Harassing Cat from Toddler

Updated on February 14, 2008
S.W. asks from Morris Plains, NJ
6 answers

Ok so I'm a little lost on this is one since it has significant ramifications. My daughter has usually ignored the two cats, sometimes pets them on their head (the only place I will let her touch them), but recently (26 months old) has taken to grabbing the one cats tail. The cat is not good about it either, he has scratched her and tried to bite her so I spend my days separately the two, but when they are in the same room its crazy. Time-outs don't work as I have tried and honestly I don't need to do time-outs for anything else with her, just this. I can't seem to find any leverage with her on this, she says fine about taking away toys, movies, etc, time-outs(on the negative side). I've praised her for touching just his head, telling her that makes him happy, Daddy is proud of you, etc (positive side). Short of getting rid of the cat which is of course doesn't solve the problem either since she doesn't learn, I just don't know what to do anymore and I can't ignore it because that cat will definately hurt her if she gets close enough. I have even explained the whole hurt you part since she knows the times he has scratched her it did hurt. Any suggestions?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from New York on

Hi, My two daughters did the same thing until they were about 4 years old and, finally, they "respect the cat" My one daughter actually climbed up to get safety scissors (a quick trip to the bathroom for me, not quick enough apparently) cut off his top and one side of his whiskers, and he just laid there and let her do it. Couldn't believe it. Honestly, I've been there and done that, but the only thing that helped was age. Now the cat sneeks in to sleep with either/or at night and walks into the bathroom when they are on the potty to get a quick petting while they have "nothing else to do" so it seems he doesn't hold it against them. Unfortunately she is just going to have to learn in her own time. And, as for declawing, I work for a vet and if you could see how pitiful those poor things look after surgery you would never even think about declawing them.



answers from Binghamton on

i understand where you are coming from. my almost 2 year old nephew now climbs the cat tree meowing all the way to "love" think chew on the kitties.

i think you should within reason let the cat show your daughter that he doesnt like being pulled. ok so with in reason is dont let him bite her but if she pulls his tail let him give the response not you. that might be why shes doing it-if you go tearing across the room everytime she touches the cat it might be funny to her and encorage her to continue.

good luck-and if you can get a cat door so they can escape and not have to be ontop of the fridge.

lots of luck,



answers from New York on

Your daughter does need to learn to respect animals. Consistency and postive reinforcement should help. Reward her for good behavior. Please do not get your cat declawed. That is extremely painful for the cat and is against the law in most countries and in most parts of California. You can clip your cat's claws to keep them short. I don't believe it will help to "get rid" of your cats because your daughter still will not have learned to respect animals. That is very important. Just have patience and be consistent and reward for good behavior.




answers from New York on

MY son used to the same thing until the cat bit him. Then he never did it again. I was lucky that she gave him a warning nip, and that was enough. I tried seperating them, punishing him, taking toys away, talking to him, but nothing worked like that bite.



answers from Syracuse on

On the short term, separate her from the cats.

On teh long term, it is pretty normal for a two year old to experiment with this behavior. Just keep punishing, she will eventually learn. As other posts suggested, she is not old enough to understand animal cruelty.



answers from New York on

Trust me, I'm a mother of two little boys (8 and 10) and we have had our kitty for 5 years now. My boys don't mess with the cat anymore. Your daughter will get tired of being scratched and your cat will always have an additude so try not to make a big deal out of it, separate them when possible and keep showing your daughter the nice way to handle a kitty. Make sure kitty has all of its required shots and keep some Neosporin handy. Good Luck!!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches