Scruffing a bigger kitten, opinions? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-24-2017, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Scruffing a bigger kitten, opinions?

He's 6 months old, growing adult teeth and a bit more irritable than usual. He's been neutered at 4 months old

He is the most brilliant, intelligent animal I've ever met. He sits when told, stops doing naughty business or mowing like a crazy cat if i tell him in firm voice how he's being a baby and to stop it. He is super cuddly but also very independent. I just love him to bits.

He started losing his baby teeth end of September and whilst I'm doing my best to ease his pain and itching, he is visibly more irritable and sometimes he resorts to unprovoked, sudden aggression. He is used to getting things his way, as we live alone, just the two of us, and I have the luxury of giving him my undivided attention.

I don't mind him surfing the counters, he just likes to watch what i do up there, he eats when he asks for it and grain free premium cat food (he will not eat anything else now), and on occasion when i do have to say no and deny him something, he gets into my lap pretending to want to cuddle and attacks me. He gets loads of play and this isn't play aggression, it's him telling me, slave, you will now be punished, lol

I've tried time out, short ones (less than an hour) don't work, long ones (hour or even close to two) work for a day or two, tried ignoring him he just goes after me displaying aggressive postures, that are too adorable to describe lol, but at that time I'm afraid to go near him.

Trying to find a solution for this, after he scratched me up pretty badly a few times, I came across videos of how to properly scruff a big kitten or even an adult cat.

Apparently, some people do it (some of them animal trainers) when they want to clip the nails and groom the cat, some to stop dominance aggression, and of course it's not picking up a big kitten, it would be a firm grip to his scruff and holding him down for a 2-3 seconds.

I've tried it once and it did work, but I am not sure if it's the right thing to do.

Is letting him bunny kick a toy or bed covers when he attacks me a better method?
The thing is after he bites, scratches and bunny kicks the duvet or a toy, pretty soon he is ready to move on to me. So I can't see how this would help.

Again, I don't pick him up by the scruff or do it very hard or long, i do pick up enough scruff too, and I only do it as a last resort.

I would never do it when he's play fighting, kneading me, mowing like a mad man, being curious, or doing anything cats normally should do. It's just that I can't let him grow up thinking it's OK to punish me every time he doesn't get what he wants, and again, he gets pretty much anything he wants, except dangerous stuff, or a free pass to terrorise me.

I also heard from a very good and well respected vet nurse, that actually holds seminars for veterinarian staff that scruffing, when done properly and only for absolutely inappropriate behaviours, isn't abuse and does not hurt the cat, and he will know what it's for if i only do it after his very bad attacks.


Last edited by marie73; 10-25-2017 at 12:38 AM. Reason: video removed
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 07:46 AM
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Yes, there are different opinions on this. It's quite true that you cannot let him grow up thinking he can attack you any time he does not get his way.

*You* are the MomCat in this picture.

In my opinion what you describe seems what the feline MomCat would be doing, and she'd do it to a 6 month old kitten without a hesitation. They seem programmed to know this is a very firm *No*. When he steps over the line, it's up to you to stop him.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 08:17 AM
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I am in a similar situation with a 6-7 month old terror I rescued. When I scruff him he knows what he did was wrong so this seems to be the way to go, as bad as he makes me feel about it he has to learn what is not acceptable.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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@ eldercat, That's what I was thinking too. It's just that I've had and fostered cats before and never did I have to resort to scruffing, so I'm trying to get as many opinions, online and offline. I wouldn't want to make things worse, I know he's still just a big kitten, haha and sowing his kitten wild oats, but I also don't want to raise a psycho. He is different, my boy. He is super intelligent and very temperamental, but also very cuddly and sweet, and when i did scruff him he spend the next two days in my lap, cuddling up to me more than he usually does. Showing that he does see me as the source of love and warmth, not just some creature who scruffed him for now reason. I really do not mind any adolescent kitty shenanigans, and aggressive play is adorable too (posturing and then running away to another room ) but this "I'm fed up and you're going to get it" aggression is not good for him or me.

Thank your for your input. I tried at another cat forum and some of the people there acted as if I was asking, "can i beat my kitten with a stick when I'm having a bad day".

They told me I was more aggressive than my cat, claimed they never had to scruff their many kittens or put it in a time out, and a whole bunch of nonsense. It was depressing to say the least.

Last edited by marie73; 10-25-2017 at 02:48 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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@Dizzydad, Yes, my boy was born at a half feral cat colony too. The cats lived near (a) farm(s) and people who fed the cats and would adopt their cats from the same colony. So he is very well socilised with people and other animals, and really the sweetest cat with everyone else but me.

I think we are just very close and he feels free to be himself and show that feral side of his too. Don't worry, hopefully both of our cheeky monkeys will grow out of it.

Last edited by marie73; 10-25-2017 at 02:51 PM.
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