New Kitten(Very Wild)

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions - big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

Kito O'Maley

You move, I- attack you!
Purred: Sun Sep 4, '11 8:01am PST 
We recently aquired a wild kitten, when I mean wild is we didn't adopt him, he just showed up at our door. We have a few questions about him, and we are wondering if some of you catsters can help us answer them.

First one is Age: I was guessing he may be around 5 mo? Anyone of you have a idea?

Breed: I know majority of cats are mixes but for some reason I can see some Maine Coon in him. I compared his pictures to sylvester when he was younger and they look pretty similar.

Those were to most major questions I had. But I also have some questions regarding some training methods. He is a very, neurotic kitten. Very hyper and had fairly aggressive play. He will run and attack our older cats and they hiss and growl and it doesn't even phase the kitten. Also, a couple time the Kito has gone up and attack our dogs face and she snaps at him. An this is all un-acceptable behavior if we keep him.

Also, he likes to be petted, but yet at the same time he will turn around and starting biting and clawing up your hand at the same time you petting him.

He is also destructive with furniture and screens. So I am just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to break him of these bad habits to possible make him a better indoor cat.

I have hear using a spray bottle, and diluting vinegar might help with some correction.

Any info would be great, as I am desperate.

Kito O'Maley

You move, I- attack you!
Purred: Mon Sep 5, '11 8:21am PST 
Any response? shrug

Ralphie & Randy

Purred: Mon Sep 5, '11 9:22am PST 
Congrats on the new little guy! Both of our kittens also adopted us by showing up on the doorstep. It's fun to be chosen!

The first step is to get him to a vet. In my opinion, this ideally should have been done before introducing him to your other pets, but now that that's already done get him in as soon as you can. You'll want to make sure he's healthy, get him tested for anything that he might transmit to your other cats, and also have him vaccinated and neutered. Your vet can also estimate his age.

As far as the behaviors, I personally would not use negative reinforcement at this stage. If he's lived outdoors his whole life, this is a drastically new environment for him. Even if he's had a home that he lost for whatever reason, he needs time to adjust to his new home. He's going to be curious, and being a kitten, he's going to have tons of energy! I would suggest keeping him most of the time in a "safe room" that is just his for a while, with some time for supervised exploration of the rest of the house. His room should have all his essentials - bed, water, litter box, toys, scratching post - and should be safe for him to stay unsupervised. During times that you let him out, play with him and watch him play with the other cats and dog. Make sure he is stimulated so he won't get bored and destuctive, but don't let him get OVER stimulated, because sometimes that's when they start attacking playmates or playing aggressively when petted. Once he is more familiar with his new home, then you can explore other options for controlling his undesirable behaviors, if they're still a problem.

I'm not an expert by any means, but this is what has worked for us with our two semi-ferals. They're both still kittens, one a year old and one 5 months, and they still get the kitten-crazies, but they are awesome cats!