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How do I stop my five year old chasing the cats?

(4 Posts)
Grumblestiltskin Sat 11-Jul-09 15:26:33

Help very much needed. Does anyone have any ideas about how to get my five year old son to leave six month old kittens alone?

Unfortunately I thought it was a good idea to get two kittens, which are a lovely addition to my family. The female kitten is very playful and doesn't mind being picked up and cuddled and even likes to chase my son from time to time. The male kitten is not keen on playing with young children and prefers to be petted gently. My eighteen month old son is not a problem at all and is generally quite gentle with them.
My ds is a well behaved boy and although he is naughty like every other five year old boy at times; I usually can reason with him and if I tell him to stop doing something naughty he will usually stop.

He constantly promises that he will leave the cats alone but has become obsessed with them and is unable to keep his promise. He feels it’s his duty to constantly follow, pester and generally annoy them.
It is making my life hell (and probably the kittens lives as well). I really want to keep the cats but obviously if my son continues like this it would not be fair to them. I've tried the gentle approach by talking gently and reminding my ds that it’s not nice to be rough with or pester the cats. I feel that I have tried every approach with him and nothing is working. I'm wondering if anyone else has gone through the same thing with their child and if so how they solved the problem.

lljkk Sat 11-Jul-09 18:29:27

Could you keep your 5yo by your side at all times -- temporARILY, explain it's because U can't trust him, & when he learns to not chase he can play on his own again?

fufflebum Sat 11-Jul-09 18:45:54

Our children arrived after the cats had been in residence and have always been told to be gentle with the cats and not to chase them and so forth.

Only two out of the three cats like to be petted. As they are all rescue cats it was especially important as they were already nervious anyway.

If your son does not take notice you may end up with a cat that is VERY nervous and quite timid of humans so I can understand your concerns.

I think your son needs to be aware that cats scratch (he may have learned this already!)and have feelings (sorry to be so wishy washy!) If he does not listen to they way you ask him to handle the kittens then (like with any other aspect of 'naughty' behaviour) perhaps their should be a consequence for him?

If his behaviour is not nipped in the bud your kittens will have a miserable time and will not make such nice pets (as I am sure was your intention). Either that or wait until one of them scratches him and he will learn pretty quick!

DesperateHousewifeToo Sat 11-Jul-09 19:32:04

Watch him like a hawk and when he touches the kittens (after he has been told not to) warn him that if he touches the kittens again x will happen.

You need to decide what 'x' should be. My dcs would respond to sitting on stairs, no tv for an evening, no ice lolly after school, no park with friends, etc.

At 5 he should be able to understand what you are asking of him.

Stick with the consequence and do not give in until he realises you mean business.

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