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Stubborn Kitten

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by kalikitty, Apr 4, 2017.


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  1. kalikitty

    kalikitty PetForums Newbie

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    I got a purebred Siamese kitty about 7 weeks ago. She is currently 4 months old. She is incredibly adorable, and incredibly stubborn. My previous cat was never allowed on our tables and counters...and it wasn't a problem for her. However, as soon as the new kitten could jump on the table, she has been up there constantly. She has also just recently learned how to jump on the kitchen counters. For both the table and counter we have tried/continue to try the "No" and take to a place she can be (our window seat/ her cat tree). This has not and still doesn't work. She squeals and runs right back to where she was. On the table, we have also tried an office mat upside down so the spikes are up. She jumped right up and walked all over them, and even laid down and groomed herself. We have put tin foil on the edges of the counters, only for her to jump right up and sniff it. She also LOVES sticky tape and water..so that isn't a method that works either. We have also tried putting her in her room after she does it multiple times, but when we let her back out she runs right back. She is also horrible with cords and wires, and biting arms, hands, and feet. She loves to wrap all four legs around my arm and literally make me bleed. Taking her off and saying no doesn't work, picking her up by the scruff (I always support her feet while doing it) doesn't work, taking her to a toy doesn't work, and I've even foolishly hissed at her- which made her even worse. The only thing she hates is when we blow air on her face, but I definitely don't have the breath to blow at her every time she does something wrong. I understand she is just a kitten...but it's getting a little frustrating. Any other suggestions I could try?


    Update:

    -We allow her on other furniture, like our couches, tv stand, desk, window seat, etc. We do not want her on our dining room table and kitchen counters..where we eat and where our food is prepared.

    -Her room is not a punishment. That is where she stays when everyone is gone, and where she stays when we eat dinner- since, clearly, she won't stay off the table, and also when we are all asleep. This is the room we first introduced her to when bringing her home, and this is where she is most comfortable/most trusted.
     
    #1 kalikitty, Apr 4, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  2. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Poor little soul,I really don't know why you would think that this is anything other than kitten behaviour,everything ,apart from possibly the biting is totally normal even that is usually just part of "testing the waters" as it were.
    Anything that she can harm her self on such as cords ,wires etc need to be kept out of her reach.
    Please don't shut her in a room as "punishment"/lift her by the scruff/spray with water or any other sort of negative reaction she is not being naughty she is just being "a kitten"
    Is it really so bad that she walks on tables/sits on work surfaces ,it is what cats do,life is way to short to be worrying about such trivial things.
    Enjoy her kittenhood with her instead of stressing about it,she will be an adult soon enough,but if you expect her to stay on the floor I reckon you are in for a big disappointment
     
    Temporally_Loopy and spotty cats like this.
  3. kalikitty

    kalikitty PetForums Newbie

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  4. kalikitty

    kalikitty PetForums Newbie

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    #4 kalikitty, Apr 5, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  5. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    I managed to train my three not to jump onto kitchen counters whilst I was there (I am sure they did it when I wasn't ) just by putting them down each time and keeping the counters clear if anything at all interesting. It took a few months (probably 6) before they wouldn't jump up.

    I think taking the cats to somewhere else or shutting them away for a bit won't make them understand what it is you want them to do (paws on floor in the kitchen) - those things are too complicated. When you are not there close the kitchen door to keep him out. If you can't do that then accept you will have a curious cat on the worktop when you are not there. My cats were also kept out if the kitchen when I was cooking as my kitchen us only small and it is a dangerous place with electric hob, hot water, onion and garlic etc as well as cats dancing round ankles trip hazards.

    The joys of elderly cats is they can no longer reach the work tops :)
     
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  6. kalikitty

    kalikitty PetForums Newbie

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    I read the taking them to a desired spot thing on multiple training websites, but perhaps it doesn't work for all cats. I'll definitely try just simply removing her and putting her on the floor each time. Also, seeing as it took your kitties about 6 months, I'll need to give mine a lot more time. The frustrating part is that I know she knows she can't be up there. Whenever I catch her sitting on the table, she meows and then proceeds to do somersaults around the table so that I can't catch her to put her down. It's a little humorous, but equally frustrating! Thanks for the reply!
     
  7. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    Are you in US? In the UK our registration body, GCCF, does not allow kittens to go to new homes until they are at least 13 weeks. This is partly because they are required to have completed their first course of vaccinations and partly because that amount of time is necessary in order for the kittens to be fully socialised. Since you have had your kitten since she was about 2 months old, you will have to be responsible for teaching her that biting and scratching is not acceptable behaviour. This would normally be the work of the mother and siblings.

    If you are patient about always putting her back on the floor when she jumps up when you are present, you will eventually stop her. However, I really think you should abandon your idea of preventing her going on worktops altogether since, even if you succeed when you are there to watch her, it is likely she would still jump up when nobody is around. I have no illusions about my cats. They get on worktops when I am not there even though they would not consider it when I am preparing food etc. You may have some success by putting something where she normally jumps. If it falls down with a bit of a noise you may deter her but if I were you I would learn to live with it. Work surfaces are easy to clean.
     
    lymorelynn, chillminx and spotty cats like this.
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @kalikitty - your kitten does not 'know' (in the sense of understanding) that she shouldn't be on the worktops/counters - because that would involve reasoning, and cats do not have reasoning powers like humans do.

    However kitty has already learnt that you become annoyed when she gets on the counters. She has no idea why you are annoyed, (because she can't reason it out) but the very fact you are annoyed will be likely to make her anxious. A nervous, anxious cat is harder to train than a relaxed, happy cat.

