Our poor cat - please help!(18 Posts)
DD will be 3 in May. She used to love the cat, but for last 3-4 months she's decided she hates him. He's a dozy Sphynx that won't fight back.
We've tried ignoring it but then she whacked him so hard with a toy I couldn't let it slide. She squashes him and today tried to stamp on him. It makes us so sad as otherwise she's a really nice girl. She even makes a fuss of the neighbours cats and wouldn't dream of hurting them.
As I said we've tried ignoring and giving the cat lots of cuddles and attention after she's gone for him, we've tried time out and punishment by taking away toys. We've tried lots of praise and cuddles for her when she's occasionally nice to him. I've pretended to call the vet and done all that too.
Part of me wishes he would just turn on her and scratch her arm or something so she leaves him alone.
The behaviour is worse when she needs a poo or she's tired.
Her brother arrived 5m ago and no doubt that probably has something to do with it to.
Can anyone help? I don't was DS to do the same!
Ignoring? Why would you ignore her hurting your pet?
You need to give your cat lots of places it can go to sleep away from her. You need to not let her near the cat unattended. You need to intervene before she hurts the cat. Firmly. Every time. Anything else is cruel.
You need to supervise your child more, hurting an animal is unacceptable.
Are you serious? Your poor cat
Do not allow your DD to hurt the cat, ever. Intervene before it happens and apply some form of consequence, every time. Never just ignore it. At nearly 3 she is old enough to learn.
Make sure your cat has plenty of places to which she can escape and remain undisturbed.
If you cannot do this, then you must rehome the cat ASAP.
I would be going absolutely bonkers at my child if they hurt an animal.
Doesn't sound like the softly approach is working. I think you need to have some serious words with her about ever, ever being cruel to an animal.
Sadly it may be best for the cat to rehome him if she can't behave herself.
Sorry if that sounds harsh. I went completely mental at my 5 year old niece when she hit my cat and she never dared hurt him again.
He has plenty of places where he sleeps, uninterrupted. He receives all the love in the world from the rest of the family as well as a good diet! He's not an unhappy cat at all.
As I said...i have tried many tactics. I've ignored the bad behaviour to see if she was doing it to get my attention (as often stuck under newer baby feeding), I haven't ignored it because it doesn't matter!! It very much does matter how she behaves with him.
She doesn't attempt to annoy him unless someone else is around. She can be really nice to him.
I posted here to ask for help with strategies to stop the behaviour...I don't need telling its unacceptable, I already know that! But nothing I'm doing has worked. She knows it's wrong to hit or hurt animals. She wouldn't dream of hurting a neighbours cat or dog and is always kind to them. She just hates ours!
You ignore her when she is hurting the cat ! If she was in my house she would be punished - she would be kept out of whatever room and cat was in and if you can't supervise your DD the cat should be rehoused to somewhere it will be loved and cared for. You shouldn't have a pet if you can't look after it properly.
If I saw her hurting the cat I would have reported you to RSPCA!
Omg you need to read and re read my posts. The ignoring it was ignoring her and immediately picking up the cat to cuddle and show love to him...meaning that there is no positive reward involved with her trying to hurt him to get our attention!! Of course I can't just ignore the behaviour. Anyone would think I was holding him up to her encouraging her to abuse him
I have read your posts - your DD is trying, for whatever reason, to hurt your cat. I would be removing your DD from whatever room the cat goes into so the cat can relax in its home. Your DD will then learn that the cats safety is a priority and she is likely to be removed from what she was doing if the cat comes into the room. Having tv time or time with the toys interrupted will be a good punishment.
That's much more constructive Parker thank you. Will try that approach tomorrow. There are times though when he jumps up on her lap for a cuddle and this is well received. I will reinforce how lovely it is to see her behaving this way towards him and try that method if she kicks off.
OP my DS 2.5 yrs loves the cat but still occasionally goes to whack him with something, and our cat is a dozy so and so too. It's not as easy as people seem to make out here!
DS would get time on the naughty step if he properly hurt the cat (not in vogue I know but instant consequence for something serious). Also worth trying talking about outside of the situation- there's some pretty useful tools in how to talk so kids will listen for 2-7 year olds (don't think it covers kicking the cat specifically though 😂)
What consequence would be had if DC bit another child? Might be worth thinking on the same lines. Good luck.
My DS is the same age, and went through a stage of throwing things at and chasing our cats around 2 (so much younger, so not sure if this will help you). As well as being very firm about not hurting animals I did lots of positive reinforcement about caring for them- e.g. he fills their food bowls, we reguarly tell the cats how much we love them, play with them together and wonder what they are up to when we are out for the day etc.
And whatever kind of message would rehoming him give her? Be mean to something and it goes away? I'd be worried she might adopt that approach with her baby brother that has suddenly got the majority of her mothers attention! She has to learn respect and kindness - it was strategies I was after.
Thanks fluff. ill have a read around that topic.
Thanks dragon, we will try that too.
Before the baby arrived I don't remember there being a problem between them!
Some people are being so mean. I have an almost 3 year old and just added 2 cats to our family, one 1 year old cat and one kitten. It's taken ALOT of work to get to the stage we're at now where my ds will be gentle and careful with the Cats, he can still be rough on the odd occasion but I always make sure I correct it straight away. This is what worked for us: when we first got the cats of course he didn't realise they were living animals and not toys so he wasn't brilliant with them, we would firmly tell him off and immediately put him on the stair for two minutes of time out, after I would explain what he did wrong with the cat and make him say sorry. This worked really well! Also when he was holding the cat we would constantly be reminding him to be gentle (firmly). I think you're right in your little one acting like this because of the new baby, my ds will often tell the cat off and put it in time out when it's doing something 'naughty' (of course the cat isn't hurt or upset by this the cat doesn't really care atall and just runs off and carrys on playing ) but I think my son sees the cats as something he's in control of and can boss around like we do with him iyswim.
My DD did this when she was about 2, maybe 3, every time she did something to the cat (who never retaliated) we would instantly pick the cat up & make a HUGE fuss about it, poor kitty, are you ok, did xx hurt you etc etc, really over the top, only had to do it a few times before she got it and it all stopped, all the time after that her & the cat were bloody inseparable but sadly the cat passed away last year, dd was distraught
Thanks willow & pessimist
We have been really involving her with his food and water and encouraging lots of cuddles and praise. She has a small relapse yesterday and lost the toy she attempted to hit his tail with but overall much better.
pessimist that's exactly what we tried and you're right they don't like it!
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