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The litter tray

should he stay or should he go?

16 replies

CandyCrate · 10/07/2012 14:49

Please help me decide!

I have posted a few times on here about my cat. It has gotten to a point where my family are all pressuring me to get rid of him. I can see their point to a degree, but my son and I love him!

He pees in beds, scratches and bites 2 year old DS (unprovoked a lot of the time) and me, and visitors. He has shredded two pairs of curtains and steals food from peoples plates.

I have done my very best to stop him doing all of the above. He is only about 3 and a half months old. So I know a bit of his behaviour can be put down to kitten-ness, but I'm not sure what will get better as he ages and what stays the same.

My family all think I should rehome him (he has a home to go to, friend of a friend with no children who stays home all day and will love him) and get an older cat who is used to children and will not attack DS. DS has constant cuts on his legs and the cat thinks all DS's toys are his and bites him for playing with them :(

I am not sure, I love my cat, DS adores him even though he is mean, and I know DS would be sad if I got rid of him.

Any help? WWYD?

OP posts:
MissFoodie · 10/07/2012 15:10

a) he is still a kitten and b) he is having issues - I personally could not get rid of him, but that's me, I would invest in a behaviour expert as all those things can be sorted out, it just takes time, patience and a bit of money!

Fluffycloudland77 · 10/07/2012 17:17

That's what kittens do, he hasnt got any litter mates to play fight with so he plays with you.

When he is neutered at 5-6 months he will calm down and lose that tom cat feistyness.

I think having a kitten with a 2yo is more scary for the kitten, he sounds a very stressed puss to me.

FWIW my cat shredded me when he was a kitten but is ok now, play gets out of hand every so often so I hiss at him. I never use violence with him, they dont understand that.

PurplePidjin · 10/07/2012 17:33

He needs disciplining and at, what, 14 weeks is extremely young to be away from his Mummy - think sending your 11yo off to boarding school young, but you can't explain what's happening.

When he does something undesirable, pick him up, look him in the eye, say No in your best Supernanny voice and put him down away from whatever he shouldn't be doing.

Get an animal-sized door gate and confine him to one room until he grows out of it/learns the rules. Also, get a Feliway plug-in which contains calming (to cats) smells.

Get at least one fishing rod toy - either from the pet shop or just tie milk bottle tops/feathers/scrunched up tin foil to a bit of string for him to chase.

Wash dc's toys in a proper anti animal smell cleaner. Get some cotton wool and wipe it on the cat's chin glands - you can use this to mark the toys he is allowed to play with.

And shut all bedroom doors!! I learnt this with my first kitten, who thought my toes were fair game at 3am Hmm

This is a live animal, not a toy. You can't just take it back to the shop because it's the wrong colour. He's being a cat, doing cat things, that's not his fault! If you don't want him to do it, teach him not to.

If he's still like it at Christmas, then you might wonder about rehoming.

hellymelly · 10/07/2012 17:40

He's a tiny kitten! That's what kittens do, they are babies. They do jump up and scratch, they are playing and learning, they bite a lot because they will soon be losing their baby teeth and getting adult ones (just like chewing puppies) They are not all house trained right away. You are expecting the behaviour of a three year old cat from a very small kitten. That's like you expecting your ds to put the rubbish out, do the dishes and tidy his room. You need to keep bedroom doors shut if you don't want him to wee on beds, and curtain climbing is par for the course with kittens , they all do it unless they have trees instead. with the stealing food, a firm "NO" and put him down on the floor, if he continues shut him in another room until everyone has finished eating. He will learn in time. Be prepared that kittens are quite wild a playful for a long time, he may not settle down until he is three. Neutering will help. I do think maybe you should have had a bit more of an idea what to expect before getting such a small kitten, giving an animal away because they aren't what you expected isn't great.

CandyCrate · 10/07/2012 18:22

For the record, I don't want to give him away!

My son and I are both attached to him. I guess the only thing 'Im really worried about is the kitten scratching the baby a lot. Everything else is solvable, by either replacing things or shutting him out of rooms. I understand he is very young still. I just don't know enough about adult cats to know whether some of this stuff will continue throughout his life.

You're right, I probably should have had more of an idea about what to expect. I have had a few cats in my life, but never at the same time as a toddler, which is what I suspect the problem is for all of us.

OP posts:
PurplePidjin · 10/07/2012 18:49

Keep the toddler and the cat apart or heavily supervised with very strict boundaries on behaviour for both of them, at least until they learn and grow out of it.

