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I recently adopted a baby kitten with my boyfriend and we were so happy to bring her home! She is about 12 weeks old for reference. For the first day or two she was an angel, but as the week progressed she has turned into an extremely hard pet to get under control. She has already been taken to the vet and it was determined that nothing was medically wrong, but I am having a very hard time dealing with her.

Some of the behaviors that my CeCe is lashing out on are becoming very hard to deal with and I almost feel like the situation is unmanageable.
She started biting me and my boyfriend when we first got her, but it has now escalated into her trying to bite us as hard as she can every time we hold her. When we try to restrain the biting, she responds by clawing us.
Just last night while I was about to fall asleep she pounced on my face and started clawing me. When I tried to push her off the immediately bit me hard on my neck. She then darted under the cover to the bottom of my bed so she could try to bite my toes.
I think that CeCe thinks that biting/scratching us is a game. She grabs our hand and then bites it, but she does it over an over again while purring. I know that it is normal for kittens to bite and scratch occasionally, but this behavior of attacking me and trying to scratch my face while I am sleeping is unacceptable.
She also will not stop scratching everything she is not supposed to. We are trying to make it clear that she is not allowed to scratch our brand new, expensive leather couches and other nice pieces of furniture, but she will not listen at all. I have purchased a dual scratching post and a card board scratcher, but she does not like to use them as she would rather try to rip up my couches. I have tried to redirect her to the scratching post instead of the leather sofa, but as soon as I turn my back she runs back and tries to ruin the couch again.
She is ruining my sheets and blankets with how much she claws them constantly. Is there a reason why she is trying to destroy my personal items despite me providing her a variety of cat friendly solutions?
She has now discovered that she can jump from my bed onto my dresser where she knocked off my glass giraffe and necklace tree.
She is clawing at the door in my apartment which is a huge issue because she is starting to ruin things in my apartment that I will have to pay to replace if she keeps making further damage.
She runs into my bathroom and knocks the trash can over and tries to eat things like tissues.
My biggest issue so far is that not only is she chewing on all of my chargers/cords, she has begun to chew on my laptop and my iPad. This morning I had my laptop hidden under pillows so she could not get to it, but she found a way to knock the pillows off and pounce on my laptop where she scratched and damaged the outside of my $1000 MacBook. When ever I am on my computer or my iPad, she tries to come up and chew the corner of my devices. Just the other day she tried to pick my phone up to chew the corner of it and it fell off the table cracking my screen. These devices are extremely expensive and it is completely unacceptable for her to continue ruining them.
I am unable to keep her off of tables and counter tops where we had designated as no cat areas.
Other than that she chews on everything she can find, despite me having over 20 toys for her to play with.

I have read that punishment and negative reinforcement rarely works for getting a kitten to stop acting on their bad behaviors. However, positive reinforcement does not seem to be working either.
I bought a clicker and a variety of different flavored/branded cat treats, but she is not responding much to them. I will press the clicker and give her a treat, but she hardly even listens to the clicker and 9/10 times she doesn't even want the treat. I have been at it for days now, but not much improvement seems to be showing.
Approximately how long should it take to clicker train a little kitten? Are there any other useful tips and tricks that will make clicker training successful?

When the positive reinforcement showed no signs of improvement I turned to some negative reinforcement as a last resort to see if it would work. I have tried squirting her with a spritz of water to get her to stop doing things, but as soon as I look away she immediately begins doing it again. I refrain from yelling/screaming at my kitten, but I have tried using a firm "No" or "Stop" but she doesn't listen. I have tried clapping loudly when she is acting badly, but this is not helping. I have even tried filling a jar with pennies and shaking it to scare her so she will be deterred from her behavior, but that doesn't seem to be working either.
When she is coming to chew my laptop, I try to gently nudge her away, but she keeps coming back and eventually biting me after I make it clear she is not allowed to touch my electronics.
I purchased a play pen for her before adopting the kitten to keep her in so she would stay safe at night after her spay/neutering procedure. Since she has been so rambunctious and badly behaved and trying to attack me at night I have resorted to placing her in the play pen overnight until I am up and able to supervise her. I did not want to have her kept in the play pen at night and while I am in class, but every time I leave her alone she destroys my items. I have also tried to put her in the play pen for 10-15 minutes following her bad behavior as a type of "time out" bit this also seems to have very little effect as she begins doing the things she is not supposed to right as she gets out.
(Just to clarify the play pen is about 3ft by 3ft and it has a top that zippers on to enclose her inside of it. I make sure that I put her clean litter box in the play pen, her food and water bowls, a blanket to sleep on, and a few toys for her to play with.)

