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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-20-2008, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Aggressive Kitten (Long!)

I got a 12-week old kitten from a shelter in mid-November. At the shelter, she was in a wall cage and while in there seemed sweet, a little dopey, and pretty playful, as kittens go. I immediately fell in love and decided to adopt her. Her information sheet from the shelter says nothing about what environment she came from, where she was found, how old she was... nothing. My family lost our cat in May, and we've had a very hard time coping, she was a big part of our unit.

So upon adoption of the kitten, I put her in a small carrier and brought her home. Its about a 30 minute drive, and the entire time she was meowing very loudly, and ended up pooing/puking in her carrier a few times... Possibly out of intense dislike for travel, and being terrified of an unfamiliar environment. (When we do have to bring her to the vet its only 10 minutes away, so it will hopefully be slightly less of an ordeal)

We brought her home and unfortunately had to give her a bath because she was a mess. I've never had a cat that liked water, and the kitten wasn't a fan of it herself. She hissed when picked up, and clawed a lot. At first when she'd play she wasn't that aggressive. She'd bite but when she popped you with her paw, she didn't have her claws out.

As time has gone on, she's gotten very aggressive. When she's sleeping/relaxing she can be very nice. She'll let you pet her some and lick your hand, cuddling though. However, when you play with her she is usually extremely mean. When picked up she hisses and growls and gets very angry. If you try to pet her when she's not completely relaxed she will growl, hiss and attack (latching onto my arm and clawing/biting as hard as she can), sometimes rearing back and biting your face. Penelope can be VERY sweet though, its just... rare. She gets angry while playing, flattens her ears back and maintains VERY aggressive behavior when she switches from play to attack mode.

In my house she has been given a scratching post upstairs, still has her carrier in my bathroom where her food/water/litterbox is if she wants to hang out there, a kitty condo in the living room, lots of toys and free reign of the house. She is played with often, and plays with toys on her own when we're not playing with her. We have an older dog who mostly ignores her. She licks his bowl clean and chases his big fluffy tail sometimes. Occasionally he gives her a warning bark, but that's about it.

I don't know what to do. I really like this kitten a lot, and no matter how she behaves, I plan on keeping her. I know she's very young and with kittens comes some biting and scratching... but she takes it a bit far. Moody kitten and a worried owner I'd love it if I could figure out how to help Penelope become a less aggressive kitten.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-20-2008, 01:26 PM
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How are you reacting to her aggressive behavior? I'm not a behavior expert, by any means, but a sharp "NO!" or "WHAT?" usually stops my cats from doing whatever they're doing. I'm probably simplifying your situation, and I don't mean to. I just think there has to be a consequence of some kind.

I have never done this, but some of our members give their kitties a "time out." I would guess the bathroom might be a good place for isolation. But I would be reinforcing this with the word, "no," on the way, and I would make sure it was immediately after the aggression

Good luck. It was so kind of you to adopt her.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-20-2008, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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I tell her NO a lot. When she growls, NO. When she hisses, NO. P lives in a world of no lol.

Maybe I'll institute time-outs. Its hard trying to fight it out over whose in charge!
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