I forget i'm not boss

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Sadie Mae

Purred: Sun Jul 31, '05 7:32pm PST 
I'm Sadie Mae, but my mommy only calls me Sadie Mae when she is upset that i bite and scratch her. I hurt her yesterday when she was upset. I pawed at her face and my nail got her in that fuzzy spot above her eye. She wasn't too happy with me. Today i left a big scratch across her finger. I'm still young and haven't understood those words she says, and i'm having a hard time understanding that mommy and daddy are boss. Could anyone help my mommy know how to teach me to be good. Sometimes mommy and daddy fight because i hurt them. I don't want to make them fight. Please Help my mommy.


No, you cannot- look at the- number.
Purred: Tue Aug 2, '05 7:18pm PST 
Fur-st, ask your Mommy can get your claws trimmed by a groomer. That keeps my sister Miranda's over-playfulness under control.

Also - a good loud "NO!", given at the exact moment the transgression occurs, can motivate you to stop what you're doing. Failing that, get your Mommy a spray bottle with water and have her squirt you a little bit when you're bad. It doesn't hurt, I promise! (it worked on me when I used to be bad)


Food makes- Muscles happy
Purred: Tue Aug 2, '05 8:30pm PST 
My mom used the spray bottle too and now I am a very good kitty! Whenever she picks the spray bottle up now I stop whatever I am doing because I know that means it's something she doesn't want me to do. My mom made sure she never sprayed me in the face or near my whiskers and the water still made me stop waking her up at 2 am for food.

Member Since
Other posts by this user
Purred: Wed Aug 3, '05 3:19pm PST 
When you scratch your mom, that means the game is over. She should pick you up and move you away from her right away and either say "no" or make a crying "ow" sound. That will tell you that you hurt her with your claws. She needs to do this right away though because you're a baby and your attention span isn't very long. The picking-up part is important because it establishes dominance. Also, tell her to try not to stay angry for more than a minute or two because you won't know why she is mad. If she's consistent with this, you'll figure it out pretty quickly.


Save a paw,- don't declaw!
Purred: Mon Aug 15, '05 4:29am PST 
When I'm bad, I'm told "No!" loudly, and if that doesn't work, I get picked up by the scruff of my neck, or I get rolled onto my back with my belly exposed. This tells me that I'm not boss because it puts me into a vulnerable position and I don't like that!

Honey- (9/05/2005)

I am the- tail-less kitty- of cutness
Purred: Tue Sep 13, '05 8:49pm PST 
I had that problem as a kitten.

At young ages a lot of kittens don't realize that claws and teeth hurt, they usually are really just trying to play.

So you hit it two fold. You let the kitten know it hurt. "OW!" should do the trick... make sure you say it like you mean it!

After letting kitten know that claws (or teeth) hurt. Then its time to ignore the kitten. Put kitten down, walk away and ignore for at least five minutes.

This creates the connection of claws hurt, and that means I don't get to play anymore!

Hope this helps!


The Bacon Queen
Purred: Thu Sep 15, '05 2:59pm PST 
Hi Sadie

I used to do that to my mommy too (she had the scratches and bite marks to prove it!). She did what all the other kitties are saying: Say 'NO!' loudly, ignore me and spray me (with air instead of water). It didn't work. Then she started fostering kittens and suddenly, I'm behaving better. She isn't sure, but she thinks having a kitten to play with and take out my aggression on, instead of her, has helped.
I don't know if your parents will consider another kitten, or even if they have friends who have a kitten you can visit, but that can help (if the other things don't).
Good luck!!


Little Pink- Nosies Rule!
Purred: Wed Sep 28, '05 4:20pm PST 
My Mom has always told us "NO" when we're doing something we shouldn't. Then she moves us away from whatever it is. She also makes sure she always handles us gently. See, she doesn't want to frighten us, just make us behave. Benjamin and I both know and listen to NO.
Personally, the squirt bottle never deterred me. I learned to ignore the water and do what I wanted. That's when Mom decided to go with the "no" approache.


I'm just here to- be adored!
Purred: Wed Sep 28, '05 11:33pm PST 
Well when I was younger they tried that old water in a squirty bottle and that didn't do anything for me... there I was, a teeney tiny thing and they would squirt me until I was drenched and I LOVED IT!!!

The ONLY thing that worked for me was a whistle... yup, that got my
attention very quickly, I didn't know what the heck it was, but I knew it meant STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW! Now I don't need that whistle, a simple NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO does the trick!

When I was a kitten I was really fiesty, I just wanted to do my own thing and needed my space to do it. I really did think I was the boss [ I still do, but I command differently now, I'm not so aggressive] I grew out of that phase though and now we are living harmoniously.



A Gentlemanly- 007
Purred: Sat Oct 1, '05 5:22pm PST 
I agree with all the other cats out there - when you scratch your mommy, she should ignore you and walk away. I know you just want to play, and that scratching is your way of instigating a fun session, but humans don't like the feel of a claw on their face for some strange reason. : /

As well, act really cute and ask your mommy to play with you with a wand, string, jingle ball, or another fun toy more often. These are all forms of appropriate play, and they should tire you out, which will stop you from resorting to clawing skin instead of your catnip mouse.

I hope this helps you, Sadie. Above all, be patient - it takes a long time to train humans. But it's worthwhile. *purrs*

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