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Teaching a kitten manners?!
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Teaching a kitten manners?!

Hi! My daughter got a kitten about a month ago. She's now about 4 months old. She's a little terror! ;) She jumps up on my dining room table, up onto the kitchen counters and if there's any food sitting out or dirty dishes in the sink she will start to lick or eat it. She also jumps up onto the kitchen counter, up over the sink in order to get to the kitchen window and if I leave the window open, she starts climbing the screen! Of course I get her down right away because I don't want the screen torn up. Now I feel like I can't keep any windows open. I know she's probably just being a normal active kitten. She tears all over the house at top speed sometimes! It's kinda funny to watch all this energy. She's also clumsy a lot! I thought cats were supposed to be graceful! LOL! I think she's one of a kind!
Anyway, is there ANY way to teach a kitten manners? How do I keep her off my table and counters? I really dislike that! I mean we eat of the table and prepare food on the counters. I don't want a cat walking around on them. My older cat doesn't do these things. Is there someway I can teach this kitten what's ok and what's not ok?
Also, how do I get all the animals to get along? This new kitten is now hissing at Sweet Pea! (the mama cat we're fostering). Like I said, she can be a little terror! :)
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Avatar_f_tn
To cause her to cease behavior that you don't want, you need to use a form of conditioning on the kitten, however please be very careful how you do it.  Do not yell the cat's name, do not scare the cat yourself...she needs to be startled without realizing the source.

Use a soda can with about a dozen pennies in it, duct-taped on top.  When the cat does something that you don't want her to do, shake the can hard, but make certain that you do not advance on her (don't give her cause to be scared of YOU, just the sound.)  In this way, you can teach her to avoid certain behaviors.  OK/Not OKAY

Don't use the can against the kitten hissing at other animals, as this scares both of them and they'll have no idea why.
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Avatar_f_tn
Long range squirt guns have always been a favorite of mine.... they have no clue where it came from and hate water. You just have to be "packing" all the time.... ; -}
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228686_tn?1211558307
I like the squirt gun technique, my wife hates it. She says you can drive a cat to paranoia with one and she's right...but...you gotta have unshredded drapes, right?  :)  I try to use it judiciously, least kitty shows up with his own and gets revenge late one night.

The can-penny trick is interesting, kind of like when I break out the vacuum to stop a fight. Have to try it. We usually clap our hands and say their name loudly (not shouting or angry, but firm). It seems to work most of the time.

The only thing you can really train a kitten in is not to use it's claws/ teeth. You can try scolding it and taking it off the furniture, but I've found it's a losing battle. They go where they please, and the best way to get them to not do something is make it THEIR idea.

Claw training/ biting should consist of when they get to aggressive, stop the play, say their name and say "No!" firmly (but not angrily). Then give them a bop on the nose with a fingertip (not hard). I've tried taking the paw and retracting the claws manually and giving praise and pets, but can't say if it helps. They mostly look at you like you're insane, but none of my cats are rough players, so maybe it works.Then again, I've also tried biting back, and get the same "you're crazy!" look, and a mouthful of cat fur, which is pretty yucky.

I've got a lot of free time on my hands sometimes, you an tell. :)

The best thing I can suggest in training a kitten is try to think like a mother cat (but keep in mind you're a big human). They have specific training/behavioral teaching techniques, and if you can adapt/mimic them (without scaring the hell out of them!) it seems to work.
     An example of this is a cat will "hold another cat down" to punish/ correct it, let it know it's done wrong. I use this one usually. Push it on it's side and hold it down for a few seconds. Then let it up. Don't do it for more than a few seconds, if it struggles and you let it up, it'll get the wrong idea. They don't like it, and it seems to make the point (use this sparingly with an adult cat, it's humiliating to them and they'll resent it eventually).

