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Obsessed With Toy

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!

  
Lucy

Crazy like a- fox...
 
 
Purred: Sun Jan 9, '11 9:50pm PST 
I got Lucy one of those "Skinnies" stuffing-free cat toys (like the dog toys, but now they're making them for cats).

Well, now she's obsessed. She acts with it like she does around food: snarling and growling, even hissing, at Molly if she's within 10 feet, and me if I get close enough to touch her.

The problem is, it's not food -- she doesn't consume it, so her wild behavior goes on for 30-45 minutes at a time.

Even though she seems paranoid about it, she jumps up and sits against me while she's chewing on it. She just growls if I touch her.

I don't want to take it away from her, because she's teething and this is the first thing that I've found that she prefers to cords and other objects I don't want her chewing on.

Any advice on de-escalating her behavior while she has it?
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Bumpurr

RESPECT The- Star!
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 11, '11 4:03pm PST 
Cowboy is like that, with his mousey toys, and only the mousey toys. He has this low growl, with it in his mouth, if Cruiser, his brother, comes near him. I don't care that he does it, but he was taught, that mommy can take it away. As long as he respects me, that I am the head kitty, head of the pride, per say, and yeilds to me, per say, always, I don't care that he is protective of his mousey toys.

There is no hissing, that behavior was stopped too, there is no yelling, yowling, no ears back, no fist fighting, just the growling, or that too, would be nipped in the bud. They all know, that behavior is not tolerated.

She can be protective of it to other kitties, but she needs to be taught, that you, are the head kitty, the head of the pride, and if you want to take it, you will take it.

But she needs to be taught base words first, like "NO" and "THAT IS BADDY BOY STUFF" and "EH EH EH"
that one, means, stop, what you are doing, immediately. Granted they were taught as little kittens, when they couldn't get away with stuff, now they think, they can't. Mine know a plethera of words, and know what each one means.

Be glad to help you teach her. It does not happen overnight, you have to teach them one word at a time, and they have to understand the meaning of that one, before you go on to the next one, it takes alot of time, and alot alot of patience. Mine are highly trained and very well behaved, but it didn't happen overnight. way to go

big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin
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Lucy

Crazy like a- fox...
 
 
Purred: Thu Jan 13, '11 5:19pm PST 
Yeah, she and I have a lot of dominance struggles.

I'm pretty sure she knows very well what a sharp "NO!" means. (She sits on command, and knows every synonym I can come up with for "food.")

How did you teach your kitties to actually *obey* "No"?
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Bumpurr

RESPECT The- Star!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jan 14, '11 2:47pm PST 
What, exactly, is she doing, that she is not supposed to do? Each situation is different, you have to use, different words, for each one, but the base words, "No" and "That is baddy boy stuff" are always included in the what ever you are trying to teach them. big grin

Your dominance and her aggressiveness has to be stopped, first, she needs to learn, she HAS to yeild to you, always. Never had an issue with them being aggressive, well except for the mousey toy, and actually, the show people taught me this, as some kitties can get unruly, per say at shows, its more of a safety factor, so kitty doesn't get hysterical and get loose, or hurt someone. big grin

Please know, this is a training tool, and not to be used as a punishment. When you are teaching/training, you never punish, you reward good behavior.

I will use Cowboy as an example. The aggression over the mousey toy, was I could see, going to turn into a fistfight over the toy. When he started growling, with the mousey toy in his mouth, and Cruiser approached him, I picked up his front end, leaving his back end on the floor, by the scruff of his neck, its called "scruffing". I said "NO" in a loud, and stern voice, but not yelling, and said "THAT IS BADDY BOY STUFF". He released the toy, I let go, I picked up the mousey toy and put it away.

Granted, he already knew "no" and "baddy boy stuff", but he had never been scruffed before, and the tone and volume of my voice, clued him in, he was doing something bad, as mommy only talks sternly to them, when they are baddy boys.

It didn't take him long, to figure out, if he growled, mommy spoke sternly, he got scruffed, and mousey toy went bye bye. He hasn't done it in a long time, but the other night, heard him growling, yup, mousey toy, I took it out of his mouth, toy went bye bye. So he knows, if he growls, mousey toy is gone.

They got like a zillion toys, and he only does it with the mousey toy, and they got like a zillion mousey toys too, but that one is his favorite.

Start with that, teach her to yeild to you, in aggressive situations, once you establish yourself, as the head kitty, the head of the pride, the rest goes alot smoother. Best of luck. way to go

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Molly

1172341
 
 
Purred: Mon Jan 17, '11 11:53pm PST 
Well, I'm gradually training her, but she does a lot of things she's not supposed to do.

I've successfully trained her not to bite any bare skin (e.g. my hands or feet), although she still sometimes goes after my feet when I have socks on. I've trained her to allow me to handle any part of her body (although she still tends to get impatient after I've clipped one paw's worth of claws, and I need to let her run around a bit before I start on the next paw). She usually sits on command.

I haven't, however, had much luck in keeping her off the counter. If she's not particularly invested in it - if there's no food up there and she's just exploring - she'll jump down if I tell her to and I'm holding the spray bottle.

However, if there's food there, she ignores me completely. If I spray her a bunch, she'll eventually get annoyed and walk over and knock the spray bottle out of my hand and then go back to what she was doing.

She also is *crazy* food obsessed. When I board her at the vet's, the entire staff comes over to watch feeding time because she's so out of control.

If there's food around, she goes completely mindless and will snarl and scratch me if I try to take it away from her.

I *have* successfully trained her to leave me alone while I'm eating, although I do have to keep an eye on her if I get up. But once she gets the food, she goes nuts.

And same thing with this toy. I'm worried she'll hurt Molly if Molly displays any interest in it.
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Lucy

Crazy like a- fox...
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 18, '11 9:22pm PST 
Oops, that was me -- wrong kitty.
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