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Adopted orphan kitten destructive behavior

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Forums Members Members General Discussion Adopted orphan kitten destructive behavior

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #11665

    Last fall my friend found a 4 week old kitten on her doorstep.  It was raised as a solitary cat, is now approximately 9 months old.  I suggested getting a second kitten to raise to help with orphan issues.  She is retired and was concerned about extra costs of second cat.  The cat is given lots of enrichment, multiple climbing towers, and has opportunity to be with owner a lot.   She wanted to keep the cat indoors only but relented to small outdoor ventures in fenced in back yard, but is concerned with the cat dashing toward the fence.  Now the cat mostly ignores toys, food puzzles, and the owner, preferring to sit at windows or doors wanting to go out.  We have plans to fix up her gazebo for a safe play area.

    Especially frustrating is the cat is chewing on and destroying her exercising equipment, especially anything foam or soft.   This is usually done when the cat is alone for longer periods during the day, and possibly at night.  She is also very quick to bite when held or restrained.   The cat is not a lap cat and is not being very affectionate.  She is the exact opposite of the owner’s previous cat who was very laid back and affectionate to everyone. My friend is considering re-homing.   I’ve given her the book The Trainable Cat and encouraging her to bond with the cat with training.   Any suggestions appreciated.

  • #13135

    Sally Foote

    Dear Lisa,

    I had not seen your post earlier.  Does your friend still have the cat?  With all the chewing behavior and desire to go out I think this cat is frustrated with no hunting outlet. One thing that helps with many of my cat clients in this situation is no food in the bowl, and the client ” feeds ” the cat by tossing the dry food across the room for the cat to pounce on and ” kill” .  Food puzzles like the eggzerciser are also nice but this guy needs to think he killed something daily so the food has to move for him to chase down and get the reward of eating.  The no bowl system would be ok, but I would put the mouse on a fishing pole for the cat to grab/ pounce on and eat.

    As for touching, the shelter med people are using a cc method of tuna – with a nail brush on  a stick to brush.  Of course, if this cat is over petted and stimulated it will bite.  Lastly, CALM diet has helped a lot of cats like this.

    A young kitten with lots of predatory play to outlet with this cat may help – with all the low cost care clinics around that may help with costs.

    here are some of my videos if that helps your friend  out        tossing the food game    cc to touch for a cat

    Sally J Foote DVM

  • #13141

    Great suggestions, Sally!

    Carolyn Lincoln, DVM
    AVSAB Corresponding Secretary

    Carolyn Lincoln, DVM
    AVSAB Corresponding Secretary

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