I have provided her with avidity of toys to give her other options to play with instead of my furniture. She has little sushi toys, a fish that makes nose, mouse toys, little plastic balls that make a crunching noise when thrown, a ball that mimics a ball of yarn, and some little stuffed animals. She also has three sticks with toys, bells, and feather hanging on the ends. I have also purchased her a three way cat tunnel and a springing toy that makes bird nosies when she hits it. In addition to this she does have a scratching post with a hammock on it and the cardboard cat scratchers.

I am also wondering if it is ok for me to be putting her in the play pen over night and for about 4 hours a day when I am gone to classes? I feel very guilty locking her up, but I just can't trust her alone until she starts to pick up on her training. Is this inhumane, or is the use of a play pen ok?

I also had a question about nail caps for her claws. I have seen that there are glue on nail caps for kittens that are supposed to be safe and prevent them from ruining furniture, hurting you, etc. Has anyone had any experience with these? Would you recommend them?

I am getting very frustrated because I feel like I have tried everything, but nothing seems to be working. I do not want to discipline her harshly, but it seems like she does not listen to anything. I know kittens are rowdy and very curious, but her behavior seems excessive. I have tried to reach out to friends who have had experiences with raising kittens and they agree that she is being very destructive. I am trying very hard to make the positive reinforcement click for her, but she has hardly made any progress.

Does anyone know how I may be able to deal with a kittens bad behavior?
How can I train her to get her under control?
Does anyone know how long this destructive "kitten phase" will last and if she will start too mellow out soon?

I do understand that kittens often behave like this, but my worry is that none of the techniques I am trying to apply seem to be working. I am worried that she will never respond to training and continue to do these unacceptable things for years to come.

The last two weeks have been extremely difficult for my boyfriend and I with her here. We are both in college and it has really been impacting us. He has always grown up with pets and has mentioned that he has never seen a pet so badly behaved and hard to train. I have had to misses classes to make sure she is not destroying things. I am falling behind in my homework and studying. I am even forgetting to eat because I am so wrapped up in trying to control her. Both of us have been confined at home with besides going to classes because she simply can not be left alone. We live in an apartment and she is damaging things that might result in us having to pay to replace them.

My apartment building does not allow pets, however CeCe is a register emotional support animal that was prescribed ny a psychiatrist, so she has permission to stay. This being said, if she continues to cause so much damage and ruin everything she sees, she will no longer be allowed to live in the apartment complex. We do not have anywhere else to put her or anyone else to give her to so we are running out of options and she needs to be trained as soon as possible. It would break my heart to have to return her to her shelter, but if she can not start listening and getting her behavior under control we will have no option but to give her back so they can find someone who is allowed to have such a destructive pet in their home.

I know it would upset many people to hear that we may have to send her back to the shelter, but it may be the only option. We love her to death and have already devoted so much time to be with her and train her. It would be heartbreaking for me and my boyfriend to lose her. It is not something we ever want to do and it is the absolute last resort. That being said I would appreciate if people did not attack me for including this part. It would be much more helpful to receive tips how how to fix this behavior.

I am so sorry that this post was so long, I am just at a loss for what to do. One moment my kitten is loving and sleeping with me and the next she is attacking my face with her claws. One moment she is playing with her toy, but when I leave the room she tries to rip up the leather couch. I am desperately in need for someone to help me. PLEASE if you have had experience with this type of situation let me know how I can deal with it? Are there any tips and tricks that I have not tried to deter her from her and behavior? Is there a better way to be training her, and approximately how long does the training take? I would really appreciate any input that you guys might have!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!
- Cecilia and Jacqueline
 

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Stanley (aka lanky teenager) Alfie (aka terror of the house) Smudge (aka first of many, RIP)
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Unfortunately this is the reality of life with a kitten. My 8 month old kitten will chew threw any garbage bags and distribute the rubbish around the house if I am not careful. A lot of people don't realize the work that comes with having a kitten, and her behavior isn't at all bad. It is normal and to be expected. We often forget these are wild animals at heart and they don't see our homes the way we do, but rather the same as an outdoor area where they can do what they please.

I am so wrapped up in trying to control her
This is where you are going wrong, I believe. With any animal, your goal should never be to control them. This is where you will hit a wall, as it is impossible to control a sentient being with individual thoughts and agenda. You need to coexist I have found more success in changing my habits rather than my cat's. You need to coexist. So basically anything of value is stored in my room or a cabinet, which is a no cat zone until my kitten matures and I keep the door closed. Nothing left on benches, dining table etc. The toilet door is kept closed to prevent him getting the toilet paper. The trash can lid is duck taped shut so he can't get the trash out if he knocks it over. Any sliding doors have jams in place so he can't open them.

