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Discussion Starter #1
At least once a day, my kitten jumps up at me. No matter how many times I tell her no, and pull her from my leg (her claws are extracted as if to pull herself up), she keeps doing that.

Sometimes when I'm sitting at my desk, she'll jump straight onto my lap, sometimes she misses, and needs to pull herself up the last bit, but I don't feel her claws that much then.

I've tried immediately picking her up when she jumps at my legs, thinking she just wants to be held, but she wiggles out of my arms. And it's not because she can't reach the counter either. I've tried setting her on the counter, and she wanted off.

Today, for the first time I tried using water to discourage her. It didn't work. She's used to me saying no, as I lift her off the dining room table and set her to the floor, try to pull her out of a drawer she managed to squeeze into despite it being nearly full, get her away from cables, tell her to stop scratching furniture, put her on her scratching post and praise her when she scratches there.

Saying no to jumping is not getting through to her. I sprayed a little bit of water on her, and she immediately ran, no stormed up the dining room table, and onto the back of the dining room chair. Quite aggressively too, as if to say, "You just don't do that to me! Or else!" She knows perfectly well that I don't tolerate her being on the dining room table or the backs of any of the chairs in there. And she really doesn't do that anymore, normally.

Maybe I misread her, that might explain why she reacted that way. But why would she be jumping? Could it mean that she wants me to sit down, so she can jump into my lap? Could it mean that she wants something? She always starts to jump me in the kitchen. No, it's not food she wants, or milk. Tried all that.

I'm getting desperate. Her claws are ****! I need to get her to stop doing that, but how?

Nishi
 

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I don't know about the jumping (I've never had to train a kitten) but why don't you try keeping her nails trimmed or use the nail covers on her? it might help with the pain. Again, I'm not much help because my kitty was declawed before I got him. Front paws anyway, his back have done some damage to me.
 

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I think she's playing. What you need to do is direct her aggression elsewhere. First you need to remove her from your leg - sometimes saying "Ouch" loudly will get them to let go. Then you need to place her in a "play area". This is where all her toys and scratching post are. Then you need to play with her a bit. This lets her know that her playfullness and aggression should go into playing with her toys rather than scratching her legs. Never play with her with your hands, always keep a toy between your hands and the cat (otherwise, she'll think it's okay to claw up your hands). It may take some time for her to figure it out, but if you are consistent, the behaviour will lessen.
 

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When she is jumping at you, are you just going about your business?

When I am trying to get stuff done around the house and Thomas wants my attention, he tries to climb up me (He does it really cute though, just stands on his hind legs and reaches up on me as far as he can and I pick him up under his front legs, like he's a toddler).

But either way, he usually does it when he wants attention. I would try ignoring her when she does this. Because so far you've trained her that if she does that, you'll do something interesting like pick her up, feed her, etc. When she stops trying to do it, then you should play with her or give her a treat. I don't know if that would work, but that's what I would try.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jessie,

Yelling Ouch does not work. I did that at first. "OUCH" and "NO". Every time. And she just kept jumping at me. Hindlegs on the floor, front claws up my leg. And do I feel them! So, I started trying to see if I should maybe pick her up, if that would help, or if maybe she wanted milk and didn't have any in the bowl. (There's always food and water, but I pour milk several times a day into a small bowl. Maybe it should be there all the time, I don't know. She always has water and food, though.)


OsnobunnieO,

Are there special tools I need to trim a kitten's claws? Declawing is not a solution for me. I can touch her paws, no problem, but it is a bit scary. How do I start?


Queen of the nile,

That's the only thing I haven't tried. Maybe she does want to play. Maybe I'm not playing with her enough: three to four times a day, short sessions. And before my bedtime. I can't seem to get into my bed without her wanting to turn the bed into a playground.


Kitty's Mom,

Yes, she jumps at me - always - in the kitchen. When I'm at the counter making coffee, or just pouring water into a glass. She watches for a while, and then jumps. She always watches me for a while, and then jumps. The counter is still too high for her, so maybe I'm the only way to reach it. She jumps at me when I'm on the toilet, after having sat there for a while listening to the "water fall", and after walking all around the toilet to see where it's going. She jumps at my legs, not the toilet. She jumps at my legs when I'm trying to watch television. When playing, and I'm holding a toy for too long, yes she jumps, but in that case it's easy to understand why she does it.

