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Thread: Help! How do you train a kitten?

  1. #1
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    Default Help! How do you train a kitten?

    I haven't had a cat since I got married nearly 20 years ago because my hubby just doen't like them, but somehow I convinced him to let me take home a little grey kitty from a litter my sister rescued. So, I have no idea of the right way to go about training one. Dogs are so much easier.

    She is sweet and adorable and gets along famously with my dogs but she has an appalling habit: she latches her little claws into the flesh of my legs and climbs my body! I don't mind her climbing me but she will not stop latching onto my bare flesh! I have taken to wearing long pants in the house to keep her from shredding me to pieces but hell it's summertime and this is not acceptable in 100 degree weather, even inside with air-conditioning. I want to train her to stop this altogether but nothing I've tried has worked, including pushing her away when she makes like I'm a tree, telling her no! very firmly, squirting her gently with a small water gun...is it even possible to make a cat stop doing something they want to do?

    Help me, please.

    Her name is Sally Heart, btw. Don't look at me, I let my nieces name her- I am just the kitty boarder, you see, Sally is still their kitty..

  2. #2
    Gold Member Elphie's Avatar
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    squirt bottles work very well on cats. you're doing the right things, just keep on with it. You have to be persistent and consistent.

    also, when you tell her no and remove her from your legs lol you should redirect her to a scratching post, or with a toy. She will learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elphie View Post
    squirt bottles work very well on cats. you're doing the right things, just keep on with it. You have to be persistent and consistent.

    also, when you tell her no and remove her from your legs lol you should redirect her to a scratching post, or with a toy. She will learn.
    So if I just keep doing what I'm doing she will eventually stop? She does have a scratching post that she totally ignores lol, but I will do as you say and she might get a clue what it's for. You've made me feel so much better, thanks!

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    My cats did the latching thing when they were little; it seemed that as they got used to their claws and how to retract them, they just stopped on their own. I don't think it's something they do maliciously, and we never really had to train them out of it. I think they just don't quite understand about their claws at first.

    That said, I did find my cats to be trainable - they definitely know that they can't go on counters or tables, or swing from the curtains... and they seem to have learned lots of other things (they come when they're called, know their names, know that the smell of coffee means a chance of cream), so we're not cat-slackers, we just sort of let the latching thing run its course. Good luck!
    Last edited by Tati; July 3rd, 2009 at 07:02 PM.
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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    A couple of ours did that and I would just screech LOUDLY "Owww, oww, oww, that hurts!!" and make a big production. They would scramble off my leg, flatten their little ears and run off. I only did it a few times, and they stopped.

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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Yeah, my cats usually respond to "Ow", but a triple action of "Ow!" "No!" (useful later), and consistant application - and perhaps redirection to the tree might help.
    My gut feeling is that she's trying to climb you to have a cuddle, you're her mommy now & she's only a baby. Try to spot what she does before trying to climb you & scoop her up and cuddle her.
    I find cat fairly easy to train, but then I've never had dogs. My cat comes when he's called, comes to my clicking finger, stops when he's doing when I say "no" and doesn't claw (except when he gets over excited having a cuddle). He's not house trained by us but doesn't steal food either from the bin or worktops - but again a firm hand to plonk it on the floor while saying no & water if nec (I've NEVER used water while training a cat, I've never found it necessary).

    Good luck & welcome to cat slavery! LOL!

    MY current little monster is addicted to chewy cat treats! Will do anything for them! Its a useful tool!
    Free Charmed.

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    You're pretty much doing all you can. Just redirect the little devil.

    If the claws are a problem in other areas too (our one can't retract his all the way, carpet and he get on like velcro) they make little caps that you can glue on their nails. My sister uses them on her Ragdoll and has no problems with them.
    Snooky Wookums, prepare for the invasion!

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    Novice-

    My gut feeling is that she's trying to climb you to have a cuddle, you're her mommy now & she's only a baby

    Oh, I cuddle her all the time. She is so lovey dovey she absolutely insists upon it. She climbs onto my neck and nestles under my ponytail for most of the day. I actually have to walk around with her like that! She sleeps on my throat or in the crook of my arm. I'm so happy with her because I really do not like "cold" cats who could give a shit if you ever look at them, as long as you feed and water them they are fine!

