Posted by Mary
When I decided to adopt my new kitten, Farley Spencer Waddlesworth, I fell in love with him at first sight and based my decision solely on the fact that he had the most adorable face I’d ever seen. While I don’t regret the decision by any means, I have been living a strange life the past six weeks since he’s come into my life.
Every night before I go to bed, I run around the house for a minimum of 20 minutes with a feather attached to a pole while Farley chases me. This is to get him tuckered out so I can sleep until at least 2 a.m. Then sometime after that, I am woken up by little teeth gnawing and biting on my legs, arms or face. It’s not very pleasant, so I have figured out that if I wear thick fleece pajama pants, a long sleeve top, a ski mask and some thick mittens to bed, the shock of getting bitten in the middle of the night isn’t so bad. He’ll bite me for a few minutes than go back to bed, until we both wake up at 6:30 a.m. when Josie the dog comes in the bedroom wanting breakfast.
The problem wasn’t completely a surprise. My veterinarian told me bottle fed orphan kittens like Farley tend to have behavioral issues like biting. I had the opportunity to attend an animal behavior seminar and asked behaviorist Sherry Woodard from the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, what I should do about Farley’s bad habit. She told me I should find adult role model cats to teach Farley proper cat behavior when it comes to biting.
I immediately thought of Whisker Fabulous blog team members Auntie Maya and Cousin Hana, who have three adult kitties named Izzy, Latte and Sunshine. Auntie Maya graciously offered to take Farley for five days and see what happens.
The first three days did not go as planned. Farley terrorized the adult cats. They hid from him and stayed downstairs, refusing to come upstairs where Farley was. Then in the middle of the night, Farley would attack Maya’s face, arms and feet. Like me, Maya and little Hana were covered in Farley scratch marks. But finally on the last day, my little kitten upset Latte and they got in a scuffle. Farley got a little blood on him and was a little freaked out, but he was fine.
I think the fight actually did bring down Farley a few notches and his biting is a little better. But it’s still annoying enough that I asked an animal behaviorist to teach me how to deal with it. Our first session will be this week and she will meet with the entire family at my house, including GOM and Josie. I really pray this works, I’m tired of the overnight biting sessions. A good night’s sleep sounds oh so Whisker Fabulous!