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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess I was purty darn lucky with MowMow. He came with impeccable manners and was a complete sweetheart(when he's not giving me the pimp paw for some infraction). I wish I knew who raised him, I'd send the kitten there for baby boot camp. :wink

The kitten on the other hand thinks nothing of climbing me like a tree and I've got huge amounts of claw marks and scratches to prove it.

I usually pluck him off by his scruff, tell him "ouch!" and set him on the ground but a split second later he's climbing me again. Am I doing it wrong or should I just be patient and trust that eventually, he'll get it?

He plays gently, and you can tell he's been taught not to nip. When he does he stops right away as if he expects some sort of reprimand but he's just NOT careful with his claws. I have to tread carefully when he's on me because if something scares him or I startle him he takes off at top speed, leaving deep bleeding grooves in my flesh on his way.

He's also got a liking for scratching his claws on the carpet. Each time he does it I carry him to an acceptable scratching post/cardboard scratcher and put his paws on it... will he EVENTUALLY get it or should I be doing something more?
 

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He's also got a liking for scratching his claws on the carpet. Each time he does it I carry him to an acceptable scratching post/cardboard scratcher and put his paws on it... will he EVENTUALLY get it or should I be doing something more?
Do you have any horizontal scratchers? Smokey was my carpet scratcher until I got him a horizontal scratcher similar to this: PETCO Cat Cardboard Scratcher at PETCO. Best thing I ever could have gotten. Smokey loved his scratcher and never scratched the carpet again.
 

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Maybe Shepherd would do better with something that's completely horizontal. I would lean Smokey's scratcher so it would be inclined, but he would knock it down so it would lay flat. He didn't like it inclined. And that might be Shpherd's preference. It's worth a shot.
 

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The twinz taught Cleo bad manners.
 

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How about a round of SoftPaws? That way if he tries to climb you it won't be fun since he'll just slide right off. One round will likely only last about 4 weeks at his age - plenty time to form that understanding that climbing Mommy is pointless. And he won't be able to claw your carpet to pieces though he'll try. BUT when he does try that gives you a second or 3 to hiss at and correct him.

Since MowMow is well behaved and seems to inclined to help keep the kitten in line, I suspect you'll end up with a 2nd well behaved little one with a super devious side. lol Welcome to black kitty land!
 

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SpellQ, you mentioned welcome to black kitty land. Are they known for being fiesty? I have a fiesty 'Shadow' on my hands. Mostly she is a sweetheart, but has her moments.
 

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IMO You're doing it right!

It's just patience and consistancy that will teach a kitten what is allowed and what's not allowed.

If you like you could teach the little cutie to sit when asked. That way when he's about to climb you looking for treats/food/attention you could instead ask for a sit and then give him something nice for that instead. I did this with Muffin and he learned very quickly to sit nicely and wait and he'd get much nicer things than if he climbed me!

I also agree with my4kitties about the scratcher. Muffin will use the vertical scratchers, but he much prefers a horizontal one. He wouldn't even use the cardboard tilted one at first, I bought him a sisal scratch mat and he loved it. Unfortunately for him it got ruined, but luckily he now will happily use the cardboard triangle one.

As far as the launch-pad scratches...not much you can do about that unfortunately. Since he's not actually thinking about playing with/tackling/scratching you, but rather they are a side-effect of him jumping off...I never successfully got the boys to stop that. They do it a lot less now, probably because I hollared pretty good a few times after being gotten on my stomach.
They DID learn not to rocket-butt off my face! They learned to keep those excited zoomies to the floor only after one lauched off my face. That hurt and I got some really odd looks at work until the scratches faded...*sigh* Kittens.
 

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Are you clipping his claws at least every couple of weeks? You can use ordinary nail clippers, and buff off any roughness with an nail emery board. Just be careful you don't cut too short. You don't want to nick the vein (quick) in the nail. Always give some treats after the clipping.

Just keep putting her down when she climbs with a stern "No". The SoftPaws may work...I've never used them but it sounds like a good idea.

To attract to a scratching post rub catnip in it every week. Some cats prefer horizontal cardboard scratchers, and I got one for Alkee as she wanted to scratch the carpet. She liked it but actually preferes an empty cardboard egg carton. Another idea is to buy a small doormat with hard twisted texture. She may prefer that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I haven't clipped his claws yet, we're still working on being nice and waiting for treats while mommy plays with toes. MowMOw thinks it's great 'cause I can't leave him out so his toes get played with and he gets treats. :p I'm going to have to figure out how to cut back on the treats for him though, he really is starting to look like a little tank.

I'll snip a few this weekend and give lots of treats. MowMOw is overdue anyway.

