We have 2 kittens, male siblings for about 4 months now.From the moment we brought them home to the present, they will pounce on our feet in the middle of the night when we are sleeping.how can we train them NOT to do this behavior? We have trying a water bottle which decreased this behavior for awhile, but it it returning.We are loosing sleep over this.ThanksMary
Type of Animal: Tabby kitten
Age: 9 months
Name of Cat: Dot and Dash
Water spritz bottle; yelling loudy: NO;
putting them on their backs in a submissive position and quietly telling them no in a firm tone.
Ah, "mousies under the covers" game. Every single kitten I have adopted has loved to play this game at all hours of the night. And the more you react to the game (their game, mind you, not yours!), the more those mice (your feet) move, and the more fun it is for Dot and Dash!It is definitely a kitten game, so they will eventually grow out of it. My youngest cat, Spice, who is almost 2 years old, will occasionally play it if we move our feet around on purpose. But she outgrew it by about a year of age--about the time they reach 20 (in human years).At this point, keeping them out of your bedroom when you sleep is going to be the most effective method. It may not be the most enjoyable for all involved, but if they don't have access to your "mousies" they will find other things to do during the night. Cats are rather nocturnal animals, so they want to hunt prey in the dark.The water bottle or squirt gun is your second best bet. Canned air also works well--cats just don't like that noise and it will startle them. Then don't respond to being put on their backs--cats don't have a "submissive" posture! And the yelling just makes them think the game is even more fun! Plus, I imagine, it really wakes you up more fully.Although it isn't the best time of the year for it, putting a heavier cover or pillows at the foot of your bed may help--it will keep the covers from moving so much, if you can get used to the additional weight (and heat).You might also look into other interactive toys they can play with when you are sleeping. There is a laser pointer toy that moves and randomly shoots off laser light that might be perfect. It would keep them active in another room and they would look forward to it if you only turn it on at night.Good luck! Keeping their nails trimmed will make it less painful, too!
I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
Thank-you. We have been thinking about putting them out of the bedroom for the last couple of nights. This makes sense. We will give it a try.