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Discussion Starter #1
Argh just as i had finished writing this before I could post it my IE crashed!!!!

So let me start again... Hello all!! haha

My Wife and I just got a new kitten, a Tonkinese boy, Simba. He is about 8 weeks old and I think Platnum Mink, correct me if i am wrong. He likes to be crazy and can chase stuffed mice for ages considering how little he is! He also loves catnip and sitting on my shoulder while I use the computer… He is also very snuggly, so it will be interesting to see how that mix turns out…

I grew up with my cat Tinker, she is still going strong at about 18 or 19 years old, she has one kidney which is completely atrophied and arthritis but other than that she is still a big fluff ball... My mum seems to think she is going to pass this year... we will see... Altho she really doesn’t ever do anything anymore... even stopped going outside when for the first time ever mum got her a kitty tray because she peed inside (never done that before)

My wife never liked cats, she is more of a dog person. But after meeting my brothers new cat she fell in love and wanted to get one... Yay for me! so now we have one from the same breeder...

The Breeders are great, family friends altho I never knew they bread cats until my brother got one... We do have a mild health concern, and although we are talking to the breeders about it (they will also cover any initial vet costs) I have always liked to gain more knowledge thru forums.

When we picked him up his sister had what we were told was a flu or vaccine reaction, she had quite a discharge from her eyes. Simba also had a very minor discharge at this time, from one eye predominately, this one eye would have clear or yellow discharge and we were told to clean it with salty water a few times per day. The eye was also quite red and inflamed. We have been doing this every day and it has been seeming to get better. The redness and swelling has almost disappeared completely but this morning my wife woke to find him distressed as he could not open his eye, there was almost a crust or thick glue of the discharge keeping it closed (I remember something similar when I was younger and had a episode of conjunctivitis). I guess I would like to know what others have experienced with similar issues, whether it is a reaction to vaccine, flu or something serious (or are these things serious themselves). Also as I write this I am wondering could it be conjunctivitis and would that be contagious to humans?
I would also like to ask some questions about behaviour as I haven’t had a kitten since I was 5. Some of them may be silly questions and I have some assumptions and understandings of general behaviour and the concept of negative punishment and positive reinforcement (or is that just negative and positive reinforcement… always got that confused…). I would appreciate personal input oh behaviour and also links to external sources (if permitted by forum, I did read rules but can’t remember).

- How long does it take for him to recognize his name? is there anything specific that should be done to help this process?
- Should we wait until he can recognize his name before he do more things with him?
- He has 3 speeds… cuddly, psycho and act cuddly and attack when least expected… When he attacks us hissing/yelping and off the couch is the best tactic until he settles?
- I have heard a bit about clicker training but I can’t seem to find much (useful) on it… anyone got some good resources?
- I had some more questions but can’t remember…
- Any general advice would also really be appreciated…



 

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First, welcome. :D Second, Simba is ADORABLE! :luv

I would definitely take Simba to a vet, especially since the costs will be covered by the breeder, especially because it doesn't seem to be getting better.

When Simba attacks (doesn't that sound like a great movie title?), the best method is NOT for you to move, but to put him down and away from you. He'll learn eventually that if he wants to be with you, he has to be calmer. It may take a while. Cali was my biter, and it took a couple months for the hard biting to stop.

People have asked here about clicker training, but from what I've seen, it's not widely used by our members.

Here's the best advice I could give: Simba will only be this tiny and this adorable for a short time, take lots of pictures and have fun! When he calms down in a couple years, you'll actually miss his maniac moments. :D

Don't worry - you'll get more (and better) advice from other members on all your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
haha thanks.

Yes 'When Simba attacks' does sound like a great movie title... lol

The eye thing did seem like it was getting better but you're probably right...

I see, I guess I have been doing the right thing then most of the time, when he bites or gets too scratchy I will dump him down or in the case of the face attacks I have even taken him to his room and let him cry for 10-15min... Its funny he has stopped and when he stops I would usually let him out soon after, then he would follow me at my feet all the way back to the couch and usually snuggle good...

I need to get my camera battery charger, dunno where it is so i have been usin my crappy phone camera... but that just wont do!!!
 

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It'll help if he gets used to having his nails clipped. Those sharp little things could replace scalpels in open heart surgery! Usually it's best/easiest when my girls are sleepy. And if they start to fight me, I'll finish later (making a mental note where I left off). You don't want it to become a terrible thing. They gets treats afterwards, too. :D
 

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yeah we have started on that, althought the first time we did it it didnt go down well because we tryed to hold him against his will, from what i have read better to do it when they are sleepy like you said... I got 1 paw done tonight while he was a bit dozey but it was at the end of his sleep so he woke up pritty quick...

That reminds me of one more thing i had to ask...

Sometimes when we approach him to pick him up or play he arches up or backs off and runs, is this fear, playful or both? (most of the time he doesnt like the initial pick up but once we have him he loves to be held)

edit: advice on collars? simply put I think we may have bought one with the loudst bell ever made, should i chop the bell off and just get him use to a collar and intro the bell later?
 

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Well, imagine a HUGE monster coming towards you (that's how cats see us - not the monster part - just the huge part). :D

None of my cats like being held. You'd think from the noise she makes that I was swinging Cleo around by her tail! 8O

I've picked the twins up since I got them at 10 weeks old, so they don't fight me, but they seem to be looking for the best escape route - or if I'm in the kitchen, they're scoping out the counters for things to get into. :roll:
 

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Hi congrats on the new kitty, he's adorable, reminds me of my Willie a shoulder kitty!

