Aggressive Kitten All Attitude and No Fun
We recently brought a cat into our house when we got him he was 5 weeks old he is now 8 month old very aggressive kitten. We got the cat fixed when he was 6 months old as advised from our veterinarian. The cat has a very dominant personality and attitude, we are trying to make the cat a normal house cat but this is very difficult due to the fact that the cat will strike out and bite and scratch members of the household even when the cat is laying on our lap and we are petting him. For no reason he wants to scratch and claw us almost like an attack what can we do?
There are a few reasons a cat might do this. Sometimes it’s a genetic predisposition, sometimes health but in your case I’m betting it’s the age you bought the kitten. Bringing a pup or kitten into a home at 5 weeks of age generally has its consequences. Both species need to spend more time then that with their mothers to learn things like exerting self-control as in bite and/or claw inhibition. They also learn about hierarchy. Some will find themselves able to assert themselves over some littermates and not others and all will learn about boundaries and consequences from over zealous interaction with their mothers. Most mothers are pretty tolerant but they send the message “You may win some but you will lose some, so think before you act.”
When we get the kitten or puppy after a mother has done her work they’re better equipped with the understanding that good manners never go out of style. Kittens that don’t get this time and the lessons that go along outside of the aggressive behaviour can suffer from some neurotic behaviour as well. Things like over attachment to a single person, separation anxiety and fear of strangers. Additionally, in cases where it is, or ends up being a multi cat or dog household there’s a greater chance of aggression as well, also because they never fully developed their inter-species socialization skills.
Generally speaking if it’s a good breeder they don’t sell until the kittens are around 12 weeks of age. By good breeder I mean someone that is making sure the kittens are being well socialized amongst their own and other species including being handled by many people. This being more the exception then the rule with both dog and cat breeders the 8 week mark is closer to an ideal. Anyone selling puppies or kittens at 5 weeks is more of a “greeder” then a breeder in my experience.
Technically speaking, to a certain extent a human can teach the same lessons mom and littermates might but the average person doesn’t take on a parenting role with their puppy or kitten. We often embrace more of the role of a permissive grand parenting and there is far more latitude as to behaviour that couldn’t be tolerated on a day-to-day basis. Behaviour is often well meaning but incorrectly written off as, “She’s a puppy/kitten!” Whereas their real mothers would be provide attitude adjustments as needed for inappropriate behaviour precisely because, “She’s a puppy/kitten!” and to do anything else will produce a puppy/kitten that struggles with the realities of the world that exists beyond being a puppy or a kitten.