How Do I Stop Out Of Control Behavior?

Louri123

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I have a 7 month old female rescue that I adopted at 4 months old. She was in a kill shelter and had been found abandoned. She was high strung as soon as I brought her home. She never meows and she has been checked by my Vet and has been spayed. She can be adorable but her behavior is out of control. I fell asleep on the couch and she was playing on the top of the couch. She literally jumped and ran across my head with all claws out. Needless to say this is painful. While I sleep in my bed she will run across me or jump on my chest. She will occasionally purr and allow me to cuddle and pet her but it’s rare. She has toys and her own cat tree. But if I walk by she will attempt to “ catch me” with her claws. I’ve had cats my entire life. I’ve always had affectionate and calm cats. I’m patient but it’s getting hard. I’m not sure if anyone has suggestions... please help!
 

Moka

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It sounds like she has not had a ton of human socialization. She is probably just nervous living in a home for the first time with a human. She sounds for the most part like a normal, hyper kitten who needs to learn the rules and some proper claw etiquette. When she is trying to "catch" you, she is trying to play with you.
As far as curbing the clawing behaviors goes. Do you regularly play with her? An active play routine will help drain some of that kitten energy. When you do play with her, use something that puts some distance between you and those claws like a fishing pole toy or a laser pointer. You do NOT want to play with her using your hands. She will see them as toys to be attacked and played with. That is a hard habit to break in a kitten once they get used to rough housing. If she does happen to bite of scratch in play, yelp or hiss like her brother or sister would do when things got too rough and ignore her or even walk away for a few minutes. Kitties hate to be ignored and hopefully after a few time she will get the message. The fun stops when she gets to rough.
Unfortunately, some of what you are describing like her jumping down onto your head with her claws out, is one of those kitten behaviors that with a little time and patients, she will hopefully grow out of. She just needs time, a little guidance and a lot of active play time.
Additional: She may have plenty of fun toys to bat around, but to her they are "dead" prey. That is why it is important to get something that moves like a fishing pole. The kitty gets more out of this kind of play and you both get a great way to bond.
 

LTS3

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Check out these TCS articles for tips:

How To Set Healthy Boundaries For Your Cat
The Dos And Don'ts Of Cat Behavior Modification
Cats And Discipline Don't Mix

Keep those sharps claws trimmed. The vet or a groomer can do this for you or you can attempt it yourself with another person hold the cat if needed.

How often do you play with your cat? It sounds like your cat just has tons of energy and no outlet for it. Interactive play with fishing pole toys, tossing a toy across the room, etc are best to really wear out some of that energy. Another cat is an option but may or may not work for your situation.
 

di and bob

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Yes, she is displaying normal, hyperactive kitten behaviors that were not curbed with interactions with playmates and spending more time with mama. This will all pass with advanced age, but her manners will not improve without teaching from you. Like suggested above, yell out, and hiss at her when she hurts you, she needs to know you are not pleased. Do not strike her, cats are not driven to change from physical punishment like dogs, they just become sneaky and afraid. When she attacks/claws you, take her by the back of the neck by the loose skin and pin her to the ground. Hiss at her or tell her NO firmly. Not for long, just long enough to make her stop struggling. This is what mama cats do to teach a young one manners. If she comes back at you, do it again until she stops. She is testing you right now to see how far she can go. It is up to you to teach her limits. Almost all of this behavior will normally stop when she matures, but for now she need some manners. I have found that getting a 'kickeroo' from Amazon, and throwing it towards her when she looks like she is coming to attack is a great way to distract them. Get two and keep one in a catnip filled bag to refresh them. They are irresistible and get rid of a lot of aggression. She is a high strung, beautiful little spirit. Bless you for taking her into your home and heart, she will take a place in your soul for eternity and bring you much blessings in the future! All the luck and keep us posted!
 

rosegold

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My kitten recently started the “catch and bite” phase and attacking my arms and legs and she can be VERY hyper about it. For her hissing didn’t work that well, nor did just telling her no or saying ouch, but very loud, high-pitched whimpering/squealing stops her immediately and I get some apologetic slow blinks and maybe a lick. I always try to give her a soft toy right after so she has something she CAN bite. With my other much more submissive nippy cat, the hissing worked like a charm. So try lots of cat noises and see if anything works. :)
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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... if I walk by she will attempt to “ catch me” with her claws. ...
... When she is trying to "catch" you, she is trying to play with you. ...
I agree with Moka Moka here, that maybe she just needs more interactive playtime with you.

Maybe for a few weeks or months, you can walk around at home with a string toy or small wand toy in your back pocket. Then as you walk by her, dangle the string toy outwards in front of you, away from your feet and ankles, and this may distract her, getting her to pay attention more to the toy rather than your legs and feet. Or you can use a laser type of toy. I don't like laser lights much and my cat really enjoys chasing the light from a regular flash light -- you could try that too.


