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  1. #1
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    Default Toddler hitting cat... any suggestions

    Sigh. I got a cat on Wednesday, everything was going great, thay got on like a house on fire but now, dd has been hitting our cat for 3 days. No matter what we do. Our cat is now scared of her and will run and hide.

    Im not sure what to do. She just doesnt listen to what we say, with anything. Whether it be not hitting the cat or not purposefully tipping water everywhere or tipping food out. She is just so disobedient andbits getting out of control. We dont hit her or the cat so I dont know why she is doing it.

    I was in tears last night because hubby said if she doesn't stop we will have to give him away. Ill be heartbroken and dd will be the same (to hubby he is 'just a cat' so its no bother to him). She loves him but wont stop hitting him. She knows how to pat him and play with him gently but then she just walks up to him and hits him.

    Ahhh. Any suggestions would be great. (Ps. Dd is almost 20 months)

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    If she does love the cat, can you try just picking him up and moving him to another room, not looking at her or saying anything and then going about what you were doing before--whenever she is too rough with him. Right now she's getting attention from it, but maybe if she gets no attention and the cat gets taken away (which she probably doesn't really want) she'll get the hint that hitting leads to an outcome she doesn't like. Or maybe it will just take him scratching her and her realizing when she's rough she gets hurt to stop it??? It's great he's so far gentle and just runs away!
    Last edited by HollyGolightly81; 05-11-2013 at 00:33.

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    TBH you might be better off sitting back and letting nature sort things out. I think once the cat settles in there will come a point where it will probably scratch and that might be the way she will have to learn. The same has happened with 2 yo DD and our 2 cats, they are all on great terms now and DD has only suffered a couple of very minor scratches but BOY does she know to leave the cats alone when their tails are swishing!

    Sorry I can't offer more practical advice but you might just need to give it a few more weeks! (Oh and give the cat it's own area where your toddler can't get to)!

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    DS occasionally hits our girl cat or pushes her off the bed. Never the boy cat because he's totally intolerant and scratches. I think it's a great opportunity to teach empathy. When DS hits or pushes our cat I firstly tell him off, then explain that we don't hit animals or people and that he has made the cat sad. Straight away he wants to give her a cuddle and say sorry. We went through a stage where he wasn't allowed to touch her at all because he was too rough. Maybe you could have set time of the day where you sit with DD and the cat and have a pat and a play, and make a huuuuge deal of how much the cat likes it and how happy the cat it. Then it's no touching the cat until the next supervised play time. It might be a bit difficult but if you tell DD that until she shows she can play nicely there's no touching allowed, it might reinforce that playing gently is the only time she's allowed to touch the cat.

    Never underestimate how much your toddler understands BTW. They're far smarter than us lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HopefulK View Post
    TBH you might be better off sitting back and letting nature sort things out. I think once the cat settles in there will come a point where it will probably scratch and that might be the way she will have to learn. The same has happened with 2 yo DD and our 2 cats, they are all on great terms now and DD has only suffered a couple of very minor scratches but BOY does she know to leave the cats alone when their tails are swishing!

    Sorry I can't offer more practical advice but you might just need to give it a few more weeks! (Oh and give the cat it's own area where your toddler can't get to)!
    This.
    We have 3 cats, 1 dog and 6 chickens. I just kept an eye on the kids and animals when they were together and just let them work it out for themselves. The kids need to learn to respect the animal and vise versa. My kids were scratched a couple of times by the cats but they soon learned what they liked and what they didnt.

    Id just leave them too it. Cats cant really do much damage, just keep an eye on them. Oh and make sure the cat has somewhere up high to go where the kids cant get him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loislane2010 View Post
    This.
    We have 3 cats, 1 dog and 6 chickens. I just kept an eye on the kids and animals when they were together and just let them work it out for themselves. The kids need to learn to respect the animal and vise versa. My kids were scratched a couple of times by the cats but they soon learned what they liked and what they didnt.

    Id just leave them too it. Cats cant really do much damage, just keep an eye on them. Oh and make sure the cat has somewhere up high to go where the kids cant get him.
    Yup, agree with this. Kids need to learn what happens when they **** animals off. Cats are the best for that because they tend to scratch first and bite later (not like a dog). It took my eldest months to stop annoying our cat but they get there eventually. Another thing might be time out when he hurts the cat - and you go and make a big fuss of the cat and make sure it's ok.

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    DS was rough with newborn DD. Obviously you watch a newborn a lot more than a cat. We would continually reinforce our desire for DS with the word 'gentle'. Then we would gently take his hand and run his fingers gently across DD forehead.

    In a short time if he looked like he was going to be rough all we had to do was say 'gentle' and he would instantly change his approach. It took consistency and effort but worked in a relatively short time.

    DD was a little harder to teach when next DS came along.

    'Gentle' now works in any situation the majority of the time.


    Dave The Turning Cowboy

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