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HELP daughter terrified of our new kittens!

(6 Posts)
Whorulestheroost Wed 07-Sep-11 21:22:08

Hi I am looking for some advice really from you cat lovers. After much nagging from our dd, who is just about to turn 8, and much consideration by ourselves we decided to get a kitten. On saturday the local cats protection held an open day and we ended up adopting 2 14 wk old female kittens. They are great little things and seem to be settling in but our daughter has become really scared of them.

This is to the point where she gives excuses to go and play elsewhere in the house and is incredibly jumpy every time one comes near her. Her fear is that one is going to scratch her. We really don't want to send the back but I am not sure how I can get her to not be scared of them. We never thought she would have any problem as there is always a neighbours cat in our garden who she loves. Tonight she cried hysterically as one came and sat next to her on the sofa and was trembling, in the end I lost my temper with her and sent her to bed (then felt terrible about it) Please help I don't know what to do. I am thinking I need to give it a bit more time, what do you think? Thanks in advance

nametapes Thu 08-Sep-11 11:14:19

Show how much confidence you hav with the kittens. In time she will come round. The more you demonstrate how relaxed you are with the kittens, the more she will see they are not to b feared. Its like swimming in water when you are scared. Be really cool, and dont make a massive fuss with her when she is scared of the cats. Try to reassure her and just say, "The kittens are lovely and wont hurt you, " . . . . "Cats only scratch you if you grab them and hurt them first"

SheldonsBazinga Thu 08-Sep-11 11:43:56

Ds was 9 when we got our kitten and was extremely wary of him. If the kitten came near him ds would run across the room as though he'd just spotted a poisonous snake. It didn't help that the cat had a habit of leaping out from behind furniture and curtains with his claws out.

He was able to explain that it was the unpredictability of the cat that he didn't like. There was no way to tell where the cat was going to run to next or what it would do when it got there.

Things improved a great deal as the kitten got bigger and ds got more used to the cat's little ways and habits. The cat is now an enormous 2yr-old and the kind of cat that could easily be mistaken for the local version of the Beast of Bodmin. Ds is his greatest fan and considers it an honour if the cat chooses to sleep in his room. Looking back he finds it hilarious that he used to be scared of an overgrown ball of fluff with legs.

I would give your dd much more time to adjust to the new interlopers. Reassure her that it's okay to be frightened of things and that even adults get scared. Maybe keep the door to one room closed so that she knows there's always a cat-free area for her to go to if it gets too much.

candr Thu 08-Sep-11 11:46:47

Teach her how to play some games with them, mouse on string etc so they have fun together. Explain about little kittens being a bit clumsy with claws like little children with sharp finger nails. Maybe put her in charge of their food so she feels a bit responsible for them...

Mumleigh Thu 08-Sep-11 12:11:21

We have just got a new kitten and we were advised to borrow a puppy cage for the first week or so and put the kitten in there when the kids were around just until it got used to the kids and vice versa.

If you place the cage in the room where the kids spend the most time the kitten will get used to them and be more relaxed and less likely to scratch or bite.

We couldn't borrow one but bought one on amazon for £17

We obviously didn't keep the kitten in the crate for hours on end but half an hour now and then was fine.

DontCallMeBaby Thu 08-Sep-11 21:28:49

DD was 5 when we got our two as kittens, and she was very frightened of them for a while. We didn't do anything in particular, they were around and she was around, and they got used to each other. She did have a bad experience with one of them when he tried to jump up on a surface, missed and tried to save himself with his claws - in her back. She was sitting on the loo at the time as well, just to add insult to injury. She used to sit on the sofa with a big cushion on her lap to ensure they didn't sit on her, which seemed to help (she now longs for one of them to sit on her lap, as they are now NOT lapcats).

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