Jessica - posted on 09/10/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )
Hey all, so it seems like we're finally encountering a "problem" with my son- he will be 15 months next Wednesday. It seems to have started with a kitten we recently rescued (its mom was a stray in our neighborhood and got hit by a car). We have two other cats and Kieran has always been really good with them. We've taught him from the get-go to pet nicely, be gentle etc and it really seems to have worked- he'd pet them, give them hugs etc. Occasionally he'll get overly excited and wave his arms and smack them, but we intervene and they run away and that's that. He's always been very gentle-natured in general.
Well for some reason, he has been really rough with this kitten. Really just the past few days. He grabs its tail or ears and yanks his arm back and forth... which of course the kitten does not like :( He grabs really hard too. He also smacks the kitten and our other cats as well. Well NOTHING is working to get him to stop. When I intervene he thinks its HILARIOUS. No matter what- I try to be calm and firm, or even if I yell at him (I hate to do it, but I get desperate and nothing grabs his attention) he just laughs like its a game!
I don't know how to get him to understand that its very serious and to stop. I unlatch his hand from the cat and tell him NO, we do not hurt the kitty. And try to show him how to pet nicely, though he's usually squirming away and laughing by that point. Is it a kind of phase that I just keep doing what I'm doing until he works his way out of it? The reason I say that is because he seems to be testing limits a LOT with other things too the past couple days- very persistent in getting into everything he knows he's not supposed to, no matter how much we say no and redirect. Before, he was very easy going and redirected easily. Do I just keep him away from the kitten altogether for a while? Any advice would be appreciated! I'm just so worried because it seems like my sweet-tempered little boy is turning into a meanie lol. And I'm not sure why and am afraid of doing the wrong thing and making it worse.
Also makes me a lot more worried about his little brother coming into the world in January :(