declawing her, but the backs of my legs are one solid mass of claw marks right now and I have to stop this clawing.
post #2 of 15
I have 2 kittens that are 16-wks of age and some days they are totally off the wall. Kittnens will try to climb you...they are just babies and don't know any better.

From reading other posts and from my own experience, if your reaction is a good ole' "Ouch" and a good ole' loud "No"...the kittens will eventually learn that is not favorable behavior.

Constant clawing and biting (nibling) is again, because of their young age and they are probably teething. They will grow out of it if you stress to them by reaction, this is definitely not something you enjoy
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjblackwood
My little monster is just about 11 weeks old. So far I haven't had to worry about her clawing up the furniture. She likes the backs of my legs much better, and she gets me every chance that she gets. I've had friends suggest a squirtgun. It does no good. She likes it.

Someone else just told me that she will eventually grow out of it. This is my first experience with a cat of my own, and I'm not sure what to think at this point. Is this constant clawing and biting a "kitty stage" that she will eventually grow out of? If not, can someone give me some idea of how I might break her of this?

I've been trying to stay away from declawing her, but the backs of my legs are one solid mass of claw marks right now and I have to stop this clawing.
She just has a ton of energy and wants to climb..so what I highly recommend is a cat tree. One that she can jump and climb and explore. Everytime she tries to climb you...place her on the cat tree. Also..here is a really good article on how to teach kittens to scratch appropriately:

http://www.pawschicago.org/PetCare/catscratching.htm
post #4 of 15
I have three right now, that climb me like a post. LOL What I have to do is watch them carefully, you will see them gather themselves to spring on your leg, and when they do, you just move. They leap, and land on the floor. Two of them now know that jumping for mom's leg isn't advisable, but Massey girl is hard-headed and she keeps trying.
post #5 of 15
The kittens need to learn that it hurts you when you they do that. A jump and a yell to startle them when they do it might do the trick. I know it worked for me in a similar situation.
post #6 of 15
You have recieved great advice so far.And I agree with them.

Garfield who is now sick from I believe his Leukemia shot, is 19 weeks old and still does it. Or atleast tries!!

I agree with hissy when she said to move yourself out of the way when you see her crouching down to get you. Then if there is a time that you dont see her and she gets you... just give her a firm "NO". When I tell Garfield "NO" about anything he is not supposed to be doing.... he stops.
Your kitty will learn that "no" means "no".
post #7 of 15
I'd go with cat trees for climbing and then try to play "jumping" games with her such as Cat Dancer or Da Bird to work out some of that limitless energy. Good luck!
post #8 of 15
And remember that although 11 week old kittens are adorable, they can be little monsters. She will learn her manners from you as she grows up.

My Garfield could care less about the squirt guns either. But a flat hand held up to him and a firm "No" gets the message across. Keep trying, and you will find a signal for her that she will understand means NO!
post #9 of 15
She will grow out of it - mine all did that at one stage. Also, you can try hissing at her if she hurts you - speak to her in her language!
post #10 of 15
When April Joy tries to make me her tree, I get her mouse toy and distract her with that. It is a wand with a sting that has a sqeaky mouse at the end. I hold it out in front of me as I walk across the room. I can see where she is because she's chasing her mousy (instead of her meowmy). I wouldn't squirt her with water. When she catches me off guard I say "Ouchie, ouchie. No, no, no, baby creature". She is starting to get the idea, but not always.

I think kittens do this when they are in full "crazy creature" mode, when they've got so much energy that they are literally climbing the walls. Don't worry, they all grow out of it.
post #11 of 15
I agree- find a toy that distracts your little one and teach her not to use her claws or her teeth as toys. Do not reward her for it. Give her no attention for doing that - ie clawing you in any way. (Unless you do not mind it but it sounds as if you do).

Good luck!
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Misty got her nails clipped last night. Since then she has been rather quiet, and looking for lots of attention. She's been in "cuddley and lovable" mode all day today.
post #13 of 15
Hi

11 weeks old is a little young to have left her mum (should be 12 weeks), how long has she been with you? If as sounds possible she has not been correctly weaned, then you will have to do it yourself. She needs to learn disappointment & being told "no". You need to teach her acceptable & unacceptable behaviour. If she pounces at your leg, you should make a sharp OUCH & withdraw attention from her. Turn your back & walk away immediately. Teach her acceptable behaviour, sit on the floor, hold your finger out to her, when she comes to snuff it, say good girl & pet her. The moment she bites shout OUCH & withdraw attention. As others have mentioned, buy a fishing rod toy to play with her. Give up specific times of the day to make her playtime. My cat still loves crashing into a pile of bubblewrap that I leave on the floor - even after 8 years! Make sure there are plenty of scratch posts around the house. Remember that a cat must be praised or scolded (saying NO is enough) immediately on doing the good or bad thing. Even a few seconds delay will mean she will not learn.

Do not use squirt guns, if you do need to use that type of punishment, use an old Pepsi can full of stones & shake it. Or you could use a personal attack alarm. Stop the noise immediately she stops the inappropriate behaviour.

[Please do not declaw her. That terrible practise is illegal here in the UK & is much like you having your own fingers removed at the first joint. Declawing will increase biting & other behaviour problems.]
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Potato Head
Hi

11 weeks old is a little young to have left her mum (should be 12 weeks), how long has she been with you? If as sounds possible she has not been correctly weaned, then you will have to do it yourself. She needs to learn disappointment & being told "no". You need to teach her acceptable & unacceptable behaviour. If she pounces at your leg, you should make a sharp OUCH & withdraw attention from her. Turn your back & walk away immediately. Teach her acceptable behaviour, sit on the floor, hold your finger out to her, when she comes to snuff it, say good girl & pet her. The moment she bites shout OUCH & withdraw attention. As others have mentioned, buy a fishing rod toy to play with her. Give up specific times of the day to make her playtime. My cat still loves crashing into a pile of bubblewrap that I leave on the floor - even after 8 years! Make sure there are plenty of scratch posts around the house. Remember that a cat must be praised or scolded (saying NO is enough) immediately on doing the good or bad thing. Even a few seconds delay will mean she will not learn.

Do not use squirt guns, if you do need to use that type of punishment, use an old Pepsi can full of stones & shake it. Or you could use a personal attack alarm. Stop the noise immediately she stops the inappropriate behaviour.

[Please do not declaw her. That terrible practise is illegal here in the UK & is much like you having your own fingers removed at the first joint. Declawing will increase biting & other behaviour problems.]
Thanks for your advice. I found an old baby rattle and it worked wonders. While she does nip a little bit yet, it is very gentle, and she has stopped trying to climb my legs.

Also, I found some bubble wrap and left it on the floor in the living room. The cat looked like she was having a ball with it, and we certainly never laughed so hard.
post #15 of 15
Definately get a cat tree/ scratching post. Everytime they scratch something that is inapprpriate, plunk the right on the tree, you can even take their paws and "show them" what to do. Also keep their nails trimmed, if you don't know how to do it, then get your vet or someone to show you. It will help termendously.
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