HELP!! Toddlers & Cats - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

We just rescued a 1 year old male cat last Saturday. I have a 2 year old and he is very (overly) excited about the new kitty. My concern is that either the kitty or my son is going to get hurt. My son means well but he is not very nice to kitty. We are still trying to teach him how to be nice. But he gets so excited and everytime kitty appears he screams (w/ delight) and chases poor kitty around the house. He's been bit at least 4 times already and scratched in the face once. Do you think this situation is going to work out or should I return kitty to rescue. I'm already attached to kitty so it would be hard for me but I need to make the best decision for the kitty. Please help!!
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 10:03 AM
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Re: HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

Welcome!

Good for you for rescuing the kitty.

As hard as it is with toddlers, you really need to be an active part of the situation at all times. Toddler and kitty should NEVER (really, NEVER) be allowed to interact without an adult present and attentive to the situation. Ever.

One day, the toddler may get really hurt, or the kitty.

Small children and pets have no place ever being alone together until the child learns to behave properly with said pet.

Do you have a room kitty could stay and relax in while you are not able to watch attentively? Better than a small cage at a shelter. Try and teach the toddler on a stuffed pet the PROPER way to pet/love the kitty. Teach the toddler screaming scares him.

Goodluck!

Kelly

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzby
Welcome!Do you have a room kitty could stay and relax in while you are not able to watch attentively? Better than a small cage at a shelter. Try and teach the toddler on a stuffed pet the PROPER way to pet/love the kitty. Teach the toddler screaming scares him.
Unfortunately, we don't. He hides under the bed but my son finds him and taunts him more. This goes on all day long and it's tiring. I bought kitty a cat tree tower thingy but he doesn't show any interest in it. He could go up there to get away from my son, but he doesn't. He keeps coming back like he wants the attention or something. *confused*
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 10:23 AM
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Re: HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

Then you should be stepping in and teaching the toddler this is not an acceptable way to treat family. Never leave him unattended. If you sincerely want to keep the kitty (and I feel you do love him very much) it's going to be some hard work getting the toddler to behave. There may need to be many time outs for the toddler (can I get a name or initial so I can stop calling him the toddler? LOL).

I hope someone else chimes in and gives you some more advice, too.

I wish your family the best of luck.

Oh, one thing that may help. Get a DaBird toy, and everytime your son wants to "play" with kitty, let him swing that around for kitty (also, a name would be nice! LOL). That way they could play together without hurting one another.

Kelly

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 12:03 PM
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Re: HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

Agree with Muzby. The cat is being a cat (unavoidable). The kid is being a brat(avoidable). You can't train a cat, but you can teach a kid. Tell him/her that he HAS to stop tormenting the poor kitty. Leaving him alone with the cat will just show that he can do as he pleases, and he won't learn.
So to reiterate, the problem is with the kid, and not the cat.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzby
Then you should be stepping in and teaching the toddler this is not an acceptable way to treat family. Never leave him unattended. If you sincerely want to keep the kitty (and I feel you do love him very much) it's going to be some hard work getting the toddler to behave. There may need to be many time outs for the toddler (can I get a name or initial so I can stop calling him the toddler? LOL).
Kitty = Linus
Son = Oliver



Quote:
Oh, one thing that may help. Get a DaBird toy, and everytime your son wants to "play" with kitty, let him swing that around for kitty (also, a name would be nice! LOL). That way they could play together without hurting one another.
That's a good idea! Thanks.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by HUGE
Agree with Muzby. The cat is being a cat (unavoidable). The kid is being a brat(avoidable). You can't train a cat, but you can teach a kid. Tell him/her that he HAS to stop tormenting the poor kitty. Leaving him alone with the cat will just show that he can do as he pleases, and he won't learn.
So to reiterate, the problem is with the kid, and not the cat.
I agree with you totally. Oliver loves the kitty. He gets so excited to see him. I guess I'm just so exhausted running around after the 2 of them. It's like having 2 toddlers!! lol

I don't want to give him back to the rescue because I already feel very attached, as does my husband. We want to keep him and make this work. I guess that just means more naughty spot for Oliver.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 01:14 PM
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Re: HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

I think you have one of the most challenging combinations you can get and it's not going to be easy until Oliver really learns how to behave with a kitty. I'm actually surprised that the rescue placed a skittish cat in a home with a rambunctious 2 year old.

If Linus retreats under a bed, you need to keep Oliver away, even if it means closing the door and if you have to...put a child proof latch on it. Linus won't care that he's been separated for a while. Or put up a gate to a room that Linus can fit through but Oliver can't. This way Linus can retreat at will to a safe haven.

You obviously know that Oliver needs to learn not to screech, crowd or chase Linus. They're all going to be a tough battle, but you're going to need to be very diligent.

Also....keep Linus' nails clipped so that if he does swat Oliver he doesn't do any damage. Maybe even use Soft Paws nail caps for a while.

BTW, your attitude is refreshing, so many people would blame the cat. That you understand that it's your sons behavior that needs to change you have a great start.


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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlebug
I think you have one of the most challenging combinations you can get and it's not going to be easy until Oliver really learns how to behave with a kitty. I'm actually surprised that the rescue placed a skittish cat in a home with a rambunctious 2 year old.

If Linus retreats under a bed, you need to keep Oliver away, even if it means closing the door and if you have to...put a child proof latch on it. Linus won't care that he's been separated for a while. Or put up a gate to a room that Linus can fit through but Oliver can't. This way Linus can retreat at will to a safe haven.

You obviously know that Oliver needs to learn not to screech, crowd or chase Linus. They're all going to be a tough battle, but you're going to need to be very diligent.

Also....keep Linus' nails clipped so that if he does swat Oliver he doesn't do any damage. Maybe even use Soft Paws nail caps for a while.

BTW, your attitude is refreshing, so many people would blame the cat. That you understand that it's your sons behavior that needs to change you have a great start.
We have had house rabbits in the past...up until Oliver was born 2 years ago. We knew that having a house bunny and a child would not be a good combination. I would have LOVED to have had a house bunny instead of a cat. That's why this whole thing is so weird. I saw this cat while looking for a fish for Oliver and I held it and it was soooooooooooooooo sweet. It wasn't the "typical" cat I normally come across. My knowledge is with bunnies, but my husband's knowledge is with cats. Unfortunately he works a lot and cannot give me too much advice. Just a little history for ya.

The day we took Linus in, I decided that I would go home, get Oliver and have them interract together in a room before we made any decisions. Oliver was soooooooooooo thrilled to see a kitty. He kissed him at least 10 times in that room. My focus was mostly on how Linus responded to Oliver's excitement. He was very calm and very patient with Oliver. He never bit, never hissed, never scratched, nothing. He was the perfect cat...toddler proof so I thought. The rescue girl told me that he had been around a lot of small children so he would be perfect for us and that if it doesn't work out she will take him back. That made me feel better about adopting him so we did.

I will get him a toy that Oliver can play with him appropriately and put a gate up to the stairway. I don't think the gate thing is going to work on Linus though. He will jump over it, obviously, and then Oliver sees him...well, and then I have to be a meaner mom. lol

Thanks for all your advice. I'll keep you posted.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 10:53 PM
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Re: HELP!! Toddlers & Cats

I don't mean to be pedantic, but this really is worth repeating -
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzby
As hard as it is with toddlers, you really need to be an active part of the situation at all times. Toddler and kitty should NEVER (really, NEVER) be allowed to interact without an adult present and attentive to the situation. Ever.

One day, the toddler may get really hurt, or the kitty.

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