I am unable to keep her off of tables and counter tops where we had designated as no cat areas.
Unfortunately with cats, there are very rarely any 'no cat areas'. Even if they learn not to go on these surfaces when you are around, you can bet they will get up there when you are gone. You have to condition yourself to understand that if something is destroyed, its not because the cat is being naughty, its because you didn't put it out of reach. Would you blame a baby for burning itself on a pan you left on the stove?

I have provided her with avidity of toys to give her other options to play with instead of my furniture.
I think your kitten is very bored. Having toys often isn't enough. You need to be interacting with her, getting her to chase the toys, challenge her to burn some energy for at least two hours a day. It may even teach her to associate the toys as things to play with rather than your stuff. Even taking her for walks is great if you are able to do that.

I am also wondering if it is ok for me to be putting her in the play pen over night and for about 4 hours a day when I am gone to classes?
I think this may be contributing to her hyperactivity, as she is unable to expend her energy for periods of time and therefore has too much when it is time to let her out. For about 4 hours a day would be ok while you aren't at home, I believe, but not overnight IMO. Perhaps just shut your door.

I will press the clicker and give her a treat, but she hardly even listens to the clicker and 9/10 times she doesn't even want the treat.
The fact that she doesn't like the treat is probably a main problem with your training progression. Why would she do what you want for a treat she doesn't want? Try finding a treat she LOVES, not just likes and see how that goes. I do believe clicker training a cat is quite difficult though. It sound to me as though the approach you are taking to her training is similar to one you would use for a dog. This likely won't work, as they have very different psychology form what I have observed.

Is there a reason why she is trying to destroy my personal items despite me providing her a variety of cat friendly solutions?
Yes, there is a reason. Cats don't perceive things the way we do. She sees no difference between her cat scratchers, toys etc and your belongings. You could try some citrus juice, cats generally don't like those, or some scratch deterrent sprays from a pet shop. I have a sheet covering my couch to limit the damage from any accidental scratches.

Other than that she chews on everything she can find, despite me having over 20 toys for her to play with.
You may want to try some raw chicken wing tips, these are great for dental health and boredom and will five her something to chew on.

She started biting me and my boyfriend when we first got her, but it has now escalated into her trying to bite us as hard as she can every time we hold her. When we try to restrain the biting, she responds by clawing us.
Don't try to restrain her, and put her straight back down. Avoid contact completely and even leave the room. Biting and scratching equals no attention. Or even replace your hand with one of her toys, if you prefer.

With my cats, this behavior didn't settle down until they were just over a year old. My older boy, who is 18 months old, is a perfect gentle man and while he loves a good game of chase and he still knocks stuff down from time to time, he is much more mellow.

I know it would upset many people to hear that we may have to send her back to the shelter, but it may be the only option.
Never feel guilty about this, If you can't provide the life this kitten needs without destroying your own, then it is best for her to go back to the shelter and find a home better suited to her. Cats aren't for everyone, and if you can't coexist with each other then returning her may be a kindness for you both.
 

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Hello C&J. It seems like you've got a wild one there! Kittens are just like babies and need time to learn how to interact with their new family and surroundings, so the first thing I'd recommend to do is to kitten-proof your home. Put away the breakables, get cord covers for the wiring, give your house-plants to a friend, check out furniture protectors, keep cell phones and other electronics in a drawer when not in use, etc.

The next thing you could do is go to Youtube and look up Jackson Galaxy kitten training. He's known as the Cat Whisperer and helped me a lot when I had behavior problems with my girls. If you start with the basics, we can try to help you with the details.

And if all else fails, no judgement at all about having to re-home a cat. Some of us here had to do it at one point, and while it's very hard to give up a pet, sometimes it really is the right thing to do.

Good luck!
 

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StanAndAlf gave excellent advice! I would like to double down on the interactive play advice. Kittens are crazy and really need an insane amount of play. Wands are your best friend. Drag them on the ground, flick it in the air, tuck the toy part behind something and slowly drag it out so she can hunt. Give her about 15-20 minutes of play 3-4 times a day. For the mornings we got one of those spinning balls with a feather on top and he loved that - that let us eat breakfast in peace. Tbh, I still eat dinner with a wand hanging from my chair in case I need to distract him. But they do grow out of it.
 

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Just coming in to add the the excellent advice. I had kittens like that....two of them, brothers. They were wild cats until they were about a year old. Then they settled down and were the best most well behaved cats ever. Just give it time and patience, follow the advice above, and you will end up with a great cat.
 
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