    The successful way to train cats is by repetition, redirection and, where appropriate, reward. Plus endless patience and a calm approach. Absolutely no punishments - cats do not learn from being punished. If you punish, shout, hiss at her, spray water, get cross, all your cat will learn is you are unpredictable in your behaviour, and that will make her become wary of you. If she is wary of you all the time, it will be harder for her to trust you, and without trust there will be no emotional bond between you and your cat.

    As QOTN has said, if you repeatedly place kitty gently on the floor when she climbs on counters then she will learn in time. i.e. you are redirecting her behaviour to what you want her to do. If she stays on the floor (does not jump back up again straight away) you can give her a treat. But do not give her a treat every time she does as you want, or the reward will cease to have value. (This by the way, is what is meant on cat training websites about 'taking the cat to the desired spot'. It does not mean taking the cat and shutting them away in a room)

    My cats never jump on worktops or table when I am around, because I have trained them not to, but I don't doubt for a minute that when I am out of the room they probably jump up. Fact is cats like to climb and love to sit above the ground. Some people put a cat tree in their kitchen (if there is room) and redirect the cat to the cat tree instead of the floor. We all learn to wipe down our counters before preparing food for ourselves. :)

    Make sure you never leave food (cat food or human food, covered or uncovered) on the worktops when you are out of the room. Remember that a cat's sense of smell is at least a thousand times more sensitive than a human's sense of smell, and your cat will be interested in anything that has the smallest food smell, and will want to investigate it.

    As far as the kicking and biting, kittens and cats love to bunny kick when they are excited. You need to train her to stop attacking your arm by redirecting her to a suitable toy. The Kong Kickeroo or any suitably sized stuffed soft toy can be used. Keep plenty of these toys handy for you to use, so you can immediately slide one between her paws if she goes to play with your arm. She will soon adapt to kicking and biting the toy instead.

    https://www.amazon.com/KONG-Kickero...1392422&sr=8-9&keywords=kong+kickeroo+cat+toy

    It sounds to me your kitten is quite excitable with lots of energy which is typical of most kittens. Be sure to play with her plenty, several hours a day (in periods of about an hour a time) to help her use up her energy. Use arms length toys such as wands or fishing rod toys with varied attachments (feathers, toy mice) or throw ping pong balls for her to chase. She needs interactive play with you to keep her focused on acceptable, safe games, and out of mischief.

    Also it will help to keep her calmer if you feed her 4 meals a day of a good quality high protein wet food. No dry food, (other than the odd treat as a reward) as dry food (kibble) contains too many carbs, which cause peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels leading to erratic behaviour in some kitties. Cats do not need carbs.
     
  9. kalikitty

    kalikitty PetForums Newbie

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    @chillminx I definitely think cats are capable of reasoning, just not to our level. Siamese are one of the most intelligent breeds and I can definitely see it in her. Just from the way i've seen her act, as well as other people's cats.. I definitely think they are capable. Just like the cats who purposely knock things off the table, just for their owner to put it back on. They know they are getting attention, and they continue to do it. The same with my kitty. I have noticed that when she is on the table, and we ignore her, she isn't up there for long, and I can see her staring at us, waiting for a reaction.

    I am aware that re directive training means taking her to a desired spot. That is what I mentioned in my post. If we put her on the ground, and she jumps back up, we take her to the window seat or her cat tree, where she can climb to her hearts desire. We DO NOT, just shut her in a room for punishment. Again, this is where she sleeps, and stays when everyone is out of the house. It is where we introduced her as a kitten. It is her comfort zone. We put her in there when we eat, because she jumps in our food. If she is getting too crazy with the biting (and I mean.. we have directed her to a toy more than 5 times and she still continues to jump at us), then we put her in the room for her to calm down and play with some of her toys, eat, drink...etc. We let her back out within a few minutes, and she is much calmer and usually goes and lays down. It is not a punishment. We play with her twice for about 15-20 minutes with her wand toy and tire her out.

    Thank you for the suggestions, though. I appreciate the long post, and toy suggestion.
     
  10. kalikitty

    kalikitty PetForums Newbie

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    @SusieRainbow Hello. Could you possibly remove this thread for me? Everyone seems to be misunderstanding what I have asked advice on and what I have said in my post and I would rather it just be deleted instead of continuing to get replies. It would be much appreciated, thank you.
     
  11. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Administrator
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    I don't have privileges to delete threads but I will close it for you. Thre is actually a lot of good advice on kitten training that would be beneficial to other forum users with similar issues.
    It has been remarked that training to change unwanted behaviour can take months. My almost 18 yr old cat will still sit on the kitchen table but as soon as she sees or hears me jumps straight off ! I've been working on that since she was 8 weeks old., to me it's just part and parcel of cat ownership.
    :Locktopic
     
    #11 SusieRainbow, Apr 5, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  12. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
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    The thing is, when you post on a public forum, asking for advice, you are going to get replies that perhaps you don't want to hear.
    I breed Siamese cats, as did @QOTN so we can see thing from that perspective. I do agree with her that your kitten will not have learned the social nicities of not biting and you will need to teach her. She is probably teething now too and some toys designed for chewing would help. Plastic straws also make good chews.
    As to being on the work surfaces, yes, Siamese are intelligent and therefore are capable of learning but I do not believe they are capable of reasoning. Being consistent in putting her on the floor may be enough but cats - even kittens - tend to do as they please, especially when there is no-one around to see them. I feed my girls just before I prepare food to keep them occupied or shut them out of the kitchen if I'm really busy but I am under no illusions about them jumping up to see what they're missing - it's in the nature of cats to be nosy.
    I do not think the thread needs to be deleted.
     
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