6 Month Old Cat Driving me and my Husband Insane.

mcmonkey

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I have always had cats since I left home and could have my own pets.  I am thinking, since I adopted our current cat Mumbles, that I was particularly lucky with all my cats and their personalities, because I never had much trouble at all.

I trained my last kitty to fetch and sit, and stand up and do all sorts of tricks on command.  I also always spend time playing with my cats and talking to them.  I moved to the states about 8 months ago and was desperate for a feline companion.  I saw the cat we adopted on facebook as she was going to be put to sleep if no one could rescued her.  Anyway, we rescued her with no real idea about her life before she ended up living in a shelter, and it was deemed that she was probably around the age of 3 months.

When she first came home she seemed quite adjusted, friendly and confident and snuggly.  As she is maturing she has acquired some annoying habits, she literally bounces off of body parts and launches herself off of you.  We have tired telling her no, blocking our bodies when we can see she is going to do it, but most of the time it's unexpected, and it really hurts.  She runs around the house like a lunatic, and crashes into things.  She is very talkative, which can get annoying, she plays very dominantly and bites and scratches and has not yet learned that her claws actually hurt humans.  She uses her claws ALL the time on us and the furniture. 

It seems to me that she hasn't had the interaction all kitties need to learn the rules through socialisation, and I have tried so hard to compensate for that, but she isn't really learning.  I feel so sad, because I am really not enjoying having her around, because she causes so much chaos.  I know kitten craziness, and this is way more than that.  She also went through a period of peeing on our bed and clothes, but I managed to stop that and she's now back to using her own toilet.

This cat is testing my patience beyond beieif.

Any suggestions would be welcome. 

Thank you. :-0

p.s We have not bothered with a tree this year, because we know she would pull it down in a heartbeat.
 

kafeid

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Do you clip her claws? That does help some with the scratching. I wish I had more advice. I am in the same situation, so I think I know the guilt and misery and stress you must be going through. :(
 

catnamedpanda

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As for the claws you could put claw caps on her.

It sounds like she has a lot of energy. Try getting a fishing rod type toy and play with her everyday. It will help burn off some of that extra energy. You could also get puzzle type toys to keep her mind busy. Look for a treat ball or something similar.
 
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mcmonkey

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She would be too aggressive if we tried to clip her claws.  We tried a squirty bottle for a while, to stop negative behaviour, but it doesn't seem to combat the behaviour all together just stops it in the moment.  I have started just removing her and telling her no and giving her a toy to distract her when she is agressive, but we have not seem many improvements, and it gets exhausting doing that the amount of times she requires it in one day.  I think she needs a playmate, but we all ready have a dog, and I think it would be too much.  We are half way through building her a cat tower with lost of rope to climb up and scratch, so I am hoping that will help?

I miss the companionship of a calm and friendly cat.

I hope you find some rememdies?

I have read about a tin can fliied with beans or rocks is a good deterant when they are doing something naughty.  You just roll it at them, and then they don't always process that they are being punished by you.  I am going to try that, too!

Thanks.
 

Willowy

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Is she spayed yet? Might help a little.

I second keeping her claws clipped. If you do it once or twice a week, they should stay dull enough not to hurt, but if you need them to stay dull longer, try Soft Claws (or the off brands which work just as well). Also do you have a cat tree? A nice sturdy one that won't fall over. On Amazon, you can find Go! Pet Club and Armarkat tree for reasonable prices---they won't last her whole life but I think I get my money's worth out of them.

Any way you can have another young cat? If she had a feline buddy to play with it would save you some of her craziness. A confident young male would probably be best.

Also try clicker training. It's not just for tricks--you can use it for behavior modification too:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/19339...1355352515&sr=8-1&pi=SL75&tag=&tag=thecatsite


But mostly, EXERCISE!! Try a fishing pole type toy, a laser pointer, leash training, see if she'll play fetch, etc. Anything to run some insanity off.

She'll grow up someday and you'll have lots of funny stories to tell! :tongue2: :lol3:
 

melalpha

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Spay her. Get her checked out by the vet. Put soft paws on her, those are acrylic caps you put on her claws.

Play with her til she's worn out. Use loud noises to deter her from noises. I used a can half full of pennies.

If all else fails.. leash her in the home, keeping the least attached to your belt, supervising her, and keeping her in a room when she can't be supervised. This might sound bad, I know, but I had one cat that drove me to frustration like this, and I was not about to give him up to a shelter because he was flipping the house upside down. Took him 2-3 months, but he FINALLY relented and learned to adhere to ground rules. Bonus: he had no problems going out for walks on a leash after.

If you go on the leash, do it gradually, gently, and reward her for being good on it. Don't pull, but guide.
 

catnamedpanda

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I second the getting another cat. I had not thought about it, but when Ella was a young wild thing into everything I got another young cat to play with her. I got a larger confidant kitten who could dish out and take just as much as Ella. She actually settled down, because she had a friend to burn off that energy with. Also she was less intent on attacking me because she had a playmate to play attack.
 

kafeid

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I have read that you can roll a cat snugly in a towel, leave one paw out, and clip them that way. Luckily my cat is cooperative in that regard, but I believe that it is worth looking into to see if there's a way you can manage it. My cat likes to bounce off my side, from my lap, and sometimes leaps onto my shoulders and jumps off the top of my head. Two weeks ago I was covered in scratches (like, 20+) and in constant pain because of it. Since I clipped his nails, I haven't gotten a single scratch. So, it made a big difference.`
 
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mcmonkey

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Kafeid, your post made me laugh, because our Mumble's does that.  In fact, as I was typing she jumped off the back of the sofa and bounced off of my husband computer - that trick gets old when he has work to do. 

