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Cats/9-week old kitten question

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Hello,

About six weeks ago, my fiancÚ and I found seven kittens dumped in the middle of the road.  (One of our neighbors saw them being dumped)  They were different litters as some were 8-9 weeks old, and two were 3 weeks old.  We found all but two of them homes.  We kept the youngest two that were three weeks at the time.  They are now nine weeks old and getting bigger every day.  We were having behavioral biting issues with Cleo, but upon reading your post on a different thread, we began hissing at her like you suggested, and she has done a 180, and now the sweetest kitten ever.  The issue I have now is with her sister, Brea.  Brea is a model kitten.  Cuddly, sweet, loving, however, she changes at night.  We generally go to bed around midnight or so, and by 2:30, she's up again.  She wakes me up by purring and walking up the length of my body, then biting my eyelids, nose, and chin.  Each time she bites it is harder.  I've tried cuddling with her, putting her in her bed, putting her in a separate room (where she proceeds to cry loudly for the length of the time she's in there), putting her on the floor, hissing, swatting at her like a mama cat, and saying "no" sternly.  None of these work.  I don't know what to do.  She wakes me up at least four times each night biting me.  This morning she bit me the hardest yet on my nose.  In addition to her sister, we also have an eight year old male cat and three dogs.  Everyone gets along wonderfully and they play well together.  She gets tons of attention from us from the time we walk in the door from work to when we go to bed.  Other than this nighttime issue, she's fantastic.  She eats well, plays well, and has tons of toys and things to do.  Obviously she is too young to get spayed, and I wouldn't dream of ever getting her declawed, so that's not an issue.  Please advise me on what to do to break this habit.  
Thank you so much in advance!

Answer
Hi Sarah,

Sadly it sounds like it's time for some tough kitten love. Orphans can sometimes develop odd behaviors like this simply because they didn't have their mom to teach them purrfect manners. I would say that it's best to put both kittens outside of the bedroom door, or even put them in a spare room or bathroom if you can for the night. The first couple of nights will be miserable, that I can promise you. That being said, stick with it, do NOT go to them no matter how loud they get. I promise you if you provide them with a bedtime routine, a room to settle in, a few quiet toys, a nightlight, some basics like food, water, litter box, then you know that their needs are met. Ignore the attention seeking behavior, because it sounds like exactly what this is. Once she understands that she can't yell her way into getting her way she will settle for the night. As she matures the rules can relax a little at a time until she again has full run of your home at night, but at this point a good night's sleep is what's important for everyone.

Hope this helps, if you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time - I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Kind regards,

Ali

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Ali

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I am the proud guardian of 5 mixed breed cats ranging from 12 weeks to 13 years old and one purebred ragdoll. I have 20+ years experience working with mixed breed cats from a variety of different situations. I have fostered cats/kittens with special needs/behavioral issues. I have rescued/rehabilitated/re-homed a variety of stray/abused cats. I can offer advice on managing feral cat colonies, rehabilitating strays and finding them forever homes. I can help you to determine whether a cat is stray or feral, there IS a significant difference. Improperly introducing a new cat/kitten can result in aggression between newly introduced cats because cats are territorial by nature and they don't like sudden changes in their environment. To learn more about a peaceful way to introduce a new cat into a home with other cats please check out my previous answers on this subject. Proper nutrition for cats can be confusing, I recommend checking out catinfo.org which was created by a veterinarian (Dr. Lisa Pierson) who takes a common sense approach to explaining feline nutrition. Cat behavior and instincts are different from those of humans, I can help you understand your cat's needs so that you can meet them adequately and have a balanced, psychologically and physically sound kitty. Cats vary in personality, energy level and intelligence, different approaches may be required to achieve results in terms of training and interaction with your feline companion. An intelligent, high energy cat must be kept busy or they will make their own fun. I am NOT a licensed veterinarian and I can't offer medical advice. If your cat is ill/injured my advice is always the same: get prompt medical treatment provided by a veterinarian. If finances are an issue I will try to find resources in your area that can help with medical costs or make other choices to ensure the welfare of your cat.

Experience

I have fostered feral and stray cats, rehabilitated and homed cats that many people recommended euthanasia for. I am willing to make an effort to do the research and ask questions because I care enough to find solutions to behavioral problems rather than giving up. I have an interest in the use of alternative therapies to help provide the best possible care for all cats and I can say in all honesty that I've seen some incredible things happen for some incredible cats and their human caregivers when the right alternative therapeutic modality is used by a qualified veterinarian with expertise and experience in the field.

Education/Credentials
I've earned my diploma as a veterinary assistant with honors.

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