The kitten likes me more??

by Carmine

My girlfriend of 10 months decided to adopt a kitten from a friend aproximately 5 months ago, the first day the kitten was brought home, she was 7 weeks old. She spends a lot of time at my house and we decided it would be best that the kitten lives at my house instead of being alone for very long periods of time at her place.

For the first 2 or 3 months, I could not get the little one to even come near me, she would always nuzzle up to my girlfriend, kiss her and would barely let me near her.

Over the past couple of months however, the roles have reversed...I have become the object of the little kittens affection and my girlfriend has become the kittens toy. She will constantly jump at her, bite and scratch her, and will not allow her to pet nor will she even lay with her whether i am at home or not. We have also noticed that anybody that comes to my house, whether she has met them in the past or not, will be greeted with hissing and a giant tail. We have never given her reason to be afraid or defensive, when she behaves badly, we squirt her or put her in a room alone until she calms down, and on occasion, I will pick her up to eye level and tell her 'NO' and it seems as if this works with me, however, she doesn't seem to give the same respect to my girlfriend or guests. The kitten is currently 6 months old

This has become very upsetting to my girlfriend because she loves her so much and just wants to lay with her and not have the kitten constantly attack her...she has gotten to the point where she is actually considering giving her to a different family.

Can kittens be jealous or fight for the attention of a human? is she acting out to stake her claim in my house? Is she just going through a phase that will hopefully pass?

would appreciate some direction or advice or just something to tell my girlfriend to make her feel better about this, she is on the verge of tears nightly because she thinks the kitten hates her.

Thanks in advance and hope to hear from you soon

Answer by Kate
This is all all about learning the rules and finding out where her boundaries are. Kittens are very much like children, everything they do is a learning process and is never anything to do with being mean, jealous etc.

When a cat hisses and fluffs up it is not aggression but fear and this behavior is their way of kind of bluffing their way of a situation. So in your kittens case she is still unsure of herself, her , home and the people around her to feel confident enough when new people come around.

She was very young indeed to be taken away from her mum and so she missed out on some valuable cat lessons about socialization etc. biting etc is seen as a game and she did not learn that this is not acceptable.

Several things need to be done for your cat now to try and stop this behavior becoming set for life.

Both you and your girlfriend need to carry out the positive negative method of discipline with her over and over again until she learns that biting is not acceptable. the fuller instructions for this can be found here

Also your cat needs some more socialization with a wider variety of people as well as your girlfriend. if you can get some friends to help you out with this that would be great. they need to use the bonding process with her so that she can loose her fear of people in her own way. i have a page about this bonding process here

Don't worry your cat is still very young and her behavior can be changed. Im sure with a little time and effort she will become a great pet for you both.

best wishes Kate

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