Leonidas and Rosie

Cat Tips

Animal rescue groups that focus on particular cat breeds are a great adoption resource. Follow-up counseling is often thorough, and fees are usually minimal.

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Expert Q&A

Our kitten is ten weeks old, and it tears around rooms attacking leather chairs and curtains until it’s exhausted. We play with our pet, but it won’t calm down. Any suggestions?

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Some cats go through their own rambunctious period, and yours appears to be one of them. This period usually occurs when a kitten is eight to 15 weeks old. During this time, full weaning takes place, all baby teeth erupt and hormones surge. It is a critical period of growth and development for your cat, with another key stage occurring at 15 to 18 weeks of age. It is concerning, however, that your cat is releasing its playful energy in negative ways, as evidenced by your scratched chairs and curtains. It sounds like you are a dutiful caretaker, but just be sure that when you purchase a cat tree and toys, you spend time introducing them to your kitten. Catnip can help grab your kitten's attention if your pet is catnip-sensitive. While redirecting the kitten's attention to toys, you also need to discourage bad behavior. A squirt of water from a spray bottle or a short loud noise, such as a whistle, often does the trick. You might also have to cover furniture you wish to protect, or spray it with a kitty repellent. (Not all materials can be sprayed, however.) In addition to playing with your kitten, spend some quiet time with it too. Just as humans need to learn to meditate, cats sometimes must learn to enjoy calm periods. Give your kitten a relaxing massage after playtime, for example, to help it settle down.

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