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Kitten Problems/Questions

spoofy
November 11th, 2005, 01:19 PM
I am new to having a cat and I am having quite a few problems:

Biting:

My cat will bite anytime you do something he dislikes.. for example.. at night I put him in his own room when everyone goes to sleep. Last night he bit me when I went to pick him up and bring him to the room. He has also bitten children who are trying to pet him. At times when he is on my l lap and I need to get up and go do something.. he will not want to move. So if/when I go to pick him up ..he will bite me.

I've tried firmly grabbing the back of his neck..and saying "no" ...then ignoring him for a while..I've also put him in "timeout" for 30 minutes - hour ..which is basicly me just putting him in a kenal. None of this seems to work and the kitten is almost a year old now (i've had him since 1 month)

Its becoming a real problem because my gf doesnt want to interact with him now and she worries about our guests when they visit.

Meowing:
the cat will meow loudly and not stop.. when you are in a room with the door closed. We used to let him run around the house at night..but he would always go to the bedroom door and meow all night...waking us up. I can understand why he does it.. but at the same time the cat can't be in the room with us at all times. I would also prefer not to have to put him in his own room at night..and just let him sleep anywhere.. but he always goes to the bedroom door and meow's

Licking:

Not really a problem..but kind of werid. My cat will lick my lips or face while I am on the computer. Its cute.. but it can get painful.. Not sure what to do about this..

Doors:

As he gets older he is more and more interested in doors. I had a friend who had a cat who would never run outside the house.. no matter how long the door was open. How can i train my cat to avoid running out of certain doors (like the front door to the house).


HELP! :(

Lucky Rescue
November 11th, 2005, 01:49 PM
The first thing I need to know: Is your cat neutered?

I've tried firmly grabbing the back of his neck..and saying "no" ...then ignoring him for a while..I've also put him in "timeout" for 30 minutes - hour ..which is basicly me just putting him in a kenal. None of this seems to work and the kitten is almost a year old now

Punishment of any kind does NOT work with cats and actually teaches them to be aggressive to defend themselves. He sees grabbing his neck as an attack and cats will either retaliate (as yours is doing) or become fearful of you. As for putting him in a kennel - he has no idea why he is there.

amber416
November 11th, 2005, 02:52 PM
As for the meowing at night, your cat is probably very lonely. Have you thought about getting your cat a playmate? Until I brought another cat into the house, my cat used to want attention all night long. Now that she has her sister and foster sisters, they spend the night chasing eachother around the house and playing with their toys. Might be something to think about, especially if you are against allowing your cat in your room with you at night.

Shamrock
November 11th, 2005, 02:54 PM
As Lucky has stated, punishment never works for cats, and generally only makes things worse with the behaviour you are trying to correct.

Something unpleasant associated with what they are doing can bring better results.
A spray from a water bottle kept closeby for this purpose (not in the face!)...or making a loud noise by shaking a can of pennies, etc.. are two methods I've heard of that have some success.
I found the water bottle method worked for keeping my cats off the counters, and it wasnt long before spraying wasnt needed - seeing it was enough them, Over time they stopped doing it.

This might be worth trying for the meowing at the door or trying to bolt from the house.

Good luck!

spoofy
November 11th, 2005, 03:07 PM
The first thing I need to know: Is your cat neutered?



Punishment of any kind does NOT work with cats and actually teaches them to be aggressive to defend themselves. He sees grabbing his neck as an attack and cats will either retaliate (as yours is doing) or become fearful of you. As for putting him in a kennel - he has no idea why he is there.

Yes he is neutered... the neck thing and 'no' was a suggestion from the vet ..
If timeout/punishment doesnt work.. how to you show them that a given behavior is not acceptable?

spoofy
November 11th, 2005, 03:14 PM
As Lucky has stated, punishment never works for cats, and generally only makes things worse with the behaviour you are trying to correct.

Something unpleasant associated with what they are doing can bring better results.
A spray from a water bottle kept closeby for this purpose (not in the face!)...or making a loud noise by shaking a can of pennies, etc.. are two methods I've heard of that have some success.
I found the water bottle method worked for keeping my cats off the counters, and it wasnt long before spraying wasnt needed - seeing it was enough them, Over time they stopped doing it.

This might be worth trying for the meowing at the door or trying to bolt from the house.

Good luck!

I guess I am a bit confused.. how is spraying with a water gun not punishment? For example I am sure the loud "no" and being placed in the kenal for a while is not enjoyable. I'm not saying the water gun wouldnt hurt.. I am just trying to understand how cats think i guess.

spoofy
November 11th, 2005, 03:21 PM
As for the meowing at night, your cat is probably very lonely. Have you thought about getting your cat a playmate? Until I brought another cat into the house, my cat used to want attention all night long. Now that she has her sister and foster sisters, they spend the night chasing eachother around the house and playing with their toys. Might be something to think about, especially if you are against allowing your cat in your room with you at night.

Well..yes and no. We do have a dog (King Cavlier Spaniel) but he avoids the cat..because he pounces on the dog and bites him. Fortunity the dog is not very aggressive and simply walks away. Given the current problems we are having it would be hard to convince my girlfriend to allow another cat. She is more of a dog person.

I'm not really against allowing the cat in the room. I'd love to have both the dog/cat in there with us at night. however...the cat is always running around at night.. and if the dog was in there.. the cat would pounce on him.

Shamrock
November 11th, 2005, 04:07 PM
Spoofy, the water bottle and the noise technique are both instantaneous followups, startling and unpleasant to the cat, but not really a "physical" punishment.. or likely to add to aggressive behaviour. ( I am meaning one light and fast spray - not continued blasts that soak them.)

