Kids and kittens. How rough is to rough?

Tiffany - posted on 11/07/2008 ( 2 moms have responded )




My daughter is 5 years old and normally a very sweet little girl. (she has her moments that she is bossy but what little girl doesn't).
We recently got a new kitten. She has started to be straight up mean to it. Pulling it's tail, stepping on it, smothering it with a pillow, pretty much anything to make it cry.
I have tried everything i can think of to get her to stop. I have explained that the kitten is an animal and not a toy and she could really hurt it. I have banned her form playing with it, I have put her in many time-outs from it. And nothing seems to work.
I know she isn't jealous because she is not an only child and hasn't had this problem with anything else or anyone else.
Does anyone have any suggestions on something i can do so the kitten no longer gets hurt, I can't think of anything apart from getting rid of it. which I don't want to do, cause the kitten hasn't done anything wrong, and neither have my two other children who have grown to love her and help take care of her.
Please help.....


Lorianne - posted on 04/26/2012




i'm looking for help myself. i've taken your reply and pasted it several lines lower than the rest of what i've got so far. which means a last resort. here's what else i've taken so far.

When you see the behavior, don't give her a lot of attention or talk, just get up right away and remove the kitten - into your room, or a room that can be closed (preferably with a litter box and some water!) off to your daughter. Simply state, "I am going to put the kittens/cats into a safe place until you can remember how we always need to take care/handle/treat them."
Remind her… They know to ask to pet someone else's pet. They know that when pet walks away...that pet wants to be left alone and they are not to chase or harass.
Very specific language about petting, how to pet, where, and with constant supervision. Also about creating other habits of care that can substitute for the negative attention, i.e. giving them food every day, and (if she can handle this) even hand feeding them dry food
You'll really need to be patient with her and continue to reinforce the "be gentle" behavior, she will eventually understand
teach her how to use her "kind and gentle" hands.
When ,my cats 'hissed' at my kids, I explained to my children..."That is how YOU know that Kitty doesn't like what you are doing, so stop."
assure her that if she mistreats animals, they will retaliate. See, they don't have words to say "Stop, that hurts." They will bite or scratch because that is how they express disdain for being mistreated. That is how "kitten" corrects your child. Instruct her to stay away from the cat...or she will be disciplined by both you and kitten, unless she is willing to treat little innocent kitty nicely.
When cats get mistreated (like carried around by the tail) they get mean. Cats respond well to love and play & cuddling & affection!!!.
she likes the power of the cause and effect that's created by her actions. Channeling this desire for power and influence into something positive (feeding them, brushing them) might help


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Frances - posted on 12/11/2008




It may be cruel and I may get told off for it but you could try reverse psychology. Tell your daughter what ever she does to the kitten you will do to her and follow through. Not too hard but hard enough for her to understand how the kitten must feel when she hurts it.

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