Join Date: May 2011
Location: Christchurch, NZ
New cat-owner - some help please?
I'm a new cat-owner, just got my first kitten Bertie 2 weeks ago. He's now 12 weeks old and has grown loads even in the short time we've had him.
I just wanted to ask a few questions though, cos not having had a kitten since I was a child I'm not sure about some of his behaviour.
He started out really loving and snuggly, and would play with the toys we got him. He licks us a lot, but we don't mind. However, recently the licks have started turning into bites, especially on our clothes (which he likes to groom).
He's also started turning a bit crazy. We play with him with the toys (a buzzing bee on a string, bits of flax, bells etc) but where he used to confine the crazy to the toys, now he's started running all over the house, bouncing off the walls and furniture (literally), with claws out, will run up my legs and my partner's legs with his claws (he's got up to my back a few times). Recently I have noticed him stalking me, and he has leapt off furniture at me with his claws out on more than on occasion.
Usually we let him run around crazily as long as he's not on us, or aiming the crazy at us. If he does scratch or bite us, or stalk us, we respond with a loud "Bertie, NO", put him down if he's on us, and if it's bad we sometimes flick water at him (don't have a spray bottle tho).
We give him lots of cuddles when he's calm, and he likes to go to sleep on us on the couch. However, even when he is calm he sends mixed messages. He purrs while swishing his tail, and he sits on you calmly with flattened ears.
I just wanted to know how much of this is 'normal' kitten behaviour, and if I should be addressing anything differently? I'm home alone with him while my partner is at work, and to be honest he freaks me out sometimes, when he stalks me!
Are we right to respond like this? How do we calm him down?! My partner thinks we should get a spray bottle, but I heard that it can make him more aggressive.
Thanks in advance for the advice. Here's some pics of Bertie!