Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy


or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

How Old is
Your Cat?

Kitten
(1-11 months)

Select a stage on the timeline to view more content.

Pediatric Behavior Problems in Cats

Treatment

 

Any behavioral problems in kittens aside from those that might stem from a serious neurological problem (which is unlikely) can be treated at home. Medication should not be necessary, except in rare cases of extreme anxiety. Specific measures that should be undertaken depend on the behavior exhibited by your kitten.

 

If aggressive play directed towards people is an issue, the most effective treatment is to acquire an additional kitten for your kitten to play with. Do not hit, kick, or snap the kitten on the nose, as this often elicits more aggressive behavior. Trimming the claws can help reduce damage to people and objects. If your kitten is exhibiting aggressive behavior toward other cats in the household, it might help to take a more proactive role with your kitten. Daily interactive play, using stimulating toys or objects that move, is advised. Toys on strings can entice the kitten to play peacefully.

 

If your kitten is exhibiting fearful and defensive behaviors, it should be exposed to people gradually, and generally kept in a calm environment. Most importantly, let your kitten make the advances -- avoid scaring it by attempting to hold it if it does not want to be held, or continuing to hold it if it is uncomfortable. If fearful or defensive behaviors are a result of early trauma, the stimulus responsible for eliciting the fearful behavior should be identified.

 

Modification of handling techniques, such as punishment methods, is imperative. Your veterinarian can recommend behavior modification techniques that will not harm the kitten, or cause further psychological damage.

 

Living and Management

 

Make any necessary environmental changes, as recommended by your veterinarian. A healthy diet is also a good plan for ensuring normal development and behavior.

 

A check-in with your veterinarian to report improvement, or lack thereof, can be conducted over the phone, or during subsequent visits.

 

Prevention

 

Behavioral problems can be prevented. Kittens should be exposed to positive experiences with people when they are between the ages of three to seven weeks, and owners with children should prohibit roughhousing with kittens. Avoid punishing your kitten, as this can lead to fear, anxiety, and defensive aggressive behavior. Consult your veterinarian for proper training and handling techniques for young cats if you are in doubt.

Comments  0

Leave Comment

Sign up for the Cat Care Journal

Monthly expert tips and stage-by-stage advice to help care for your cat.

By subscribing you agree to receive special offers from Pet360 Inc and Church & Dwight Co., Inc., the makers of ARM & HAMMERTM.

Common cat Questions

  • Q: How can I stop my kitten from climbing up on my shelves and other high places?

    View Answers
  • Q: How can I stop my kitten from shredding my furniture?

    View Answers
  • Q: Why do kittens meow?

    View Answers
View All

Featured Breed

Omar

Savannah Cat

Featuring Omar
The Savannah is an unusual, exotic breed of domestic cat that looks much like its ancestor, the African Serval, but is smaller in size. One of the features that make this breed so unique...

LEARN MORE