I hope she doesn't think I'm a scratching post :)

Nishi
 

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You definitely need to trim her claws. A link to instructions, as well as many helpful tips, can be found here:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... how&item=1
I just use people nail trimmers, the little pinch type, turned 90 degrees (so it's up-and-down instead of sideways).

BTW, scrap the milk. It's not good for her.

She's jumping because she wants to see what's happening and be part of what's going on. Do you have a stepladder, scratching post, stool or something you can put in the kitchen, a couple of feet away from the counter, to set her on so she has a good view without the climb? Right now *you* are the ladder, so we need to persuade her that there's a more acceptable substitute! :lol:

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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I discovered early on that Assumpta had never really learned the word "no" before we adopted her, so I started trying to communicate with her more like a cat. When she got too rough (which was every feeding time, when she'd try to climb up my leg), I'd make a (relatively) catlike yowl and turn my back on her to sulk and ignore her for a few moments (trying to act like a littermate that had been played with too roughly). That, for whatever reason, seemed to work better for her, so I eventually started to work in "no" in place of the yowls, and then went to more specific commands (like 'no paws,' 'no bites,' and 'get down, please' which she learned quite well). YMMV, though...I think that Assumpta hadn't had a lot of quality human interaction and related better to a less verbal communication style at first. Also, it taught her that "unacceptable" behavior was NOT going to result in extra attention, play or treats.

It does sound like she might want to play some more, as well as having a better vantage point...if you have a padded stool or cat tree, you can try incorporating it into playtime by pulling a toy up the side of the tree and encouraging her to follow it...make sure she gets to catch the toy when she gets to the top, so that she knows that cool things happen when she's there. If she's intrigued by running water, maybe one of those cat drinkng fountains would amuse her? Or even just trickling water into a bowl from a glass or small teapot on a level where she can watch it and play with it, if that's what she wants. Anything to redirect her attention from your legs/feet/hands to a more appropriate toy will help.

I have a friend with an ex-stray cat that had to be taught how to jump into a lap rather than dragging himself up with his claws. It was like he was afraid that the lap would suddenly move away if he jumped. Vicious cycle...the more he used his claws, the more likely the potential lap was to move away quickly, and the more likely he was to be nervous about jumping. Eventually, he got the hang of it (mostly by having a well-padded lap person and a quick-witted "spotter" to help him out), but it was a long (and rather painful) process. 8O
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Dr. Jean, Gudewife,

Thanks for the reply.

I am going to try trimming her nails a bit. Would an emory board do the trick as wel (for making them less sharp)?

In the weekend I let her have wet food (I talked about that in the health & nutrition part of this forum - she didn't eat much dry food since I got her, about 20/25 gr a day, so I gave her cat/kitten milk on top of that, which she was extremely fond of). It turns out that the wet food is much much more popular than the dry food, lately she'd started picking at the dry food rather than eating it. And now her eating has improved so much! It's like it's a different cat. Yesterday was the first time I saw her really "eat". When I poured some milk, she didn't want it anymore. The reason she wanted the milk, is probably because she was hungry, and the dry food didn't appeal to her much (she still has it, though, and occasionally eats a few bits in between meals).

The jumping has lestenend since (only now when she's playing, and I give up and sit down, and she's obviously not played out).

In the kitchen when she comes near me when I'm making coffee, she sits down, watches. Now I pet her once, and tell her how good she's behaving. And she's happy with that. She goes on doing what she was doing (checking her food bowl, playing). She hasn't jumped at me in the kitchen so far, and there is indeed a chair in the kitchen but she hasn't climbed it yet.

The water, yes. She hates it, barely drinks it, but a few days ago, I cought her in the bathroom sink. I gently turned on the tap, and she was mesmerized by the flowing water. I have a bar stool in the bathroom as well, but I now put it more in the center, so she can oversee the sink, the toilet, the bathtub. When I went in to use the toilet today, she jumped onto the small garbage can, onto the barstool, sat there watching until I flushed. All of that was very interesting to her. No jumping at me.

The only thing that ties this all together is water, curiosity, and (I'm really ashamed of not noticing sooner) the food had a large part in her behavior too.

After her first "real" meal, she behaved so sweetly, wanting to be around me constantly, rubbing against me, coming to sit with me at the computer desk. Not wanting to leave my lap. Hours!

I feel much better now :)

Thanks everyone!

Nishi
 

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its so good to hear that she's behaving better!

She sounds absolutely adorable when she just sits and watches you do things :)
 
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