But remember, they're babies, which means they're pretty stupid. Hopefully they'll get smarter as the get older. But if there's no adult cat to teach them, it's up to you. They'll take your lead in what's appropriate or not. The problem is communicating this to them in a way they can understand!
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203342_tn?1328740807
She doesn't scare too easily! I've tried clapping my hands and yelling "No!" It doesn't faze her. She's a hyer little kitty! I keep hoping she'll settle down more when she's grown. Of course, my daughter loves all the energy. Right now when she get's on the counter, I just immediately get her down. She meows at me and jumps back up. So it's a losing battle.
She's also terrorizing my "old lady" cat. I know she just wants to play. But my older cat definately doesn't want to play!
Oh well, I'll just keep working on her. Thanks for the advice.
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228686_tn?1211558307
I had a younger/ older cat situation once...younger cat (Named "Havoc") followed the older one around whapping at it's tail, pouncing at it...all day long. The older cat was named "Stoic", and he lived up to his name!

One day I came home and found to my surprise, "Stoic" looked...contented and pleased....  and "Havoc" wouldn't go ANYWHERE near Stoic. Just watched him all wide eyed and gave him wide berth.

I figure a very severe and dismaying lesson in "Cat Manners" was inflicted on "Havoc", in the harshest terms!  :)
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203342_tn?1328740807
Hey, I heard that if you put double sided sticky tape on the edges of your counters or where ever you don't want them to jump up, that they hate that! Have you ever heard of that? I'm going to give it a try, I think. Can't hurt! :)

I think my older cat has a bit of a disadvantage because she's declawed. But she sitll hisses at her and bares her teeth. I actually caught them lying down on the same chair, facing opposite of each other. My older cat was flicking her tail and looking over her shoulder warily at the kitten but didn't move.
Wow! I just looked over at them and they're both asleep on the same chair! What do you know! :)
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228686_tn?1211558307
Heh heh...they do that. Finally figure they have to get along, as they're both roommates now. The tape might work, never tried it. But I forgot to mention bitter apple, which they don't like the smell of.
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Avatar_f_tn
April, with a grown cat I adopted I placed my cookie sheets end to end on my counters and kitchen table and filled them with water.  When he jumped up on the counter..wet feet.  After a week I dumped them and put them away. my cat never got on the counters or table.  I have a new kitten to train now too.  I plan to try it again if he starts jumping on kitchen surfaces.
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Avatar_f_tn
Why don t you just ...close the door to the rooms you don t want they kitty in??he s a very young kitty, some are like that, know from experience... They do calm down after their " teenage " years 10-12 mos. And after they ve been neutered...

Also, for a more peaceful relationship between old and new cat, I ve always used Feliway, in the plug- in form, PLUG -IN, not the spray!,in every room.( I have a multicat household, have been adding new ones over the years, works great!)

feliway is the equivalent of cat pheromones, the ones they leave on you or furniture when rubbing their cheeks, to say " you re mine!" It relaxes them, makes them feel all is ok!! So the older won t be frightnend or feel trhreatened, the younger kitty will ...relax!

Best of luck to you and kitties!
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Avatar_f_tn
Why don t you just ...close the door to the rooms you don t want they kitty in??he s a very young kitty, some are like that, know from experience... They do calm down after their " teenage " years 10-12 mos. And after they ve been neutered...

Also, for a more peaceful relationship between old and new cat, I ve always used Feliway, in the plug- in form, PLUG -IN, not the spray!,in every room.( I have a multicat household, have been adding new ones over the years, works great!)

feliway is the equivalent of cat pheromones, the ones they leave on you or furniture when rubbing their cheeks, to say " you re mine!" It relaxes them, makes them feel all is ok!! So the older won t be frightnend or feel trhreatened, the younger kitty will ...relax!

Best of luck to you and kitties!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have also tried spraying Feliway in those places I wanted my cts to do their claws, or used catnip essence. Find Feliway worked better, though... However, it is true, it must be the cat s choice. But this trick seemed to work most of the times...
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