:goodluck:
 

Kefa

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Scream when she hurts you. I did that with Homer and he still bats my ankles, but NEVER with claws. I can bare hand wrestle with him ("get your belly" game) and never even get a scratch. They CAN learn to be careful of human skin.
 
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Louri123

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I am trying this with her and the other suggestions from others of hissing at her. I truly appreciate your help. I will continue trying... thank you
 
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Louri123

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Thank you for your help. Actually we have a lot of playtime because I bring her to my artist studio. We interact with play toys and ball chasing for hours a day. I do know she wants attention when she bats at me... and try to take a few moments to play. She suffers from separation anxiety and so I try and spend as much time as possible with her. I appreciate everyone’s input... I am putting it all into efforts to help her learn. I know it will take time. Thank you all again❤
 

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Just a word of caution since you may not know, having had gentle cats in the past. When you grab her by the scruff of her neck, do not lift her weight off the ground/table whatever. It can damage her neck or her eyes.

She will calm down in time. Hissing works well. She's a teenager, you remember what that was like, when you just have to move! and you are the best playmate EVER!!!
 

danteshuman

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For now can you take her to the vet and have them attach soft paws on her? A few things: 1) use toys not hands all the time 2) play with her lots 3) when she hurts you the slightest bit act like she bit off your finger. I did a loud wailing ooooooowwwwwww for a minute or two. It worked! 4) if you see her hunting at you hiss or ppppsssssttttt at her while stomping your feet. If this fails drop a loud key chain while hissing (or altoidss box with some pennies in it.) 5) be patient with her.

My one failed adoption was a semi-feral outdoor cat that sometimes came in. So if she is not very tame, her best teacher can be a very tame cat. Cats learn from each other. I think your cat is just a teen kitten that has not been properly taught how to play with people. Be patient with her and know in 3 months she will be so much better!
 

1 bruce 1

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Just try to remember this is an animal with razor blades in each foot that she's not as aware of as we are when they puncture us. (Baby Girl thought I'd look good with a nose ring, and took care of the piercing part for me when she was a kitten..:doh:)
It shows that you're extremely invested in this cats health and happiness. Does she play and then snooze when she's tired at your studio, or is she going nonstop? How old was she when the vet said she had separation anxiety?
At 7 months this cat is still a kitten in many ways, and kittens (and puppies and babies and toddlers....) can get "over tired" if they don't sleep enough or rest enough, and the drive to actually sleep shuts off and they just get wilder, louder, crankier, etc. It's a long shot but it might be something to consider if she's a busy cat that might need to be a little less busy.
 
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Louri123

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I will try all the recommendations everyone has mentioned. I have begun hissing at her and she seems receptive. She looks at me with “wonder” ... but does stop the behavior. I am very invested in her and want her to be happy and healthy. She loves the studio and does play to her hearts content. I also interact with her and we have play sessions. She has pierced me also ... gotta love those kittens❤
 

Kflowers

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Keep practicing your hissing - louder, more forceful, sharper. It's okay if you accidentally spit a bit. Cats actually spit on each other often. Practice where she can't hear you.

Above all, remember she's playing with you because she adores you. You make her feel loved and safe. That's a huge gift to give someone and she's returning the same to you.
 

danteshuman

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In all fairness we don't have fur to protect us like their kitty playmates do. It was why I suggested soft paws (the rubber claw covers) while you retrain her to attack toys instead of you.

Not to say accidents don't happen. One of my foster kittens ran across my face with their claws.... causing me to bolt up with a kitten attached to my head, yelling "aarrrrrgggghhhhh!" They are very good about not attacking me, I think they play fought over me. Any how we scared each other.
 

1 bruce 1

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I will try all the recommendations everyone has mentioned. I have begun hissing at her and she seems receptive. She looks at me with “wonder” ... but does stop the behavior. I am very invested in her and want her to be happy and healthy. She loves the studio and does play to her hearts content. I also interact with her and we have play sessions. She has pierced me also ... gotta love those kittens❤
Well, since I'm already viewed as the sites own cheese ball (:lol:) I'll say that if she stops, but gazes at you like "....what?" but doesn't panic and run away, you're doing good, and leaving an impression in her mind that clawing isn't nice, but you're not going over board with punishing her.
You want them to stop what they're doing but not lose any trust. You can get sharper with her if she doesn't listen, but the last thing you want is for her to rush off and hide and lose that trust. This hiss should make her stop, and make her think. She's a kid but she's plenty old enough to learn to use her claws as needed (on mice, not on men :thumbsup:).

It's why guys in a bar can "playfully" punch their buddies without injuring them. We they know their own strength, even if my own is pathetic and some can give their buddies a shove all in fun vs. shoving an intruder that's there to kill you and your family. Shove your buddies while horsing around, then a week later shove an intruder that has a knife at your husband, wife, or child's throat, and the difference is pretty amazing. It's just learning our strengths, and learning when to use them and when not to.
 
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