Cat Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend found Jack when he was appx 8 wks old-he'd obviously been on his own awhile, but hubby and I took him in. My husband and I have never owned cats before and at the time lived in an apartment and we never had visitors. Jack was never around another cat and we raised him as a human, not purposely. We spoke to him as a child and disciplined him like a child. He literally will talk back to us. He is also very schedule oriented. When he was about 10mnths old we brought in another male, Harley, about 4 months older than Jack hoping he would teach Jack to be a cat. At this point Jack was already showing his poor cat skills. Jack and Harley did not get along, Jack doesn't know what is right or wrong in the cat world, plays too rough etc. Jack pouted for the first 10 months Harley was with us. But seemed to get over it when he realized that Harley had no desire to rule the roost. About this time we opted to introduce a kitten, a female, Pepper. She and Harley were immediate friends, she and Jack were not. Pepper has been with us for almost 2 years and she and Harley continue to mesh well-Pepper is the head of the house and has been from the day she came home.

Jack however continues to be a problem. He hates anyone who comes to our house and gets upset when they are there. He is downright hateful. If u tell him 'no' he meows back and will swat at you. He hates to be combed and bites, he even hates when you comb the other cats and attacks for this too. This is an issue because he is long haired with a double coat. He is so schedule oriented that's its almost too overwhelming to leave him. His belly gets upset when we leave and then he ignores me for days when I get back to pout. This too is becoming an issue-I'm due with our first baby in September and life is going to change.

Some other childlike tendencies are that he gets in the bathtub of water-when u are in there also. He knows that if he takes the toilet paper before I sit down to pee that I won't sit down and pee and therefore breakfast or dinner will come sooner. He sits right in the railing of the steps and when he u walk down or up he swats u on the cheek. He sits in bed in the middle of the night and paws at the covers for u to lift them so he can go under. He always argues back when you say 'no' or pick him up to move him out of your way etc

I love him to death-but I need to know he's not going to swat the baby and I need to be able to groom him and I need him to deal with some schedule changes-b/c regardless of me trying to keep it the same-the baby is going to change things.

(The other two cats are polar opposites, are a joy to have around and love each other)

Help?

Jacks mom Leslie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
I have a few suggestions for you. My oldest Jitzu was very much like this (but worse) when I first got her. There's a few things you can do that will help him out.

Start by relaxing yourself a bit. If you expect him to react a certain way he'll feel that, if you tense, or become anxious, ect. Especially with his tummy going off if you don't follow his routine, I'd say this happens because YOU get nervous leaving him around that time.

To deal with a lot of these things will require teaching a different, incompatible, behavior. IMO clicker training is a great way to do this, but if you aren't a fan then you can simply use a marker word.

Start by teaching him 'Come'. It's easy, a fast way to redirect/prevent bad behaviors, and it's positive. Start by saying his name, or "come", while he's moving towards you. When he gets to you either give him a treat or pets/scratches.
Once he's got the hang of it rather than walking up the stairs while he's sitting in his 'trap' (lol) stand at the top or bottom and call him to come to you. Then he can get pets and you can walk up the stairs unmolested.
You can also use it when you have to brush the other cats. Have your SO call him to one room (where I'd fuss/practice/teach him) as you brush the other cats. Removing him from the area prevents him attacking the brush.

To get him used to anything he doesn't like requires a process called desensitization. To do it you start small, and non threatening. Pair the negative thing, in a dose he can handle, with something he likes.
As an example maybe you will start with brushing him. Start by just holding the brush. If he doesn't care feed him a treat. Then hold the brush near him (not touching!), if he doesn't react give him a treat and remove the brush to a 'safer' distance. Repeat this until he shows no behavior change when the brush is nearby but not touching him.
Next put a little something yummy on the floor, when he bends to eat it gently touch him with the brush (NO brushing yet!). When that's easy try touching him then giving the treat. Repeat until there's no reaction.
You progress like this, very slowly, until he's fine being brushed in short gentle strokes.

Since he has the long double coat this process might be too slow/painful to really work. IMO the best idea would be to get him shaved, then you have lots of time to work with him without any tangles making it painful and more difficult.

As far as the coming baby goes (congrats btw :D) as long as you are prepared it should go fine. So work with him on the issues you're concerned about, but also start making small changes to your routine and his. Anything baby related (room, stroller, change table, powers, shampoos, ect) should be brought in at least 3 months ahead. Go slow, one item a week (or if there's items that are harder wait longer before introducing the nest thing), anything smelly should be introduced well in advance.

See if you can find a tape of baby noises (or if you have a friend with a baby go tape them) play this tape on very low volume for a while, especially during feeding time or thing he enjoys, gradually work up to where you can play it full blast with no reaction.

Cudos for thinking ahead!!! I think you'll do fine, just expect the next while to be lots of work.

*I'd also make sure you have someone set up way ahead of time to come care for your kitties the first week or so the baby will be home. Take time to intro this person to your kitties so it isn't a huge shock for them, maybe practice going away fro a day and have the sitter spend lots of time with Jack in particular.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sorry got long winded..

Thanks so much for your suggestions. I started training Jack about 2 years ago, but we stopped after sit, up and spin. I had actually thought about going back to this to fix things, but lately everything that sounded good in my head, didn't really work out, so I was hesitant. So it was nice to be reassured that this may be our best option seeing as how you also recommend it!

What's worse is that Jack is petrified of storms and rain, so the last month has been awful here. He hides in the basement behind a table leaning against the wall and won't budge until he thinks its safe. Because we've been in the basement for tornado warnings at least 2x a week for a month he's been miserable.

We worked on training today and he loved it and did very well. He's so smart that I think his brain just can't get enough activity sometimes so he thrives on the training.

Depending on the weather we'll try the comb tomorrow and see how things go. Honestly, we can shave him, we shave his rear about 1x a month, I'm not saying he likes it, but tolerates it. it's maintaining the hair so we dont' get to that point that's our problem, so I think this method will work.

Tonight we are going to try a good laser pointer session before bedtime snack and see if that helps his morning perkiness.
We will be painting the baby's room within the next week or so, and I had planned on doing things slowly. The biggest issue with this is the baby's room, has been the cats room up until now. But we are slowly moving things to other places so as to not cause big uproars.

Jack has been extremely loving this week, has slept in bed right up against me the last 3 nights. Not sure if he heard the conversation between hubby and I when we were talking about him being our only problem and that it was starting to really cause issues around here or what. I wondered too, if he's just starting to notice my growing belly and is sensing something is up.

Thanks again for the suggestions, I may have more questions as we proceed.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,806 Posts
I hate to say this, but the rule is, the newest one goes.

So........I think you'll have to rehome the baby.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,806 Posts
Then my job here is done. :grin:

I've been watching My Cat From Heck and it has such good ideas for bad kitties. One couple solved their mean cat issues by giving him a lot of high up places to go where he could escape everyone, and it really worked! They made it so he could jump from one piece of furniture to another and go all around the room without ever having to be on the ground.

I'm not sure if giving him more vertical choices would help or not. but this cat stopped attacking the girlfriend and visitors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,332 Posts
LoL @ Marie! That show has some good ideas I agree! I watched one episode I think the same one you are talking about. That cat really changed all because he could get completely around the room up high.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top