Because being topped by an eight week pussy ain’t pretty.

Kitten-Raising 101

Often, when I go to play with a friend’s cat, the human associate of said kitty sez, “Oh, she doesn’t like to be touched.” Or “Careful, she bites.” Or “He doesn’t come out when we have company.”

And you know what? It’s not the cat’s fault that it’s that way, it’s the OWNER’S.

We get kittens because they’re oh-so-cute. We fall for the sweet image of kitty purring in our laps while we read, or because they’re so entertaining when they stalk our toes under the covers. We fall for the hype.

The truth is that kittens are lies wrapped in fuzzy adorableness.  People who drowned the tiny monsters by the sackful had the right idea. Kittens are feral, evil, spiky demons who must be beaten into submission. Kittens are disgusting, egotistical, vicious beasts who terrorize with claws, fangs, and fickleness, and which, if left unchecked, will grow up to be aloof, nasty, chow-gobblers that leech off you for 20 years. And who wants that?

I have two cats. They come (most of the time) when called. I can trim their claws without a fight. I can give them meds. I can hold them upside-down, pull their tails (gently of course), and play with their toes & paws & lips even when I’m not cutting claws or giving them meds. They’ve learned that lots of weird things might happen, but they’re NEVER gonna be hurt, so they never have to be afraid.

My sofas aren’t clawed, they don’t get on counters, and they’re social when company comes over. People comment on how nice they are.

They didn’t get that way by accident. They got that way cuz I WORK with them. I interact with them, talk to them, encourage good behaviour, swiftly correct bad. They know to come to the sound of tapping on a window or floor – extrapolated from my tapping on a can of cat food. When the Doomsicle was a biting, evil hellkitten, his head was in my mouth every day to prove I was the larger predator and COULD EAT HIM. He no longer bites. Kinkwink sits & lays down on command. No, really.

They sleep with me, love on me, listen to me. I’ve trained THEM, not the other way around.

Here’s some secret cat knowledge that isn’t really secret:
There’s a difference between clawing the sofa and kneading it. Clawing is aggressive & marks territory. It also destroys furniture. Give your kitty a post to scratch and train them to that. Kneading is gentle, relaxed, and is accompanied by purring and half lidded eyes. If you smack your cat for this, you’ll make her crazy, confused & neurotic.

A cat slowly lowering his lids while maintaining eye contact with you has just given you the equivalent of a cat kiss. Do it first to a relaxed animal, and smile at the response. A tail held high is a the tail of a happy cat. If they lift it up when coming towards you, that’s a hello! Good to see you! A lowered tail shows fear or discomfort.

New parents of young cats tell me all the things that kitteh doesn’t want to do, and my response is “Really? REALLY? You’re being topped by an eight week kitten??”

YOU are the alpha.  They WILL get in line. Or else that cat will OWN you for the next 15+ years, and nothing’s more pathetic than an adult human who’s some pussy’s bitch.  I’ve seen it happen.  It’s not pretty.

This PSA has been brought to you by the letter “M”. If any of you have Secret Kitteh Knowledge to add, feel free:)

(If you want more stuff like this, my Facebook page is the clearing house for it. Thanks for following me at Marrus!”
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