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aggressive kitten

August 11th, 2008, 01:21 PM
Hi! Iím new to this forum with a question about our 9-week-old kitten.
We found him on the road at what the vet said most likely 5 weeks old. He was pretty dirty and in rough shape, but after lots of TLC and formula he is doing greatÖexcept for how aggressive he can get.
I know all kittens play and are full of energy, which is why there are so darn adorable and we are bound to end up with scratches.
He is as sweet and cuddly as can be at sleep time, but he is very aggressive with scratching and biting 24/7. There is never a time that we canít pick him up or pet him without him lunging or attacking. It get to the point that his ears are pinned back, tail puffed up, he is making these growl noises and you cannot get him off of you because he will wrap all paws around any limb he can get. If you try to remove him he will just do the same to your hands or arms.
He is also very aggressive with our other cats. I though OK he will push their buttons and will most likely get a good swat and learn his lesson. When his play gets too rough they have batted at him, but itís to the point they have actually scratched him and made him bleed and he doesnít care. When he first gets batted he will stop and lay down, but as soon as the cat turns away he is full out attacking again.
We have tried the loud ďnoĒ, putting him down and ignoring him when he gets out of hand. We try to give him a toy instead, absolutely no teasing or encouraging playing with our hands. Sometimes we have shut him the bathroom to try and let him cool down cause you canít ignore him or put him down when he is rowdy cause he with just continue to lunge at us and we canít get him off, but nothing seems to work.
I have had many kittens growing up and Iím totally fine with scratches and know its just a kitten being a kitten, but he has made us bleed with scratches and puncture wounds from his teeth breaking our skin. His scratches are so bad they look like I was actually cut by something. I would love to pick him up and cuddle and kiss him, but it is impossible he is ALWAYS attack attack attack and I have learned not to ever even put your face near him.
Donít get me wrong his is a sweet boy when its bedtime, but other wise it is attack mode all day. He is social and not afraid of people. Everyone tells me it is because he wasnít with his mom long enough to learn his strength, but how do I teach him? I just donít want this behavior to stay with him to he is big cause then we will be in really trouble. I just donít know what to do anymore! We have got every possible toy for him to try to direct his energy to them, but he would rather use people instead. Any help would be wonderful! Thanks!!

August 11th, 2008, 06:12 PM
He sounds like a feral, born in rather perilous circumstances. Until you found him, he was literally a wild (albeit baby ) animal, just trying to survive. This fear mode is the instinct that needs to be dealt with, and you can't rush it. I would definitely keep him separate from any other cats until his re-education is more advanced. This is one of many sites I found by googling 'taming feral kitten':

It may take awhile, but I am sure you will be rewarded in the end. Thanks for taking him in, he wouldn't have lasted for very long out there, he would have starved or been picked off by a predator.

You might purchase some Rescue Remedy (made by Bach, it is a herbal calmant, available at health food stores and some large grocery chains, at least in Canada). Add a dropperful to his water bowl every time you fill it.

August 11th, 2008, 10:28 PM
Thank u so much 4 the help! He is very good with people besides from the aggression. Like he isn't scared of us. I just always thought feral cats were really wild and scared of people.I could totally be wrong. Thanks so much 4 the help!

August 12th, 2008, 06:52 AM
If the kitten was 5 weeks old when you found him, then he can be socialized nicely. It sounds like his play is aggressive, not that he is angry aggressive.

If it is play aggression:
One common problem with kittens who don't have littermates is that they haven't learned proper socialization manners when playing. Normally he would be "attacking" his littermates to play and they would teach him to be gentle or they will bite him back hard and stop play. I would not separate your kitten from your resident cats unless they are hurting him, they can teach him manners very quickly ;). I have found my resident cats have taught my foster kittens a lot!

I think this kitty is very active and will need a lot of stimualtion to satisfy him and tire him out. Keep up the "stop play" when there is any biting and of course the no playing with hands or feet. I wouldn't even redirect his attention to a toy for a while after the stop play has happened just in case he thinks biting will get some play time from you. Does he have a climbing post that he access to so he can climb to release energy? How about larger balls, like a tennis ball, that he can really grip and use his back legs to claw when he gets excited?

Another great simple toy is a rope that you walk around with so he can chase it. Allow him to catch it every once in a while so he doesn't get frustrated. Another is to throw a toy mouse up on the stand and have him climb the stand to get it, or to wiggle the mouse over the edge of the stand so he climbs it to get the mouse.

If he bites your hand when you pick him up, then gently grab the scruff of his neck and lift him up slightly so his back legs are still supported by your hand and his weight is slightly off his front legs with a firm but quiet "NO".

Good luck! We sure would love to see some pictures of your crew!:cat: