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How to keep smaller pets safe from kitten?

pamha
August 2nd, 2009, 02:41 PM
We adopted a kitten early this summer. Things are going ok with the dog and just tolerable with the older cat, but I`m stuck on what to do about the bird and dwarf hamsters. Peaches the cockatiel is usually caged, but we like to let her out to sit on her cage or elsewhere for awhile every few days. She`s not a great flier, so when she takes off, she could land anywhere from behind the TV, to the floor, to the top of the windows. Mischief, the kitten, has taken to sitting on the floor or in the nearest window, staring as if she`s working up the nerve to pounce on the birdcage. I`m afraid if she springs, Peaches will startle & fly, & I`m not fast enough to know I can beat Mischief to her. Right now, I`m not letting Peaches out except for when Mischief is shut in my daughter`s room- that is her "safe" room where she is shut at night & when we go out. Our older cat has never bothered the bird, but then she was a lot older & calmer by the time Peaches came to live with us.

Our other small pets are my daughter`s dwarf hamsters. They live on a small table in the kitchen. Mischief has taken to sitting right next to their cage, just fascinated by watching them. She also has recently been trying to get into their cage. They usually have a couple yards of plastic tubing attached to the cage to run around in, but there have been a couple of times where a connection came apart & we`ve found them loose on the table & even twice on the floor. This is bad enough without the factor of a crazy kitten getting to them, so since she`s been working at the cage, we`ve left the extra tubes off. It just would be too easy for her to knock one off by accident. They do get to run around (very amusing to the kitten too) in their plastic balls, but the balls are taped shut & supervised, so fairly safe.

My husband thinks I`m being stupid at worrying about this. I`m hoping at some point she`ll be ok with the bird, but haven`t a clue what to do to keep the hamsters safe unless we can figure out a better way to secure the tubes. We don`t really have a room where we can put them & keep her out of. She is still really young, about 13 weeks or so, so I know she will calm down, but it`s been so long since we`ve had a kitten I don`t really have any idea how long that might take.

rainbow
August 2nd, 2009, 02:49 PM
The only suggestion I have is to put Mischief in another room when you want to let Peaches and the hamsters out. :shrug:

Hopefully, some of the kitty experts here will have some other solutions for you. :goodvibes:

edwina
August 2nd, 2009, 02:59 PM
Could you put the hamsters in your daughters room ? And put the kitten in another room as the 'safe room' ? That way your daughter could keep her door shut when she wants to play with them. :)

Tundra_Queen
August 3rd, 2009, 09:17 PM
I would find another room for the bird and hamsters.

Cats are hunters and I don't think u can stop them from hunting.

Debbie

pamha
August 3rd, 2009, 10:41 PM
Thanks for the replies. I was hoping someone might come up with a bright idea I hadn`t thought of yet. We really don`t have another space that can be closed off, other than the bedrooms, and there are reasons my daughter`s is the only one we can use.
I am going to try taping the connections of the hamster tubes & see if that makes them secure enough. Going to be a pain to take apart & clean, but we can manage. For now, Mischief is just going to have to deal with regular time-outs.

TacoGrl
August 3rd, 2009, 10:49 PM
For now, Mischief is just going to have to deal with regular time-outs.

WHY???

To me, time-outs = punishment...Mischief is doing what cats (preditors) do...you don't punish someone for doing what is instinct. :sad:

I am REALLY hoping I have missed something...

Yes, re-thinking the hamster set-up is a start and as for the bird...don't know what to suggest...birds and cats just don't mix.

Mischief may even over time get used to her roommates and start to ignore them...mine were fascinated by the fish, now they don't care...

Twisted_Angel
August 4th, 2009, 12:58 AM
For the dwarf hamsters, might I suggest that you move them to either an aquarium or tupperware container with locking mesh lid? More secure that way. I honestly can't help you with the bird. My aunt has a sun conure that is loose in the house a lot of the time, and she has four cats. She trained the cats to stay away from the bird with a spray bottle, but that isn't something I necessarily agree with and I don't know if it would be reliable, especially if the kitten is smart enough to figure out that she won't get sprayed if you aren't watching.

pamha
August 4th, 2009, 01:55 AM
We really aren`t using the time-outs as punishment, poor choice of words, I guess. We started her out in my daughter`s room as a safe place, for a gradual introduction to the rest of the pets, and continue to have her in there at night or when we`re gone. She has her litterbox, dishes, and heaps of toys in there. Far as I can tell she doesn`t mind it, goes in there on her own a lot during the day.

Right now, she is just little, and I know it`s up to us to keep everyone safe. I`m hoping that she might come to learn you don`t eat family members, but not counting on it.

Twisted Angel, thanks, somehow I hadn`t come up with the idea of a whole different cage system. I don`t mind her watching them, as long as she can`t get to them, you know? The bird, she was never let out, unsupervised ever, even before the kitten, so I think she`ll be content with small amounts of time here & there while Mischief is upstairs.