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my kitten just doesn't listen.

sarahandpoe

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My Poe, 4 months old, is the most rambunctious kitten I have ever seen! She isn't allowed up on our kitchen chairs or our table, but she's up there anyway. She'll attack Sammy (my 13-year old cat) and try to play with his tail, to the point where he will hiss and claw at her until she stops. We have a small hibiscus tree in our kitchen, and she likes to climb it to the top, and she's even broken off the branches before. She isn't de-clawed, so she uses our sheer curtains as a scratching post. We've tried everything to get her to just calm down. We've tried putting her in a dark room for 'punishment' , sprayed her with a spray bottle (she reacts to it, but keeps doing the same thing), & when she does something good, we give her positive reassurance. She has toys that she plays with, yet she still goes back to these bad habits. I've heard that cats don't learn from negative things that you do or say, only the positive. Is there any truth to that ? When we found her at 6weeks, she was a stray, so I'm not sure if it's feral cat in her, I don't know if this is a kitten thing or just the way that she's going to be. Either way, I need to know how to get her to stop doing these things! :/ I'm afraid she's going to hurt herself one day. She has already gotten dirt in her eye, causing it to swell up & her unable to open it. After a few days her eye was fine, but still...

Any help?
 

rafm

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Please don't lock her in a dark room. She's just being a kitten. If you've never had a kitten or it has been a long time since you've had one it can be a bit shocking...their wildness. :lol3:

I would suggest you redirect her when she is doing things you don't want her to do. As far as the older kitty, there is nothing wrong with her popping the kitten to teach it how interact appropriately.

Remember that she will grow up and will begin to settle downand then you'll wonder where all that energy went.

Kittens are a lot of work, it's one of the reasons DH and I only adopt older kitties. :lol3:
 

stephanietx

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It's the normal kitten in here coming out.  All of these behaviors are perfectly normal.  You have to redirect her when she's in the wrong place.  Do you have a tall cat tree for her?  It will help with climbing on inappropriate things as well as using your sheers as a scratching post.  Most cat trees come with a scratching post on the "legs".  When she starts pestering your 13 yo, get a toy on a string or wand and divert her attention.  If she persists, use a towel to "herd" her away into a different area of the house.  She needs lots and lots of play time.  Lots of wand toys and a laser pointer will help.  Also lots of toys to bat around.  Do you have a turbo scratcher?  Those things are also great for young kittens.  They can chase the ball for hours on end and wear themselves out.
 

yayi

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This thread reminds me of the wonderful days when I had 5 kittens all doing those things. 


As the others said, it's normal and they've given great advice. You are a proud parent of a healthy, fun loving kitten. 
 
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sarahandpoe

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We have catnip toys with bells on top that she really enjoys carrying around. She plays fetch like a dog.
We have a circular plastic track with a ball in it, that she plays with for hours and hours! I think one reason she attacks Sammy is the bell on his collar. The only issue when it comes to those cat toys and scratching post are the price; I've been looking into ways to actually make makeshift 'trees'. She's a little monkey, she climbs everything, lol.

Thank you guys!
 

rafm

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Amazon.com has wonderful trees at very affordable prices....we got a huge one for $100.
 

meowmusical

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A lot of the suggestions people are making are fantastic!

I must add my own though.

Kittens are playful and hyper by nature. It's just them being toddlers. They'll do ANYTHING if it'll get your attention. Whether it be good or bad.

Consider possibly kitten-proofing your house until she's old enough. That includes curtains, cabinets and the like. Push your dining room chairs into the table when you're not using them. 

And possibly ignore her when she's on them unless she's in the way.

Most kittens, when they realize whatever they're doing gets your attention, they'll continue to do it.

Do positive reinforcement for good behaviors rather then punishing the bad. Cats don't understand when you yell at them or lock them up.

Play with her as much as possible! Wear the little bugger out! It'll keep them out of your hair for the most part. Feathers, moving dangly toys are the best. As well as anything that moves.

