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View Full Version : Update: Gabby and whether or not we have killed him yet. Warning: LONG.


-Lost
November 9th 07, 06:58 PM
Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting and
going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*

Anyway, he is now almost TWICE his original size. His frame appears
HUGE to me now for some reason and he is weighs obviously more. You
can tell when he lands on you that his landings are thuds rather than
soft kitty landings.

He is still beautiful, still looks like 90% of him is one cat, while
10% of him is ring-tailed lemur or raccoon.

He comes when called, knows several words and phrases and listens all
the time when it involves food and at least half of the time when it
involves stopping what he's doing.

He is still ferocious and attacks at will, but we can keep him calm
enough. Now when I pet him, he nuzzles me keeping his mouth closed
but rubs his teeth on me. Or sometimes he opens his mouth and bites
with no pressure -- kind of like he took his teeth out of his mouth
and just rested them on me. See #3 for more information on this
note.

The other day he was in a "bounce off of everything mood" so wound up
halfway out of the door when I let the dogs out for the restroom
before I could stop him. What he did do? He looked as if he had
just been shot in the chest, totally bewildered and shocked, looked
back and forth several times before spinning in a circle twice to see
where he was, noticed the open door and me standing there giggling,
and bolted back inside. He evidently does NOT want to go back to his
stray no-home lifestyle. Who could blame him?

I am quite convinced that what CatNipped sometimes says is absolutely
true -- kittens are stupid. Gabby likes to sneak his head under the
couch sideways (so that it fits) and then try and pull it out with
his head upright (which doesn't fit). So he winds up screaming and
digging in with all his might to reverse his path -- which doesn't
work. A few times he has been lucky enough to realize he should
crawl forward putting his entire body under the couch and then
crawling out -- yep, you guessed it, by putting his head sideways out
and under the couch. I say lucky and not smart because he does not
do it on purpose in my opinion. Only as a last resort which makes
him pretty daft.

Also, we believe that we have bested his crazy "kill all" mentality
(for the most part anyway). The few things we've done differently.

1. No more playing rough (thank you CatNipped and Sheelagh (quite
possibly more)).

2. Timeouts - I think this was most fundamental in the "cooling
down" stage. The crazier he acted the longer he stayed in the kennel
in a side room. The best he got was seeing us walk past the room.
He has even gotten to the point he won't cry out immediately because
he knows we are ignoring him. After a significant timeout he calls
softly to us and we let him out. And he stays calm for some time.
(Thanks to myself for this one, and RobZip for letting me know I
wasn't being cruel in doing so.)

3. Keeping those claws trimmed - Screw the nail coverings, forget
the "teach him to not scratch stuff" method, none of those were
effective. Cutting his nails as professional as possible and filing
them have proven to be amazing! (Thanks to those who gave advice
about trimming nails, how often to do it, how to pay attention to the
location of the quick, et cetera. Sadly, my memory does not allow me
to name specifically each individual who helped. (Although a Google
Groups search could assist.))

Keeping his claws trimmed down introduced a SEVERE biting problem. I
already mentioned in another post where the spouse had to "choke"
Gabby off of one of our daughters. He was so worked up that he would
NOT let go of our daughter and did SERIOUS damage after just a few
seconds. Does she hate him? No, but it seriously damaged their
relationship. She doesn't want anything to do with him as do the
rest of our children. Which is most definitely sad.

I hope that he continues this current streak of moderately good
behavior and they can eventually calm down around him. It breaks my
heart to see him in a "mood" and the girls stand at the ready in
defensive postures blocking their faces or with arms extended ready
to swat at him if/when he jumps at them.

The only thing I know for certain is that if he does this as an adult
to one of my children again (the total number of SERIOUS attacks are
not at 8) he is going to the pound where he will be euthanized -- no
questions asked. But enough of that negative thinking -- my boy has
been behaving GREAT for almost a week!

4. NO DECLAW - This is actually part of 3. Thanks to Megan
(http://www.stopdeclaw.com), cybercat, --MIKE, and several others who
prevented me from harming my beautiful boy.

See: Message-ID: >

5. Cans of pressurized air - Thanks goes to ALL who mentioned things
like shaking cans of marbles, pill bottles (that was mine), coins, et
cetera to calm a kitty down. However, it didn't work. Nor did
yelling. Nor did whistles. Nor did popping balloons. Nor did
<insert about ten other methods.> Finally I got the bright idea to
spray at him with canned air (NEVER at his face). One quick
"SSSSSHHHHTT!!" at his bottom or his feet and he IMMEDIATELY stops
the craziness. I refused to subscribe to the "he will become afraid
of it" mentality simply because it was not hurting him. And luckily
it worked. Considering this was a necessity to determine Gabby's
fate, to us it was a gamble that was well worth the risk.

6. Grass - I forgot who initially mentioned this, but thank you!
And a BIG thanks to --MIKE as well. Gabby was scared to death of
this stuff at first but after only ten minutes he had snatched his
first piece from the pot and was going to town.

The entire family tried eating some (we always try whatever the
animals have to eat) and none of us were impressed. I did try making
a salad out of it since it did not have the normal bitter taste of
normal grass and it turned out wonderful. I'll save that recipe for
my cookbook though. : )

7. Persistence (thank you Matt, cybercat, CatNipped, Sheelagh, and
several others that my memory simply won't allow me to name). We
were ready to believe that cats could not become socially trained
animals, especially since he was getting worse. Thanks to the above
tips amongst all of the other good advice we got here, it is
definitely a keen situation again.

I cannot stretch the truth and say there aren't times when he doesn't
push the boundaries to the VERY limit, but at least for the most part
he redeems himself. And for the times he does not, he sits in "kitty
prison" (the kennel) until he realizes the error of his ways.

For the most part, I have my loving and gentle kitten back and I
thank you all for it.

Thanks to everyone who showed patience without being an arse about it
-- CatNipped, Sheelagh, --MIKE, Matthew, cybercat (yes, I said
cybercat), mlbriggs, PawsForThought, and more I cannot remember.

**
See my next installment in a few days entitled: "Gabby did something
crazy again. We thought about killing him. Then he softened me up.
Then he did something crazy again so I almost killed him. Then he
did something nice and sweet. Then <topic cut off due to length...>"

** ; )

See ya'!

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

cybercat
November 9th 07, 08:33 PM
"-Lost" > wrote in message
...
> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting and
> going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*
>
> Anyway, he is now almost TWICE his original size. His frame appears
> HUGE to me now for some reason and he is weighs obviously more. You
> can tell when he lands on you that his landings are thuds rather than
> soft kitty landings.
>
> He is still beautiful, still looks like 90% of him is one cat, while
> 10% of him is ring-tailed lemur or raccoon.
>

Thanks for an excellent post. I am glad things are working out. Now then ...
I NEED to see a photo of this cat!

CatNipped[_2_]
November 9th 07, 10:22 PM
"-Lost" > wrote in message
...
> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting and
> going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*

<SNIP Gabby's adventures>

Hmmmm. I'm still worried about that biting - that's *not* good. A cat bite
is very nasty and can cause some severe medical problems (the only worse
bite is a human's). Aside from the kitten cry of "uncle", a high-pitched
*MEW*, I don't know what else to tell you - that always worked for me with
no further training needed. Would you be open to talking to an animal
behavorist? Your vet probably knows one in your area. As much as I hate
the idea of euthanasia, you really do have to think of your children first.
As a precaution, you might want to make sure everyone in your household is
up to date on their tetanus shots. In the meantime, I'll do a little more
research on bite prevention and see what I can come up with.

Hugs,

CatNipped

> -Lost
> Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
> kidding. No I am not.

PawsForThought
November 11th 07, 12:43 AM
On Nov 9, 1:58 pm, "-Lost" > wrote:

<book length post snipped>

> The only thing I know for certain is that if he does this as an adult
> to one of my children again (the total number of SERIOUS attacks are
> not at 8) he is going to the pound where he will be euthanized -- no
> questions asked. But enough of that negative thinking -- my boy has
> been behaving GREAT for almost a week!

Gah! Sounds like your cat is acting like a playful teenager who
perhaps hasn't been properly socialized, and who sounds like he would
definitely benefit from another young cat playmate. I would hope
before it comes to the point of you dumping him at a shelter to be
euthanized, that you would rehome him to someone who truly wants to,
and can, spend the necessary time with him. Yes, I know you've been
trying to work with him (and thanks for not declawing, btw), but what
you wrote above worries me.

CatNipped[_2_]
November 11th 07, 01:47 AM
"-Lost" > wrote in message
...
> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting and
> going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*

Just wondering, have you tried hissing loudly at Gabby when he gets too
rough? It doesn't do any good to yell and say "NO" because cats don't know
our language, so we have to learn theirs. I've been around cats all my
life, so I've learned to imitate all the sounds they make and I've learned
when to make them in order to communicate what I want the cat to do (or
*not* do).

Regarding another suggestion to give Gabby to someone else before sending
him to the pound... unless it's to someone who really knows how to train
cats and understands what he/she is taking on with Gabby (and someone who
doesn't have children), I wouldn't pass on a potential danger that I am not
willing to face for myself or my family. Only you are there to gauge how
bad the behavior is and how dangerous it makes Gabby, so all I can say is
use your best judgment. I know you're doing the best you can in trying to
socialize Gabby and give him a good, loving home.

I thin that some people underestimate of don't understand just how dangerous
a cat's bite can be (and, of course, we would all do any and everything to
fix a problem rather than harm a cat in any way).

Just to illustrate the danger (and hopefully I'm not scaring you with this):
There was a story on Animal Planet about a woman, a pianist, whose cat fell
from a second story balcony and impaled himself on a wrought iron fence.
The woman rushed outside to try to help her cat, but she couldn't remove him
from the fence. The best she could do was try to hold him still until help
could arrive. The entire time she was holding him, the cat, in pain and
terrified, continually bit her hands. She immediately got medical treatment
at an emergency room, but the bites still got infected (a cat bite, unlike a
scratch or a bite from a dog which has larger teeth, is a tiny hole, but a
deep one, so it's extremely difficult to wash it out well - a lot of the
time the outside of the wound will close, but the bacteria still deep inside
will cause the wound to fester).

The infection she got was very resistant to antibiotics and she ended up in
the hospital again and again so she could be given intravenous medication.
Every time they thought they had the infection under control it would spring
up again. For quite some time the doctors thought they might have to
amputate both her hands in order to stop the infection from becoming
systemic. They were eventually successful in getting the infection under
control without having to amputate, but her hands were permanently disabled
(from the doctors continually cutting into the muscles to lance the wounds
and remove pus). She was unable to play the piano well enough to continue
to make her living doing so. [BTW, the cat lived and completely recovered.]

Anyway, that is why I take cats' biting very seriously (and because I had a
cat who was a biter and had to spend considerable amounts for my own medical
treatments for cat bites).

It's bad enough when an adult gets bitten, but their larger size and better
immune system makes it harder for an infection to become systemic. A child
who is bitten, however, can succumb easily to a rampant infection. Again,
this is why I always strongly suggest that people *do not ever* play with
kittens with their hands - *always* use a toy and divert your cat away from
your hands, because once learned, this is a very hard habit to break (as
you're finding out the hard way). As much as I love cats (and I am a
complete ailurophile), I would still have to place a child's welfare over a
pets'.

I really hope you can find a way to get Gabby to quit his biting, I would be
heart-broken to read that he had to be put down because of this.

Anyway I'll keep thinking about this (so far all that I've read about curing
cats from biting just lists all the things we've already suggested you do).

Hugs,

CatNipped

CatNipped[_2_]
November 11th 07, 01:49 AM
"CatNipped" > wrote in message
...
> "-Lost" > wrote in message
> ...
>> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting and
>> going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*
>
> Just wondering, have you tried hissing loudly at Gabby when he gets too
> rough? It doesn't do any good to yell and say "NO" because cats don't
> know our language, so we have to learn theirs. I've been around cats all
> my life, so I've learned to imitate all the sounds they make and I've
> learned when to make them in order to communicate what I want the cat to
> do (or *not* do).
>
> Regarding another suggestion to give Gabby to someone else before sending
> him to the pound... unless it's to someone who really knows how to train
> cats and understands what he/she is taking on with Gabby (and someone who
> doesn't have children), I wouldn't pass on a potential danger that I am
> not willing to face for myself or my family. Only you are there to gauge
> how bad the behavior is and how dangerous it makes Gabby, so all I can say
> is use your best judgment. I know you're doing the best you can in trying
> to socialize Gabby and give him a good, loving home.
>
> I thin that some people underestimate of don't understand just how
> dangerous a cat's bite can be (and, of course, we would all do any and
> everything to fix a problem rather than harm a cat in any way).

ACK! I'm way too groggy with cold medicine and the pain from getting not
one, but TWO teeth drilled down to the bone in preparation for crowns this
morning! That should have read, "I think that some people underestimate or
don't understand just how dangerous a cat's bite can be."

>
> Just to illustrate the danger (and hopefully I'm not scaring you with
> this): There was a story on Animal Planet about a woman, a pianist, whose
> cat fell from a second story balcony and impaled himself on a wrought iron
> fence. The woman rushed outside to try to help her cat, but she couldn't
> remove him from the fence. The best she could do was try to hold him
> still until help could arrive. The entire time she was holding him, the
> cat, in pain and terrified, continually bit her hands. She immediately
> got medical treatment at an emergency room, but the bites still got
> infected (a cat bite, unlike a scratch or a bite from a dog which has
> larger teeth, is a tiny hole, but a deep one, so it's extremely difficult
> to wash it out well - a lot of the time the outside of the wound will
> close, but the bacteria still deep inside will cause the wound to fester).
>
> The infection she got was very resistant to antibiotics and she ended up
> in the hospital again and again so she could be given intravenous
> medication. Every time they thought they had the infection under control
> it would spring up again. For quite some time the doctors thought they
> might have to amputate both her hands in order to stop the infection from
> becoming systemic. They were eventually successful in getting the
> infection under control without having to amputate, but her hands were
> permanently disabled (from the doctors continually cutting into the
> muscles to lance the wounds and remove pus). She was unable to play the
> piano well enough to continue to make her living doing so. [BTW, the cat
> lived and completely recovered.]
>
> Anyway, that is why I take cats' biting very seriously (and because I had
> a cat who was a biter and had to spend considerable amounts for my own
> medical treatments for cat bites).
>
> It's bad enough when an adult gets bitten, but their larger size and
> better immune system makes it harder for an infection to become systemic.
> A child who is bitten, however, can succumb easily to a rampant infection.
> Again, this is why I always strongly suggest that people *do not ever*
> play with kittens with their hands - *always* use a toy and divert your
> cat away from your hands, because once learned, this is a very hard habit
> to break (as you're finding out the hard way). As much as I love cats
> (and I am a complete ailurophile), I would still have to place a child's
> welfare over a pets'.
>
> I really hope you can find a way to get Gabby to quit his biting, I would
> be heart-broken to read that he had to be put down because of this.
>
> Anyway I'll keep thinking about this (so far all that I've read about
> curing cats from biting just lists all the things we've already suggested
> you do).
>
> Hugs,
>
> CatNipped
>
>

-Lost
November 11th 07, 10:54 AM
Response to "cybercat" >:

> "-Lost" > wrote in message
> ...
>> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting
>> and going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*
>>
>> Anyway, he is now almost TWICE his original size. His frame
>> appears HUGE to me now for some reason and he is weighs obviously
>> more. You can tell when he lands on you that his landings are
>> thuds rather than soft kitty landings.
>>
>> He is still beautiful, still looks like 90% of him is one cat,
>> while 10% of him is ring-tailed lemur or raccoon.
>>
>
> Thanks for an excellent post. I am glad things are working out.
> Now then ... I NEED to see a photo of this cat!

Hey, sorry it took so long cybercat. I was checking out a few
options and decided to go with Picasa.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Lost.Gabby/PrinceGabby?authkey=3fwq-
CIu_pQ

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

-Lost
November 11th 07, 11:04 AM
Response to "CatNipped" >:

> "-Lost" > wrote in message
> ...
>> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting
>> and going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*
>
> <SNIP Gabby's adventures>
>
> Hmmmm. I'm still worried about that biting - that's *not* good.

Believe me, I know! Gabby's last two attacks have been VERY serious.
He gets himself worked into such a frenzy that he refuses to let go.

This last episode he actually shook his head back and forth on one of
my daughter's shoulders ripping several tooth holes in her shirt and
of course her skin.

> A cat bite is very nasty and can cause some severe medical
> problems (the only worse bite is a human's). Aside from the
> kitten cry of "uncle", a high-pitched *MEW*, I don't know what
> else to tell you - that always worked for me with no further
> training needed. Would you be open to talking to an animal
> behavorist? Your vet probably knows one in your area. As much as
> I hate the idea of euthanasia, you really do have to think of your
> children first. As a precaution, you might want to make sure
> everyone in your household is up to date on their tetanus shots.
> In the meantime, I'll do a little more research on bite prevention
> and see what I can come up with.

Well, I have actually contacted all the vets in this area and none
have any idea about anything like that. I also asked about a "cat
trainer," "cat whisperer," "cat anything," and the best they came up
with was the free awareness classes the refuge holds. The refuge
said that I was already up to speed on everything they teach.

....and again, she (the refuge owner) strongly urged that I get Gabby
declawed for safety reasons since it is evident he gets a mean streak
once in a while. ANYWAY.

I even contacted my friend's dad who runs the top notch dog training
school around here and he had no clue what to do with a cat aside
from training dogs with one. He meant to teach them how to behave,
not how to eat the cat!

And please do (more research), because so far you are the only one
(that I remember) who has offered any real help in regards to his
"violence."

I have to note for the record though, that he is STILL being good.
For I think almost a week or a little over a week he has been
outstanding. Hyper as hell and doing some of the craziest oddball
stuff I have ever seen, but its not US he's doing it to so it's fine
by me AND the other occupants of this house -- furry or not.

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

-Lost
November 11th 07, 11:50 AM
Response to PawsForThought >:

> On Nov 9, 1:58 pm, "-Lost" > wrote:
>
> <book length post snipped>

Hey, I issued a warning in the title stating it was LONG.

>> The only thing I know for certain is that if he does this as an
>> adult to one of my children again (the total number of SERIOUS
>> attacks are not at 8) he is going to the pound where he will be
>> euthanized -- no questions asked. But enough of that negative
>> thinking -- my boy has been behaving GREAT for almost a week!

That should have been, "are noW at 8..."

> Gah! Sounds like your cat is acting like a playful teenager who
> perhaps hasn't been properly socialized, and who sounds like he
> would definitely benefit from another young cat playmate.

Not going to happen.

> I would hope before it comes to the point of you dumping him at a
> shelter to be euthanized, that you would rehome him to someone who
> truly wants to, and can, spend the necessary time with him. Yes,
> I know you've been trying to work with him (and thanks for not
> declawing, btw), but what you wrote above worries me.

I'll start by saying this reminds me of one of my spouse's friend's
wife. She is a hateful woman who always starts some trashy, idiotic
statement with, "Now, I don't mean to be rude, but..."

(And this does not mean I think this of you, merely that it reminded
me of that. You said something that could be taken hard, but try to
ease out of it near the end.)

So, "someone WHO TRULY WANTS TO, and CAN, spend the NECESSARY TIME
with him" actually bothered me quite a bit.

I have busted my arse to show Gabby he is loved above and beyond what
the little fur ball deserves sometimes.

I am the one who used their insomnia to good advantage and stayed up
with him the entire first week or so he was here so he didn't have to
be kenneled all night long only to be let out during the day when 5
other people and 6 or more animals would be running about the house
scaring the hell out of him.

I brush him, feed him, teach him, clean up after him, removed
parasites from his nasty little hide, saved him from a thunderstorm
that lasted almost 20 hours, vaccinated him, have kept him safe from
the other animals here that could harm him, protected him even when
HE did something to said animals to make them pounce back, I have
rescued him from his fat head being stuck under the couch, under the
bathroom door when he HAS to be nosy and see what I am doing, I am
the one who did not sleep for nigh on 36 hours because the jerk ate a
peanut M&M to watch for ill effects, and I absolutely KNOW due to my
disability that I am surely missing even more stuff that I have done
to go above and beyond the call of duty for an animal that has done
nothing but be extremely cute, amaze us, and hurt us physically.

Now, believe me, I know EXACTLY where you are coming from and I know
your heart is in the right place, but this fanatical cat worship that
prompts you or anyone else to be concerned about a problematic cat
(he's not really that problematic in my opinion, it's just the
violence, more on that in a minute) and not mention a SINGLE thing
about my young children who live in fear of this little beasties'
crazy hyper-rage spells does NOTHING in the way of making me
remorseful to what MAY have to happen to Gabby one day.

The problematic cat topic. I view Gabby as non-problematic but with
one SERIOUS flaw. It is kind of like, what if the love of your life
was the greatest person on Earth and you would literally die for them
because they are so perfect in every way... the only problem was that
one to three times a week he attacks one of your children beating,
biting, or scratching them to the point that their skin is ripped,
torn, bleeding, whatever. Like an angel with the soul of a demon. I
am not sure if I am explaining that right. Anyway, point is beyond
all the good we cannot handle nor correct (so far) the one serious
flaw and that leaves but one other solution.

I have actually mentioned in other posts several key things that you
may have missed.

1. I tried finding him a home around 2 weeks ago before his recent
good behavior spell. NO ONE wants cats.

2. The refuge is full.

3. The pet store does not take strays, or cats under normal
circumstances during the holiday months October through December, and
being that the owner is a friend of mine I had to tell her the reason
we thought about relocating him. Which made the answer a definitive,
"no." Surely you wouldn't want me to give him to a place that would
euthanize him in a non-humane way once they found out he is mildly
psychotic would you?

4. That ONLY leaves the pound which euthanizes after 5 days.

So I didn't mean to sound as if he had only done one thing and
immediately I opted to extinguish his life. I meant exactly what I
said. We are dealing with the madness now, but if he latches onto
one of my children as a much larger, late adolescent or adult cat and
does what he does now, he is going to hurt one of my children
severely. At that point waiting several days, to weeks, maybe longer
for a home to open up will NOT be an option -- I will remove him from
the home to protect my children effective immediately. They've
already been through enough.

5. He has attacked a total of 8 times now. The last were REALLY
serious. He tore a PLUG out of one of my daughter's hands AND her
wrist and that was compounded by the 20+ deep grooves cut into her
arm as he jockeyed for a better position.

6. This does not include the 1,435,384 other times he has playfully
attacked and by playful I mean, didn't do ANYTHING damaging or even
painful.

7. Not ONCE have I mentioned the laptop cord he chewed through, the
set of earphones he chewed through, the mini-blinds he has chewed
holes in, the exquisite pair of handmade chopsticks my grandfather
gave me that cannot be replaced PERIOD, the stack of dishes he broke
when he wedged himself behind the dish drain and the microwave
sending an entire sink worth of dishes onto the floor, pushing my
Betta fish aquariums off the shelves -- TWICE now, the 3 or maybe 4
pairs of flip flops and sandals he has chewed through, the shoelaces
on my tennis shoes that he chewed through, uprooting a cactus we have
had growing for years, carting off my keys so many times that I had
to first call a locksmith to get into my car and also cost me more
money to buy one of those things that help you locate stuff that had
to be put on my keys, my glasses that he ran off with and we found
chewed to pieces several days later in his KENNEL (I know, it cracked
us up too), and anyway, the list goes on and on.

The physical pain some of us in this household have to endure is the
ONLY problem I have with Gabby when it boils down to it.

On the other side of things I am ALWAYS open to more behavioral
modification techniques or tried and proven methods of making him
cease and desist mid-attack. You have provided great suggestions
before so I'll eagerly listen. The canned air is still doing wonders
too, by the way.

In closing, I hope I didn't offend you, I wasn't angry or anything,
just excited (I am excitable) and I normally come off wacky or
agitated sounding when I am excited.

Not to mention Gabby let me have a Red Bull:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Lost.Gabby/PrinceGabby?authkey=3fwq-
CIu_pQ

So here's to Gabby living a long life with us assuming we can afford
plate mail if things get out of hand again.

See ya'.

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

-Lost
November 11th 07, 12:09 PM
Response to "CatNipped" >:

> "-Lost" > wrote in message
> ...
>> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting
>> and going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*
>
> Just wondering, have you tried hissing loudly at Gabby when he
> gets too rough? It doesn't do any good to yell and say "NO"
> because cats don't know our language, so we have to learn theirs.
> I've been around cats all my life, so I've learned to imitate all
> the sounds they make and I've learned when to make them in order
> to communicate what I want the cat to do (or *not* do).

I have often wondered about that. How come dogs can come to
understand verbal commands but cats supposedly cannot?

I say supposedly only because Gabby comes when I call him. And if I
say, "gabby-gabby-gabby" really fast and in a high-pitched voice he
will bolt right past me and head for the food dish -- doesn't matter
where I am, he knows that means food.

However, I have tried hissing and it was because of what you taught
me about crying "Uncle" in kittenese. I don't think I can make it
loud enough without causing myself to choke. HAHAHA!

One thing that I know I have forgot to mention is that Gabby listens
to and responds to ME the most. So if I cry uncle right in his face,
by the second or third time he is done. Thing is he goes on to
easier prey -- the spouse, the puppies, the children.

> Regarding another suggestion to give Gabby to someone else before
> sending him to the pound... unless it's to someone who really
> knows how to train cats and understands what he/she is taking on
> with Gabby (and someone who doesn't have children), I wouldn't
> pass on a potential danger that I am not willing to face for
> myself or my family. Only you are there to gauge how bad the
> behavior is and how dangerous it makes Gabby, so all I can say is
> use your best judgment. I know you're doing the best you can in
> trying to socialize Gabby and give him a good, loving home.

Exactly. I have not been able to locate (nor have I looked in a week
or more) a suitable environment to put him into.

Like I explained to PawsForThought, I am so immersed in that cat's
life it's no wonder he likes me best and responds to me well.
Everyone else is too scared to stick with it long enough.

Remember you and Sheelagh actually had to tell me to STOP the rough
play with him initially. I couldn't get enough of it -- either could
he.

> I thin that some people underestimate of don't understand just how
> dangerous a cat's bite can be (and, of course, we would all do any
> and everything to fix a problem rather than harm a cat in any
> way).

Exactly. I am no cat worshiper, but I definitely think I could be
called a cat slave. Granted, I may lead a revolution one day but
master treats me well enough for now. ;)

> Just to illustrate the danger (and hopefully I'm not scaring you
> with this): There was a story on Animal Planet about a woman, a
> pianist, whose cat fell from a second story balcony and impaled
> himself on a wrought iron fence.

<snip>

Nope, didn't scare me a bit. And although I don't totally agree, I
would have stood there holding the poor kitty too.

And I kind of knew that about the teeth when I actually thought about
it, so thanks for bringing it up! I really don't want a horrific cat
bite... just for the record. ;)

> Anyway, that is why I take cats' biting very seriously (and
> because I had a cat who was a biter and had to spend considerable
> amounts for my own medical treatments for cat bites).
>
> It's bad enough when an adult gets bitten, but their larger size
> and better immune system makes it harder for an infection to
> become systemic. A child who is bitten, however, can succumb
> easily to a rampant infection. Again, this is why I always
> strongly suggest that people *do not ever* play with kittens with
> their hands - *always* use a toy and divert your cat away from
> your hands, because once learned, this is a very hard habit to
> break (as you're finding out the hard way). As much as I love
> cats (and I am a complete ailurophile), I would still have to
> place a child's welfare over a pets'.

Oh jeez, I know. Crazy thing is, I still believe this "violence" is
mostly my fault. But jeez, I only roughhoused with him for maybe a
week. He sure knows how to fight though.

And agreed. I think I could be called an ailurophile as well. I
adore Gabby. But like the "angel with a demon's soul" post I made, I
have to think about everyone, definitely my kiddies. My beautiful,
beautiful girls already have so many scars from this little bundle of
sinewy terror.

> I really hope you can find a way to get Gabby to quit his biting,
> I would be heart-broken to read that he had to be put down because
> of this.

I am really excitable and emotional at times, so just you mentioning
that sent me down imagination lane and currently has me stifling
watery eyes.

To be honest, it may be a cop out, but that is why I would take him
to the pound. I could not bear to take him to a vet and sit there
while it happened or to know it was happening while I waited or even
as I left.

OK, now I am crying a bit.

> Anyway I'll keep thinking about this (so far all that I've read
> about curing cats from biting just lists all the things we've
> already suggested you do).

Thank you, CatNipped. As always, I appreciate your help. And I know
Gabby does too.

Gabby as of yesterday:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Lost.Gabby/PrinceGabby?authkey=3fwq-
CIu_pQ

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

-Lost
November 11th 07, 12:10 PM
Response to "CatNipped" >:

>> I thin that some people underestimate of don't understand just
>> how dangerous a cat's bite can be (and, of course, we would all
>> do any and everything to fix a problem rather than harm a cat in
>> any way).
>
> ACK! I'm way too groggy with cold medicine and the pain from
> getting not one, but TWO teeth drilled down to the bone in
> preparation for crowns this morning! That should have read, "I
> think that some people underestimate or don't understand just how
> dangerous a cat's bite can be."

I understood. I speak fluent gibberish. Haha! : )

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

CatNipped[_2_]
November 11th 07, 02:44 PM
"-Lost" > wrote in message
...
> Response to "CatNipped" >:
>
>> "-Lost" > wrote in message
>> ...
>>> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting
>>> and going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*
>>
>> Just wondering, have you tried hissing loudly at Gabby when he
>> gets too rough? It doesn't do any good to yell and say "NO"
>> because cats don't know our language, so we have to learn theirs.
>> I've been around cats all my life, so I've learned to imitate all
>> the sounds they make and I've learned when to make them in order
>> to communicate what I want the cat to do (or *not* do).
>
> I have often wondered about that. How come dogs can come to
> understand verbal commands but cats supposedly cannot?
>
> I say supposedly only because Gabby comes when I call him. And if I
> say, "gabby-gabby-gabby" really fast and in a high-pitched voice he
> will bolt right past me and head for the food dish -- doesn't matter
> where I am, he knows that means food.
>
> However, I have tried hissing and it was because of what you taught
> me about crying "Uncle" in kittenese. I don't think I can make it
> loud enough without causing myself to choke. HAHAHA!
>
> One thing that I know I have forgot to mention is that Gabby listens
> to and responds to ME the most. So if I cry uncle right in his face,
> by the second or third time he is done. Thing is he goes on to
> easier prey -- the spouse, the puppies, the children.
>
>> Regarding another suggestion to give Gabby to someone else before
>> sending him to the pound... unless it's to someone who really
>> knows how to train cats and understands what he/she is taking on
>> with Gabby (and someone who doesn't have children), I wouldn't
>> pass on a potential danger that I am not willing to face for
>> myself or my family. Only you are there to gauge how bad the
>> behavior is and how dangerous it makes Gabby, so all I can say is
>> use your best judgment. I know you're doing the best you can in
>> trying to socialize Gabby and give him a good, loving home.
>
> Exactly. I have not been able to locate (nor have I looked in a week
> or more) a suitable environment to put him into.
>
> Like I explained to PawsForThought, I am so immersed in that cat's
> life it's no wonder he likes me best and responds to me well.
> Everyone else is too scared to stick with it long enough.
>
> Remember you and Sheelagh actually had to tell me to STOP the rough
> play with him initially. I couldn't get enough of it -- either could
> he.
>
>> I thin that some people underestimate of don't understand just how
>> dangerous a cat's bite can be (and, of course, we would all do any
>> and everything to fix a problem rather than harm a cat in any
>> way).
>
> Exactly. I am no cat worshiper, but I definitely think I could be
> called a cat slave. Granted, I may lead a revolution one day but
> master treats me well enough for now. ;)
>
>> Just to illustrate the danger (and hopefully I'm not scaring you
>> with this): There was a story on Animal Planet about a woman, a
>> pianist, whose cat fell from a second story balcony and impaled
>> himself on a wrought iron fence.
>
> <snip>
>
> Nope, didn't scare me a bit. And although I don't totally agree, I
> would have stood there holding the poor kitty too.
>
> And I kind of knew that about the teeth when I actually thought about
> it, so thanks for bringing it up! I really don't want a horrific cat
> bite... just for the record. ;)
>
>> Anyway, that is why I take cats' biting very seriously (and
>> because I had a cat who was a biter and had to spend considerable
>> amounts for my own medical treatments for cat bites).
>>
>> It's bad enough when an adult gets bitten, but their larger size
>> and better immune system makes it harder for an infection to
>> become systemic. A child who is bitten, however, can succumb
>> easily to a rampant infection. Again, this is why I always
>> strongly suggest that people *do not ever* play with kittens with
>> their hands - *always* use a toy and divert your cat away from
>> your hands, because once learned, this is a very hard habit to
>> break (as you're finding out the hard way). As much as I love
>> cats (and I am a complete ailurophile), I would still have to
>> place a child's welfare over a pets'.
>
> Oh jeez, I know. Crazy thing is, I still believe this "violence" is
> mostly my fault. But jeez, I only roughhoused with him for maybe a
> week. He sure knows how to fight though.
>
> And agreed. I think I could be called an ailurophile as well. I
> adore Gabby. But like the "angel with a demon's soul" post I made, I
> have to think about everyone, definitely my kiddies. My beautiful,
> beautiful girls already have so many scars from this little bundle of
> sinewy terror.
>
>> I really hope you can find a way to get Gabby to quit his biting,
>> I would be heart-broken to read that he had to be put down because
>> of this.
>
> I am really excitable and emotional at times, so just you mentioning
> that sent me down imagination lane and currently has me stifling
> watery eyes.
>
> To be honest, it may be a cop out, but that is why I would take him
> to the pound. I could not bear to take him to a vet and sit there
> while it happened or to know it was happening while I waited or even
> as I left.
>
> OK, now I am crying a bit.
>
>> Anyway I'll keep thinking about this (so far all that I've read
>> about curing cats from biting just lists all the things we've
>> already suggested you do).
>
> Thank you, CatNipped. As always, I appreciate your help. And I know
> Gabby does too.
>
> Gabby as of yesterday:
> http://picasaweb.google.com/Lost.Gabby/PrinceGabby?authkey=3fwq-
> CIu_pQ

He's *gorgeous*!

Hugs,

CatNipped

>
> --
> -Lost
> Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
> kidding. No I am not.

CatNipped[_2_]
November 11th 07, 02:50 PM
"-Lost" > wrote in message
...
> Response to "CatNipped" >:
>
>> "-Lost" > wrote in message
>> ...
>>> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting
>>> and going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*
>>
>> <SNIP Gabby's adventures>
>>
>> Hmmmm. I'm still worried about that biting - that's *not* good.
>
> Believe me, I know! Gabby's last two attacks have been VERY serious.
> He gets himself worked into such a frenzy that he refuses to let go.
>
> This last episode he actually shook his head back and forth on one of
> my daughter's shoulders ripping several tooth holes in her shirt and
> of course her skin.
>
>> A cat bite is very nasty and can cause some severe medical
>> problems (the only worse bite is a human's). Aside from the
>> kitten cry of "uncle", a high-pitched *MEW*, I don't know what
>> else to tell you - that always worked for me with no further
>> training needed. Would you be open to talking to an animal
>> behavorist? Your vet probably knows one in your area. As much as
>> I hate the idea of euthanasia, you really do have to think of your
>> children first. As a precaution, you might want to make sure
>> everyone in your household is up to date on their tetanus shots.
>> In the meantime, I'll do a little more research on bite prevention
>> and see what I can come up with.
>
> Well, I have actually contacted all the vets in this area and none
> have any idea about anything like that. I also asked about a "cat
> trainer," "cat whisperer," "cat anything," and the best they came up
> with was the free awareness classes the refuge holds. The refuge
> said that I was already up to speed on everything they teach.
>
> ...and again, she (the refuge owner) strongly urged that I get Gabby
> declawed for safety reasons since it is evident he gets a mean streak
> once in a while. ANYWAY.
>
> I even contacted my friend's dad who runs the top notch dog training
> school around here and he had no clue what to do with a cat aside
> from training dogs with one. He meant to teach them how to behave,
> not how to eat the cat!
>
> And please do (more research), because so far you are the only one
> (that I remember) who has offered any real help in regards to his
> "violence."
>
> I have to note for the record though, that he is STILL being good.
> For I think almost a week or a little over a week he has been
> outstanding. Hyper as hell and doing some of the craziest oddball
> stuff I have ever seen, but its not US he's doing it to so it's fine
> by me AND the other occupants of this house -- furry or not.

If he's still doing it in play (mock hunting/killing), and not out of anger
or fear, the problem will take care of itself with time. But it will be
quite a while before his playing tapers off - and the larger he is the more
damage he can cause.

Can you teach the girls and your spouse the kitty "uncle" cry? I don't
think he's taking his agression out on them because you won't let him with
you, I think he probably thinks you're a big wuss and has found others to
play with who aren't (again, kittens playing together use that as a signal
that one is getting too rough and is hurting - if he's not getting that
response he may think he's not hurting the girls... I don't know this for
sure since I'm not there to witness his attacks, but it is a possibility).

Hugs,

CatNipped

>
> --
> -Lost
> Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
> kidding. No I am not.

CatNipped[_2_]
November 11th 07, 03:31 PM
"-Lost" > wrote in message
...
> Response to "CatNipped" >:
>
>> "-Lost" > wrote in message
>> ...
>>> Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting
>>> and going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*
>>
>> Just wondering, have you tried hissing loudly at Gabby when he
>> gets too rough? It doesn't do any good to yell and say "NO"
>> because cats don't know our language, so we have to learn theirs.
>> I've been around cats all my life, so I've learned to imitate all
>> the sounds they make and I've learned when to make them in order
>> to communicate what I want the cat to do (or *not* do).
>
> I have often wondered about that. How come dogs can come to
> understand verbal commands but cats supposedly cannot?
>
> I say supposedly only because Gabby comes when I call him. And if I
> say, "gabby-gabby-gabby" really fast and in a high-pitched voice he
> will bolt right past me and head for the food dish -- doesn't matter
> where I am, he knows that means food.

I think it's because of dogs' attitudes. A dog *lives* to please his
owner - he constantly watches and listens so he can modify his behavior and
gain acceptance (he is more literally at the mercy of his owners for his
food/existence).. A cat, however, will only associate certain sounds with
certain rewards (food of petting). They are much more independent and don't
focus their entire attention on their owners 100% of the time. This is
illustrated by how each will react when you walk into a room - the dog will
immediately jump up and run over to you, the cat *might* deign to glance
your way.

>
> However, I have tried hissing and it was because of what you taught
> me about crying "Uncle" in kittenese. I don't think I can make it
> loud enough without causing myself to choke. HAHAHA!

Ah, should have known, I knew you were a smart cookie! ;>

>
> One thing that I know I have forgot to mention is that Gabby listens
> to and responds to ME the most. So if I cry uncle right in his face,
> by the second or third time he is done. Thing is he goes on to
> easier prey -- the spouse, the puppies, the children.

I wrote this in another response to you, but it's worth repeating...

Can you teach the girls and your spouse the kitty "uncle" cry? I don't
think he's taking his agression out on them because you won't let him with
you, I think he probably thinks you're a big wuss and he thinks he has found
others to play with who aren't (again, kittens playing together use that as
a signal that one is getting too rough and is hurting - if he's not getting
that response he may think he's not hurting the girls... I don't know this
for sure since I'm not there to witness his attacks, but it is a
possibility).

>
>> Regarding another suggestion to give Gabby to someone else before
>> sending him to the pound... unless it's to someone who really
>> knows how to train cats and understands what he/she is taking on
>> with Gabby (and someone who doesn't have children), I wouldn't
>> pass on a potential danger that I am not willing to face for
>> myself or my family. Only you are there to gauge how bad the
>> behavior is and how dangerous it makes Gabby, so all I can say is
>> use your best judgment. I know you're doing the best you can in
>> trying to socialize Gabby and give him a good, loving home.
>
> Exactly. I have not been able to locate (nor have I looked in a week
> or more) a suitable environment to put him into.
>
> Like I explained to PawsForThought, I am so immersed in that cat's
> life it's no wonder he likes me best and responds to me well.
> Everyone else is too scared to stick with it long enough.

And that really is a shame, because he could turn out to be a wonderful
companion to them if he could stop the biting. Like children, kittens who
are very bright tend to get into *lots* more trouble than their slower
peers. Going by some of the things you wrote to PawsForThought, Gabby
sounds like a feline genius!! ;> Your post sounds like some of the things
Sammy used to do when she was a kitten - her exploits are infamous! She's
over 3 years old now and she has definitely slowed down from kittenhood,
but she still likes to play chase and stalk me from under furniture (at
least the furniture high enough to fit her 18 pound hinney). What's funny,
though, is that, because of my crying "uncle" so much when she was a kitten,
she'll pounce on me with claws withdrawn and sort of just "place" her mouth
on my ankle - then she'll jump back with concern in her eyes to make sure
she didn't hurt her wussy mommy! ;>

>
> Remember you and Sheelagh actually had to tell me to STOP the rough
> play with him initially. I couldn't get enough of it -- either could
> he.
>
>> I thin that some people underestimate of don't understand just how
>> dangerous a cat's bite can be (and, of course, we would all do any
>> and everything to fix a problem rather than harm a cat in any
>> way).
>
> Exactly. I am no cat worshiper, but I definitely think I could be
> called a cat slave. Granted, I may lead a revolution one day but
> master treats me well enough for now. ;)
>
>> Just to illustrate the danger (and hopefully I'm not scaring you
>> with this): There was a story on Animal Planet about a woman, a
>> pianist, whose cat fell from a second story balcony and impaled
>> himself on a wrought iron fence.
>
> <snip>
>
> Nope, didn't scare me a bit. And although I don't totally agree, I
> would have stood there holding the poor kitty too.
>
> And I kind of knew that about the teeth when I actually thought about
> it, so thanks for bringing it up! I really don't want a horrific cat
> bite... just for the record. ;)

The girls are probably still up on their tetanus vaccinations, but you might
want to get one (especially if he ever bites you hard). I get one every 7
years just to be on the safe side, even now that my Bandit is gone, because
I still deal with the strays outside (I feed every living creature within a
3 mile radius of my house - when we put the food out in the evening and
whistle, you can see squirrels jumping out of trees and running the fence
line from several blocks away!! ;>). Whenever I get a cat bite I
immediately call my doctor and have him prescribe me a round of Clavamox.
When giving first aid for a cat bite, the important thing is to "bleed" it
as much as possible - *don't* try to stop the bleeding right away, keep
squeezing and "massaging" the bite for as long as you can get it to bleed.
Rinse it out over and over with peroxide, squeezing the wound while you do
so. Only use the peroxide for the initial treatment, after that use
Neosporin 4 times a day making sure to "massage" it into and around the
wound. If you see even a tiny amoung of redness after the first day
HIGHTAIL it to your doctor.

>
>> Anyway, that is why I take cats' biting very seriously (and
>> because I had a cat who was a biter and had to spend considerable
>> amounts for my own medical treatments for cat bites).
>>
>> It's bad enough when an adult gets bitten, but their larger size
>> and better immune system makes it harder for an infection to
>> become systemic. A child who is bitten, however, can succumb
>> easily to a rampant infection. Again, this is why I always
>> strongly suggest that people *do not ever* play with kittens with
>> their hands - *always* use a toy and divert your cat away from
>> your hands, because once learned, this is a very hard habit to
>> break (as you're finding out the hard way). As much as I love
>> cats (and I am a complete ailurophile), I would still have to
>> place a child's welfare over a pets'.
>
> Oh jeez, I know. Crazy thing is, I still believe this "violence" is
> mostly my fault. But jeez, I only roughhoused with him for maybe a
> week. He sure knows how to fight though.

No, don't beat yourself up about that - it sounds to me like he's just a
hooli-kitten and would be doing that even if you hadn't played rough with
him. Some kittens are just that crazy. And didn't you say you rescued him
from outside? He may have never been around any humans before you, and with
cats, it's essential to get them used to being handled in the first few
weeks of life or they will have socialization problems that are hard to
overcome.

>
> And agreed. I think I could be called an ailurophile as well. I
> adore Gabby. But like the "angel with a demon's soul" post I made, I
> have to think about everyone, definitely my kiddies. My beautiful,
> beautiful girls already have so many scars from this little bundle of
> sinewy terror.

I know, as much as I love my clowder, and *all* cats, I just couldn't put
their welfare ahead of a child. Don't get me wrong, like you, I'd do
everything in my power to keep from having to make that choice, but once you
have to, you must put your child's welfare first.

>
>> I really hope you can find a way to get Gabby to quit his biting,
>> I would be heart-broken to read that he had to be put down because
>> of this.
>
> I am really excitable and emotional at times, so just you mentioning
> that sent me down imagination lane and currently has me stifling
> watery eyes.
>
> To be honest, it may be a cop out, but that is why I would take him
> to the pound. I could not bear to take him to a vet and sit there
> while it happened or to know it was happening while I waited or even
> as I left.
>
> OK, now I am crying a bit.

Yeah, me too. Every time I have even a passing thought about my Bandit I'll
burst into tears. Those little paws can leave prints all *over* your heart!

>
>> Anyway I'll keep thinking about this (so far all that I've read
>> about curing cats from biting just lists all the things we've
>> already suggested you do).
>
> Thank you, CatNipped. As always, I appreciate your help. And I know
> Gabby does too.
>
> Gabby as of yesterday:
> http://picasaweb.google.com/Lost.Gabby/PrinceGabby?authkey=3fwq-
> CIu_pQ

Again because it's worth repeating, he's *GORGEOUS*! ;>

Hugs,

CatNipped

>
> --
> -Lost
> Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
> kidding. No I am not.

mariib via CatKB.com
November 11th 07, 05:32 PM
-Lost wrote:
>Nope, he's still kicking... or should I say scratching and biting and
>going ape bouncing off of walls? *shrugs*
>
>Anyway, he is now almost TWICE his original size. His frame appears
>HUGE to me now for some reason and he is weighs obviously more. You
>can tell when he lands on you that his landings are thuds rather than
>soft kitty landings.
>
>He is still beautiful, still looks like 90% of him is one cat, while
>10% of him is ring-tailed lemur or raccoon.
>
>He comes when called, knows several words and phrases and listens all
>the time when it involves food and at least half of the time when it
>involves stopping what he's doing.
>
>He is still ferocious and attacks at will, but we can keep him calm
>enough. Now when I pet him, he nuzzles me keeping his mouth closed
>but rubs his teeth on me. Or sometimes he opens his mouth and bites
>with no pressure -- kind of like he took his teeth out of his mouth
>and just rested them on me. See #3 for more information on this
>note.
>
>**
>See my next installment in a few days entitled: "Gabby did something
>crazy again. We thought about killing him. Then he softened me up.
>Then he did something crazy again so I almost killed him. Then he
>did something nice and sweet. Then <topic cut off due to length...>"
>
>** ; )
>
>See ya'!
>
I've been following your stories about Gabby & it's been awhile since I've
posted here. I've also had experience with 2 very aggressive young cats &
this is how I handled & re-trained them. This is almost as long a post as
yours! As a warning - there will be those who will disagree & flame me - but
if you've not had a biting cat (& been bitten!), then restrain your comments.
My very first cat was rescued by a friend in 1970 from boys trying to drown
her in a swimming pool by holding her underwater with the rescue poles. She
was young, small, ? 6-8 months, wild, mean & vicious. I got bites & scratches
on both arms & legs every day. I was single & didn't have kids to worry
about. I worked fulltime but talked to her quietly all the time before &
after work. I used to lightly & quickly tap her with my hand on her nose &
mouth saying "no" each time she used her teeth on me. I have a high-pitched
voice so the "no" was distinctive. It took awhile but the biting stopped.
Later after I married & gained an instant family with 2 teens, we had to
briefly go through this once more. By the time my own kids arrived 4 years
later, she was settled & well-behaved. BTW, she guarded us all throughout her
16-1/2 years although anyone outside the family was scared of her because she
never stopped hissing at strangers - I never tried to stop that. This was my
beautiful tortoiseshell girl Whiskey & there's a few pictures of her on
webshots at http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2625434790050028271pvSgGN

3 years ago I brought home an adorable tiny black & white kitten that had
been abandoned over the weekend in a box in the rain at my vet's parking lot.
I liked his looks & personality & thought he'd be a good companion for my
other cats - high energy, slightly crazy & affectionate. I didn't realize he
was also a biter & snapper until I had him home downstairs in a large area by
himself so that the other 2 cats could get used to him. No warning, I'd be
sitting downstairs talking to him, he'd be dancing around & then without
warning he'd pounce & bite. I used the same quick tap on her nose & mouth
with a loud "no" & stopped his biting & snapping as I'd done with Whiskey
years before & it only took a couple weeks. And by then one of my other cats
Coco was continually at the door to his room so we let him loose - havoc for
the house, but the cats were fine together. He's so affectionate & still
"play bites" with my husband & self - but he's only mouthing us - never a
mark. This is my Little Devil - no longer so little but he's *always* a devil.
Now, when my grandchildren are here, we keep a very close eye but he's good
with the kids & follows them everywhere while Coco hides. Here's a link to
some of his pictures
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2018890770050028271LhghAY

Good luck with Gabby, but if he continues to attack & bite your kids, you
really won't have too much choice - and choices are difficult but you will
have to act.
M.

--
Message posted via CatKB.com
http://www.catkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/cat-health/200711/1

PawsForThought
November 11th 07, 09:00 PM
On Nov 11, 6:50 am, "-Lost" > wrote:
> Response to PawsForThought >:
>
> > Gah! Sounds like your cat is acting like a playful teenager who
> > perhaps hasn't been properly socialized, and who sounds like he
> > would definitely benefit from another young cat playmate.
>
> Not going to happen.

May I ask why not? I've found that a very active, playful and
sometimes maniacal cat can really benefit with a playmate. The
playmate shares in all the energy and attacks. It really is very
beneficial.

> I have busted my arse to show Gabby he is loved above and beyond what
> the little fur ball deserves sometimes.
>
> I am the one who used their insomnia to good advantage and stayed up
> with him the entire first week or so he was here so he didn't have to
> be kenneled all night long only to be let out during the day when 5
> other people and 6 or more animals would be running about the house
> scaring the hell out of him.
>
> I brush him, feed him, teach him, clean up after him, removed
> parasites from his nasty little hide, saved him from a thunderstorm
> that lasted almost 20 hours, vaccinated him, have kept him safe from
> the other animals here that could harm him, protected him even when
> HE did something to said animals to make them pounce back, I have
> rescued him from his fat head being stuck under the couch, under the
> bathroom door when he HAS to be nosy and see what I am doing, I am
> the one who did not sleep for nigh on 36 hours because the jerk ate a
> peanut M&M to watch for ill effects, and I absolutely KNOW due to my
> disability that I am surely missing even more stuff that I have done
> to go above and beyond the call of duty for an animal that has done
> nothing but be extremely cute, amaze us, and hurt us physically.

Again, he sounds like a typical young teenage male cat. You wouldn't
believe all the trouble my Mickey got into when he was young (and
continues to do today). Yeah, it took time and a lot of patience
(which sometimes was hard to draw upon), but I think he's pretty well
socialized now. My cats were young rescue kittens when I adopted them
and thus they didn't have much socializing. Mickey in particular had
a biting problem. I trained him out of it. No, it wasn't easy but I
think with most cats it can be done. Having a playmate (his sister
Meesha) really, really helped. Of course Meesha was not without her
issues (had a bad problem with biting cords).

>
> Now, believe me, I know EXACTLY where you are coming from and I know
> your heart is in the right place, but this fanatical cat worship that
> prompts you or anyone else to be concerned about a problematic cat
> (he's not really that problematic in my opinion, it's just the
> violence, more on that in a minute) and not mention a SINGLE thing
> about my young children who live in fear of this little beasties'
> crazy hyper-rage spells does NOTHING in the way of making me
> remorseful to what MAY have to happen to Gabby one day.

Fanatical? Moi? ROFL Well you may be right about that. However, in
my experience, when young children are bitten or scratched by a cat,
usually, it is as a result of something the child has done to the
cat. I remember when I was young and our family cat scratched me
badly. My mom asked what I had done to the cat to make her attack
me. I was trying to dress her up in doll clothes (not an easy thing
to do with a Siamese cat). Anyway, I"m not saying in your case that
your kids were doing anything to the cat, just putting the thought out
there. Often kids don't want to admit they were antagonizing the
cat. Teach your kids what warning signs to look for, i.e. flattened
ears, dilated eyes, thrashing tail. Cats can become overstimulated
easily.

As a last thought, you might want to consult with a cat behaviorist
who may be able to help you, although it does sound like you're
getting lots of good advice from the posters here. But sometimes
working one on one with a behaviorist can work wonders.

Good luck to you and your kitty.

