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ds throws things at animals

(7 Posts)
HarrysMummy17 Thu 28-Jan-16 05:45:15

My ds is 3 in March. He constantly throws things at animals. Mainly our cat. He thinks it's hilarious. What ever is close to hand will get launched at her. Just now it was the dirty tissues from the bin?!
Yesterday as he was throwing stones into the sea a dog came up and he started hurling stones at the dog.

I've spoken to him, shouted at him. Confiscated toys. Given him time out.

I don't know what else to do?

Juanbablo Thu 28-Jan-16 06:28:06

Does he understand when you say it hurts the animal and makes them feel sad? I'm sure you have probably done this but modelling kind behaviour towards animals, so when he throws things at the cat "cat does not like having things thrown at him, lets stroke him like this." And praise him for treating the animals nicely. Hopefully, like most things, it's a phase and he will grow out of it.

Mamamoose1 Thu 28-Jan-16 11:12:50

We've always had cats since my children were babies, we taught them at a very young age how to handle cats, they've never been rough or pulled our cats tails, people seem surprised when I tell them this. I used to hold their hands and stroke across the cats bodies with my hand, both of our cats came from homes where the owners have reportedly said they have scratched their children, not one of them have ever scratched my children, it's never too young to teach them, I also think it's normal for some children to do this before they know the correct way, I also explained that the cats are just like us and they can get frightened/scared etc.

BertieBotts Thu 28-Jan-16 11:28:49

It's just a phase. He's 3 so no matter how much you explain, he doesn't have the empathy to understand yet.

Just supervise him heavily if animals are around and if you're too late then say "No!" loudly and remove whatever it is he wants to throw. You could move him out of the room the cat is in, too. Or move the cat out of his reach.

I don't think that redirection to stroking would work, he's not trying to touch the soft fur, he's playing a game that he doesn't realise isn't as fun for the animal as it is for him. (Or, well, more accurately, he doesn't consider the animal's enjoyment in the game at all which is entirely normal at his age.)

Do you know anyone with a child friendly dog or cat who likes to play fetch? Maybe teaching him an appropriate game to play with animals would be a good way to redirect this and help him learn the rules around playing with animals. For birds, he can throw food for them to eat but not throw hard things AT them. Would your cat chase a fishing rod type toy with something fluffy on the end, or a little weighted ball he can roll to her for her to bat back? You just need to be really almost physically on top of him while he's learning the rules of how to play this game and able to grab his arm in the act of throwing and show him to roll the ball or pull the long string along the floor (the handle on the fishing rod type toys helps avoid accidental scratches). Cats are quite funny when they attack something in play so perhaps he's trying to get her to do this but doesn't know how. At least tissues are soft(!) Our cat used to like playing with a little catnip mouse toy and we would gently throw that at her, she'd then go mad attacking it and flinging it around. Great fun to watch!

HarrysMummy17 Thu 28-Jan-16 11:49:17

Thanks for the replies. Luckily my cat doesn't lash out. She's always been good with him. She just races off to hide under a bed or on a wardrobe.

I am hoping just just a phase. He starts with stroking then gets over excited and chases her about the house throwing things. He's got a toy car which I show him how the cat likes to be handled.

Hopefully he'll get the message soon as he keeps losing his toys! I might try one of those fishing rod toys. She used to love them when she was a kitten!

Seriouslyffs Thu 28-Jan-16 11:52:21

Do you stop him every single time he does it. Explain about animals' feelings too and praise him for gentle behaviour, but have a zero tolerance approach.

LongDivision Thu 28-Jan-16 12:15:25

much to my surprise, I found that what worked was to say something like, "would you like it if the dog threw stones at you?"

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