I clipped her nails.  Yay!  In fact, she was pretty well behaved.  She ate a lot of treats while I did it and that seemed like a good distraction.  I think I could cut down further, but I didn't want to hurt her.  I watched a YouTube video on how to do it properly. 

She does have lovely moments, but you never know when she is going to be nice cat - she is very jekyl and hyde.  She was neutered by the shelter and vaccinated and chipped, which we paid a few 100 $$ to compensate for.  I'm pretty sure my husband would not go for another kittie in the house, so I am going to work on behaviour modification techniques as mentioned above by Willowy and see?  I really hope the cat tree helps?  We have fishing pole toys, balls, mice that squeak, bottle tops, old socks tied together, and on and on in a basket.  She absolutely loves bottle caps and can play with them on her own for a while, and she loves golf balls. 

Willowy, my husband is fond of using the laser pointer with her, but she still seems to have oddles of energy.  I'm sure if she was human she would be diagnosed as ADHD, ha, ha

I guess, I have a cat who is going to require some extra work.

Thank you for all your suggestions.  I think I am just coming to terms with the fact that I have a high maintenance cat.  :-)
 

orientalslave

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She sounds like a normal, delightful, energetic kitten with masses of energy to burn.  If she doesn't have a scratching post she needs one, and it needs to be tall enough for her to be able to reach right up now and in the future when she is bigger.  When she scratches something else, put her on the post.

And I agree with the idea of a playmate, though you will find they will do the 'wall of death' round the apartment.

She actually sounds like she has something of the personality of an Oriental / Siamese cat, what with her energy and vocalisation.

She is probably intelligent and bored.  Playing with her will help, but it's probably worth looking into environmental enrichment - making your apartment a more interesting place for her to live.

If she hasn't been neutered yet, get her done ASAP.  It has a couple of great health benefits - she can't get pyometra (infection in the uterus) afterwards, and it will reduce the risks of breast cancer.  The fewer calls she has the greater the protection.  I'm not sure if it actually calms them down at least when they are not calling - a cat in call is something else again - but it is by far the best thing for her long-term health.
 

otto

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You need to play with her more. I have the same advice for you I posted in this thread yesterday.

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/252213/will-cats-ever-mature-once-they-get-older

What you describe is normal kitten behavior, she just needs more attention from you. Cats thrive on routine, play with her at the same times every day. Giving her a toy is not enough. You need to play with her at regular times throughout the day.

In the other thread I posted many ideas on how to do that. :)

The more work you put into her now, the better the chances you will have that "nice cat" in time. But she needs your attention, now, to accomplish that end.
 
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andrya

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Oh, how l know where you're coming from. One of my current cats was the same way when he was a kitten. l've owned and loved cats all my life, but l had experienced nothing like this one. ls yours part Siamese by any chance?

Like yours, mine would randomly hurl himself upwards, sideways, backwards - he missed my eye by half an inch - twice! l was constantly explaining my odd marks from this guy's acrobatics. He wasn't mean though, or aggressive, he was just ADHD as you put so appropriately. lt was so bad that l would feel stress going home in the car after work, lol. l would tell people my cat was insane, and they'd say yeah, kittens are pretty insane, and l'd say no, l mean insane. Whew, it seemed like forever before he "grew up".

Anyway, we had a resident very much older cat at the time we got the kitten. Once the older guy passed, we got a very active breed kitten, and our now older ADHD guy turned into a very paternal and mature cat almost overnight. He's still a trickster, and loves athletics, but he's in control and not maniacal as he was. 

So age (a year + ) and the introduction of a younger athletic/active kitten really, really helped our situation.

Good luck :)
 

cattree

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I think you are on the right track building the cat a tower to scratch and climb on .. sounds like the cat really needs to explore and excersize during the day and the tower will definitely help and may I suggest that you build it with perchese and toys hanging that the cat can play with as well... best of luck!
 

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have you seen  the series "my cat from hell" ?

This guy is a cat  behaviourist  and has excellent ideas and results.

hope this helps.
 

molldee

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I don't know if Feliway would help a kitten calm down. Sounds like a normal kitten to me. All of my cats were crazy like that when they were kittens but calmed down a little bit when they got older.
 

jalapeno

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Yep, pretty much our cat too. We suddenly lost our 9-year old cat in September (surgical misadventure) and wanted another cat to keep us company (in our hearts, a house is not a home without cats!) and we picked up this lovely gray cat from the shelter. He seemed like a sweetheart but he is VERY active.

Our previous cat was content with being a lapcat and minding her own business but this one was the total opposite. He's about 10-months old and with similar features/personality to an Abyssinian. He learned how to play fetch and wants us to be involved every time. If we ignore him, he will whine and will not leave us alone. Fishing toy rods are a hit with him as well because he will jump and run until he can't anymore (but still want to- He's always panting after a hard play session. And that's the only way to settle him down.)

Anyway, my patience was also running pretty thin with him because I just couldn't keep up with his endless energy and decided to adopt another cat. The other cat is a sweetie, a perfect lapcat. So now she's the object of his frustration. He redirects his frustration on the other cat if he doesn't get what he wants (which is usually attention/play time) and he's definitely an alpha.

They're slowly getting along (been together for nearly a month) so hopefully in the next couple of months they'll work out their differences and be best of friends. They don't spit/hiss/growl at each other, only when the first cat starts to annoy our second cat.
 
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