November 11th 07, 10:26 PM
On Nov 11, 3:50 am, "-Lost" > wrote:
> Response to PawsForThought >:
>
> > On Nov 9, 1:58 pm, "-Lost" > wrote:
>
> > <book length post snipped>
>
> Hey, I issued a warning in the title stating it was LONG.
>
> >> The only thing I know for certain is that if he does this as an
> >> adult to one of my children again (the total number of SERIOUS
> >> attacks are not at 8) he is going to the pound where he will be
> >> euthanized -- no questions asked. But enough of that negative
> >> thinking -- my boy has been behaving GREAT for almost a week!
>
> That should have been, "are noW at 8..."
>
> > Gah! Sounds like your cat is acting like a playful teenager who
> > perhaps hasn't been properly socialized, and who sounds like he
> > would definitely benefit from another young cat playmate.
>
> Not going to happen.
>
> > I would hope before it comes to the point of you dumping him at a
> > shelter to be euthanized, that you would rehome him to someone who
> > truly wants to, and can, spend the necessary time with him. Yes,
> > I know you've been trying to work with him (and thanks for not
> > declawing, btw), but what you wrote above worries me.
>
> I'll start by saying this reminds me of one of my spouse's friend's
> wife. She is a hateful woman who always starts some trashy, idiotic
> statement with, "Now, I don't mean to be rude, but..."
>
> (And this does not mean I think this of you, merely that it reminded
> me of that. You said something that could be taken hard, but try to
> ease out of it near the end.)
>
> So, "someone WHO TRULY WANTS TO, and CAN, spend the NECESSARY TIME
> with him" actually bothered me quite a bit.
>
> I have busted my arse to show Gabby he is loved above and beyond what
> the little fur ball deserves sometimes.
>
> I am the one who used their insomnia to good advantage and stayed up
> with him the entire first week or so he was here so he didn't have to
> be kenneled all night long only to be let out during the day when 5
> other people and 6 or more animals would be running about the house
> scaring the hell out of him.
>
> I brush him, feed him, teach him, clean up after him, removed
> parasites from his nasty little hide, saved him from a thunderstorm
> that lasted almost 20 hours, vaccinated him, have kept him safe from
> the other animals here that could harm him, protected him even when
> HE did something to said animals to make them pounce back, I have
> rescued him from his fat head being stuck under the couch, under the
> bathroom door when he HAS to be nosy and see what I am doing, I am
> the one who did not sleep for nigh on 36 hours because the jerk ate a
> peanut M&M to watch for ill effects, and I absolutely KNOW due to my
> disability that I am surely missing even more stuff that I have done
> to go above and beyond the call of duty for an animal that has done
> nothing but be extremely cute, amaze us, and hurt us physically.
>
> Now, believe me, I know EXACTLY where you are coming from and I know
> your heart is in the right place, but this fanatical cat worship that
> prompts you or anyone else to be concerned about a problematic cat
> (he's not really that problematic in my opinion, it's just the
> violence, more on that in a minute) and not mention a SINGLE thing
> about my young children who live in fear of this little beasties'
> crazy hyper-rage spells does NOTHING in the way of making me
> remorseful to what MAY have to happen to Gabby one day.
>
> The problematic cat topic. I view Gabby as non-problematic but with
> one SERIOUS flaw. It is kind of like, what if the love of your life
> was the greatest person on Earth and you would literally die for them
> because they are so perfect in every way... the only problem was that
> one to three times a week he attacks one of your children beating,
> biting, or scratching them to the point that their skin is ripped,
> torn, bleeding, whatever. Like an angel with the soul of a demon. I
> am not sure if I am explaining that right. Anyway, point is beyond
> all the good we cannot handle nor correct (so far) the one serious
> flaw and that leaves but one other solution.
>
> I have actually mentioned in other posts several key things that you
> may have missed.
>
> 1. I tried finding him a home around 2 weeks ago before his recent
> good behavior spell. NO ONE wants cats.
>
> 2. The refuge is full.
>
> 3. The pet store does not take strays, or cats under normal
> circumstances during the holiday months October through December, and
> being that the owner is a friend of mine I had to tell her the reason
> we thought about relocating him. Which made the answer a definitive,
> "no." Surely you wouldn't want me to give him to a place that would
> euthanize him in a non-humane way once they found out he is mildly
> psychotic would you?
>
> 4. That ONLY leaves the pound which euthanizes after 5 days.
>
> So I didn't mean to sound as if he had only done one thing and
> immediately I opted to extinguish his life. I meant exactly what I
> said. We are dealing with the madness now, but if he latches onto
> one of my children as a much larger, late adolescent or adult cat and
> does what he does now, he is going to hurt one of my children
> severely. At that point waiting several days, to weeks, maybe longer
> for a home to open up will NOT be an option -- I will remove him from
> the home to protect my children effective immediately. They've
> already been through enough.
>
> 5. He has attacked a total of 8 times now. The last were REALLY
> serious. He tore a PLUG out of one of my daughter's hands AND her
> wrist and that was compounded by the 20+ deep grooves cut into her
> arm as he jockeyed for a better position.

Maybe you should put him to sleep if he is visious. Your children are
most important after all.

cybercat
November 11th 07, 11:21 PM
> wrote:>
> Maybe you should put him to sleep if he is visious. Your children are
> most important after all.
>
You are a loon. And learn to snip.

moonglow minnow
November 12th 07, 01:17 AM
-Lost wrote:
[trim]
> 5. Cans of pressurized air - Thanks goes to ALL who mentioned things
> like shaking cans of marbles, pill bottles (that was mine), coins, et
> cetera to calm a kitty down. However, it didn't work. Nor did
> yelling. Nor did whistles. Nor did popping balloons. Nor did
> <insert about ten other methods.> Finally I got the bright idea to
> spray at him with canned air (NEVER at his face). One quick
> "SSSSSHHHHTT!!" at his bottom or his feet and he IMMEDIATELY stops
> the craziness. I refused to subscribe to the "he will become afraid
> of it" mentality simply because it was not hurting him. And luckily
> it worked. Considering this was a necessity to determine Gabby's
> fate, to us it was a gamble that was well worth the risk.

<delurk>

First, your Gabby sounds a lot like my Mischief - not socialized early
enough to know how fragile and wussy humans really are. On the up side,
the hoolikitten streak *does* fade with time, especially as you continue
your efforts. I had the help of preexisting adult cats to help socialize
Mischief, but I think that your 'speaking his language' may be just as
effective with Gabby.

If the can of air works, I wonder if you could teach your children to
hiss at Gabby through their teeth (more noise with less air, IME) when
he gets out of control, or starts showing the warning signs of getting
out of control. If that doesn't work, I would recommend teaching them to
use the pressurized air themselves as well - the more they can do
themselves to help keep Gabby under control, the less afraid they're
likely to be, *plus* Gabby would be likely to behave better with them,
which is what really needs to happen for the safety of your children.
This goes for all the things you've learned that work with Gabby. Also,
it's a last resort thing for serious attacks only, but I haven't known a
cat that didn't let go when flicked on the nose - it's a sensitive area,
and seems to replicate the thumping that a kitten would get from its
mother when it goes too far.

<relurk>

Maeve >^..^<
--
http://volatiledreams.deep-ice.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnow/

-Lost
November 12th 07, 11:33 AM
Response to "CatNipped" >:

> If he's still doing it in play (mock hunting/killing), and not out
> of anger or fear, the problem will take care of itself with time.
> But it will be quite a while before his playing tapers off - and
> the larger he is the more damage he can cause.
>
> Can you teach the girls and your spouse the kitty "uncle" cry? I
> don't think he's taking his agression out on them because you
> won't let him with you, I think he probably thinks you're a big
> wuss and has found others to play with who aren't (again, kittens
> playing together use that as a signal that one is getting too
> rough and is hurting - if he's not getting that response he may
> think he's not hurting the girls... I don't know this for sure
> since I'm not there to witness his attacks, but it is a
> possibility).

Yep, taught everyone in the house and showed them your lovely video.
Gabby just shrugs it off -- then again I can do it louder than anyone
here.

I wondered about that too after thinking about the fact that I was
crying uncle in kittenese. Heh. I'm the tough one in the home and
he thinks I'm the wuss -- it figures.

Ah well, still plugging along with all the suggestions and trying new
ones. Today to get him to stop knocking over a pencil holder I used
a training clicker, but one that was extremely loud. It reminds me
of smacking a hard plastic fly swatter on linoleum. He doesn't stop
what he's doing, but it makes him pause for a second or so -- do that
a few times and he goes on to something else.

Thanks again, CatNipped.

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

-Lost
November 12th 07, 11:33 AM
Response to PawsForThought >:

> On Nov 11, 6:50 am, "-Lost" > wrote:
>> Response to PawsForThought >:
>>
>> > Gah! Sounds like your cat is acting like a playful teenager
>> > who perhaps hasn't been properly socialized, and who sounds
>> > like he would definitely benefit from another young cat
>> > playmate.
>>
>> Not going to happen.
>
> May I ask why not? I've found that a very active, playful and
> sometimes maniacal cat can really benefit with a playmate. The
> playmate shares in all the energy and attacks. It really is very
> beneficial.

Mainly because we have too many investments in other animals. And
also because we really didn't want Gabby. But once we saw him
huddled under one of our cars it was all over with. Sparks flew,
eyes met, and instrumental music played softly... anyway...

And we almost still got rid of him but luckily no one would take him
so he grew on us. Odd how it was luck then and unlucky now, huh?

I do believe that another cat would help, I really do, but we just
can't do it. One cat terrorizing ever creature in the house and
tearing up stuff is enough.

<snip>

> Again, he sounds like a typical young teenage male cat. You
> wouldn't believe all the trouble my Mickey got into when he was
> young (and continues to do today). Yeah, it took time and a lot
> of patience (which sometimes was hard to draw upon), but I think
> he's pretty well socialized now. My cats were young rescue
> kittens when I adopted them and thus they didn't have much
> socializing. Mickey in particular had a biting problem. I
> trained him out of it. No, it wasn't easy but I think with most
> cats it can be done. Having a playmate (his sister Meesha)
> really, really helped. Of course Meesha was not without her
> issues (had a bad problem with biting cords).

Gabby is still young too -- somewhere around 6 months old. That is
why I THINK I have finally put my foot down and we're going to keep
on giving him chances until he is older. Everything I have read and
everyone here has said that the super craziness should cease in about
a year.

What were your EXACT methods to stop biting? Aside from Meesha that
is.

>> Now, believe me, I know EXACTLY where you are coming from and I
>> know your heart is in the right place, but this fanatical cat
>> worship that prompts you or anyone else to be concerned about a
>> problematic cat (he's not really that problematic in my opinion,
>> it's just the violence, more on that in a minute) and not mention
>> a SINGLE thing about my young children who live in fear of this
>> little beasties' crazy hyper-rage spells does NOTHING in the way
>> of making me remorseful to what MAY have to happen to Gabby one
>> day.
>
> Fanatical? Moi? ROFL Well you may be right about that.

HAHA! I knew it! ; )

> However, in my experience, when young children are bitten or
> scratched by a cat, usually, it is as a result of something the
> child has done to the cat. I remember when I was young and our
> family cat scratched me badly. My mom asked what I had done to
> the cat to make her attack me. I was trying to dress her up in
> doll clothes (not an easy thing to do with a Siamese cat).
> Anyway, I"m not saying in your case that your kids were doing
> anything to the cat, just putting the thought out there. Often
> kids don't want to admit they were antagonizing the cat. Teach
> your kids what warning signs to look for, i.e. flattened ears,
> dilated eyes, thrashing tail. Cats can become overstimulated
> easily.

I have been in the room and watching during the attacks and have seen
them from beginning to end (I actually mentioned this a few other
times I posted). I can vouch that EVERYONE including my youngest
daughter were not doing ANYTHING to the cat.

Unless you count sitting on the floor quietly reading a book...

Or laying on your stomach writing your math homework into a
notebook...

Or walking past him not paying him a single bit of attention...

Or if you are snoozing on the couch or in bed.

Or if you are a dog, a rabbit, a pig, a chicken, or a ferret ALL
minding your own business -- yeah, Gabby has attacked them too, only
they fight back -- and win.

Seriously though, we come from a LONG line of domestication that
involves living among animals and knowing how to treat them how we
expect to be treated. I assure you and anyone else who wants to
believe otherwise, my children have done NOTHING to Gabby to provoke
anything.

> As a last thought, you might want to consult with a cat
> behaviorist who may be able to help you, although it does sound
> like you're getting lots of good advice from the posters here.
> But sometimes working one on one with a behaviorist can work
> wonders.

Ugh, I wish I could find one! I talked to ALL of the local vets and
animal hospitals and no one has heard of an animal behaviorist -- at
least not in this area.

The refuge hosts awareness lessons about cats but after talking to
the owner she informed me that I knew everything they were going to
cover. Although I thought it was odd and neglectful that they
consider telling someone to declaw their cats "awareness."

> Good luck to you and your kitty.

Thanks. We'll need it. : )

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

-Lost
November 12th 07, 11:37 AM
Response to "CatNipped" >:

>> Gabby as of yesterday:
>> http://picasaweb.google.com/Lost.Gabby/PrinceGabby?authkey=3fwq-
>> CIu_pQ
>
> He's *gorgeous*!

Thanks! He looks just like me. ; )

Seriously though, yeah, I have always thought he was amazingly
beautiful.