Your kitten is at a similar stage of development to a young primary school child. They reach adulthood (equivalent of human 18yo) at 3, mine calmed down a bit at 6m - stopped climbing my jeans to get attention, knew their names, No and Uh Oh plus could be stopped in their tracks with a warning glare - and were pretty placid at a year with the odd burst of kittenishness chasing toys or each other up and down the stairs. Mango unfortunately lost a fight with a car 18 months ago, Millie at 6 loves chasing feathers around but mostly sunbathes and sleeps in her favourite spot.

Many people don't agree with it, but i will occasionally stare mine out. Just so they remember who's in charge Wink

And i suggest indignant outrage at anyone who is stupid and ignorant enough to suggests rehoming a living creature for not knowing what it hasn't been taught Angry

CandyCrate · 10/07/2012 21:03

My mum mainly is the one telling me to get rid of him. She has had cats for years so I have just listened to everything she has said to me! She implies I would be bad for keeping a cat who would hurt my son. Which is fair enough I guess.

But who's to say any new older cat wouldn't attack him anyway?

I don't know. I agree that it is extreme to rehome him just for behaving like any kitten. And if in 2 or 3 months he will be better and not so scratchy then its worth the wait. He really is quite sweet in the evenings when its just me and him.

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 10/07/2012 21:15

Maybe your mum just forgot what kittens are like, I had then we got our cat and I remembered pretty quickly.

We'd had 3 kittens when I was younger but I didnt remember them being so boisterous.

It doesnt matter so much when litter mates play fight as they've got fur to protect the skin but we dont have that.

Lucyellensmum12345 · 10/07/2012 21:23

Please don't get rid of this cat just to get another one that might suit you better. Seriously, you took the cat on, he is now your responsibility. Either rehome him to someone who will have the patience for him or deal with his "issues". Which quite frankly don't sound that bad, he sounds like a normal kitten to me.

Firstly what are you using to clean up his accidents? you should be using something without ammonia in it, otherwise his smell will linger and he will keep returning to it. Invest in a feliway diffuser, or a spray and spray it in his basket. Does he have a basket? Get him one, this is off limits to your toddler, this is a place for cat to go for some peace.

usualsuspect · 10/07/2012 21:27

He's just a kitten , what did you expect?

Catsmamma · 10/07/2012 21:29

three and a half months old?? so you have had him 8 weeks maybe??

god almighty i hope your kids don't pee on the know you WILL have to keep them?

CandyCrate · 10/07/2012 22:01

I expected a kitten. None of the kittens I have ever had before or been around have peed in peoples beds!! And yes, I have cleaned all areas with bio powder etc etc but he wants to pee on my bed anyway.

Also, I am aware what kittens are like, but I have never known one like this one. I have kept saying I am reluctant to rehome him, I came on here to see if that was my only option or whether he would grow out of the bitey thing soon.

Jeeez, some people need to chill out!! I WANT to keep him. But I also want my son to remain unharmed!

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 10/07/2012 22:19

A lot of threads are going like this op.

Weeing in beds is stress usually, mine weed on the curtains and looked me in the eye while he did it for the crime of keeping him in when the neighbours moved so he didnt get locked in the van.

Maybe a couple of hours a day in a quiet room while he naps? give him some peace and quiet.

gingerpig · 11/07/2012 09:11

are you duvets feather? I found my kitten peed on these more than the crappy non- feather duvets.

CandyCrate · 11/07/2012 09:45

yes my duvets are feather! makes them harder to clean too!

Fluffycloudland77, I would love to allow him access to a quiet room, but the only options are the bedrooms. And he pees in them. He has stopped peeing in the living room in the corner since I put foil down for a few weeks. So fingers crossed at least that problem is solved.

My mother just came over and said the cat seemed to have calmed down a bit. He has a basket now. He had one before but he wouldnt sleep in it, so I put some blankets in a storage type box thing and he loves that.

OP posts:
hellymelly · 12/07/2012 17:09

All kittens are scratchy in my experience. I had one cat that would climb me like a tree, which was not funny if I was unclothed. And she was the sweetest and most gentle cat, she just loved to be near my face. I was lacerated as a child by my granny's cat, a huge Tom, because I loved him and would dress him up in a baby bonnet and push him in my doll's pram. There was only so much of this he could take, understandably, and my arms bore the scars....

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