|Jan's Kitten Kids-page 3...|
|First and foremost, we want good "litterbox habits" in our little sweetheart! A cat or kitten not using the litterbox, always has a reason, medically, physically, or psychologically...
The problem is, most people tend to look for answers after a problem has manifested itself rather than taking the time to learn before. Once a problem is present, everyone wants quick answers, and immediate solution! Here is a quick checklist- Honestly answer YES to yourself!...
-litterbox is in a quiet, private, low-traffic area where children or other pets will not interfere
-litterbox is kept clean and odorfree (TWO litterboxes, one for urinating, one for defacating best)
-I have not changed litter, or have offered another litterbox close by with old litter if and when I do change
-I have kept my cat/kitten temporarily confined to another room/area of the house (with familiar objects, items) when moving /buying new furniture /new carpeting, saving a "personal item, or better still, several personal items" of his to place there when introducing to newly furnished room (VERY important!)
-My cat/kitten gets regular checkups, urinery samples have ruled out chrystalization or UTD
( a cat or kitten that urinates in obvious places, or right in front of you, often is trying to tell you it is sick!)
-another pet in the household is not "marking" causing identity problems- nor has there been FORMER markings (not properly neutralized)
-My cat's food is one that is recommended by my veterinarian as nutritional and urinary tract healthy ( not all foods that SAY this actually ARE!) I do not feed tablescraps, my cat does not have access to dogfood-
-my house has more than one cat, but each has his own litterbox, one is not overly aggressive over the other...
-My cat/kitten always has FRESH clean water available (changed, dish wiped 2x daily)
-last, but certainly not least- (HOPEFULLY) My cat has not been declawed!
|Multi-cat households should have no more problems than a single- providing the owner is wise and "cat- smart"|
|Cats and kittens really do "talk" to us!- we just have to take the time to listen...|
|Biting and Scratching
One certainly must categorize biting and scratching differently!
1. "Playful biting & scratching"
2. "Agressive. defensive, or destructive biting and scratching"
All have solutions, but not always one solution fits every case!
Playful- often this starts with YOU! Yes, that cute little kitten wants to play, and you encouraged it with your hands or fingers rather than an interactive toy!
Fingers and hands- You must discourage this right away! Biting fingers and scratching hands in play should be stopped as it starts. A sharp "no" and finger tap on the nose, or, get up and walk away!
Encourage play with TOYS , object, not fingers.
ankles and toes- first of all- wear slippers in the morning around a new kitten! If "grabbing and attacking" toes and ankles is a problem-- Just a sharp *NO!*- or pick your kitten up and pet him. This is just a stage. you are replacing kittty's sibblings and need for interactive play, find something amusing for kitty that requires excersise such as the turbo mouse or cat tracker (doughnut shaped w/ ball.)
|Agression- When biting or scratching is not considered play, it must be dealt with immediately! Often agression stems from boredom or lonliness, many times a behaviorist will strongly suggest a companion, if the pet person is in a position to be able to adopt a second cat or kitten. If you have a male resident, a female is best, but two males can also become friends. If your resident is a female, a male is strongly suggested as the second kitten's gender. Either way, introduction should be slow, allowing a "sanctuary" room for the new arrival for the first week or so, introducing the newcomer in an enclosed carrier. Expect that the first few days will be a bit difficult, as your resident cat will probably even hiss at you as well as the new arrival! But soon, (sooner for a resident male then female) when all hissing has ceased, you can allow the first interactive meeting. Before long the resident cat will be "washing" the newcomer, showing it's dominance in the household!
Defensive- If children or other pets are allowed to chase or tease the cat or kitten, biting or scratching in defense is a big possibility! In which case, rules should be set equally! A cat may never forget a wrongful act, so it is best to monitor each household member's interaction with all pets from the start. Children should always be taught proper respect and handling of kittens or cats. Never allow a chase!
|Remember- you are replacing kitty's playful sibblings!- If you do not have time for interactive play, another kitten would be a wise choice!|
|Destructive - kittens will go through a "chewing" stage -and safe, rubber toys should be offered at this time. As for the scratching of furniture- a good, sturdy, tall (at least 3 1/2 ft)(ceiling height best)scratching post/play-gym is the best investment possible for a catowner! Either one you make yourself, or purchased. Se SURE posts are covered in BERBER type carpet or sisal rope. Teach kitty from the beginning that this is his "domain"! The use of double "sticky tape" on areas of your furniture kitty "tries" works great. But for those first training weeks, drape your furniture with old sheets or blankets. Some prefer to use softpaws nail caps for kitty's training weeks. Solutions are many, just NEVER think of declawing! This is a permanent problem!|