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Old 02-04-2013, 07:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Our kitten, Monkey, is about six months, and we adopted her when she was less than a month old. (She was feral, and her mother was nowhere to be found.) For as long as we've had her, I've been home all day, talking to her, petting with her, engaging her in bouts of play.

Due to two behaviors which have come out in the past few months, I'm starting to believe my always-being-around has lead to a bit of separation anxiety or lack of independence in Monkey.

1. Unless she's sleeping, she wants our attention constantly. If we aren't playing with her, she'll go into the guest bedroom or the entrance hall and really put on a meow show. She stops the second I talk to her or make eye contact with her. If we close a door to work on something not kitty-friendly (like the craft room or kitchen), she will jump at the door handle frantically and meow for a lengthy period of time.

2. Biting. Oh my lands, the biting. (As if on cue, she just hopped on my lap and starting biting.) When we can't play with her that second, the biting begins. At first we wrote this off as teething, but now feels more like an aggressive cry for attention. We try to say "NO!" and walk away rather than reward her with play that second, but this doesn't seem to be working.

How do I teach her to play solo, or entertain herself for a bit? She has tons of toys, scratching posts, boxes to discover, windows to look out...and I try to give her at least one hour of "run around crazy" play a day. But none of these things will keep her interest for more than a few minutes unless we're there engaging her.

Today was the worst day Monkey and I have had, and I'm lost for ideas of what to do with this sweet kitten. She eats well, uses the litterbox flawlessly and doesnt' seem to have any medical problems.

Can anyone recommend toys, behavior modification and effective disciple strategies for a high-energy, attention-hungry cat?

Thanks SO much for any help.

**Getting a second cat isn't an option right now, since we're about to make an international move...and I'd hate to adopt a new kitty only to move it 7,000 miles.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Discipline strategies, rather. Not disciple. I'm just gonna blame that on the kitty biting me as I typed.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Try some of the stress relieving products out there. I used Calms Forte for a cat that was very high strung for awhile with great results. People swear by Fel-I-way plug-in diffusers, too, but to be effective you would need one per average size apartment or large room. In a 1000sf apartment you need about 2 to really do it's job. Double the size of the house and you need 4, etc - plus you need to keep the windows largely closed. That may do it but they are a bit pricey. Hopefully you can find them in Kuwait or order from the US. If you get good results it's worth the $$$ and I would continue this and the discipline strategy of a firm NO! until he is an adult+. This is why I ain't raisin' any more babies - give me the seniors any day!!! Good luck to you and Monkey!.....and best wishes to your fingers and toes!
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've used the Feliway collars and they seem to help when we moved. I got mine at Petsmart. Good luck!


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Old 02-04-2013, 11:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I understand that getting a second cat is not a good option for you right now, but I would strongly suggest you consider it when you have moved and are settled in your new home.

Zephyr was having the same issues when he was about nine months old, after moving from a multi-pet household (roommate owned the other pets) to one where he was the only cat. I tried various options to help him, and it didn't really do much, but getting him a companion fixed the problem.

Like I said, I'm not saying get a second cat right now - I've done the moving countries with pets thing, and I agree this wouldn't be a good time for a new family member. If you can stick it out till you've moved, though, it really sounds like adding a new cat then might help.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had a cat like that, I got him 2 companions. So now I have 3 clingy cats.

I blame it on me, I'm sure I must've made them this way somehow.

But also, I chose these 3 from the feeding station precisely because they seemed so needy of a home.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straysmommy View Post
I had a cat like that, I got him 2 companions. So now I have 3 clingy cats.

I blame it on me, I'm sure I must've made them this way somehow.
oh dear! Nothing like being super loved by a bunch of cats! When we adopted Lacey a few weeks ago she was starved for attention and I was mildly concerned that she was going to be overly clingy. Now that she has settled into the routine of the rest of us she has settled down and does her own thing patroling the house or birdwatching from a window perch . She only looks for my lap a few times a day now which is nice.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straysmommy View Post
I blame it on me, I'm sure I must've made them this way somehow.
I don't know that I'd agree with that. I think a lot of a cat's personality is hardwired by heredity and early life experiences. Not that it can never change, but I think changing is a lot more difficult. We just kind of have to accept that our cats are who they are.

My guess is your care has simply given your cats the freedom to express needs that they always had but had no way of fulfilling.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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For the biting - I'd try to teach her that your hands / skin aren't a toy. Always use a toy to play with her so she will associate the toy with play time and not your hands. If you wrestle or play with your hands they won't learn not to scratch or bite them, so always have a toy to play with and not just bare hands!
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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BG, thank you for your kind words. I met Prince during a horrible storm, trees were falling, he was so hungry and cold, soaking wet under the pouring rain, and didn't complain. Two years later, if we're in the garden and a couple raindrops fall, he starts crying and becomes paralyzed with fear, I have to run carrying him home.
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