With plants, do your research. Many plants that we keep indoors can be toxic if the kitty decides to take a nibble.

Also, please don't declaw her if you're at all thinking about it. Keep her nails short or buy her nail covers.

Just spend every moment you can with the kitten. They'll learn.
 

rosiemac

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Like everyone has said it's normal behaviour. Enjoy it because they don't stay babies for long.

Like a child think about what you would keep out of it's way such as cords on blinds etc, and how you would entertain them, because the same has to be done with a kitten
 

meuzettesmom

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Kittens like learning about their world. They take it to the limit and beyond(if they can)

My kitten plays with a bucket of water, bat at the older cats(there are seven of them). Comes and tryed his play on the dog and me. Its comical if you don't take it serious. They do teach you pateince.
 

momofmany

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I look at teaching a kitten good behavior like this:

Imagine you are a child in school trying to learn basic math. The teacher asks you what is 2 + 2 and since you haven't learned this, you answer 3. If the teacher were to put you in a corner as punishment, you would never learn that the right answer is actually 4. As a child you would be frustrated by the punishment and probably act out even more.

Punishment alone doesn't really teach a kitten what you expect of them. If you don't redirect them to the appropriate behavior (e.g. climbing curtains replaced by climbing a cat tree), they will only be frustrated when you punish them for things you don't want them to do. What I would do in the curtain climbing situation (also works for inappropriate scratching) would be to stop the behavior with a firm NO or hiss, pick them up and carry them over to the cat tree and place their paws on the tree. Then I would praise the heck out of them, give them scritches, treats, and whatever else they really like. Others have offered suggestions about redirecting their attention away from something. This is great as long as you praise them once they do what you want them to do. After a while, when you know they know the right thing to do, a simple NO can be enough to redirect them (which is why I always like to start the redirection with a NO or a hiss).

And every kitten is different. Some are simply more rambunctious than others and grow out of their kitten hood at different ages. Appreciate them for their unique personalities.
 
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pami

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We have catnip toys with bells on top that she really enjoys carrying around. She plays fetch like a dog.
We have a circular plastic track with a ball in it, that she plays with for hours and hours! I think one reason she attacks Sammy is the bell on his collar. The only issue when it comes to those cat toys and scratching post are the price; I've been looking into ways to actually make makeshift 'trees'. She's a little monkey, she climbs everything, lol.

Thank you guys!
Get her some cardboard boxes to play in. Cats love boxes for some reason.... you can even cut some holes into some, and place side by side, so she can run through the boxes.
 

x2006nkg

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Get her some cardboard boxes to play in. Cats love boxes for some reason.... you can even cut some holes into some, and place side by side, so she can run through the boxes.
My kitten LOVES cardboard boxes. When he first came home with us, he was climbing at the curtains and running up on everything, then I put a few boxes around the place (I just recently moved, so I was lucky I had a bunch in my storage room) and now he spends a good deal of his time there. We cut a "door" and he runs through it, scratches it, etc. I'd suggest that as well, good to expel some energy
 
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sarahandpoe

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I am all for her playfulness, and she is such a happy kitten.
The only problem is that she is a little bit too rough with my 4-month old daughter. She will be sitting in her rocking cradle, and my kitten will try and grab her feet, or nip at them. I understand that she is just a kitten, and I try to 'discipline' her my best, but I just can't seem to get her to stop.
 

rosiemac

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I am all for her playfulness, and she is such a happy kitten.
The only problem is that she is a little bit too rough with my 4-month old daughter. She will be sitting in her rocking cradle, and my kitten will try and grab her feet, or nip at them. I understand that she is just a kitten, and I try to 'discipline' her my best, but I just can't seem to get her to stop.
If her feet are dangling then the kitten is going to attack them because naturally she thinks it's something to play with. If this is the case,   distract the kitten by throwing a small  ball to chase after. Think of it as having two children where you have to give both of them your time and attention.
 

