Teaching Son to Be Gentle with Kitten

Updated on August 27, 2010
S.O. asks from Jacksonville, FL
8 answers

my son is 2 1/2 years old and we just recently got him a kitten. he loves to carry her around and she is great with him...she puts up with SO much. he is usually very good with her but sometimes he can get a little rough. I am not sure that he understands that he can hurt her if he is not careful. Any ideas on how to teach him to be more careful with her.

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So What Happened?

thank you all. and you needn't worry...i would never let him play with the kitten where i could not keep an eye on him...as a matter of fact HE is not even aloud to play out of my sight.

More Answers



answers from Pensacola on

Good Moring S.:
first and foremost there are not really any suggestions. I know when my three children were younger,(they are now 18,16,15)we have had our share of animals and teaching the proper ways to care for them. One of the things we as parents learn quite quickly is that young ones watch and learn.We have to sometimes guard ourselves in all areas of our lives when it comes to our children and that is all I can say. I remember having to bury a wild turtle that my 18 year old brought to me from our back yard when he was around your son's age. i explained to him that the turtle was God's nature and we were hurting the turtle if we kept him and told him he needed to put him back where he found it. He slammed the turtle on the ground where he found him and killed the poor thing. I was beside myself and had to calmly explain to him that is not the way to appreciate
god's creatures. later on in our lives, we have had cats, dogs, hamsters and on and on and I found that I had to sometimes hold the critter and show the kiddos how to properly handle them. I don't know if that helps,but as I said earlier it is really learning by watching what we do with our critters.good luck though and have a great week.
C. G.



answers from Sarasota on

I know how you feel my daughter is the same way only she's younger. what I find that really helps is showing your son how to play with the kitten ie the kitten really likes it when you pet her like this...(then just show him gently how to pet or play with the kitten)...I'm not so sure that the kitten likes to play like that let me show you something new(a trick that my cat loved was feathers...give your son a few crafting featers tie them to a piece of string and let them run in an area that you feel is safe and both will love it.
I hope this helps good luck



answers from Ocala on

Only piece of advice i can give here is just keep a look out and take her away for awhile. explain that he was hurting her and he doesn't want her to go away forever.he'll start associating his behavior to losing her for awhile pretty quickly. i had a cat who was very gentle. he would just go limp and purrrr whenever one of the younger ones would play with him but if the oldest go to rough he would use force if he had to. my baby left us a year ago. go hit by a car snd we miss him but i still let my kids handle other kitties so they know not to hurt them.



answers from Dallas on

My boys are 4 yrs and 21 mths, we have always had cats. We would take their little hand and wipe it gently on her and say "gentle, gentle with kitty". Now if I see them coming for a cat I reminded them "gentle!" and they usually remember and do the soft hand swipe. If they get a little rough and she runs off, I tell them that kitty only likes gentle pets, and she got upset and needs to cool off.
I dunno. Works for us! Good luck to you and your kitten ; )



answers from Sarasota on

Most reputable breeders will not place a kitten in a home with children under five years old. Pets really shouldn't have to put up with being mauled by a child. Even if you can make a 2 year old understand they can hurt the animal, at that age they won't remember it very long, and if the kitten bites or scratches trying to get away, you don't know what the child's reaction might be. Here's the type of info you'll typically find if you search:

* It is recommended by most veterinarians and shelter personnel that you not bring a kitten into a household with toddlers. Little children with the best intentions and kindest hearts in the world can maul a kitten to death, literally. All it takes is one moment of unsupervised contact for the kitten to be severely injured or dead and the child to be faced with the guilt of their actions. Protect both your children and your cat by choosing a fully grown cat if adding a feline to your young family.*

It's probably best to only let him interact with the kitten when you're RIGHT THERE (I mean, where you can put your hands on either of them) until the kitten is old enough to be able to protect itself by getting away quickly. If the kitten is battered around, it can grow up to be a skittish cat that isn't very nice to have living with you.



answers from Jacksonville on

I have a son who turned two in march. we have a growing puppy. we got her when she was only two months old....though i wish i could give a great answer. the only thing i can say from my view is .... patience. i continue to tell ty (my son) that he hurt the puppy. i tell him she got hurt and to say sorry and give her a hug. ty is slowly understanding. if he is really really rough with her, i put him into time out. i treat the puppy as another toddler in the house. but patience is the only thing getting me through his roughness with the dog. as he is learning not to be so rough with others (my child is all boy) he is learning to be not so rough with the dog. Your cat will be his best friend and he will learn. Animals are great with toddlers. Good luck and have fun!!! :)



answers from Panama City on

We just got kittens for my kids about 6 months ago. we had a little problem, but we just stayed on top of them and reminded my son that the kitty's won't be his friend if he isn't gentle. We had to isolate the kitty's in the downs stairs room(Cat heaven!) to teach him a lesson. We won't be able to play with them if we are not gentle.


answers from New York on

I actually wrote a children's book "Fun For You But Not For the Cat" which helps a child recognize that cats need to be treated differently than people. It is available through lulu.com here is the link.
I hope you like it!
L. Afif

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