How long does it take for him to recognize his name? is there anything specific that should be done to help this process?
Depends on the individual cat, both my cats took a while or they just chose to ignore me :lol: Things to help it along are saying his name as much as possible. When cuddling repeat his name a lot "Good Simba, I love you Simba, aw you like that don't you Simba, yes Simba, Simba's the best" (you know general kitty ego boosting). When you put his food down say "Simba dinner!" and during play use his name a lot as well "go get it Simba, where'd the bird go Simba, you got it Simba! etc."
- Should we wait until he can recognize his name before he do more things with him?
What sorts of things? Training you mean? No he doesn't have to know his name though it may help in getting his attention, you can do the same sorts of things with little squeaky noises though.

- He has 3 speeds… cuddly, psycho and act cuddly and attack when least expected… When he attacks us hissing/yelping and off the couch is the best tactic until he settles?
yup those are the general kitty speeds, the first two will stay forever if you're lucky and keep him fit but the last one should diminish and go away so long as you stick to training him. When he is in psycho kitty mode instead of doing what a lot of people do (get angry at kitty for being naughty and punish him or ignore him so he learns to calm down) remember he is a kitty and this is healthy for him. Of course he does not need to show his energy in this way, as soon as you see him begin to get energized for psycho time bust out the toys and have a long vigorous play session to channel his energy appropriately. As others said when he attacks you remove him without putting up a fuss and put him down and ignore him for a little while.
- I have heard a bit about clicker training but I can’t seem to find much (useful) on it… anyone got some good resources?
I clicker train and although I am pretty new to it I know quite a bit about it from dog training and from a cat clicker raining yahoo group. To start out you need 4 things a clicker, a target stick (most people use a chop stick), treats he likes (I use boiled chicken that I chopped into small chunks and froze, I put them in hot water to defrost then use them) and enthusiasm!! no cat has fun training with a boring owner. The first thing that they recommend you teach is to target the target stick, this means teach him to poke it, and then follow it, with his nose. It's very useful and very easy to teach. If you want help teaching him ANYTHING with clicker training feel free to PM me and I'll do what I can to help.


I have some assumptions and understandings of general behaviour and the concept of negative punishment and positive reinforcement (or is that just negative and positive reinforcement… always got that confused…)
There are 4 quadrants of operant conditioning. Positive reinforcement, positive Punishment, Negative reinforcement and negative punishment and they are basically as follows:
Positive Reinforcement: Add something good to make a behavior occur again. (ex: cat does something you like and you reward with play, attention or treats, the cat will repeat the behavior)

Positive Punishment:
Adding something bad to make a behavior occur less often. (ex: hitting, spraying with water, scat mats etc.)

Negative Reinforcement:Take away something bad so that a behavior occurs more often. (ex: I'm going to use dogs for this one, it's an old cruel method of getting a dog to hold an object on command, pinch his ear until he opens his mouth out of pain then let go, dog learns opening his mouth stops the pain and will do it more often)

Negative Punishment: Stop something good so a behavior occurs less often. (ex: remove attention when cat begs by meowing for attention)

So basically:
Positive= add something
Negative= remove something
Punishment= make behavior occur less
Reinforcement= make behavior occur more

I try to use the least amount of positive punishment and negative reinforcement as possible and you should too. Instead of thinking "how can I stop him?" think "what can I make him do instead?"

Good luck with your new kitty, I hope his eye gets better!
 

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I have a Simba also- mine is just a tad bigger than yours (mine is about 18 pounds). Your Simba is a cutie :D .

It might help if you had play sessions to help burn off some of his energy.
 

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Simba is a cutie patootie! Charge that camera we want more pictures!

A little tip. Do not hand play with him. That encourages him to bite or attack your hands. It will progress to plain ole attacking which they think is fun but painful to us.

Conjuntivitis is highly contagious to other cats but not to humans so not to worry.

Eye discharge is fairly common in cats but serious enough to warrent a vet seeing them. Their cornea can become scratched. I would definitely have your vet look at it. Stress sometimes brings it on in the future esp if theyve had this problem as a kitten. Here are a couple site to read.

http://www.animalhealthchannel.com/felinechlamydiosis/index.shtml

http://home.ivillage.com/pets/symsolve/0,,j8qm,00.html
 

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Congrats on your gorgeous Simba! :D
There's lots of good advice here, but I'd just like to comment that cat training is best done using positive reinforcement. Cats, as a rule, tend to ignore negative reinforcement, or rebel when presented with it.

Personally, I don't like the idea of clicker training because of the loud, sharp sound of the clicker being harsh on a cat's extremely sensitive hearing. To me, a muffled clicker or some other sound cue would be better.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hahaha, thanks everyone... he is VERY cute you dont need to tell me that :D

His eye is getting better we got some cream stuff from vet and are fighting with him twice a day to put it in his eyes... poor thing...

Other than that all is well, is is cuddly and playful which i love, active and well... we are so happy :D

right now he is exploring my compter desk :D

~Siameseifuplz~: Thanks for the time you put into that long reply, the operant conditioning is pritty much spot on how i remembered it so it looks like I am doing the right thing, maybe I should crack out my psycol book to refresh some basic principles... (pm about to be sent)

My grandpa also bought me a book 'how to have a happy cat' for my b'day which was on friday... haha

cheers all...
 
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