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#1 of 7 Old 12-11-2002, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone have any suggestions on how to show a 15month old how to treat pets (in this case a cat) with gentleness. dd loves our cat but is increasingly rough with her. I take her hands and pet the cat with her and speak softly, saying "gentle". She'll lean over and kiss the cat and then moments later yank her tail / pull her ears, etc. Is redirection the only thing that will work right now? I try and show her what gentle means and she isn't rough with people? Dd is always supervised but I know a bad scratch can happen in seconds, even from a very patient and loving cat. Many thanks!
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#2 of 7 Old 12-11-2002, 01:38 AM
 
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At 15 months she just isn't able to remember all the time how to be gentle. So yes redirection is probably the best course. She'll get it, but it's going to take awhile.
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#3 of 7 Old 12-11-2002, 05:42 PM
 
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Our dd is, like yours, sometimes gentle, then WHAM suddenly she does a grab or a push that would aggravate most cats. We have very patient kitties, but try to supervise interactions on the theory that she gets excited and just doesn't know what she's doing might annoy or hurt. Then again, the same thing is true with her toddler friends -- sometimes she doesn't know her own strength

K
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#4 of 7 Old 12-11-2002, 06:39 PM
 
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Gaaaaa! I hate my cat. Okay, really I feel exceptionally bad for her. We never pay any attention to her, and we don't even clean her literbox everyday anymore.

But I don't get why she doesn't jump up to safer ground. Why does she jump back down to the floor when I pick her up and put her someplace higher up that i know she likes?
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#5 of 7 Old 12-11-2002, 07:10 PM
 
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I am one in favor of letting a lesson be learned as needed. We have cats ( we lost one last week *sniff* so now it is only 2) who have varying degrees of tolerance to the baby. But they all seem to understand that he is a baby,,and he gets away with way more than the older kids.

If he does cross the line, they let him know by either growling/hissing/yowling or taking a swipe at him with their paws. They learned pretty quick that the vocalizatins were what worked,,he would burst into tears. If they swat at him, he thinks it is wonderful game! ( I wanted to add that Josh has only had a handful of scratches on him,, and they were from playing with the kitten)

But we do spend a lot of time talking about soft touches, and I think Josh has caught on partly because the cats stick around when he is being soft, but they take off if he isn't so soft. I count on the cats to set their own limits,,and head for high ground if he crosses the line.

Interestingly, one of our cats is not quite a year old. He was a tiny nubbin when we brought him home,,and right away he thought that Josh was the other kitten in the house. They play forever, sleep snuggled up together,,it is so cute. The only problem is when kitten wants to groom the "baby kitten" and wakes him up with that rough tongue in the middle of the night..we will usually end up locking the kitten out of our room if he is too affectionate and wakes his baby!
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#6 of 7 Old 12-11-2002, 10:22 PM
 
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At that age, my DS was unbearable with the cats. All he would do was grab and pull. But then again, he also did that to his friends.

Now at 21 months, he is much better. He at least starts gentle and then moves in an hugs the cat and ends up almost laying on him and finally moves in for a tail grab. I just supervise as much as I can, praise the heck out of the desireable behavior and remove him from the cat when he grabs.

I also have an intellectually challenged cat. We have a total of 3 pets (2 cats & a dog) and DS only bugs the one cat b/c he is too clueless to get to higher ground, run away or even scratch. He just complains loudly! The other 2 pets don't give DS a chance.

Oh and we also have the downstairs and the kitchen gated off, so the cats have some DS-free areas to go to when they need it.

Good luck. From what I understand, time is the only sure fire cure in this situation.

Jenn

Jenn, perpetually tired mom to DS(9): DD(4.5): DD(2) :
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#7 of 7 Old 12-12-2002, 01:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks so much for your comments. Cats are funny critters - glad to see mine isn't the only one who won't choose to remove herself from the situation! Silly cat. If I were a cat, it would take one tale tug and I would be gone! For now and it sounds like for the next few years dd and I will keep practicing "gentle". thanks again.

jjdoula - sorry about your the loss of your cat. hug
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