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How do I teach the kitten to play gently?

We have had our new kitten for a week now. When we play with him he always has his claws out and we end up with scratches all over. How do I teach him to play gently?


Asked by mommytoJames512 at 9:34 PM on Apr. 7, 2011 in Pets

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Answers (7)
  • I know you can teach them to be gentle (but you will get scratched while training). We have two cats we got as kittens and they are both the most sweet, gentle cats you'll meet. When they were each little (about 6 months apart in age) and they would play rough, we would grab them (like another answer says) by the scruff of their neck, say "no, be gentle" and then put them back down. Anytime they would use their claws with a human, we would say "no! be gentle" (I realize the cats don't understand English, but they do understand tone and they know when you are angry with them) My boy kitten, he was really bad with his claws and kept clawing me, so I would grab one claw and pull on it (not too hard, but hard enough so he knew how I felt) and say "no, no claws!" later I could just flick his paw when he clawed and say "no claws!" Both of my cats still have all their claws and NEVER use them with humans. It can be done!

    Answer by EBee12 at 9:05 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • You dont hes a kitten thats how that play ive bottle feed three kittens and up untill they were about a year old they all played this way

    Answer by myboysRmyhero at 9:37 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • We have a kitten now. When she is being too rough, I pick her up by the skin on her neck, like her mamma would have. I tell her not to be so mean. Then I put her down and pay no attention to her. When she comes back calmer, I love on her.
    It works for me, but I am sort of a cat whisperer.

    Answer by dancinintherain at 9:43 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I agree, there's no way to "teach" him to be gentle. It's just the way they are. He will become more gentle as he gets older. By the time he's a year old, he will likely not scratch you at all, although different cats have different personalities and some tend to play rougher than others, even into adulthood.

    Answer by judimary at 9:43 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I agree, you can't teach them really but just need to bear through it as they go through their kitten phase. They are still learning to control/use their claws. I would recommend using thick oven mitts to play with them or using a stick with some soft toy tied with a strong to play with them from a distance. I just limited my touching of them to the occasional petting but didn't encourage playing with them with my hands. After 3-4 months they grow up real quick and manage their claws better. Learn to expect some scratches. You will heal quickly, don't worry.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 9:44 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • That's normal kitten behaviour . You can put gloves on or give him strings, wool and small soft toys to play with , especially small things made of real fur but do not give a kitten anything made of plastic foam . I have four grown cats and imagine how they can be if they get too enthusiastic ! But I am used it to it , a few scratches don't bother me or my daughters .

    Answer by janet116 at 9:48 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • If he can't play nice stop and then when he is calm play with him. Don't use your hands. use a toy so he learns ok with toy mice but not with h ands.

    Answer by Baby4us09 at 11:05 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

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