My allergic to cats and mostly doesn't like cats mother even said,
"Well, he is definitely something to look at." I said what does that
mean? And she replied, "Well, he looks like a silver cougar with a
ringed tail -- he's beautiful."

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

-Lost
November 12th 07, 12:37 PM
Response to "mariib via CatKB.com" <[email protected]>:

> I've been following your stories about Gabby & it's been awhile
> since I've posted here.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.


<snip>

> I used to lightly & quickly tap her with my hand on her nose &
> mouth saying "no" each time she used her teeth on me.

I don't disagree with that at all and actually was doing that for a
time until two very wise and experienced slaves mentioned that I
should not play rough with Gabby. So I thought perhaps swatting at
him, even lightly may have been contributing to his poor behavior --
so I stopped.

It always worked in my experience but since cats were a strange and
mysterious creature and I knew they were complex, I decided it was
best to abandon it.

> I have a high-pitched voice so the "no" was distinctive.

I believe they can learn a little bit too. CatNipped made a lot of
sense when she said dogs basically live to understand and do what
they think you want them to do -- cats on the other hand don't give a
damn what you want them to do.

When Gabby hears "no" he ignores it. When Gabby hears "no" and sees
me hopping up to come and get him he streaks down the hallway into my
office and into his kennel.

<snip>

> http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2625434790050028271pvSgGN

Oh my. Whiskey is a very handsome cat -- although a bit mean
looking. I could swear he looks cross. Then again my mother thinks
I am kooky and says, "Animals don't have facial expressions like
humans." I beg to differ.

<snip>

So it proves to some extent that lightly rapping them on the nose
with your hand is effective. Not unlike almost every single other
animal in the world, from dogs to humans to sharks.

I may try and teach the children that technique. I was reluctant in
that regard as well as I did not want an adult Gabby to remember a
kid smacking him upside the head when he was younger. (Not that it
would be a smack upside the head, but you get what I mean.)

> http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2018890770050028271LhghAY

Awwww, Coco is a doll baby, huh? I think it's really neat looking
how the underside of his shoulders blend into white, back into that
gray and then back to white for his paws.

Gabby is entirely a dirty white, light gray and dark gray (like
peppered), but his hind feet ONLY are all white all the way up to
their knee (for lack of better word). The only other thing that is
discolored from him is his ringed tail.

So it really makes me think he has socks on his back feet, and the
tail of a lemur or raccoon. My stupid cousin still tells people that
they know for a fact Gabby is part raccoon. Too bad you can't cure
stupid.

> Good luck with Gabby, but if he continues to attack & bite your
> kids, you really won't have too much choice - and choices are
> difficult but you will have to act.

Exactly. And thanks for the kind words and insight, I appreciate it.

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

-Lost
November 12th 07, 12:52 PM
Response to moonglow minnow >:

> -Lost wrote:
> [trim]
>> 5. Cans of pressurized air - Thanks goes to ALL who mentioned
>> things like shaking cans of marbles, pill bottles (that was
>> mine), coins, et cetera to calm a kitty down. However, it didn't
>> work. Nor did yelling. Nor did whistles. Nor did popping
>> balloons. Nor did <insert about ten other methods.> Finally I
>> got the bright idea to spray at him with canned air (NEVER at his
>> face). One quick "SSSSSHHHHTT!!" at his bottom or his feet and
>> he IMMEDIATELY stops the craziness. I refused to subscribe to
>> the "he will become afraid of it" mentality simply because it was
>> not hurting him. And luckily it worked. Considering this was a
>> necessity to determine Gabby's fate, to us it was a gamble that
>> was well worth the risk.
>
> <delurk>

Thanks for taking the time to help.

> First, your Gabby sounds a lot like my Mischief - not socialized
> early enough to know how fragile and wussy humans really are. On
> the up side, the hoolikitten streak *does* fade with time,
> especially as you continue your efforts. I had the help of
> preexisting adult cats to help socialize Mischief, but I think
> that your 'speaking his language' may be just as effective with
> Gabby.

Well, he's only around 6 or so months old -- could he have been
socialized earlier than that?

And yeah, CatNipped mentioned the wussy thing too. Funny because it
makes perfect sense. That is why I still feel a little to blame
because the pain didn't bother me in the least. I got a kick out of
battling with him for a time. Afterward I washed thoroughly and put
a little salve on my entire burning arm and was good until the next
battle.

The spouse and the kids though, sheesh.

Having trained my children to know how to react to some animals I saw
the look in my oldest daughter's eyes when Gabby was dangling from
her shoulder meat the other day -- "Do I put a finger in Gabby's
eyes?", "Do I try and compress his windpipe?" HAHA!

Thankfully she listens well and knew to not do anything, I would get
him immediately after the initial attack.

> If the can of air works, I wonder if you could teach your children
> to hiss at Gabby through their teeth (more noise with less air,
> IME) when he gets out of control, or starts showing the warning
> signs of getting out of control. If that doesn't work, I would
> recommend teaching them to use the pressurized air themselves as
> well - the more they can do themselves to help keep Gabby under
> control, the less afraid they're likely to be, *plus* Gabby would
> be likely to behave better with them, which is what really needs
> to happen for the safety of your children. This goes for all the
> things you've learned that work with Gabby. Also, it's a last
> resort thing for serious attacks only, but I haven't known a cat
> that didn't let go when flicked on the nose - it's a sensitive
> area, and seems to replicate the thumping that a kitten would get
> from its mother when it goes too far.

Gotcha! I am going to try the first two methods definitely. The
last one still has to wait a little bit though I think. I figure I
will train them for the very next attack and explain that it is a
light cuff across the nose -- if a serious attack, then a stiff cuff.

They'll still be somewhat reluctant I know it as I've always
explained that if you cannot speak an animal's language then you have
no right to hurt them when it does not involve your life or saving
someone else from harm or worse.

> <relurk>

Nice talking to you, Maeve >^..^<! See ya'.

--
-Lost
Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
kidding. No I am not.

CatNipped[_2_]
November 12th 07, 07:08 PM
"-Lost" > wrote in message
...
> Response to "CatNipped" >:
>
>> If he's still doing it in play (mock hunting/killing), and not out
>> of anger or fear, the problem will take care of itself with time.
>> But it will be quite a while before his playing tapers off - and
>> the larger he is the more damage he can cause.
>>
>> Can you teach the girls and your spouse the kitty "uncle" cry? I
>> don't think he's taking his agression out on them because you
>> won't let him with you, I think he probably thinks you're a big
>> wuss and has found others to play with who aren't (again, kittens
>> playing together use that as a signal that one is getting too
>> rough and is hurting - if he's not getting that response he may
>> think he's not hurting the girls... I don't know this for sure
>> since I'm not there to witness his attacks, but it is a
>> possibility).
>
> Yep, taught everyone in the house and showed them your lovely video.
> Gabby just shrugs it off -- then again I can do it louder than anyone
> here.
>
> I wondered about that too after thinking about the fact that I was
> crying uncle in kittenese. Heh. I'm the tough one in the home and
> he thinks I'm the wuss -- it figures.
>
> Ah well, still plugging along with all the suggestions and trying new
> ones. Today to get him to stop knocking over a pencil holder I used
> a training clicker, but one that was extremely loud. It reminds me
> of smacking a hard plastic fly swatter on linoleum. He doesn't stop
> what he's doing, but it makes him pause for a second or so -- do that
> a few times and he goes on to something else.

I know how annoying a kitten can be and just *how much* of your house he can
destroy, but if I were you I'd concentrate on getting him to stop biting
before taking on all the other training (of course, I've never cared what
condition kittens or babies left my house in! ;>). By trying to teach him
everything at once, you're probably not teaching him anything at all. Cats
are much, *MUCH* different from dogs when it comes to training. Dogs want
to please you, cats want you to please them! ;>

Hugs,

CatNipped

>
> Thanks again, CatNipped.
>
> --
> -Lost
> Remove the extra words to reply by e-mail. Don't e-mail me. I am
> kidding. No I am not.

CatNipped[_2_]
November 12th 07, 07:18 PM
"-Lost" > wrote in message
...
> Response to "mariib via CatKB.com" <[email protected]>:
>
>> I've been following your stories about Gabby & it's been awhile
>> since I've posted here.
>
> Thanks for taking the time to reply.
>
>
> <snip>
>
>> I used to lightly & quickly tap her with my hand on her nose &
>> mouth saying "no" each time she used her teeth on me.
>
> I don't disagree with that at all and actually was doing that for a
> time until two very wise and experienced slaves mentioned that I
> should not play rough with Gabby. So I thought perhaps swatting at
> him, even lightly may have been contributing to his poor behavior --
> so I stopped.
>
> It always worked in my experience but since cats were a strange and
> mysterious creature and I knew they were complex, I decided it was
> best to abandon it.

That was very wise of you. Although I don't think "mariib" was abusing her
cat, neither do I think this works for cats. *Any* type of violence, even a
light tap, will either escalate the violence or wind up causing the cat to
be extremely fearful (and there is nothing more dangerous than a frightened
animal - even humans - I'd much rather take on someone who's angry than
someone who fears for his life). Dealing with kittens is similar to dealing
with children - you don't hit them to teach them to not hit, you teach them
by example. Cats are amazing in that they rely so much on learning their
behaviors from other adult cats (usually the mother cat, but if she is not
around they will watch other cats, and if other cats are not around they'll
watch humans).

Hugs,

CatNipped

CatNipped[_2_]
November 12th 07, 07:40 PM
"CatNipped" > wrote in message
...

> Can you teach the girls and your spouse the kitty "uncle" cry? I don't
> think he's taking his agression out on them because you won't let him with
> you, I think he probably thinks you're a big wuss and he thinks he has
> found others to play with who aren't (again, kittens playing together use
> that as a signal that one is getting too rough and is hurting - if he's
> not getting that response he may think he's not hurting the girls... I
> don't know this for sure since I'm not there to witness his attacks, but
> it is a possibility).

I thought you might be interested in this - these are my two boys, who are
around Gabby's age, and how they fight (there's a video link on the top of
this page as well that shows the live action). You can see that neither is
hurting the other (there are no kitty cries of "uncle"), but you can clearly
see that they could inflict serious harm on a child if they played with a
child in the same manner. I really don't think Gabby is vicious, I think he
is just playing too rough and doesn't realize it. BTW, you can't see it
very well, but they are biting each others' throats - cats have a fur coat
and an undercoat, so the same amount of pressure in a bite will not hurt
them, but would hurt a human.

http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/Wrestling/

Hugs,

CatNipped

mariib via CatKB.com
November 12th 07, 08:31 PM
CatNipped wrote:
>> Response to "mariib via CatKB.com" <[email protected]>:
>>
>That was very wise of you. Although I don't think "mariib" was abusing her
>cat, neither do I think this works for cats. *Any* type of violence, even a
>light tap, will either escalate the violence or wind up causing the cat to
>be extremely fearful (and there is nothing more dangerous than a frightened
>animal - even humans - I'd much rather take on someone who's angry than
>someone who fears for his life). Dealing with kittens is similar to dealing
>with children - you don't hit them to teach them to not hit, you teach them
>by example. Cats are amazing in that they rely so much on learning their
>behaviors from other adult cats (usually the mother cat, but if she is not
>around they will watch other cats, and if other cats are not around they'll
>watch humans).
>
>Hugs,
>
>CatNipped

But to the contrary CN, it has worked successfully both times & neither of my
cats became at all fearful or frightened. I hardly call tapping the nose &
saying sharply "no" or "no teeth" when the puss's teeth were sunk in my arm,
hand or leg violent & more importantly, there was no anger or threat
expressed by my voice or body language. As result, neither cat ever shied
away from me, just the opposite in fact. I'm the one both cats see (or saw)
as their primary slave/master. I've only got a few pictures of Whiskey
between 1970 & 86 when she was killed, but there are *many* of Little Devil.
You can look thru some of my cat pictures in several albums of cat pictures
on webshots & they should give you some idea of Little Devil's personality -
he's extremely outgoing, inquisitive, friendly, he loves people, anybody &
everybody. And when our doorbell rings, he races for the door to meet, greet
& interact with whoever is there.

