Having kittens can be challenging…for Gideon. Bugsy is very active, rambunctious and can be onry, especially when he’s told “no”. He has discovered new “prey” (cables) behind the giant screen TV, which is super dangerous and Gideon has had a hellofa time trying to keep Bugsy out of it. He tried yelling…that didn’t work but it was super loud. He tried redirecting, sort of, but Bugsy needs the distraction to be WAY more interesting prey than the one he was just fixated on. He’s also, very much a “hand’s on” kind if kitty. He likes to play with us, or near us. He often will play with, whatever it is he’s found, by putting it near my foot and batting at it while reaching around my foot. . When I’m home, I have pretty good luck redirecting him by scooping him up, grabbing a toy and relocating to the other room. He likes to drape over me, when I’m laying on the bed, to give himself the best vantage point to catch Da Bird.
For me, Bugsy is a lot like Spike was at his age, so I totally got this. Poor Gideon is struggling a bit more.
I got several text messages today, saying that we needed to get a squirt bottle for Bugsy, to teach him what he’s not allowed to do…”to curb his disobedience”. I said “you get that he’s a tiny murderer with no sense of right and wrong, right?” Cats only think 4 things, several times a day: I need to kill that. I need to eat that. I need to clean myself. I need a nap. That’s all.
What we need to do to protect Bugsy from himself, as well as protect the entertainment components, is to make it uninteresting for him. We’re working on how best to do that, but in the mean time, I went to At Your Service today and the cat guy showed me some super fun toys to try. He also said to tell Gideon to “redirect the kitten and just go with the kitten energy”, ha ha ha! I told him “that’s what I keep saying!”
I understand where Gideon is coming from. I don’t want Bugsy to get hurt or destroy anything either, but I know from experience that negative reinforcement doesn’t work. Again, cats don’t understand WHY you’re spraying them because they have no concept of right or wrong. All they know is that you sprayed them…MAYBE if you manage to spray him EVERY SINGLE TIME he goes to the TV cables, he’ll understand that when he tries to go behind the TV, he gets sprayed and he won’t want to get sprayed anymore, but that would require spraying him every time…which is impossible, since we aren’t home all the time. He’ll still go behind there when we aren’t home, which will nullify the times we sprayed him before. It won’t work.
Bugsy is my little man, and I don’t experience any of the frustration that Gideon does. If I don’t want him into something, I take him away from it with something more fun. He’s a very determined, little hunter and eventually Daddy will understand how best to truly redirect him…and wear him out.
Until then, we’ll be getting some new toys and extra peacock feathers.