    I'm so happy to hear she's trainable because I've always heard that they are not.

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    LOL! She sounds adorable. And don't believe anyone that says they're not trainable. They are however, its like potty training, it takes time & effort, however once its done its a joy forever! LOL!

    A firm and loving hand works best. Our cat was nearly feral when he decided to move in, we've had a lovely evening watching tv together. I needed to elevate my feet & he just snuggled on in there. Normally he sits next to me & uses my leg as a pillow (don't get me started on the fact that he needs a pillow!!!), but I needed a cuddle myself tonight & he was all cute mr snuggly!
    I do like that about cats!

    I had a cat that used to race up & down in my apartment when she thought it was time for me to go to bed and a Ginger Tom that used to steal the backpatch bikers' dope from them & hide it in his basket. After my ex moved out, he used to steal my chocolate as a poor substitute. Man he was funny! The daya that my ex came back to collect his shit he (my ex) bent down to stroke the cat where he was on the back of the sofa, the cat turned around, stuck his rear end in my ex's face & I SWEAR he was going to spray him in the face!!!! Then he (the cat) walked off in disgust... I think the cat got the meat that night & I got the cat food! LOL!
    Free Charmed.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Typical kitten. They grow out of that behavior very quickly. Mine is just a year old now and he has really calmed down. He still attacks my feet every now and then but he just wants to play. He will be even more sedate by this time next year. Enjoy the playing!

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    Gold Member Elphie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    So if I just keep doing what I'm doing she will eventually stop? She does have a scratching post that she totally ignores lol, but I will do as you say and she might get a clue what it's for. You've made me feel so much better, thanks!
    you can try putting treats on the scratching post or catnip, although kitties don't usually take to captnip when they are really young but you can certainly try.

    and cats are totally trainable! i don't know where that comes from, i hear it all the time too... your kitty just needs to learn manners, this is where you come in to show her what is and isn't acceptable.

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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    I had the opposite problem with my cats - they left bare flesh alone but viewed denim as a scratching post, which was not good as I'm a tom-boy and live in my jeans.

    Yelling Owww! loudly does work, but I've found that a loud and firm No and putting them on the floor works better as the No is then implanted in their brain for other things, too. Imagine having to yell Owww! every time kitty went on the work surfaces as little Sally Heart doesn't understand (or chooses to ignore) the word No. One of my fur-demons is an angel and understands the word no and responds immediately by stopping. Another one, though, does the naughty child thing and stops until she thinks you aren't looking and then continues regardless.

    I like the name Sally, by the way. I was going to call my first cat Sally but she ended up being called Suzuki (Suki for short).

    Novice, so you have experience of a dope fiend cat too? I posted it elsewhere on GR, but a net friend has a cat who ate a massive stash of weed that they'd gone to a lot of trouble to get sent from friends in Holland Mind you, the same cat also had an ex-BF issue too, except he did the double and peed and pooped straight down the guy when he picked him up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elphie View Post
    you can try putting treats on the scratching post or catnip, although kitties don't usually take to captnip when they are really young but you can certainly try.

    and cats are totally trainable! i don't know where that comes from, i hear it all the time too... your kitty just needs to learn manners, this is where you come in to show her what is and isn't acceptable.
    OH! They make a catnip spray that works really good if the cat likes catnip. My one cat could care less, the other one, he has a real problem. He will climb up, into and over if he thinks it's catnip. My sister brought this stuff with her when she was house sitting for us. I get pictures and video sent to me of Nermal rolling himself up in the kitchen mat because she sprayed it with the catnip.
    Snooky Wookums, prepare for the invasion!

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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    And don't give up hope on the scratching post if your kitten doesn't take to it straight away. Sometimes I think things smell too "new" to tempt a cat. Mine have ignored scratching posts and toys for aaaaages, then have suddenly decided that they like them. One toy mouse that they love now was ignored at first, but after if had been kicking about the house for a month or two (in multiple fruitless attempts to get them to play with it) it now smells "homey" and they happily trash it.

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    Yeah, I always rub stiff on me the try to take a bit of the newness smell off them. Doesn't always work...
    My (now) cat doesn't like catnip, not the milky treats not the dried herb... but we're teatotal so he fits right in. LOL!
    Free Charmed.

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