How can I curb aggressive play behaviors in my 4 month old kitten?
Prior to coming to me, she was an outdoor, semi-wild kitten. Born outside, the only human contact she had was when the feeder was filled. She was never touched or played with prior to entering my home. She claws, bites, and attacks my ankles when I walk through the house. What can I do to stop this behavior?
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I faced the same dilemma when I rescued my Izzie. He, also was born in the wild and I rescued him when he was 4 months old. I was advised by my vet to keep him in a large dog cage with a litter pan, food/water bowls and a "hide box". I kept him in the cage for almost a month. I allowed my other kitty, my late. great Ernie, to socialize with him. Ernie was a miracle worker, showing Izzie that being an indoor kitty and part of a family wasn't so bad. Your kitten is exhibiting predatory behavior. She didn't live exclusively on birdseed, and mama kitty teaches her babies to hunt very early. A 4 month old kitten is entirely capable of catching mice, birds etc. You can try carrying a spray bottle with you and squirting her (not in the face) when she does this, saying "NO BITE" in a firm voice, or shaking a can of pennies at her. Our friend Gracie's mom also recommends hissing at the kitty the way the mom or sibs would. It will dedication, patience, love and time to socalize her. Good luck!!!
Izadore (Izzie) answered on Aug 1st.
If you play with her with your hands or feet, stop. Get her lots of different toys so she isn't tempted to use you as one. Get a feather teaser or something of the sort for interactive play. When she starts getting rough, the play ends. I would say only try to pet her when she is calm, and praise her when she is gentle. Mieke came to me at 5 weeks with a little kitty foot fetish, and I'm STILL working on breaking her old bad habits, two months later. Just be consistent. Mieke is taking longer because aside from training her, I had to train my roommate and family. You should have an easier go than I did. Oh, and when you end play, just ignore her. If she persists in her attack, enclose her in another room (with food, water, litter) for a time out. Ten minutes should be sufficient, just let her yowl herself out and when she's calm, let her out. That's all I can think of at the moment, Good Luck! :)
Mieke, Destroyer of Worlds answered on 7/30/09. Helpful? / 1