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Especially with a cat that young, I would HIGHLY suggest clicker training. You can buy a clicker in the dog section of pet stores, or you can just get some other object that makes a clicking noise. I've clicker trained my cats as well as a few strays outside and it gives you a way to communicate with your cat. Basically you start with teaching them that the "click" noise results in something good, most effectively that is a bite of a food they like. Then when they do the desired behavior, you click, and then reward them. It "clicks" lol in their brain that hey this is what they want me to do and i get rewarded for it. I clicker trained a stray cat that showed up at my house (i have since found him a home) but the problem was he kept running out in front of cars, and he would follow me to my car. I was scared to run over him, so i taught him to sit and stay just using normal kibble because after all he was a hungry stray! Within about a week i had taught him to trust me that i was going to give him the food and he didnt have to dig in out of turn, to stay with the food right next to him, and then to come to me on a click. you can watch the video here:


it's also great for vet visits. I've taught my cats to walk in the carrier for a treat, MUCH easier than forcing them into the carrier. For counter problems, you teach your cat what "up" and "down" means. At this point with mine, they get on the counter, i yell down, and they get down and dont even expect a treat because they know what the word means!

Mandy
 

yayi

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Especially with a cat that young, I would HIGHLY suggest clicker training. 

it's also great for vet visits. I've taught my cats to walk in the carrier for a treat, MUCH easier than forcing them into the carrier. For counter problems, you teach your cat what "up" and "down" means. At this point with mine, they get on the counter, i yell down, and they get down and dont even expect a treat because they know what the word means!

Mandy
Cool! You communicate via clicker. 


On the other hand, my cats understand when I go "psst" if they're about to do something naughty. 
 If I yell, they think there's danger and they go hide. I avoid yelling because I don't like them being frightened.
 

olivesmom

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heheh I've almost forgotten what kitten crazies are! Hopefully these things will make this stage easier, since they are so darned cute, it's hard to stay mad!

some surprising (and cheap) things my cat loved when she was younger and rambunctious. 

-cardboard box as mentioned. If she gets bored cut a few holes in it, or turn it on its side or move it to a different spot

-small stuffed animals (just be careful if the stuffing etc might get chewed off or eaten) but she loved to roll around wrestle and claw these things. When she'd be rambunctious using her claws with me I could easily redirect her claws onto one of these. In the morning I'd find them in different places around the house so I know she played with them at night. They have catnip ones, but I got some kid toys at the dollar store that she liked. If you buy cat nip ones, be sure to take them away some times so she won't get "immune" to the catnip

-pom-pom craft balls she'd toss them around, carry them around

-crinkled up paper balls

also, a spray/squirt water with just PLAIN WATER set to stream works WONDERS. For most cats, after the first few squirts, just showing them the bottle will stop them from doing the bad behavior. But you shouldn't abuse this, as you don't want to scare your cat so using it to teach your cat to stay off of counter tops/potentially hot stove etc is good or when she is biting the dangling feet you can squirt her then give her a toy to play with instead. I try to only use this if my cat is being REALLY naughty and vocal corrections don't work. Usually a simple firm saying of my cat's name or quick sharp "no" or "ahn ah" like they teach you with dogs is pretty effective. And as said giving treats/love or speaking affectionately to them when they are doing good things will pay off. Just being consistent and they will grow to learn what you want from them. They aren't out to please you like dogs, but will learn you and your routine. My friend taught her cat to walk on a leash and to "ask" and "sit" for her dinner!

Enjoy watching your kitten grow, she'll be big before you know it! :)
 

ducman69

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I've heard that cats don't learn from negative things that you do or say, only the positive. Is there any truth to that ? 
No, not really, but it is true that cats don't always connect the dots properly so rather than understand they are being punished for something they did 45 seconds ago they may just find that you are mean and something to be avoided.   Positive reinforcement, even if you mess up the link for them to understand tells them you are a kitty angel and are more apt to be lapcats.  

