First Pet Issues - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 12-30-2001, 04:33 AM - Thread Starter
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first pet issues (ps: im so frustrated)

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Author Topic: first pet issues (ps: im so frustrated)
Junior Member posted 08-28-2001 04:33 PM
my daughter who is 3 1/2 has just received her first pet, an older, very gentle kitten. we planned it for a long time and spent time with friends pets beforehand, etc. since our cat, Kaya, has come to live with us, my daughter, Cassi is diabolically mean to it every chance she gets (im ready to pull my hair out) she dunks him in the bath if she gets the chance and nobody is looking, she steps on him and pokes him and carries him around by the limbs... the list just goes on forever.. the point is that we have had so many talks with her about this that ive lost count and she seems to understand ~ shes had time outs and other disciplinary measures have been explored.. but i want this to be a positive thing for her... she knows shes not supposed to act this way towards Kaya i know, because her behavior is very covert (always when she thinks we are not looking or paying attention) im ready to find the poor critter a new home... any suggestions?

Member posted 08-28-2001 04:41 PM
find the poor kitty a new home, if you have tried everything. It is not fair to the kitty, to your daughter( who sounds not ready for a pet yet), or you (constantly correcting your dd is an energy depleter).
It is a good thing to have a pet, and it is also a good thing to want for your children to have a pet, but if it interferes with the harmony of your home it may not be the time.


Member posted 08-28-2001 04:46 PM

When I was a little girl (a little older than your ds) I was always being mean to the family cat too. I can't explain it other than that I never really understood that what I was doing hurt her or violated her space. I just didn't get it ...even after talks and punishments. I never really saw what I was doing to hurt her. In my eyes I was just loving her and playing with her. My poor Mom and Dad! I am sure they can relate to what you are going through really well. I grew out of it too...and Dinah and I were the best of friends all the way to the end of her life (and you would hate to hear some of the things I did to that poor kitty! ) Just hang in there! I am sure with your gentle guidance and close eyes she will ultimately understand.
Also, a bell on the kitty's collar will help you know where kitty is and your daughter may pick up on that too! Good luck.

Member posted 08-28-2001 05:24 PM
I did want to add that after showing this to DH, he says that she can get close to another cat too when she gets older and that the kitty shouldn't have to put up with that treatment in the mean time. I can't say I disagree...thought I would put his two cents in!

Member posted 08-28-2001 05:53 PM
I have a slightly skewed view of cats. They are my favorite house animal because they are the only "pet" that is not captive. At least at my house. Cat goes out when he can find someone to open the door, ditto for in. He comes around when he wants food, petting, or a dry or warm/cool place to sleep. He catches part of his own food, and could walk off any time. He has never chosen to, in spite of the fact that my kids can be pretty rotten to him at times. However, he is allowed to solve that himself. When he has had enough he bites them. I will warn them that if they don't leave him alone that is going to happen, but since neither party has ever seriously hurt the other, I don't intervene. They are learning to respect him just fine.
Your daughter is about the age that I started allowing them to work out their own terms. If the cat isn't running, biting, or scratching, it accepts that this is a baby and isn't really being hurt. Some cats are more patient than others. I had one that allowed dd to carry him around by one "arm" and his head.

Junior Member posted 08-28-2001 07:01 PM
thankyou for your ideas/viewpoints ~ regarding jp's advice, the cat is extremely tolerent.. i try to make sure that any interaction happens while i am watching and i have to say that he doesnt retaliate in any way ... he allows her to flop him around and he just seems to love her anyway (purring and following her around - he even sleeps with her during her daily nap) i just havent dealt with this behavior until now (i am the oldest of five kids myself and have raised four others)
my daughter is so loving and caring in every other area so i thought maybe something was wrong... the bell is a great idea! anyway, again, many thanx

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