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fiddlerbird555
Permanent Resident

USA
1429 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  2:50:58 PM  Show Profile Send fiddlerbird555 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am a knitter. I am a dog person. DH is a cat person. The step-cat (predating the marriage) died. He was loving and rather lethargic in his later years. Of course we HAD to get a kitten (for the children, yup). I've NEVER had a kitten. It's attacking my yarn & my hands as I crochet. She's cute as the dickens, but how long is this phase going to last, and can I do anything about it?

____________________________________________________

I can go loopy, or I can knit. Your choice.

YarnGoddess
Permanent Resident

USA
2460 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  3:04:21 PM  Show Profile Send YarnGoddess a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh dear. You do have your hands full don't you?

How long will it last? You don't mention how old she is, but they tend to stay rowdy up to about a year in age. Females seem to settle down a little earlier than males, but it's not a hard and fast rule. You might try adding a few Feliway diffusers to your house, they might calm her down some what. And lots of play time, preferably with toys that do not involve string. Use toys on wands that she can chase and hunt. Try to avoid using your hand as the toy. If her play with you becomes to rough, tell her "NO" and walk away.

If you can bring yourself to get another slightly older kitten they do a wonderful job of entertaining each other. As a general rule, a male and female will get along better than 2 females. Females are far more territorial than males and far more aggressive in defending it. If she's OK with the dog, the dog could make an interesting playmate too.

Getting her spayed when she's old enough will help too.

Here's a good site with several articles on aggression and how to handle it: http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/ I realize you don't have an aggressive cat/kitten but there's good info that might prevent her from becoming aggressive.

A good healthy diet (no grains) will help too. When I got Zipper & Diva, I was feeding dry food and Zipper was a spaz machine all day and all night. Changing his diet to a grain-free diet made a big difference in his behavior.

In the mean time, keep all your yarns, hooks, needles and WIPs put away, not just out of reach but out of sight. Good luck!

Elizabeth
Zipper & Diva

A sense of humor can help you tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, overlook the unattractive and smile through the unbearable.

To learn more about healthy nutrition for your cat, go here: http://www.catnutrition.org and here: http://www.catinfo.org/
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purlthis
Permanent Resident

USA
2753 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  4:02:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlthis's Homepage Send purlthis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mine are almost 3. I'll let you know when it stops.

Rachel
------------------------------------------------------
As I get older, I prefer to knit. Tracey Ullman
http://purledthis.blogspot.com/ UPDATED! WITH PICS!
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fiddlerbird555
Permanent Resident

USA
1429 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  6:05:02 PM  Show Profile Send fiddlerbird555 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
estimated age (from shelter) now 12 weeks.
Female
Dog actually likes playing with her (up to a point), and we've got a disco-ball in an often-sunny window, so there's periods of moving light spots. Kids do want to play with string (though we've warned against leaving it lay around. And she WILL be spayed.

____________________________________________________

I can go loopy, or I can knit. Your choice.
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queen of the east
Seriously Hooked

Canada
877 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  7:55:31 PM  Show Profile Send queen of the east a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Keep a toy close at hand while you are working with your yarn, when kitty comes to play/attack toss the toy across the room. I kept a catnip filled mouse or a wad of paper nearby me while I knit when my cat Arthur was a kitten. Kittens are easily distracted. Now that Arthur is older he wants to lie on the knitting, we are currently in a battle of wills over a Kidsilk Haze scarf, or paddle the balls of yarn, also a no-no.

Ann in Montreal
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knittingrunner
Seriously Hooked

USA
799 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  9:46:08 PM  Show Profile Send knittingrunner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, young cats do have a bit of ADD-

Flickable toys are great-you can get a pkg of 'glitterballs' at a craftstore and let her play kitty hockey with it after you flick it from your 'arsenal'.

I usually supplement the "No!" With a clap of my hands.

Good thing the dog will tolerate her a bit. Will you allow her outdoors? That is a great place to burn off energy though I fully understand the reasons people have for keeping indoor cats.
Good luck!

