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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I have taken care of a stray kitten I found. He was badly injured (most likely by a car), and had to amputate his tail and also had his leg dislocated. The vet managed to put it back, but advised me to not let him run or jump very much. He got all vaccines/treatment he needs.

He is a nice and gentle cat, especially considering that he came from under a container! I have already taught him to not bite or use his claws when we handle him (give him pills for ringworms for example).

But he has some issues which I really need help for. I also live with my boyfriend and the cat is starting to get on his nerves.

1. The cat likes to use his claws on our leather sofa. I tell him NO stictly and lound at the exact point he does it, but he will not listen. We are also using a water bottle to spray him every time he misbehaves. (only spray behind him, never close to his face) How can I make this behaviour stop? It has to happen fast, as the sofa is brand new and he has already made his marks.

2. The cat only wants to eat dry food. We have given him both, but he only wants the dry one. Is this ok? And how often should I feed him? I have the food available at all times. Maybe it will make him fat? :)

3. He is nice and cuddles with us a lot, we know that he likes us and wants to spend time with us, but when we are walking around he is scared of us and sometimes will hide.

4. Because of this behaviour we have him in his cage at night, and also since the vet suggested we keep him still because of his healing leg. I would like him to be able to roam the house. The cage is small, and I feel bad for him some times. He wakes us up at 7 in the morning usually cause he wants to pee or eat, or (often) he spills his water in the cage and he is wet. We leave him in the cage during the day also, as we are mostly in the bedroom watching TV. I feel bad that he is not joining us, but my boyfriend refuses to have the cat there until he is washed and is behaving. How can I know that my cat is ready to be in the house full time? How are your cats behaving in the house alone?

5. Any tips of documentaries/series or anything (even youtube) about cat psychology and behaviour. I want to learn as much as possible.
 

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Yup, keep the cat and get rid of the intolerant boyfriend.
First and foremost, I second MowMow's suggestion.

And, would like to add; I bought a livingroom set 2 years ago. I also bought some slip covers to protect the leather underneath around the same time I first bought the furniture. I always said I'd remove the covers when company came over. So, a year or so later, I went to take the slip covers off and guess what? There were tiny pin prick marks all over the arms of the couch and loveseat. Yes, I could've stressed out about it, but I just replaced the covers and called it a day. The furniture is still functional and I am going to buy new slip covers to change the look of my living room closer to the holidays. This arrangement has been a win win for me, and the cats are not stressing and neither am I.
 

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As you're learning leather isn't the best choice for a household with cats, I prefer heavy coarse fabric with a color and pattern so the cat hair doesn't show.
Best thing to do is get a scratch post and get him to use it, I've had good luck with spray the post with catnip spray.
I also agree with getting rid of the boyfriend.
Living with a person who doesn't share your love for animals is just going to cause further problems down the road.
 

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More usefully (although I stand by my earlier post). Buy a few different scratching posts to see which kitten likes the most. Standing sisal, inclined cardboard, flat sisal, flat cardboard...etc. Then whenever he you SEE him using it praise him to the heavens and give him treats. When SHepherd Book scratches on anything he's not supposed too he gets a PSSTTT noise and I clap my hands loudly (now I only need to PSST, the hand clapping is rarely needed). When he uses the sisal post or cardboard incline and I'm in the room he runs right to me for praise and doesn't usually attack carpet, couch or bed anymore.

You could try throwing blankets over the couches for now until kitten gets older and learns not to scratch. Also, learn to trim his nails (careful not to cut into the quick). That will help with the clawing.

If he is going to have to spend ANY amount of time in a cage it needs to be large enough to hold a litterbox and tall enough to have a shelf so he can get AWAY from the litterbox. Honestly though, if the kitten is just going to have to live in a cage and not be allowed to be a welcome member of the family then perhaps he might be better off rehomed to someplace where he will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you very much for answeres. I think my boyfriend seemed a bit bad from this situation, and I wish to tell you he is not as bad as he seems. :p He does care about the cat, cuddles and plays with him a lot.He loves animals, and has had cats before. these were outside cats that came in time to time for food and cuddles. He is not used (and me either) to having an inside only cat. It is just a cat was not very much planned in our life. The furniture was planned before him, the aparment was planned before him. He just came into our life after we rescued him from the street, and we are trying to adapt to his needs. If we had him before we would most likely have chosen our apartment also to one the cat would like more.

I also want you to know that he will not be in his cage forever. This is temporarily because his foot is healing and he sometimes plays too much and I can see his foot is sliding out of its location. But his bad behaviour makes it sometimes difficult. We want him to stay out even more, that he can also have some time alone to sleep in the couch or play without us looking over him. And when his ringworms are gone we would also like him to enter our bedroom with us. The ringworms can infect humans also, so it is not a good idea that he roams in the space we sleep in.
 

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He isn't allowed in your bedroom while you watch tv because he knocked over the water dish in the cage you are making him stay in? That doesn't make sense. He is a kitten and if you keep him in a cage then he is going to knock things over. Also if your boyfriend is so strict about him not being in the bedroom with him then why aren't you out of the bedroom and spending time with the cat while he is forced to be in a cage?
 

