Teaching a kitten manners

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TCS Member
Adult Cat
Hi Pam,

I recently acquired a little torti kitten. She showed up in our bbq one night and the rest is history. She's currently somewhere between 11-12 weeks old. We found her around 5-6 weeks. She's a smart little thing but she seems to lack respect/manners.

I have 2 other cats, a male and female both fixed, 2 and 3 years old respectively.

Now the issues:

The kitten bullies the male cat who is quite the pushover. She bites and scratches at his face and back and when he does stand up for himself she often just keeps coming, otherwise he just sits there and takes it or runs away :( Is there anything we can do to stop this? We try to distract her with toys but once she gets something in her head she doesn't give up easily.

She also eats his food and suckles on his belly

She recently started attacking the other 2 cats in the litter room, which worries me

I just feel like she's growing into a little hellion. I haven't had a kitten in 20 years so I'm really not sure if this is normal or if I should be teaching her respect somehow or just distracting her. She doesn't know the word "no", or at least pretends not to.

I started clicker training her a couple weeks ago to curb some of the crazies. She learned targetting pretty quickly and I'll be moving on from there soon.

I don't hit her or yell at her. If she's doing something I don't want I usually say no and either put her away from the other cat or distract her with a toy. I've had to lock her in the kennel a couple of times just to give the male cat some space to eat or groom. (He's got some skin problems and stiches and I'm worries she'll rip them out with her rough play)

Thank you in advance,


( =^^= Loki, Isis and Freya)


TCS Member
Young Cat
The clicker training is a great idea. I'm glad she is responding to targeting already. Keep up that work. I use clicker training so much with cats show aggression and with kittens who have so much energy that they don't know what to do with themselves.

Because she may have been on her own for quite a while before she found you she probably didn't receive the important social lessons from her mother and littermates.

Make sure she has plenty of activity to focus her energy. As a kitten she has so much more energy and doesn't yet know what to do with it. She's also still learning about her skills. She needs targeted activites such as puzzle feeders and toys that will allow her to use her mental and physical energy.

You should separate her from the other cats every now and then so they don't start to become afraid of her and so she doesn't continue the habit of being too aggressive with them. Don't allow her to eat the other cat's food. Feed them separately so it doesn't cause stress to any of them. The other option is to feed her a little at a time so she stays at her dish.

Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC



TCS Member
Adult Cat
Thank you for your reply!

I separated her at feeding time and when she started getting too hyper. It seems to be helping already, she's a bit more mellow when she comes out of the room. I'm going to try spending separate time with each cat each day, and look into some mind stimulating toys.


TCS Member
Alpha Cat
First, she is only 3 months old, she has to learn/be taught, what you expect of her, and what she cannot do, and this takes time, alot of time, and alot alot of patience, and, you have to teach her one thing, at a time, she is only 3 months old, and, she is a kitten, like a very young child, with alot of energy. 

Next, she is a torti, she has the torti tude, as we refer to it, at shows.  So you have to be patient with her.

And Pam is right, she would have learned some manners from her momma kitty and brothers/sisters, so she has that going against her too.

I have show kittens, they are very well behaved at shows, and have manners. But this didn't happen overnight, and it takes alot alot of time and alot alot alot of patience, and, you have to teach them one thing at a time. 

Be very glad to help you, send me a message if you would like some help.

Tortis are beautiful cats, so very glad you gave this little girl a home, thank you. 
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