Friday, July 8, 2011

Raising a Brat

Sure, he looks sweet.
But the kitten has become a terrorist. He attacks everything, including his own feet. All of the cats try to avoid him. The dogs aren't even safe.
When kittens are taken away from their mother and litter mates too soon, they do not learn all they should. The little cat community "teaches" the kitten what is permitted and acceptable in cat world. Too rambunctious? The mother might give him the smackdown with a paw. Biting too hard? Litter mates won't play with him.

But the kitten in my care hasn't learned those lessons and he's a first class pest. And who is the biggest culprit, allowing this behavior?

Whenever the adult cats try to "explain" to the kitten that he's not behaving appropriately, Tilly gets between them and gives the cat a "hard look". The cat stops and the kitten has gotten away with his bad behavior. In fact, he just gets worse.

Yet when the kitten attacks Tilly, she growls and shakes him off. Hmmm....

None of us like to be told we're a pest. But we need to be open to hearing from trusted others what is acceptable, friendly, and good in our culture. While I won't go in a tirade of permissive parents, no one likes to be on the receiving end of a brat!

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