He doesn't seem to be affected by catnip..yet.. he's just 5.5 months old. He may yet get interested but so far nothing. I'll pick up a flat scratch pad on my next pay day and give that a shot.

Last night I used da bird up and down the sisal post hoping he'd dig his claws in and enjoy the feel of it. Each time he scratched at it in play I'd let him catch da bird and praise him like crazy. HOpefully he'll get the idea. ;)
 

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Both my girls love horizontal scratch pads. We have two cardboard ones (one is a chaise longue design, they love it so much!) for which Evie had to teach Mitzi how to use it! The best thing is one was only £2 and the other £5 (in the sale!).
 

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Krissy: Sounds like the little monster is right on target for shenanigans! The best part is he is just about to enter the really crazy months! hahaha OMG I'd completely forgotten what it was like to live with a teen kitten since it had been 10 yrs since the last time I had a kitten in my home. Visiting is one thing, but as you're now learning omg living with one is completely & insanely different. It sounds like he's open to learning (judging from the bedtime incident!) and in several months all this craziness will be but a fond memory.

cdesign: Yup. When Zoe was about 4 or 5 yrs old my mom and I were discussing the black kitties in our lives (there was about 11 or 12 at the time strangely! lol) and realized they all had some very distinct characteristics in common. They were all very strongly bonded with 1 person and while they might have 1 or 3 people they tolerate and accept lovies from, they tended to be much more aloof or even skittish with other people. They're all talkers and like to let it be known that it is THEIR home and that they are, in fact, in charge - this one seemed to be even if they were a 2nd or 3rd kitty to arrive in the home. And while they all seemed to be good travellers/movers, they also seemed to be more deeply disturbed by changes in their lives like rearranged furniture or a new scent like a candle or a food dish being the same except it's <gasp> a new colour. None of them were lap kitties, but very much enjoyed being near enough to touch their human. They all seemed to go through an extended kitten shenanigans phase too - some of them were 5 or 6 before they settled to more adult kitty behaviours.

I'm sure there are kitties who are not black that are like this, but while some of the non-black kitties in our lives exhibit some of the traits, only the black kitties in our lives share all of them. Just our own little non-scientific observations that could also be skewed by the sort of company we keep :)
 

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How does he react when he hears you saying "no" or "ouch"? Does he understand that you are displeased with him, that someting bad is happening?

With our younger one I've used - and I now some of you scream "monster" now - a sray bottle. If I've had one close enough, I've sparyed at him when telling him "no" when he's been climbing on a table or doing sometehing else forbidden. I've only used water, I've heard people adding some lemon juice or vinegar, but water has been effective enough and I'm positive it does no harm to my baby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
He didn't when he got here but clapping my hands and say "NO!" seems to work now. He's learning and getting better. When he does anything that hurts me I pluck him off by his scruff and walk away from him. He's pretty desperate to be with me constantly so depriving him of company really works.

Everyone got their nails trimmed today and had lots of treats and praising. He was more interested in playing with the cat nail trimmers than anything else.

We did have a decent scuffle this morning. He kept bugging his brother to play and finally MowMow gave him way more play than he anticipated. He chased him all over the apartment and mauled him repeatedly. There wasn't any blood and it looked like MowMow was being pretty rough but he seemed to be controlling his claws and teeth so I let them scuffle it out(but watched closely to make sure the little guy was safe). Soon the kitten gave up and went into his box (a huge box with a tiny hole that MowMOw can't fit into) and waited for MowMOw to settle down. Since then they've been laying on the bed together and MowMOw even groomed Shepherd BOok's back leg briefly.

I think that with consistency and constant monitoring for a while he'll be a wonderful well behaved kitty. He seems to be all about pleasing and being with his human.
 

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Oh gosh, having just experienced the 5 month old crazies with my foster, Bootsy, I do NOT envy you and feel your pain. Having her made me realize I am NOT cut out for being a kitten-mama. Give me an adult cat any time! Although, much like my nieces and nephews, kittens are fun to visit with and play with, but I'm always glad they don't live with me :)
 

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Glad things are working out Krissy. Smart about the box with the hole that Mowmow can't fit into.

Thanks SpellQ for your history of black cat behavior. My black cat fits the profile too. Not much of a lap cat, likes to be held while I'm standing for a short period of time, and likes to lay at my feet with just her tail touching me (makes me think she wants to make sure I'm still there). Shadow is still very Kitten Like too.
 

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Nail clipping is the key to subduing climbing behavior. Gomer climbed me constantly when he was a kitten, and those little needles on his feet HURT! Unfortunately, he never outgrew the climbing phase and still occasionally launches himself up me at 2 yrs old and 12 lbs! YIKES!!! The only thing that works to discourage him is to keep his nails clipped. If he can't get a good grasp with his claws, he loses all interest in climbing.

Laurie
 
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