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Creepy movement

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
My kitten just recently has started to freak me out slightly. Well, maybe not freak me out but what she does is very creepy to watch!

She arches her back up, turns her head to the side and starts walking/jumping sideways. At first it was just at her own reflection in our dresser (the drawers have a black/gloss finish), but now she's doing it at all sorts of things - including my husband and I when she comes to sleep on our bed at night!

I'm just wondering what this is. I've searched on lots of cat body language sites but can't find it. She doesn't make a noise when she's doing it. Is she scared, or angry? Should I not go near her when she's doing this or is it perfectly harmless?
post #2 of 24
I've seen the foster kittens do this. It looks incredibly funny. I thought they were trying to make themselves look big and scarey. I assumed it was along the same lines as when a cat arches its back up and puffs out its fur.
post #3 of 24
I call it the "crab hop", as they seem to scuttle at you sideways.

What she's trying to do is to make herself look as BIG and SCARY as possible. Most likely she's initiating play with you. When we had our litter of kittens, they all started to do this about 8 weeks old, even approaching their mother that way! (naughty kittens!) Then they would generally launch themselves at eachother and go nuts playing and wrestling.

I would just laugh at her as she's learning how to use her grown up cat language on you by playing with you. Just make sure if you play with her when she does this that you don't let her bite or scratch at you, as that teaches her that humans are toys. It's cute when they weight two pounds, but not so cute when they're full grown!

Julia
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies

It's good to know what it is - I was worried she might be scared at us, or mad at us. I guess she's just growing up and finding out what she can do, though. It's still very off putting to see her doing it though! It's eerie to watch for me.

I'll laugh at it now, purely for the fact that she's so small and cute and the idea of her trying to make herself big and scary (impossible!) is very amusing.

I don't let her bite or scratch me, but my husband does :| He's sure that she'll grow out of it as she gets older (people at work told him this - the same people who told us to declaw her ), but i'm not convinced. So, i'll at least try to make sure *I* don't end up with a 10lb cat trying to beat me up!
post #5 of 24
The more you let her bite and scratch you the more likely she will NOT grow out of it. You need to get your husband to stop it now while she is a kitten. He is basically training her that it is okay for her to bite and scratch. Then if you do declaw her (please please do not!) these problems could get 10x worse. Use toys to interact with her, not your hands and feet.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
I sitll tell him not to, and that she won't grow out of it - but he's his own person and I can't make him :| I don't want her to grow up to be a confusedlittle kitten - when suddenly she can break skin and we're telling her no when he always said it was ok.

I always use toys, and especially so if she's trying to play with my hands and feet.

And don't worry, that's one thing I've definately put my foot down on. There is no way Libby is EVER going to be declawed!

I told him if his friends at work could give me one non-selfish, non-materialistic reason to have it done to her then i'd get it done - and we all know that's NEVER going to happen!
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euterpe
I sitll tell him not to, and that she won't grow out of it - but he's his own person and I can't make him :| I don't want her to grow up to be a confusedlittle kitten - when suddenly she can break skin and we're telling her no when he always said it was ok.

I always use toys, and especially so if she's trying to play with my hands and feet.

And don't worry, that's one thing I've definately put my foot down on. There is no way Libby is EVER going to be declawed!

I told him if his friends at work could give me one non-selfish, non-materialistic reason to have it done to her then i'd get it done - and we all know that's NEVER going to happen!
Good for you!

Just to let you know, my cat 8-Bit still does the crab walk and he is a little over a year. So your little baby may not grow out of it.
post #8 of 24
Oh did i love seeing my two do the crab walk!!

Now and again Sophie still does it to Rosie, but when she was a kitten she did it a lot. She would jump sideways at her, then bounce back as if to say " Come on then big girl, chase me if you dare!!! "
post #9 of 24
I LOVE when kittens do that!! Arch their back and hop around The first time my kitty did that I thought she saw a ghost or something but she saw her own reflection. I've taken care of 3 litters of kittens and when they begin to play and run around they tend to arch their backs and hop like that in a form of playment. Enjoy it! I think it's so funny! Im sure you may notice your kitty getting sudden bursts of energy and act like they are paranoid and move quickly.. note that it's typical of kittens to act this way when hyper and in play mode.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yeah, she mainly does it when she's having one of her mad moments and catches her reflection.

I'm guessing i'm the only one who finds it spooky to watch! In time i'll get used to it but having never owned a cat, it's a very odd thing to see for the first time!
post #11 of 24
My significant other taught Midir to play with his hands and feet as a young cat, and we've regretted it ever since. Though he rarely does anything hard enough to break the skin, it's still enough to hurt, and to make Etain really angry! Trying to break the habit is so hard ... we have to watching our extremities carefully now. I know men are hard headed, but maybe train him the same way you would train a cat, when you see him using his hands and feet, hand him a cat toy. It's not subtle, but it might work!
post #12 of 24
My dad let our last cat play with his hands and feet when she was little and we ended up with a nuts cat that attacked our us and our friends. My mum was once bitten by her when she had her arm up on the back of the sofa and Gucci was lying on the sofa, she suddenly lept up and bit her on the inside elbow. It was a huge big wound which refused to heal for ages as the new skin bonded to itself whenever she bent her arm.
Sorry to be so graphic, but you really have to teach your kitten that hands and feet are not play things!
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euterpe
Yeah, she mainly does it when she's having one of her mad moments and catches her reflection.

