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Kitten Discipline..is it possible?

We adopted a kitty when he was 16 weeks old. He is cute, affectionate and a TERROR! About 11:00 PM he starts to spaz out and becomes crazy and defiant. He tries to scratch the leather couch, he destroyed my son's baseball chair, takes off the table cloth, claws the dining room chairs, scratches the windows trying to chase his shadow in the sliding glass mirror and seemingly purposely targets the stuff we have removed him from or chased him away from previously. He is still young and while I think he will eventually a good candidate for the great outdoors he is small and is still not completely out of the woods and cleared for Feline Leukemia (his mother had it but thus far the tests have been negative)

I have already tried increasing his play time to be sure he has activity and attention before the bewitching hour and it has not helped. Last night I had to put him in the crate in the bathroom with the door closed at 2:00 AM so I could sleep and because I already suffered about $100 worth of damages to the house.

Any suggestions on kitty discipline and getting him to be calmer or at least stay away from the major no no's?

 
hotelmom123

Asked by hotelmom123 at 11:05 AM on Aug. 29, 2012 in Pets

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Answers (13)
  • I hate to tell you but many cats do this - we call it their "manic moment". Some (most) grow out of it, others don't. He'll probably be a lot better once he gets outside (and he should be outside at this time of night because cats are basically nocturnal). The table cloth would be a red rag to all cats, even the best brought up ones. For the furniture, try splitting a log (it doesn't have to be big) and letting him claw that - freshly cut wood is much more satisfying to scratch than table and chair legs. How much longer does he have to be kept in (will your sanity last)?
    winterglow

    Answer by winterglow at 11:12 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • It only lasts a few years, then they calm down and sleep all day. At least that's what my cats did. Don't bother replacing any furniture until he outgrows this. They do make Bitter apple, which you spray on things you don't want them to go on. Good luck. Cats are great, but kittens are hard.
    mompam

    Answer by mompam at 11:16 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • Double sided sticky tape on the table, scratching posts in front of the furniture, spray bottle of water to get him off of places you don't want him, "catch and kill" toys for him to chase (feathers on a fishing pole), laser pointer.

    I also suggest looking up, and watching episodes of "My Cat from Hell". Jackson is AMAZING. It's like "It's Me or the Dog" with Victoria Stilwell, but for cats.
    Rosehawk

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:43 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • We bought the "Keep Off" stuff from the pet store. Over the years my cats have destroyed our couch. You spray this stuff on or around what you want them to stay off of. It totally works. I would also get a large squirt gun and fill with water and a drop of ammonia. Squirt when he is around on on anything you don't want him to be on or near. Not in the eyes or ears. Another trick is an empty pill bottle with a few pennies inside to make a loud noise when you shake it (also a great baby toy). Shake when doing something wrong. You also line areas with aluminum foil (they don't like how it feels on the paws). These are a few tricks I have learned over the last 20 years. Good luck. BTW I had one that never grew out of that. She would go looking for things to play with in the night. We got her at 2 and she got out and ran away 1 1/2 weeks ago. My house is so quiet w/o her. We miss her terribly.
    coala

    Answer by coala at 11:53 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • Aluminum foil laid across tables and counters is a great deterrent. Consider keeping him in a single room at night to lower the amount of damage.

    Also be sure to neuter him!
    anng.atlanta

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 1:18 PM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • I had a kitty for a couple of months. Definitely not my thing, so I rehomed it. I tried spraying it with water...did nothing. I tried the scratching post..still preferred the furniture. I would firmly swish it off the counter/table...was right back on it. I'm not a cat person. GOOD LUCK
    meooma

    Answer by meooma at 11:10 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • Well, cats are nocturnal so it is going to always be common for him/her to have the spurts of energy in the evening and dawn hours. Granted the kitten needs to learn not to scratch up the leather... I would try scratching post with cat nip and a lot of consistent redirection when you are awake and try keeping kitty confined in the evenings with a box and a post while you are asleep until he/she can learn what is and is not okay to scratch on.

    Off the counter will be a little tougher. Cats are built to climb and jump. The best thing you can do is to keep things you want him/her out of off the counters.

    I mean other than being exaggerated because he/she is a kitten... these are all normal behaviors. He just needs to be taught some self control so to speak. Correct and redirect. Consistency is key.
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:34 PM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • rehome him
    smiley745

    Answer by smiley745 at 4:03 PM on Aug. 30, 2012

  • I want him to grow at least another month and I will have him tested for Leukemia in another 2 weeks.
    hotelmom123

    Comment by hotelmom123 (original poster) at 11:28 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • Thanks for all the great advice. He is neutered, microchipped and well cared for and we do love him so we won't be rehoming but man, just when I felt the terrible twos were finally behind us!
    hotelmom123

    Comment by hotelmom123 (original poster) at 1:44 PM on Aug. 29, 2012

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