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You seriously need to confine the cat until the leg heals. The cat may try to jump, fall and re-injure itself, possibly requiring surgery or causing a permanent problem.

I wouldn't worry about the dry food right now - sometimes you have pick your battles. This is not a high priority now.

I have to agree about the boyfriend. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am sorry, but I think you misunderstand Sinatra Butters. We do not use the cage as any way of punishment. But his leg is sticking out and it makes the water bowl get knocked over when he is in his cage. And as stated earlier, at this time the ringworms are keeping him out of our bedroom. I am also a lot out of the bedroom with him.

I would never punish the cat in that way. I am just asking you for help to solve this small issues so that he can also spend some time alone in the house. Once his foot is better he will be out all the time, and if would be nice that his small problems are over in that time.
 

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You have been given 2 very good suggestions regarding scratching posts and draping the furniture temporarily until the kitten is trained. The kitten is being a kitten. He is not misbehaving. It is up to you to train it and teach it gently where it can scratch and where it cannot.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for answers.

I will definitely buy him a scratching post. I saw some nice ones that also have jumping areas (for when his foot heals :)) and I think I will get one of those.

I know he is just being a kitten. I am mostly trying to adapt to him, so he gets everything he needs. There are only a few small things that I will kindly ask him to do :p

Anyone know why he is scared of us when we are walking? He is never scared when we call him to come over, or when we cuddle or play. Only when we get up or just walking around in the room. Might it be because he is not that used to people yet, as he has been living on the street? Or are we just very tall for a small fellow?

Also, I am very curious about any website, videos about cat psychology and training. I want to learn how to please him in his own language. :)
 

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I dunno, if I got run over by something huge and had to have my tail amputated and my foot was mangled I'd prolly be a bit afraid of large things as well.
 

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I'm sorry if you got offended but I don't understand what he is doing wrong? If he doesn't have a scratcher yet you can't blame him for scratching the couch. I better leather feels good!
 

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I'm starting to get the impression that this forum is filled with crazy-cat-lady-to-bes lol :cool
I would have that response if the boyfriend (or girlfriend) was intolerant of ANYTHING I loved. If they can't love mine(Cat, dog, horse or kid) as much as I do then they aren't a compatible match for me. I adore my SO and I think the world of his opinion and his character. We've known each other for 5 years, but had he been too rough or intolerant of Shep. Book's antics (He *IS* just a kitten after all) then love him or not I'd lose respect for him and he'd have to go.

I will agree with the crazy cat lady to be though :p
 

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First if he is spending ANY time in a cage/crate. get a larger one and put a smaller litter pan in it, make sure to add a shelf (even if it is low because of the foot.) As others have mentioned cats need to be able to get away from the litter pan.

He is probably running when you walk because you seem A Lot bigger and more threatening, then when sitting. Just look away and keep moving at a normal but not hurried pace.

You may also want to get nail caps to minimize the damage while he learns to use a scratching post (my young kitten actually prefers a piece of cardboard). something like Soft Paws, or Soft Claws. Again leather and cats don't mix well. Since it is a smooth surface and encourages them to extend claws when walking/running over it during playtime even if they never use it as a scratching post. Good luck on that one.

Agreed pick your battles, worry about the dry food later after he heals, but might want to look into grain-free. If he is young, feed as much as he wants to help growth and healing, make sure you are using kitten food not adult, it will help.

I am sort of up in the air about squirting with water, I prefer just redirecting to the proper behaviors, but then I like to occasionally bathe my cats when needed.
 

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Well I don't agree with the get rid of the boyfriend because I've never met your boyfriend and am not going to judge someone when I'm only hearing part of the story. It doesn't sound like the boyfriend is abusive, just maybe he doesn't completely understand how to make this work. I do think you need to both sit down and talk about this rationally. Explain your viewpoint to him, and ask him to respect your feelings and your needs. I don't believe in dumping people anymore than I believe in dumping animals.

I agree that you need to cage the cat while he heals. Can you afford a larger cage at this point? If so, that's your best option. If not, perhaps do what you can to give the cat some quiet, cuddle time outside of the cage. I know that's very hard because they want to run & play.

If you're home just watching tv, it would sound like you have the time/resources to spend time with the cat. I'd make that a priority -- you want to socialize him as much as possible.

The dry food? That would be the least of my concerns at this point.
 

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Also, I am very curious about any website, videos about cat psychology and training. I want to learn how to please him in his own language. :)
You might find some interesting stuff here:
Little Big Cat

I am in a similar boat with you re: the boyfriend. My man and I have been together for 14 years, living together for 12. However, as he gets older, he has less and less patience....and didn't have any to start with. I'm just the opposite, so it's hard when dealing with a kitten that sometimes misbehaves.

Makes me think VERY hard if I ever want to have a child with him. If he can barely handle a kitten, how would he handle a baby???

Good luck to you....you definitely have some good suggestions in this thread. Enjoy your little one! :)
 
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