OT: How do you train a bad kitten...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by valleyann, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    Hello,

    I have a 3 1/2 month old orange tabby kitten who behaves very badly. Ever since he was tiny he was very agressive. He bites, scratches, and doesn't listen at all! I know he can tell what he does is wrong because as soon as I say "no!" he goes running. But he keeps jumping on our kitchen table trying to steal food from our plates! It's terrible! And he bites us in the morning to wake us up!

    I don't know what to do?? I've trained many cats but have never come across one so defiant! I have tried using a water bottle to spray at him, I say "no", I've tapped him on the butt...

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Val
  2. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Val, I had an aggressive kitten once and while he mellowed some you never did know when he would decide to bite. As much as I love cats - and dogs - I suspect some may be more aggressive by nature.

    Hopefully, in all of these knowledgeable kitty moms, someone will know what to do.

    Good luck.

    Marta
  3. bluestanglady

    bluestanglady New Member

    Where did you get your kitten? It could be a feral kitten. Feral cats are never really 'tamed'. They always have that wild side in them and can get really aggressive when they get older. Our cat had kittens and the father was a feral cat, so the kittens inherited the wildness of their father. My mother-in-law and my son's girlfriend each took one. Both cats after they were about a year old or so eventually went berserk -- howling madly, biting, attacking and scratching like wildcats. Animal control had to be called for my son's girlfriend's cat and my mother-in-law finally caged her cat and took it to animal control. Both of them got calls saying they were so aggressive they were a danger to humans and had to be put down. So I guess find out about your kitten's 'history'. These type of cats (unless they live outside) can really be dangerous.
  4. millennia

    millennia New Member

    Have you tried squirting the cat with a water gun or a spray bottle. It annoys the heck out of them and usually makes them think twice about continuing the behavior after they associate the water with the behavior (this can take a while). Also be as consistent as you can, my bat loves to bite my boyfriends feet, he only scolds her if it's really hard. I scolded her every time she went after my feet, now she only goes after his. Cats tend to be very smart and will usually learn to associate things if one thing always happens when they do the other. But cats do have very different personalities and some are more aggressive by nature. By the way, my cat was feral, she was living on the streets and I took her in fairly young. She is a wonderful cat and even her aggressive behavior is playful. She's never hurt anyone, just play fights. I've been thinking about getting another cat so she'll have someone else to play fight with.
  5. UnicornK

    UnicornK New Member

    The cat relates something bad (the water) with his behavior - he doesn't relate it with you.

    Tapping his butt doesn't mean anything to him. He sort of wonders, "Why did she just tap my butt?" He doesn't relate it to his behavior, but to you.

    When he gets aggressive while playing, stop playing, turn around and ignore him. He will get the message that this behavior is not producing the effects he desires.

    The night before, when you go to bed, try applying something that tastes bad to the area that the kitten bites. Maybe the stuff that you put on your nails to discourage you from biting them.

    I try not to let the cat relate the chastisement to me, but to the bad behavior. Jump on the table - get wet! Get aggressive - no more playing! Bite - tastes yucky!

    I hope something here will help. I believe that there are no bad kitties, just ones that don't understand the rules yet. (And some stubborn kitties! LOL)

    God Bless.
  6. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    It is probably like the "terrible twos". He will outgrow his behavior. Is he hungry? When he tries to steal food, put some on a plate on the floor for him.

    As far as biting you in the morning to wake up, I am sure he just does not understand he is hurting you. You are mommy to him.

    He will outgrow this. Sounds like a spunky boy. You might consider getting another cat "companion for him". Then he will not focus on you so much.

  7. intensemom

    intensemom New Member

    So many great ideas.

    I trained my cat with a water bottle.

    Also, when my cat bites me, I just quit playing with her.

    If you're looking for something that tastes bad to put on your skin....you could buy "bitter apple" in the pet supply store.

    You could always call your vet...I find the vet techs very helpful over the phone.

    Tracy
  8. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    Hello,

    Thank you all for all of your wonderful advice! I'm going to take all of your advice to heart... and I'll quite tapping him on the bottom cause obviously that isn't working!

    Thanks again...I hope he starts behaving better soon.

    Val
  9. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    Two things.. he might be one of those cats that likes the bad attention he's getting. Sometimes my cats will do something they know they aren't supposed to just to get us to yell at them so they can run away. If spray bottles don't bother him, maybe try putting him in a kennel or carrier when he's bad - like a 'time out' for a little kid.

    The other thing.. you say he's 3 1/2 months? At 4 months have your vet see if they can neuter him. Neutering can mellow male cats out quite a bit, especially if they have aggresive tendencies.

    Good luck!
  10. mme_curie68

    mme_curie68 New Member

    The water bottle is a great training tool.

    Neutering is also very important. It's a very simple procedure for male cats and can be done earlier than females.

    I had a male kitten when I was working for my vet and I was able to get him neutered at 4 months.

    Hugs,
    Madame Curie
  11. millennia

    millennia New Member

    I told my boyfriend about your kitten problem. He said if you want something you can train, you don't get a kitten, you get a boyfriend! LOL, at least he knows how it is!
  12. Marjidoll

    Marjidoll New Member

    We had a nutty kitty that did those things too. All of the advice about biting is right on.

    Our cat, Harpo would get up on our dining room table and steal food. My husband left a plate of food out for him on purpose and put some tabasco sauce on it. Well, that was the last time he ever did that. It didn't hurt him but he sure did run away quickly!
  13. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    She was a great animal trainer (horses/dogs) and author.

    She said the ability to work w/ animals was a gift. Her daughter was very good "but didn't have the gift".

    My mother, who was a lousy mother for kids, was very good at teaching tricks to cats and dogs.
  14. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    Haha! I can't wait to get him fixed... I've been told that settles them down quite a bit.

    I want to try the food trick, putting Tabasco sauce on a plate of food and when he jumps up on the table to eat that it should be the last time. But I'm a little worried that it might hurt him or be too hot. Does anyone have any sugestions on anything else that I can use that cats don't like the taste of?

    I'm also going to quite using my hands to play with him..that's a big no, no, from what I hear.

    I know he is a little hellian, but I love him. He is soooo cute! He is an orange tabby...he has really bright orange stripes (like a tiger) and his base color is like a light creamy orange..and he has some white on his face and chest and paws. He is so cute! Probably the cutest little guy I've ever seen. :) Oh, and his eyes are amber...I wish I had a picture to post of him, but I don't have a digital camera yet.

    Thanks again for all the wonderful advice!

    Val