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Cats/Teaching a kitten to growl



I have a now-9 month old kitten (Josie) that we took in when she was 3 weeks old (she was found walking along the side of the road alone, no other cats nearby, and was very, very ill). Being 'hand-raised', she's rather spoiled, and for the most part, we don't mind. But she's got a unique quirk I'm hoping you can help with.

When she is picked up and held, most of the time she enjoys it, and starts purring and grooming you. On occasion though, she doesn't want to be held (I don't blame her at all, we all have those days), which is where the problem comes in. She's doesn't growl or hiss or yowl to say "hey, put me down!". She is completely silent, and then will swing around and claw your face. Needless to say, this isn't going over well with the family. We have 5 other cats in the house, all of whom are rescues, but they growl and hiss to show annoyance, and they do with her. But she's not learned how to on her own. Is there any way to teach her to growl to be put down? Or anything at all that will help in this situation. I'm at a loss as to how to show her how to communicate that she wants down, without drawing blood.

Thanks for any advice you may have,


unfortunately not all cats are vocally communicative. I have a silent cat too but his brother is the opposite. why this is I simply don't know viva le difference i suppose.

Instead you need to look out for body language. Things like swishing tails, or becoming rigid as you pick them up. it is important that you pick them up correctly too as this helps the cat to feel secure and not want to be put down. (one hand under the chest and supporting the front end and one hand supporting or holding firmly the back legs.)

other than that you will simply have to try and read her mood and be able to put her down before she lashes out. Again if you have a firm hold of her she should not be able to twist round in time before you can put her down A scat owners we all learn our own cats little ways and be able to react to them in time.

there is no way to teach her how to growl, if you growl at her she will become frightened of you. She may over time learn it from the other cats if you are lucky.

Sorry I could not be more helpful

best wishes Kate  


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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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