Naps can always be improved by adding a cat.
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socks4all
Permanent Resident

USA
1461 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  05:28:46 AM  Show Profile Send socks4all a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are the "Momma Cat", you must teach her to be a good kitty. The first attack (of a session) deserves a sharp "no". The second a "no" with a clap. At the third I bring my face close to hers and hiss. Yes, hiss. She should run at this point. When she comes back talk to her in a gentle calm voice and tell her what a good girl she is for not attaching the yarn. If she persists and attaches again, start over. My favorite though is to play with her until she is soooooo sleepy. Pick up the crocheting when she is out cold. If she is near you, even if sleeping, try to have your yarn source away from her so it is not going past her eyes. That can be just too tempting. My 3 addult cats race to my side when they see I have knitting. That means I will be sitting in one spot for awhile. They vie for who gets the treasured lap. I have to wait until they settle down, one on the lap, one on each side. I can't sit next to the arm of the couch or a chair, there is not enough room for all. Soon they are all napping or cleaning and I can knit. If I'm making something that has gotten loarge, my girl loves to have it draped over her. She'll purr and snuggle.
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Chemcats
Permanent Resident

3337 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  06:53:39 AM  Show Profile Send Chemcats a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Exactly what Socks4all said! The kitten is bonding with you, and sees you as Momma. So you are going to have to speak "cat" not human. I have done those tricks and they work. Another one to remember: Momma cats, when really fed up, will take their mouths and place then around the kittens neck and gently force the kittens head toward the floor. It is like saying "I am th adult and you are the kitten and you will do exactly! as I say!" It doesn't hurt them when you take them *gently* by the scruff of the neck and push down lightly. But you are really taking control Alpha Momma of the Omega Kitten.
BTW, it works even when they become mature too.

Meribeth
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Mean Mama
Permanent Resident

USA
1138 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  07:26:26 AM  Show Profile Send Mean Mama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some kitties are just unable to resist yarn, where ever they find it. And they can be quite persistent at seeking it out. Trust me on this one.

I actually have not picked up my knitting needles since the day I saw my cat flash by with my WIP in her mouth--from three rooms away. it WAS a brioche stitch shawl, done in laceweight . . . and I had to frog it, all. I am just getting over the shock now.

With another cat we had, I wouldn't realize he was nearby as I knit, then suddenly the yarn I was feeding into my hands was damp--kitty dental floss. YUCK.

So obviously I have no solutions for you!

-- Mean Mama

“Qui vit sans folie,
N’est pas si sage qu’il le croit.”
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PBELKNAP
Permanent Resident

USA
1136 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  07:52:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit PBELKNAP's Homepage Send PBELKNAP a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have two words for you...SPRAY BOTTLE. Keeps them in line without hurting them.

*************************
PAM

WIP = Socks (knit), Cot'n Corn Eyelet Rib Top (knit), Round Ripple Afghan (crochet)

Done YTD: Shadow Jacket (crochet), Snowflake Sweater (knit)

Twitter Name = WildKnitter

If I could only do this for a living...
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lella
Permanent Resident

9712 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  12:10:16 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh the lovely cat and kitten stories! Thank you all and fiddlerbird for posting the topic!

My cats never, no matter their age, ever stopped playing. They all loved yarn or anything ball like. They would pick it up in their mouths, carry, drop, bat it around, start all over again. When you knit, your scent gets on the yarn, and, most deadly for the WIPS of all, is that it looks like you are playing with it. I think this is too fascinating to a cat for them to leave it alone. Unless they are asleep with BOTH eyes, a cat is always, "ON".

lella Zippiknits
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rather be knitting
Seriously Hooked

USA
954 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  12:17:57 PM  Show Profile Send rather be knitting a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Spray bottle -- otherwise known as the "law bottle" in my house. Most kittens/cats hate it. So after a few sprays, all you have to do is hold it up, or give it a quick shake, and they will stop whatever they are doing. Lots of other good suggestions here too. Cats seem quite capable of learning the meaning of a few "human words" -- "no" is one of them. And most cats (even adults) will become very submissive if you grab the scruff of their neck. It gets their attention and lets them know that you are the momma cat. I have a couple of cats who are allowed to come into the knitting room with me -- they just want to nap where i am and would never think of touching yarn. None of this applies to Buster and Bubba, who are almost a year old. I think they have a pact to torture me to my dying day ;-)

Happy knitting!
claire
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YarnGoddess
Permanent Resident

USA
2460 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  2:13:35 PM  Show Profile Send YarnGoddess a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rather be knitting

Cats seem quite capable of learning the meaning of a few "human words" -- "no" is one of them.


hahaha! When I tell Zipper NO! he gives me the claw and says "make me!" then goes right back to doing what he wasn't supposed to be doing.

