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My kitty's being really naughty!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
We adopted Stumpy a little over a month ago, and I'd been fostering her while she had her broken pelvis. At this time she was so quiet and sweet, and loved snuggles in your lap, but as she's gotten better she's gotten naughtier and naughtier.

Don't get me wrong I absolutely adore her - she follows me everywhere, she's my little shadow while I'm at home, but I find I'm getting a bit frustrated every now and again.

She's about 10-11 months old now, and she is constantly attacking our feet while we're in bed unless they're under the doona (and only because the feet are harder to get to). And it's too hot of course for that, so we only have a sheet on. We go to bed and she's pouncing on our feet and biting them, and digging her claws in. She sees lumps through the sheets and thinks it's a great game. I kept saying no and lifting her off the bed and onto the ground. So she does this when we're going to bed, when we wake up and for the last few weeks at 5am when she decides she wants to play, so I keep being woken up to her biting my feet.

She's also currently attacking my bare feet which are on top of the sheet which is what made me write this post.

She loves dangly toys, but she can't have them as she constantly eats them (and swallows) - she's a chewer. So I have interactive toys for her (Bizzy-Kitty play centre, crazy circle type toy), a bunch of toys she can chase and carry around which she loves, a laser pointer, and I take her out for a walk every day (she's a fully inside cat). I spend a fair bit of time interacting with her, and because she follows me everywhere (literally), she doesn't sleep much - she's too busy following me

So she's chewed through the hand strap for the camera which we had to replace, then found the hand strap for my husbands new pedometer which she also chewed (mmm dangly!). Anything like that we can't leave lying around because she'll try and eat it, which is really frustrating - we never know what she'll try and chew.

This morning at 5am, I heard her under the bed batting something against the wall. I should have checked, but didn't. I checked just before, and she's had a good chew at the telephone cable which she was batting against the wall and playing with. She likes sleeping under the bed, and there's a few cables under there, and if she chews through any of them, it's dangerous for her and annoying for us! I covered the one she started chewing in double sided tape, so hopefully she'll leave it alone.

So I need some ideas on how to stop the destructive chewing behaviour, and how to stop her attacking our feet. I don't want to lock her out of the bedroom at night, because that was a good part of our bonding time before she decided to attack our feet.

She was snuggly and cuddly when we first got her, and now she's getting less cuddly and more destructive. She used to sit on our laps every night - she would have half her body on my husbands lap, and half her body on my lap - she would share us! She hasn't sat on our laps for weeks now. I know it's hot, but we have the A/C going downstairs so it's not too bad.

I can't get another kitty for her, it was a struggle to convince my husband to get one cat, I'm pretty sure he would prefer to give her up rather then adopt another one. I don't want to give her up, because I am in love with her, and I do think she's happy, she just doesn't understand what she shouldn't do. As well as that, she'll probably behave the same in a new home, and the new people may not be as understanding of her behaviour.

Also, I start full time work on Tuesday, so she'll be left on her own all day. I don't know if this will help her calm down a bit since she'll have less stimulation, or if she'll just get bored!

Sorry this is so long, I just don't know what to do. I hope it's just a "settling in" thing...
post #2 of 10
I use(d) a bath towel over the bottom of the sheet to keep my toes in one piece - it's lighter than a blanket, but at least as thick (if you use a good one) and does the job.
post #3 of 10
2 of my cats have done the same thing and it came on out of nowhere and went away the same way. It took a few weeks but they both got bored with the lumps. Try not to move to much when they are playing with your feet and a stern "no". It's hard not to move with claws and teeth in your feet but that just makes it more of a game to them.

As for the cords, bitter apple should keep them bite free.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oooh a towel is a great idea! I'm hoping it's just a "stage". I'll get some bitter apple as well if she keeps chewing cords, hopefully the double sided tape is enough of a deterrent.

I just wish she'd stop getting bored at 5am!! We don't feed her in the morning, we feed her at midday-ish and in the evenings because we didn't want her to get into the habit of expecting to be fed in the mornings and waking us up at first light to be fed.

