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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Obnoxious Kitten

We have a new rescue kitten that is more than a little obnoxious. I can handle most of the kitty behavior---the running around, clawing at some of the furniture, crying in the middle of the night, etc. But, he has this habit of going up to my 3 y/o and eating her food. We have tried spanking his bottom, growling at him and locking him in the bedroom. We have also tried spraying him with water. All to no avail. Any other thoughts on possible ideas would be wonderful. She eats on the couch during the day and he has food in his bowl so it's not like he is hungry or anything. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2004, 06:59 AM
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I would not reccomend spanking the kitten on the bottom. Cats don't understand that. However, I would take a bottle of beans or rice, and shake it around the cat. Sometimes the loud noise makes them stop what they are doing.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2004, 09:19 AM
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Please don't spank your kitten

I have a "rescue" cat that came to me as a starving kitten. Because of him we can't leave any food out on the counter or otherwise. I'll never forget the time he destroyed a loaf of bread sitting on the counter LOL

Will you be keeping this kitten? If not, a good adult home would be great for him. He could quite possibly be viewing your young daughter as a littermate and just want to feed with her as strange as that sounds. The only thing I could suggest at this point is either feed your daughter at the table or lock kitty in the bathroom during lunchtime. You could also try taking away the kittens food in the morning and then feed them both at the same time so he is distracted with his food while your daughter is eating. Good luck!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2004, 11:25 AM
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CTChin gave great advice and Palomino21 is right ... cats don't understand spanking ... Unlike dogs, they don't really understand any sort of punishment ... not even scoldings. You have to approach their training differently .. I would try the water spraying again. Tape works well to keep them off of surfaces that you don't want them on. If you could lay tape down sticky-side-up along the edge of the surface that the kitten jumps on to eat food with your baby it would be a good deterrence.

Don't give up. Cats are totally trainable if you approach it the right way and work on ways of prevention. Just remember that your kitten has no idea that he is doing anything wrong.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2004, 08:04 PM
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My kitten is 5 months old and she went through this recently. Just pick her up and set her on the floor. Do this consistantly and she will get the idea that she isn't allowed to eat at the table. Just be patient and consistant and she will understand. Please, please please don't punish your cats. They are in no way capable of understanding punishment for behavior, but they can develop fear and dislike of people who harm them.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2004, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice. I just want to clarify that even tho we did spank the little one, it was never hard enough to hurt, just to get his attention. Yes, we will be keeping him, in response to the one who asked that. I will try the loud noise maker, and will continue to try the spray bottle. I did not realize that cats didn't respond to discipline the same as dogs, so thank you all for clarifying that. Hopefully this will resolve soon enough. Thanks for helping making meal time a little more peaceful. And I think I will try feeding all the animals at our meal time. That is a really great idea.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2004, 10:23 PM
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Best of luck to you I know how it is having a persistant kitty around! Let us know how things work out.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-30-2004, 11:19 PM
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Food is a big issue for a rescue so you always have to deal with the "fear" that there won't be any food tomorrow. It will take a lot of patience to stop this behavior. Each time he hogs the food or is on the counter (or whatever) gently pick him up and move him away. Cats respond to repeated actions and eventually learn proper behavior. Shouting at them is generally useless and swatting at them only makes them afraid of you or all people. Counterproductive! Patience!

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2004, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Things are going better for little Merlin. We have started locking him in our room whenever Leigh eats and that seems to help. In response to Randy, even tho he was technically a rescue, he was only about 4-6 weeks when we got him, so I don't think it's the fear issue. But, that's definitely a good point. Thanks again to everyone for the help and I hope that I can help someone else as much as all of you hav helped me.
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