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As a total newbie to the world of kitties, I feel like I'm learning something new every time I log onto this fabulous board... and I've certainly been spending lots of time reading up on here lately. :)

There's one concern I have I'm really hoping to get some more "personalized" guidance with. My newly adopted kitten has some very strange (and frightening) behaviors when it comes to food that isn't hers.

She's fine eating her own food in her own part of the house (she has a room of her own for now, since she's only been with us for a few days)... but the minute I let her out into the rest of the house, she turns into a little monster any time there's any food being eaten by either me, my husband, or our dog.

She makes hissing sounds, pounces on the food, and scratches/bites violently if we try to take her away from it. She's done this with everything from the dog's food and treats, to my hubby's sandwich just now (she literally jumped in his plate and wouldn't surrender it).

Each time she's done this, I've picked her up (biting, clawing, hissing at me), and brought her back into her own room so that whoever's trying to eat can do so in peace). I just don't know if there's some way I can get her to stop acting this way, or if I can even somehow avoid getting injured in the process of moving her to her own room... lol!

I don't want to have to do this forever... is there some way I can get her to stop this behavior so she can become fully integrated into our family, without me having to put her away every time there's food out? My dog's being a sweetheart, totally surrenders his food to her, tail wagging and all... I feel bad for him though, don't want him to keep up with abuse from her forever!

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much for this great forum! :grin:
 

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One of my two kittens will growl at the other kitten over both his food and the other kitten's food... the only thing I've been able to do is watch him like a hawk, tell him no, and move him back to his own food every time he wants to take what is not his. It's repetitive but it works. If I knew how to break it better I'd be doing it, lol. Good luck!!
 

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I have no help for you on the food aggression thing, but for when you need to deal with her and she's in a snit, a towel is your best friend. Throw it over her, swaddle her up in it, and you'll be safe from the worst of her claws. Some cats feel subdued and comforted by it, while others only get more agitated, but at least they're all bundled up until you can let them go somewhere safe and you're not getting all scratched up in the process.
 

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Wow. I have never seen that before, but it sounds like maybe she had to go without food at some point. Is she getting to eat as much as she wants? Within reason, of course. Kittens sometimes need more food than you think... Not suggesting that you're starving her, of course. How often is she being fed, and how much?

Obviously the behavior is inappropriate, and I think you are doing the right thing by putting her in her room when she does it. Maybe you or hubby could keep a spray bottle within reach so if she comes at you when you're eating you can squirt her. That's totally up to you, but it works for a lot of people.
 

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so true!

Wow. I have never seen that before, but it sounds like maybe she had to go without food at some point. Is she getting to eat as much as she wants? Within reason, of course. Kittens sometimes need more food than you think... Not suggesting that you're starving her, of course. How often is she being fed, and how much?
That is SO true! Bear and Yoshi eat like little horses, much more than my adult cats! At first I was worried they'd turn into kitten blimps, but so far they're both using up all that food energy being crazy kittens.
 

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I am no expert, nor do I pretend to be, but I imagine that after you've had your kitty for a while she will begin to understand that she does not need to be so defensive of food that she comes across. This behavior will very likely fade away in the coming weeks and is nothing to worry about. She's just learning what is hers, and what isn't and also in the process of learning that she will always get fed at certain times each day so there is no need to maintain the aggressive behavior. Cats are creatures of habit. In this case, the habits are still being learned.

You're doing a good job in teaching her that her actions get her no where, IMO.
 

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Over the years, I ahve adopted a lot of animals (not just cats) who have been kept short of food (or the offspring of mothers who were too emaciated to produce much milk) - some have also been directly abused as well. While I have never quite experienced the aggression you describe, I have known extreme "desperation" when it comes to food. As a sweeping generalisation, they do improve but the urge to et at food doesn't completely disappear. All I can sugest is to be gentle, calm and persevere - if it does ean loking up the kitty for the time being, then do it before the food even arrives.
 
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