Elizabeth
Zipper & Diva

A sense of humor can help you tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, overlook the unattractive and smile through the unbearable.

To learn more about healthy nutrition for your cat, go here: http://www.catnutrition.org and here: http://www.catinfo.org/
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Sticks and String
Permanent Resident

USA
1113 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  3:09:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sticks and String's Homepage Send Sticks and String a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I provide toys for the cats made out of yarn bits from my knitting. As long as they have some yarn they tend to leave mine alone. The exception is alpaca. Gracie eats it so I lock it up when I'm not using it.

She isn't eating the cords anymore however! The Bitter Barrier spray worked for that, thank you all!


Jo
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jaw
Seriously Hooked

USA
669 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  4:56:59 PM  Show Profile Send jaw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have cats that range in age from 4 months to 4 years - they haven't stopped "admiring" my yarn yet and I don't see it in the foreseeable future. Of course it is usually the more expensive wool or wool blends. The worst is when I think I have it put away and get up in the middle of the night and find it strung througout the house. I would second the spray bottle. When the youngest sees me pick up the spray bottle she heads out - but will come back later to get some loving.
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Mean Mama
Permanent Resident

USA
1138 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2009 :  6:35:25 PM  Show Profile Send Mean Mama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Spray bottles, empty soda cans filled with coins to shake--all these deterrents failed to quell the enthusiasm my latest kitty has for anything naughty. Counter surfing? cool! This despite the crisscrossing sticky tape, the alarm that buzzes if someone lands nearby, etc. I tell you, after having had cats since 1980, this latest one is pushing all my buttons. I think she signed the same pact as Claire's two . . .

-- Mean Mama

“Qui vit sans folie,
N’est pas si sage qu’il le croit.”
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ValerieG
Chatty Knitter

107 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2009 :  11:20:21 AM  Show Profile Send ValerieG a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also knit by machine. The yarn coming off the cones is very tempting but ALL of my cats (4 current. 3 previous) have learned to leave it alone. The water bottle works the best. Actually when I'm hand knitting I have to watch them more carefully.
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hillstreetmama
Permanent Resident

USA
3448 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2009 :  3:00:35 PM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's been awhile since I had cats, but we used to have 1 or 2 around all the time. The yarn was never a problem, but they loved my pincushion. It's a wonder one of them didn't die from swallowing a pin! As for counter-surfing....ha! If anyone thinks you can keep a cat off the counter when you're not around, they're naive! Get a nanny-cam and watch them! My folks put static mats on the counter, and the cat just tippy-toes around it. They're smart critters, those cats!

Jan
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shanayres
New Pal

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2009 :  11:03:34 PM  Show Profile Send shanayres a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My cat finally stopped attacking my yarn when she died, at the age of 18! I got her at six weeks!

My little dogs don't eat my yarn. They prefer to eat through wooden doors and electric cords and cable! (Rescued from puppy mill!)

Shannon
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2009 :  04:37:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm with Socks4all and Meribeth on this - up to a point. If you are able to hiss, it's a lot easier to "speak cat" rather than teach human to the cat (even though they do learn quite well - in the end). But I also think it's a lot easier to teach the cat not to approach you at all when you are working with yarn. And for that, it's also easier to behave like a cat rather than having a spray bottle at hand: Hiss, hiss again a bit more forcefully and then, if that doesn't make her back off, make a claw of your hand and swipe at her. If she persists, an explosive hiss and a slap with your "claw" should really do the trick.

And then I would NOT welcome her back, being nice to her when she's not attacking the yarn. I believe it's a lot easier to have a clear rule: When Momma has yarn in her hands, she's to be left strictly alone. Of course, then there should be cuddle times and play times for kitty, as well - when you are not knitting or crocheting. And you might want to read "The Silent Miaow", by Paul Gallico. Just so you know what you are up against...

Good luck! Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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cindylynnf
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2009 :  05:28:08 AM  Show Profile Send cindylynnf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have 4 cats. 2 are 14 and 16, they don't bother my yarn. The other 2 are going to be 5, they aren't as bad as they used to be, at 6 weeks, but I came downstairs this morning and my nice center pull ball had been teased out of my bag and was starting to make the rounds. I would keep your yarn put away and under cover. I came home one day after being gone maybe 1 hour and it looked like someone (or ones) had been barfing colored yarn all over the house, what a mess, it took me 3 hours to untangle it all. I agree with everyone else - spray bottle and lock up your yarn.
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