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To take back to rehoming centre or wait it out and see?.....(17 Posts)
I've posted on here once before about my kitten but am really in two minds about what to do.
My boy is 16-18 weeks old approximately. We got him from a well known rehoming centre. He was up to date with jabs / fleas / worming etc and very healthy so am happy with that
He appeared to settle in well when we got him at 13 weeks old, but last few weeks he had become rather vicious, biting me, my husband and my son and lots of scratching, both us and the carpets and furniture etc.
My husband thinks we should take him back now as we are due another baby early September. But....the kitten hasn't been neutered yet or outside to play and part of my thinks he might calm down once he is free to roam etc.
Husband this this is a silly idea as we will all become more attached to him and him to us an that we should cut our losses now.
Urgh, so torn :-(
He is being a teenager trying to engage you in rough play. When this happens immediately withdraw from the game. The furniture arm yourself with a water spray and squirt him when he plays like this.
Is he going outside if not I would suggest get him neutered if he is not already done and let him out as it sounds a little cabin feverish.
This normal kitten behaviour though.
'approximately' 6-8 weeks - so he could be a little older even. In any case, you say the problem has only been in the last few weeks so it also sounds to me as if his hormones have started. (You've got a rebellious teenager on your hands.)
I'd get him neutered just as soon as you can. If he's healthy and a decent weight, he's old enough.
We would all be sad to see him go, that's a last resort really.
I'll take him to vet end of March as that's earliest they said they would neuter him. He's not been out to play yet.
If the aggressive behaviour doesn't stop when he goes outside and is neutered we will have to let him go though :-(
Make sure he has plenty of toys, scratch posts (or even better a decent cat tree) and playtime with you. Definitely get him neutered asap and especially before he starts going out - will calm him down. As will age.
Very normal kitten behaviour.
I read that you need to handle and stroke kittens load so they get used to human contact and are less swipy etc.
Totally worked with mine. She did go through a bitey phase though, but was shortlived. Although a few little bites are normal when playing.
The neutering will sort him out. It sorted my feisty bengal out, in fact I'd recommend it for all male animals. Even humans
In the meantime you need lots of toys on sticks with a string attached & a laser pointer. It really tires them out, especially if you sit at the top of the stairs and drag the toys up then cast them like a fishing line so he has to run up and down repeatedly.
Ping pong balls chucked up the stairs tires them out too, but not those rubber power balls, ours still flinches as balls roll down the stairs towards him and its been 4 years so you'd think he'd be over it by now.
In his mind right now everything is to be pounced on just in case it's prey.
He'll be a soppy so and so before you know it.
(Sorry - the supermarket delivery arrived early so I posted fast.)
Take him to a vet who will neuter him in the next fortnight assuming he's big enough- my boy was done at 17 weeks.
If he bites, don't pull away as this hurts more - leave your hand in place and say 'No teeth!' firmly (same for 'No claws!') and don't goad him into biting or scratching.
We also found a pencil a very useful toy at this stage as it allowed our gang to play 'chase the end of the pencil' with us closely without losing skin! (Ours had issues approaching us though as they'd lived as a mum-plus-two unit for ten weeks. This sorted them out.)
In his furry head, he's a raging bag of hormones who needs stimulation - second the fishing rod toys.
Have you owned a young male cat before?
Yeah second the advice not to pull your hand away while he's biting. He will be play fighting, not attacking and won't bite hard.
Most of what you describe op, is what kittens do. Have you had a cat from kitten stage before?
Having certain play rules and learning to read its body language will help, as will having a lot of toys etc. General advice is:
- have lots of things he can scratch - full size scratching post, a cardboard box etc. Consider trimming the very tips of his claws as they can be like pine needles.
- don't ever use your hands to play with him, or feet. This is mixed messages. It takes just one person to encourage play fighting with a hand for the cat to get confused and think its ok to bite hands all the time.
- don't over stimulate! Kittens are incredibly excitable and take only minutes to go ott. If kitten plays nicely initially but then turns bitey, it's you that has gone too far.
- play with him little and often. Use toys that keep your hands away like things on sticks etc.
- if he gets bitey etc, withdraw attention by saying no in a disapproving tone, remove him from you, and consider blowing air in his face as a gentle reprimand.
Another thing to note is there is play biting and biting to kill you. You'll know the difference as one doesn't pierce the skin and the other makes you look like a self harmer and you have to actually prize the cat off your bloodied hand, whilst it's wrapped itself around your arm, giving you violent bunny kicks with its back legs. If it's the former, you'll be fine.
The latter, and well, I managed to stop my devil cat doing this after two years but it was a mission.
He probably just needs a little training as others have said. One of mine is quite obnoxious, so I would have to gently tap her on the nose with one of my fingers and then point firmly at her and say no. She got the message and is now really soft
just not with my other cats ugh
Catmeringue I laughed at your description of your 'cat biting to kill'. Heh this was so true of my mum's old boy! He'd only do it after one-tickle-too-far though - you just needed to know when to stop!
Please get a grip OP.
He's a kitten, what exactly were you expecting? I doubt he is being vicious, it's more likely to be rough play. If he is biting and scratching your hands, then divert his attention on to a toy. Use toys on poles to tire him out, so he isn't making his own fun.
I think it would probably best if he did go back to the rescue centre though, you clearly aren't in it for the long haul. No wonder we have a crisis in animal rescues here.
This sounds really normal for a 4-5 month old kitten (having just gone through that stage again myself)
Suggestions from here - totally agree with catameringue about not using your hands or feet to play with him (I used to "play fight" with my first cat 18 or so years ago and it took a long time to undo the damage I'd done - for years she would bite & scratch my hands, until DH spent a long time gaining her trust & getting her more used to being handled sensitively)
also please ask again about getting him neutered, my male kitten was neutered at 5 months although the vet originally said 6 months, he was and still is quite feisty but the neutering has calmed him down a lot (it also took a good 6 weeks for his hormones to settle post-neutering so he had ongoing "mad moments")
Have plenty of things for him to do & play with but also make sure he has some areas to go to for quiet time
We let our kitten out for supervised play in the back yard pre-neutering as he was going stir-crazy in the house, again I think he has calmed down a lot since he was able to have more access to the outdoors (he is in & out all the time now, especially since the weather got a bit warmer)
Well Dudley knew what 'outdoors' was didn't he?
(In fact, I'm amazed he hasn't demanded the keys of the car from you! )
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