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Unread 04-16-2017   #1 (permalink)
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Question Unanswered: Relatively New to Kitties!

What does it mean when you pet your kitty, but then she grabs onto your hand with both her front paws, holds it close....but then she does that kicking that hand with both of her back paws "thing" ( don't know the proper name! SORRY!) Does she like me or hate me... want me to leave her alone!?!
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Unread 04-17-2017   #2 (permalink)
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This is normal behavior for kittens when they play with their litter mates. It's preparation for when they become hunters. (instinctive behavior). ( The back feet kicking is how they might disembowel a rabbit.)

Why it's happening with you and the kitten is because she is becoming overstimulated. This is not something you want to encourage in a kitten.

This is how to stop it:

Does she have a stuffed toy about her size? Something she can grab instead of you? Give her the toy before you pet her.

Never ever EVER play, using your hands or feet or hair or head. Always, always have a toy in your hand. For playing with really grabby kittens, wand toys are good. Crumpled papers that you throw for her to chase down. And the stuffed hug and kick type toy I already mentioned.

Take the stuffed toy and drag it or throw it to get her attention. So she knows it's hers. When you approach her to pet her, one way is to have that in your hand and give it to her, before you pet her.

How long does she allow petting before she grabs on? As she gets older you may be able to pet her longer. The trick is to learn her signals, and stop the activity before she gets to that point. Does she allow two strokes? four?

A minute or two? Watch for signs of over stimulation. Ears going back or flat, eyes getting big and black and maybe fixating on your skin. Tail lashing. Whisker twitching. What you want to do is STOP the petting before she gets to that point. If she grabs at two strokes, stop at one.

If you over shot the timing and get grabbed, the way to extricate yourself is to let your hand go limp. You can yelp a little when she first grabs, to let her know she's hurt you.

Then: Don't pull away, she'll just grab on tighter. Let your hand go limp, then insert her hug and kick between your hand and her body, or anything else you might have handy, even a newspaper, when she grabs on that, remove your hand.

The idea is to teach her what is okay to grab and what is not okay to grab.

In addition to the stuffed toy, some cats really love to grab onto and shred rolled up newspapers, so you might try that too. Roll it up and drag it a little until she grabs it, then let go.

Make sure she gets enough play time every day, and be sure she has enough things she is allowed to scratch, jump and climb on. Cats really really need good scratchers and cat trees.
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Unread 04-17-2017   #3 (permalink)
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So much great info! Never really noticed how long I pet her before she does this ...but I will NOW! THANKS AGAIN!
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