I'm guessing i'm the only one who finds it spooky to watch! In time i'll get used to it but having never owned a cat, it's a very odd thing to see for the first time!
I guess it would be a bit odd the first time you see it. It's funny seeing an animal that is so small try to look so big and fail at it.
post #14 of 24
My baby girl has only done that once and it was in reaction to my dad (he's a pretty big guy, over 6'4).

She has this super-cute thing she does instead to make herself big and scary. She stands on her back feet and opens her mouth, then puts both front paws in the air above her head, like a human riding a roller coaster. It looks a lot like a flying squirrel, except standing not flying. When she was three months old she'd do it to my sister's 20-lb cat and we'd all go "Ooooooh Zissou you're so big and scary!" Schmaltzin was actually scared!

Anyway, I'm glad you won't declaw her, and I agree about the playing with your hands, although I will say that if your husband doesn't mind being bitten and scratched and you can't talk him out of it, your cat might only do it to him. You can say "no!" and your kitten will learn that daddy is the only human scratching post, maybe. It would be way better to teach him consistently not to do it at all though.
post #15 of 24
"Ooooooh Zissou you're so big and scary!" ROFL
post #16 of 24
I love when kitties do that!!!!! my kitten charlie does that.
post #17 of 24
I want to say GOOD FOR YOU that you aren't going to declaw. I only wish I knew then what I know now on that. I was taked into it with my 5 year old Calico kitty Tummy by of all people her vet at the time. I regret this everyday when I have to give her medication for chronic infection. She is in pain since he may not have all the nail out and a cyst developed. Recently she was hospitalized for a blood infection!!!!!!!!!! I will never advise anyone to declaw it is painful more so for the cat but for their Human "parents" to have to know that their pain was caused by their consent.....
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
We actually had her booked in to be declawed when she was being spayed. I hadn't really thought about it at all. I come from England originally but I had no idea of it being illegal there. I assumed as it had been suggested it must be a normal thing. The day before she was due to have it done I read up a lot on declawing, everything I could find. It was then that I tearfully informed my husband that there was no way in hell that cat was being declawed! I'm glad I thought to read about it, or she would have had it done :|

I spoke to my husband last night and he agreed to not letting her bite/scratch him. She's small now so she can't even get her teeth around us to bite properly, but I don't want to risk her being aggressive later on. He's still going to let her play with his hands and feet, but no biting or scratching.

As it happens, just after we discussed this she came over to play. He put his hand out and she grabbed it with both paws (claws retracted) and started to very violently..... lick him! Lol. She just sat there, upright, and licked for a good long time.

I never knew cats were such lickers. She never misses a chance to clean us when we're petting her or playing with her. It hurts (I didn't know they had such rough tongues either) but it's so cute!
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
She has this super-cute thing she does instead to make herself big and scary. She stands on her back feet and opens her mouth, then puts both front paws in the air above her head, like a human riding a roller coaster. It looks a lot like a flying squirrel, except standing not flying. When she was three months old she'd do it to my sister's 20-lb cat and we'd all go "Ooooooh Zissou you're so big and scary!" Schmaltzin was actually scared!
That's so funny! Our cat Boo did something like that one time. A friend brought her dog over (very friendly dog, thinks it's a cat) but our cats have never been around dogs before. I figured they would puff up, hiss and hide. But Boo stood up on her hind legs as tall as she could (which isn't very!) and just stared the dog down. She looked like a Meerkat! It was so weird. Glad to hear there are other silly cats out there.

Did you ever get a picture of Zissou doing that?

~Julia
post #20 of 24
Crabwalk, anyone?
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllegroNg
Crabwalk, anyone?

LoL!!!!! Too cute! I love it. My Oldest cat used to do that. She is five now and very crabby with good reason ( I also have 5 kittens - 4 at 3 weeks and 1 at 10 weeks who is as big as my 5 year old) He is a bengal and just naturally big not fat (per his last well kitty visit)
post #22 of 24
Julia-

Yea, I wish I could get a picture of her! It would be too cute! Sadly I haven't got one. Its adorable, when she did that to Schmaltzin (she's the nermal to his garfield, in appearance and everything) she would sort of fall towards his face out of that position, and he would hiss and bat at her (Schmaltz has some issues from brain damage and I think the feline equivalent of PTSD).

Better yet, I wish I had a video.

I just know Zissou would do that to dogs too. That must have been hilarious! I know, you always expect them to hide from dogs but they hold their ground, don't they!
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euterpe
Thank you for the replies .

I don't let her bite or scratch me, but my husband does :| He's sure that she'll grow out of it as she gets older (people at work told him this - the same people who told us to declaw her ), but i'm not convinced. So, i'll at least try to make sure *I* don't end up with a 10lb cat trying to beat me up!
lol No they dont grow out of it. i play very rough with my cat or cats now.
until they learn how hard to bite and scratch your husband will have lots of marks.

Now the only time i get any scratchs on me is when i forget to trim there claws.
heeh but then they where young, i went to work more then once, looking like i had been fighting wild cats.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
I don't think my husband would mind the scratches and bites... but we've agreed not to let her do it now. It would be ok if she would learn it's just him she can do it to, but we can't gaurantee that and I don't want her to grow up thinking she can play roughly with peoples hands and feet.
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