The spaz antics even if you do absolutely nothing will diminish with age, at least they did with Wesley and Buttercup.   I still had to kitty proof the place for a while though, as they would chase each other at mach 10 through the house and kept knocking things over.  Personally, I also gave up on having offlimits areas with few exceptions protected by a SSSCAT motion deveice, and simply vacuum my kitchen chairs and wipe off the table and counters before preparing meals. 
 

Lots of play time and distraction with toys does work though, and these two liked cardboard boxes too.   Even made a little elaborate castle for them connecting a whole bunch with holes inbetween the chambers heh!      The vid was when it was new so they were a little cautious, but later ended up biting and smashing it up pretty good by chasing and wrestling inside before I threw it out.
 
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Purrsnickitty

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My Poe, 4 months old, is the most rambunctious kitten I have ever seen! She isn't allowed up on our kitchen chairs or our table, but she's up there anyway. She'll attack Sammy (my 13-year old cat) and try to play with his tail, to the point where he will hiss and claw at her until she stops. We have a small hibiscus tree in our kitchen, and she likes to climb it to the top, and she's even broken off the branches before. She isn't de-clawed, so she uses our sheer curtains as a scratching post. We've tried everything to get her to just calm down. We've tried putting her in a dark room for 'punishment' , sprayed her with a spray bottle (she reacts to it, but keeps doing the same thing), & when she does something good, we give her positive reassurance. She has toys that she plays with, yet she still goes back to these bad habits. I've heard that cats don't learn from negative things that you do or say, only the positive. Is there any truth to that ? When we found her at 6weeks, she was a stray, so I'm not sure if it's feral cat in her, I don't know if this is a kitten thing or just the way that she's going to be. Either way, I need to know how to get her to stop doing these things! :/ I'm afraid she's going to hurt herself one day. She has already gotten dirt in her eye, causing it to swell up & her unable to open it. After a few days her eye was fine, but still...

Any help?
Poe and owner.
I am having the same struggles. To the point of want to beat the car senseless and open the front door and letting him (Griffin) go play on a busy street. "For fk sake" is a common slurr. I dont have any clue as to whst to do. Read things like "Figure out why he wants up there" to "laying foil on the edge of the counter". To squirting him with herbal sprays they dont like that he licks as you drench him. Now he is soaked and still on the fking counter! And id be laying 60 ft of foil a night. Tried the foil once, i was kept up all night and now griffin has the biggest ball of foil to bat around.
I bought him a claw post. I acually made it with nice 1 inch thick hemp. Wrapped it around his neck several times, tight (not really but thought of it briefly).....no no no
around the two nailed together 2x4s that were placed on to an old table top as a base with 2 L brackets. As much as id never hurt him, the desire is big but wouldnt happen. I have control but its really slimming. I can not hold back for much longer. Every night and day and middle of the night when i find my well behaved perfect cat in the sinks window and knocks over my vase into the sink where my favorite coffee mug was and along with the dominoe of shit falling went my Dept.56 frog i loved. All in pieces in the sink. What the hell. My cat Dex thinks its ok to surf the counters for food. NO WAY. I clean the food from.making dinner so Griffin has Nothing while he is behaving badly. No food in the sink drain, not a small crumb anyehere. I called my vet today fed up. I am having him checked out again but deeper for worms. He has an out GIANT appetite and is constantly seeking food. I was told he has no worms. His poop is like soft serve and he can wipe out an entire room people with the smell. I am demanding the vet send his sample to a lab. He just will not stay off the counters and is just driving me to believe that maybe if i declaw him, he will chill out. I do not beleive in it at all. But i have seen younger cats calm down after its done. Please dont be upset with me for thinking this. I have used Grannicks Bitter Apple on tje counters and drains. And he still licks it. When i was young, my aunts had cats who were little shits. They chased everything. When they would get declawed, it was like they became little lovers. I know those in this group will jump on me for thinking it, but i feel the relationship is bad and going to become worse the longer this gos on. My other cats understood after 100 times of "stay off the counter" we are at 150k. He is on my counter....
 
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