Little Devil quite obviously was separated far too soon from his mom &
littermates, then dumped when whoever had him couldn't handle this energetic
troublemaker which is why he's named Little Devil & he really was a huge
handful the first 2 years, now somewhat calmer. But afraid, fearful &
unpredicatable? No, not at all. And as for Whiskey so many years ago, she
had been so badly abused before I got her that trusting took time, patience &
the arrival of a young, even-tempered well-socialized part Maine Coon white
kitten.

Just agree to disagree! In my case, this worked. Whiskey was my special cat
& eventually my children's first special cat for 16-1/2 years & she had a
good long life even though her death was (quick &) terribly traumatic for us
all. Today, my little monster Little Devil is everyone's charmer but if he'd
gone to someone else & hadn't been stopped from snapping & biting, he most
probably would not be alive today.

Some pictures of Little Devil (& Coco) over the past couple years:
from Coco, Little Devil & Tigra:
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2567564690050028271QJhtbb
from playtime for Little Devil:
http://pets.webshots.com/album/559896950JStGvG
M.

--
Message posted via CatKB.com
http://www.catkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/cat-health/200711/1

CatNipped[_2_]
November 12th 07, 09:09 PM
"mariib via CatKB.com" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> CatNipped wrote:
>>> Response to "mariib via CatKB.com" <[email protected]>:
>>>
>>That was very wise of you. Although I don't think "mariib" was abusing
>>her
>>cat, neither do I think this works for cats. *Any* type of violence, even
>>a
>>light tap, will either escalate the violence or wind up causing the cat to
>>be extremely fearful (and there is nothing more dangerous than a
>>frightened
>>animal - even humans - I'd much rather take on someone who's angry than
>>someone who fears for his life). Dealing with kittens is similar to
>>dealing
>>with children - you don't hit them to teach them to not hit, you teach
>>them
>>by example. Cats are amazing in that they rely so much on learning their
>>behaviors from other adult cats (usually the mother cat, but if she is not
>>around they will watch other cats, and if other cats are not around
>>they'll
>>watch humans).
>>
>>Hugs,
>>
>>CatNipped
>
> But to the contrary CN, it has worked successfully both times & neither of
> my
> cats became at all fearful or frightened. I hardly call tapping the nose &
> saying sharply "no" or "no teeth" when the puss's teeth were sunk in my
> arm,
> hand or leg violent & more importantly, there was no anger or threat
> expressed by my voice or body language. As result, neither cat ever shied
> away from me, just the opposite in fact. I'm the one both cats see (or
> saw)
> as their primary slave/master. I've only got a few pictures of Whiskey
> between 1970 & 86 when she was killed, but there are *many* of Little
> Devil.
> You can look thru some of my cat pictures in several albums of cat
> pictures
> on webshots & they should give you some idea of Little Devil's
> personality -
> he's extremely outgoing, inquisitive, friendly, he loves people, anybody &
> everybody. And when our doorbell rings, he races for the door to meet,
> greet
> & interact with whoever is there.

As I said, I don't think you abused your cats in any way, I didn't mean to
imply that.

However, just the high-pitched "MEW" has always worked for me without the
tap on the nose, and there's no way to know that it wouldn't have worked for
you without the tap on the nose.

The problem with telling someone that this is a correct method of changing a
cat's behavior is that, *especially* when they are in the fear/pain of the
moment of being bitten by a cat, and *especially* when they are not used to
cats, that "tap" can *become* violent unintentionally. So, if the
high-pitched "MEW" works without the tap, why do it at all?

I've been bitten *SO* many times that it's second nature for me, the instant
I feel teeth, to push inwards making the cat gag and then snatch my hand
away before they have time to do severe damage. But most people, when
bitten, will do the absolute worse thing to do and try to jerk away (thus
damagely themselves, basically) because it's instinctual, even hard-wired
into us, to move *away* from the source of pain. I don't get that
adrenaline surge when I get bitten, so I don't get angry or afraid - you
imply that it's the same for you. But somebody unfamiliar with being bitten
*will* have a surge of adrenaline (the "fight or flight" reaction) and may
not be able to calmly give a light tap like you or I could.

>
> Little Devil quite obviously was separated far too soon from his mom &
> littermates, then dumped when whoever had him couldn't handle this
> energetic
> troublemaker which is why he's named Little Devil & he really was a huge
> handful the first 2 years, now somewhat calmer.

I think that may be Gabby's problem - they got him after the "socialization
curve". But it's never to late to teach them, it's just a bit harder when
it's later rather than sooner.

> But afraid, fearful &
> unpredicatable? No, not at all. And as for Whiskey so many years ago, she
> had been so badly abused before I got her that trusting took time,
> patience &
> the arrival of a young, even-tempered well-socialized part Maine Coon
> white
> kitten.
>
> Just agree to disagree! In my case, this worked. Whiskey was my special
> cat
> & eventually my children's first special cat for 16-1/2 years & she had a
> good long life even though her death was (quick &) terribly traumatic for
> us
> all. Today, my little monster Little Devil is everyone's charmer but if
> he'd
> gone to someone else & hadn't been stopped from snapping & biting, he most
> probably would not be alive today.

Again, I really didn't mean to imply that you in anyway abused your cats, I
tried to make it clear in my post that I didn't - I'm sorry if I failed in
that.

Hugs,

CatNipped

>
> Some pictures of Little Devil (& Coco) over the past couple years:
> from Coco, Little Devil & Tigra:
> http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2567564690050028271QJhtbb
> from playtime for Little Devil:
> http://pets.webshots.com/album/559896950JStGvG
> M.
>
> --
> Message posted via CatKB.com
> http://www.catkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/cat-health/200711/1
>

CatNipped[_2_]
November 12th 07, 09:37 PM
"-Lost" > wrote in message
...
> Response to "CatNipped" >:
>
>> If he's still doing it in play (mock hunting/killing), and not out
>> of anger or fear, the problem will take care of itself with time.
>> But it will be quite a while before his playing tapers off - and
>> the larger he is the more damage he can cause.
>>
>> Can you teach the girls and your spouse the kitty "uncle" cry? I
>> don't think he's taking his agression out on them because you
>> won't let him with you, I think he probably thinks you're a big
>> wuss and has found others to play with who aren't (again, kittens
>> playing together use that as a signal that one is getting too
>> rough and is hurting - if he's not getting that response he may
>> think he's not hurting the girls... I don't know this for sure
>> since I'm not there to witness his attacks, but it is a
>> possibility).
>
> Yep, taught everyone in the house and showed them your lovely video.
> Gabby just shrugs it off -- then again I can do it louder than anyone
> here.

Sorry to reply to this yet again, but I'm worried about Gabby and want to
help...

The problem may not be volume, but tone. I remember reading some research
years ago (can't find it now, so the numbers may be a little off, but not
much) that said human language consists of about 30 - 40 different sounds
(vowels and consonents in every language) in different combinations, but
cats' could make over 100 different sounds in different combinations. Their
language is a lot broader than ours (probably because their range of hearing
is so much broader than ours). So it's pretty important to get the tone
right in order to get the meaning across.

While casually browsing for this study, I came across this which is kind of
interesting also - from my exhaustive study of felinese, I concur with his
interpretations: ;>

Kittens:
- Mew (high pitched and thin) - a polite plea for help
- MEW! (loud and frantic) - an urgent plea for help

Adult cats:
- mew - plea for attention
- mew (soundless) - a very polite plea for attention (this is Paul
Gallico's "Silent Miaow" which is probably a sound pitched too high for
human ears)
- meow - emphatic plea for attention
- MEOW! - a command!
- mee-o-ow (with falling cadence) - protest or whine
- MEE-o-ow (shrill whine) - stronger protest
- MYUP! (short, sharp, single note) - righteous indignation
- MEOW! Meow! (repeated) - panicky call for help
- mier-r-r-ow (chirrup with liting cadence) - friendly greeting

Tomcats:
- RR-YOWWW-EEOW-RR-YOW-OR - caterwaul
- merrow - challenge to another male
- meriow - courting call to female

Mother cats:
- MEE-OW - come and get it!
- meOW - follow me!
- ME R-R-R-ROW - take cover!
- mer ROW! - No! or Stop It!
- mreeeep (burbled) - hello greeting to kittens and disarming greeting to
adult cats (also used between adult cats and humans)


There is more to felinese than the simple miaow though. In 1944, Mildred
Moelk made a detailed study of cat vocabulary and found sixteen meaningful
sounds, which included consonants and vowels. She divided cat-sounds into
three groups:-

- murmurs made with the mouth closed
- vowel sounds made with the mouth closing as in "iao"
- sounds made with the mouth held open.

Although these may not be used in grammatical sentences, one definition of
language is "any means, vocal or other, of expressing or communicating
feeling or thought" (Webster's Dictionary). Observant owners will notice the
following sounds which cats make to communicate their state of mind (this
list is not exhaustive, since cats will improvise):

- Caterwaul - cat wants sex!
- Chatter - excitement, frustration e.g. when prey is out of reach or
escapes (involves rapid teeth-chattering jaw movements)
- Chirrup - friendly greeting sound, a cross between a meow and a purr!
(friendly greeting sound with rising inflection; familiar to most cat
owners)
- Cough-bark - alarm signal (rare in pet cats); like us, cats can cough
both vountarily and involuntarily)
- Growl - threat, challenge, warns others to go away
- Hiss (with or without spit) - threat, fear, warns others to back off
- Meow - general-purpose attention seeking sound used by adult cats to
communicate with owners or with kittens
- Mew (of kittens) - distress, hunger, cold (to attract mother's attention)
- Purr - contentment, relaxation, also to comfort itself if in pain (cats
in extremis may purr); a loud purr invites close contact or attention
- Scream - fear, pain, anger, distress
- Squawk - surprise, shock (somewhat strangled sound)
- Yowl - a threat, offensive or defensive, but also used in a modified form
by some cats seeking attention when owner is out of sight
- Idiosyncratic sounds - a sound which a particular cat uses in a
particular context.

Hugs,

CatNipped

CatNipped[_2_]
November 12th 07, 09:38 PM
Sorry, forgot to paste the link: http://www.messybeast.com/cat_talk.htm

Hugs,

CatNipped