September 23rd, 2005, 07:36 PM
I am in desperate need of advice. About three months ago, my boyfriend and I took in a stray kittie that was only about three weeks old, trying to keep warm by laying in the street. We gladly took him into our home and hoped that he would eventually get along with our 1 1/2 yr. old lab mix, Roxy. As we had hoped, the two became the best of friends. Butterfinger (long story behind his name) is now 4 months old and as handsome as he can be. Because he was taken away from his mother so early, he has a tendency to think that our arms and fingers produce milk... he also gets rather aggressive when we pull away from him. But that's just a small problem. He is very active (as I would expect any kitten to be), but he has broken and shredded multiple items in our home. I feel like he gets into more trouble when we leave him alone with the dog. We've tryed to keep the dog and cat separate while we are gone at work, but in an apartment it's not worth our while. We can put the dog in the bedroom, but he will shred the carpet under the door, trying to get to her. When we leave them to roam free in the living room, plants get shredded and knocked over, paper gets shredded, and pens will be knocked off tables and then chewed. His "crazy" behavior has led the dog to join him in his "daytime fun". I'm to the point that giving him away to a foster home sounds like the best idea, but he and my dog are such close friends that I can't bring myself to do it. But, if I don't do something fast, he could cost us a fortune in replacing carpet for our rental apartment, and continue to break our valuables. I need help!!! He is the biggest sweetheart when he's not reaking havoc in our home.... please give any advice you can!!!
September 23rd, 2005, 07:55 PM
Please, change the topic "ready to get rid of cat" It sounds like your trying to pawn off an ugly old sofa.
September 23rd, 2005, 08:04 PM
HMMMM, if it were the dog you could always use a crate but I don't know about cats. I do know that a friend of mine had a very difficult time with her cat peeing all over the place. They actually built a pen in the living room were the cat would "live" if not being supervised. This "pen was not like a cage the way a dog crate is but more like a sectioned off portion of the living room with lots of cool amusing cat houses and logs for the cat to climb on, litter box ofcourse, almost like a cat fun house.! The cat would still spend lots of quality time outside of her "section" with the family. Is that a possiblility? Better than giving her up, if you can't change the behaviour it may be hard to get her a new home.
September 23rd, 2005, 08:26 PM
I do have a crate for the dog, but we were so proud for her to finally "graduate" from it. It might work to confine the kittie to a smaller area with toys and scratching posts, but it's hard in an apartment. I will think something up... hopefully. Thanks for the advice!
September 23rd, 2005, 08:34 PM
The destruction is perfectly normal for a 4 month old kitten. This is the worst age and they are all a total pain and the behavior is magnified in a small space.
Like the rest of us who have or have had rambunctious kittens, you're going to have to put away breakables and papers you don't want shredded until the kitten is older. You can put all this and the plants in your bedroom and close the door. Put out cat toys, crinkle bags, scratch posts and other fun things that the kitten can play with.
As for the suckling behavior, give a sharp "AH AH!!!" the instant he starts. This should startle him for a second and you can put him down. Pulling away from him makes it worse. He should get over that too.
September 23rd, 2005, 08:41 PM
I didn't realise the kitten was still so young, sure this is just what kittens do! She will settle with age. One of my cats, my daughter found her as a stray and she was seperated from mom too early as well, tried to "nurse" most of her ninteen years! She didn't get agressive when we pulled away though. She liked armpits the bestLOL She was a very embarrassing girl!
September 23rd, 2005, 08:51 PM
Ahhh the "hidden costs" of getting a cat or dog. I don't even want to think about the monetary value of everything Layla destroyed in her "destructive days".
I know it doesn't help much, but patience is your best friend right now. Butterfinger will grow out of it, and in the meantime, keep really valuable things in a closed off room
September 25th, 2005, 10:55 AM
In addition, I suggest clipping the cat's claws. I just use a regular fingernail clipper, for a cat it works fine. You just need to clip off the very tip of the claw. The cat can still climb a scratching post and all that, but it blunts the claws and really cuts down on the amount of damage they are able to do.
Kittens can really be nuts, but he'll settle as he gets older. Until then, all you can really do is contain the destruction by putting away or covering up things he likes to destroy.
September 25th, 2005, 11:51 AM
You can buy cat pens. They are like an oversized dog crate with carpeted shelves.