Maybe if I put extra dry food out at night for her, she'll eat in the morning rather than play. I don't want a tubby kitty though.... Sigh - decisions!

I can't imagine what it'll be like when we have kids!!!!!!
post #5 of 10
sometimes the breeze from a fan bothers some cats so if you had that blowing over your feet she might avoid that area, I would also get a cat tree or some other place for her to romp in the bedroom so she does that rather than use you as her favorite plaything. and trim her nails, the play biting will go away as she is teething. i got abi some heavy paper twine ( the stuff they use for shopping bag handles) tied in knots to chew on. sometimes I even kept them in the freezer as a comfort for her gums. she could bat them around and chew until it was shreds with little danger of thread etc in her tummy. and leaving out some crunchy kitten nibbles is a great idea, good luck. she'll mellow
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice Abigail! I'm pretty sure when I went for her check up they said she had all of her adult teeth, so I don't think teething is the problem! Is that right? Should cats have all of their adult teeth by 10-11 months?

And I have the fan going all night anyway, but that doesn't bother her unfortunately. I also trim her nails regularly, and have toys in the bedroom for her to play with rather than attacking me.

She hasn't woken me up in the middle of the night the last two nights though, I think it's been too hot for her!

Can the twine be dangerous at all if they swallow it? Our kitty likes to eat dangly things - actually swallow it, so I have to be careful of every sort of thing that she's remotely interested in.

Hopefully she will mellow with age.
post #7 of 10
I kept saying no and lifting her off the bed and onto the ground.
she might even like the attention. the temporarily acknowledgement and holding.

you could try:

1. wearing a pair of socks that are lightly sprayed with 'no scratch for cats' by pet organics and keeping your feet outside of the covers - http://www.amazon.com/Pet-Organics-N...&s=home-garden or spray the covers with 'no scratch.' eventually she may be reminded of how unpleasant the taste of biting your feet is and she'll stop.

2. use a nearby spray bottle (adjusted to fire mist only). and yes, some may not like the idea. please remember that its just an idea. no arguements please.

3. a loud NO, or clapping sound. or any loud sound for that matter. yes, its night time and you dont wanna wake anyone up, but sometimes a sacrifice is necessary.

4. if it continues then i'd put her in the bathroom for a timeout of 3 minutes. and repeat if necessary. do not give any petting or sitimulation afterwards. just crawl back into bed.

post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by sarahp
Can the twine be dangerous at all if they swallow it? Our kitty likes to eat dangly things - actually swallow it, so I have to be careful of every sort of thing that she's remotely interested in.
Yes, it can cause blockages. Don't let her chew and eat string, tinsel, cord, long hair, dental floss or anything like that.

Out of all of the toys I have here for my cats to play with, the most fun one for my youngest is 2 straws stuck together and dental floss tied to the end. I have no idea why, but it's her favourite. I only let her play with it when I'm playing with her and I make sure she's not chewing and eating the floss at the end. Once I'm done playing with her or she's gotten bored from it, I hide it.
post #9 of 10
Didn't we all ever hear of bed mice maybe look into one of those new kitten gyms with all the hanging toys might keep her busy
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Trust me, it's not as if she doesn't enough toys, our lounge room has toys everywhere, and she plays with them all!

Our neighbour's cat and Stumpy were saying hello this arvo, and my neighbour had some little mice that her cat wasn't interested in, so she threw a couple of them into my front door, and Stumpy decided she liked the bright orange one (after I of course cut the tails off so she wouldn't eat the tails...), and she spent a solid hour of playing with this toy mouse. No kidding - an hour. She threw it in the air, she batted it around, she carried it around in her mouth, she pounced on it, she stalked it. She had a ball.

She just wants to play.

Dreaming - I like the idea of putting cat deterrant on the sheets/socks. That's a great idea. I will also use a water bottle. I have no issues with the water bottle, we always used it for our cats at my mums, and they knew the water bottle being picked up and pointed at them meant they were doing something they shouldn't be, and stopped immediately.

We have a water bottle, but a friend was borrowing it for a cat she was fostering, and I need to get it off her. So I'll do that, and try it.

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