The time out techinique would not work, imo, as your cat wont make the connection to the behaviour as it sits in the kennel.

The idea with these is to hopefully create a harmless aversion to dissuade the cat. The ones I mentioned are for "certain" behaviours only.
(This would not work in any way for litter box issues, for example.. and likely wouldnt help with the biting issue either)

I have three adult cats, and I solved the problem of meowing at the bedroom door by just leaving it open.:D
The cats, the dog.. they're are all in there at night, on and off. In my case, they seem to work it out:)

It does sound like your cat is lonely, wanting company at night. Would the dog object to being in another room, and then gradually let them come together at night?

chico2
November 11th, 2005, 04:13 PM
Spoofy,I don't mean to critisize,but why did you get a cat,if your girlfriend is a"dog-person"?
Cats,in my experience(I have 3 cats)do not do well being confined,be it in a crate or alone in a room.My cats would meow their heads off would I ever close the door on them.
Is he biting angrily,growling or hissing or is he just being a kitten?
Your vet definetly gave you wrong advice,never ever punish an animal with physical pain,they don't understand and will only get stressed and unhappy.
I know not everybody agrees with using a water-bottle to stop undesired behaviour,but I too have used it,especially if my cats get a little too much in to play-fighting:D
Time out and all that,might work on a dog,but cats are different little creatures and wonderful if treated right.
I never close any doors to them,they have the run of the house,even my bed..if your cat is alone all day,maybe in a crate:sad: he's getting rid of all that kitten-energy at night when you are home.A playmate would be great,but maybe your dog would not agree.

spoofy
November 11th, 2005, 04:44 PM
Spoofy,I don't mean to critisize,but why did you get a cat,if your girlfriend is a"dog-person"?
Cats,in my experience(I have 3 cats)do not do well being confined,be it in a crate or alone in a room.My cats would meow their heads off would I ever close the door on them.
Is he biting angrily,growling or hissing or is he just being a kitten?
Your vet definetly gave you wrong advice,never ever punish an animal with physical pain,they don't understand and will only get stressed and unhappy.
I know not everybody agrees with using a water-bottle to stop undesired behaviour,but I too have used it,especially if my cats get a little too much in to play-fighting:D
Time out and all that,might work on a dog,but cats are different little creatures and wonderful if treated right.
I never close any doors to them,they have the run of the house,even my bed..if your cat is alone all day,maybe in a crate:sad: he's getting rid of all that kitten-energy at night when you are home.A playmate would be great,but maybe your dog would not agree.

my gf actually likes the cat.. but dislikes the biting problem. She really wasent a cat person at first but was open to it..and now she likes him. however.. we have family members with kids and they like to visit.. she doesnt want to worry about the cat biting them. Which really isnt much of her to ask.

Normally the bite is like a "go away" bite.. not too painful for me..but unpleasent. The cat will hiss at new people (my sisters kids actually).. which I dont think is really a problem since he is so young.. I'm sure that will go away with time.

but ok ok ok ..i get it.. no punishment.. but.. if he bites me or someone else.. what do i do?

Lucky Rescue
November 11th, 2005, 04:46 PM
Yet another example of why we should not ask veterinarians for training advice!

Would you ask a trainer for medical advice?

What might work for a dog will NOT work for a cat,as they see things very differently. They are not pack animals, and do not recognize authority as a dog will.

I see a great many young male cats who behave this way. At that age, they are very high energy, and often dispell that energy by biting or "attacking". Any physical correction by you will escalate the problem. Since he has no idea why you are shaking him or yelling, when he sees you reach for him now he wants to defend himself, hence the bites.

IF your cat goes to bite you, freeze and give a low "Uh uh!" noise to startle him. He should back off, then you can gently pet him one or two times then walk away. This will build his trust that human hands will NOT be hurtful.

Make sure you play with him with toys that do not put your hands within his reach. Catnip is often a good stress releaser.

For the crying at night - at this age, he is most active at night and with no one to play with and nothing to do, he is bored and lonely.

papillonmama
November 11th, 2005, 05:09 PM
My cats bolt when I open the door too, and now when I answer the door, I go outside and close the door tight, I've told my friends and family that I've been having problems keeping them in and when they come (unless they feel like helping me chase them:rolleyes: ) that they have to come in quick. Even the garbage men make fun of me because they often see me chasing after them. Whatever you do, don't let kitty go or he'll want to make it a permanent habit, and that never has a good end.
I haad two cats years ago that I had trained to go to their kennel when they were naughty. I would kiss my teeth at them and the culprit would run in, but we had them from when they were tiny, and really I think that their kennel was more of a sanctuary to them than a punishment, (it's never good to make them hae something that they actually have to use).
My cats don't bite but they are naughty, when I catch them in the act I say HEY CAT, and they'll take off. I know they understand I don't like their bad behaviour when they won't do it if I'm watching. Essentially, they know and they just don't care. They are cats after all.

LM1313
November 11th, 2005, 11:30 PM
The cat will hiss at new people (my sisters kids actually).. which I dont think is really a problem since he is so young.. I'm sure that will go away with time.

Well, it depends on the cat. My parents' cat, Phantom, hates stranger. H-A-T-E-S. When my sister's kids were little they always wanted to play with her and she's a jumpy, nervous cat, so that made a big negative impression on her and now she hisses at all strangers, especially kids. But I don't think it's really a "problem" since she doesn't scratch or bite unless visitors are stupid enough to try to approach a hissing, growling cat.

~LM~