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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we've had Pixie for nearly 3 months, she's about 8 months old. She's a live wire, she's really playful and cute but she's turning into a bit of a diva!
The main thing that worrying me about her behaviour is her growling/snarling. She does this now pretty much any time she has a toy and one of the other cats comes near her. The boys have never tried to take toys from her and they're happy to let her play but she seems to get very threatened by them being near her and I think it might be starting to scare them, Gordon in particular tends to keep away from her when she's playful.

Do you think she'll grow out of this? It's cute now but I can see it being a problem when she's older.
 

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Many kittens/young cats believe they're ferocious beasts and get quite worked up when giving their favorite chew toy a pummeling.
This is quite normal and as long as it doesn't lead to out and out fights nothing to be concerned about.
She should mellow out as she gets older but if I was you I would avoid trying to take her toy away from her when she's worked up.
 

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I agree that it could be a problem, but I disagree that you should leave her alone with whatever it is she's guarding.

Jitzu used to do this and I left it alone think it wouldn't be an issue. Then one day she stole a chicken wing from my roommate. I had horrible flashes of cooked bones splintering and puncturing her airway/stomach, ect. I did get the wing away, but I also got scratched up pretty bad and Jitzu didn't talk to me for about a week!

After that we started practicing.I'd give her something relatively low value (ie a mouse toy...she's not a fan) and then 'trade' it for a yummy treat. I'd say "Trade" in a happy voice, and toss the yummy thing 2-3 feet away. She'd happily go eat the treat and I'd take the mouse. Repeat a billion times.
Then I moved up to a food item. ok...I used a carrot...but she knew it was food so it was more interesting. Again, I'd say "trade" and trow her treat off to the side. Then remove the carrot. Tada!

Slowly we moved from things she wasn't interested in to more exciting things. She'll still try to keep a 'treasure' from me, but if I say 'Trade?' she'll at least look at me like "What have you got?" Rather than running away and hiding under the stairs, or some other small place that makes it hard to get to her.

We're currently learning a 'leave it' cue, for when I drop stuff in the kitchen that she can't have. like onions, raw potato, banana peels, orange peels..the sponge...*sigh* Dumb garborator cat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, that's such a brilliant idea! Pixie really loves her treats so I think she's take to that very well, thanks so much!!!
 

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Yes, I second Librarychick's suggestion. At least, I know it works with dogs. If we had a puppy who acted like that her suggestion is EXACTLY what I would do.
 

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You received from good suggestions for resource guarding and I agree it's time to correct that. And yes, torties can be pretty bossy and determined. Pixie is a gorgeous girl. I've always loved torties, even if they do complain a lot.
 

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My little Alice is a growler at times as well (and hey she's a tortie too XD). She only started it once we started trying these natural freeze-dried treats. Every time I would give the girls these treats, she'd take hers and slink off growling at the other girls. As harmless as it seemed at the time, I too didn't want it to escalate further in the future.

We learned the "Drop it" command. If she slunk off, growling with her treat, I would say "Alice, drop it." and she would stop, drop her treat, and look up at me. I would re-pick up her treat, and re-present it to her. If she could take it without growling, she got lots of extra praise, and cuddles afterwards. If not, then rinse and repeat.

She's learned that if she just accepts the treat like every other treat or meal, and trusts me not to let any treat-stealing occur (I'm looking at you Samantha! XD), that she can have her treat quicker and eat it in peace. It's pretty rare that she will growl now when getting these treats and they are now one of their staple treats.

I wish you the best of luck with Pixie! She's a beautiful little girl. :) Whatever method that works with Pixie to curb this habit now, the only advice I can give you is keep at it...torties are stubborn little brats, and they can sense when yer frustrated and about to give in...they've got ya then. :p
 

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Samantha doesn't steal treats. She never has and never will. Most of the time mom doesn't even give her a treat. She called me and told me.
 

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Lily used to growl when she caught Da Bird. But she hasn't done that in a while.

Harli has never growled (that I have heard anyway).
 

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Samantha doesn't steal treats. She never has and never will. Most of the time mom doesn't even give her a treat. She called me and told me.
I was wondering where my cell phone minutes were going... And ok, in her eyes she's probably "borrowing" the treats...and hey, sometimes she even gives them back. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone!! Samantha definitely doesn't look the pilfering type :) We're trying 'trade' at the moment, I'll keep everyone updated!!
 
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