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Baby in the near future with Playful/Aggressive F3

#11
Getting her a playmate has always been on my mind . I just fear the risk of having it back fire and she doesn't get along .


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Rafiki

Site Supporter
#12
My 2 cents:

Make sure that human body parts are never used as toys. I always make sure that she cannot confuse hands with toys. Examples:
  • We have a kid's tunnel that she likes to play in. A favorite game is to attack whatever is on the outside. While most of the time our hands would be safe, we only use a toy or at least a sock.
  • She also likes to hide behind a door and attack whatever is close to the crack - even though she retracts her claws, we always use a toy. Same thing goes with the "can you jump this high" game - she jumps to whatever you point at on the wall and she will jump up and tag it with her paws with claws retracted.
Cats like routines. Savannahs seem to require it more than most other cats. Set up specific play times and stick to it religiously. Take note of when she seems more likely to be aggressive and play with her at that time(s) every day.

Does she have anything that she can rough up like a large stuffed animal? When Rafiki was teething, we got her a batter bunny toy to attack. Whenever she would get play aggressive, it was batter bunny to the rescue! We still break it out when she is playing too hard with her brother and making him squeal.

As others have mentioned, clicker training could also help alleviate the problems as it is very focused play time.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#13
Getting her a playmate has always been on my mind . I just fear the risk of having it back fire and she doesn't get along .


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It likely will not backfire - you don't need another savannah...just a high energy kitty...but working on the issues will help as well...
 

MorganDax

Savannah Super Cat
#15
You should be worried, this is NOT normal behavior and I know of no easy fix for changing behavior that has been present now for three years. I have given you the best advice I know - to seek out a professional cat behaviorist (reading Marilyn's books may be helpful as well). You haven't mentioned whether you have discussed this issue with your vet yet, if not you may want to, as was already mentioned sometimes prescription medications can be helpful.
Sorry, maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying here, but since when is any cat using its claws and teeth during playtime NOT normal behaviour? I always thought it was exactly normal behaviour. It is a cat after all; a natural carnivorous predator. And as kittens/cubs they learn to hunt, as well as bond with siblings/parents through playing, which involves chasing, biting, kicking, and clawing.
 

Rafiki

Site Supporter
#16
Playing with humans with claws and teeth should be immediately discouraged and refocused onto a toy. They need to recognize that the human is not a toy.
 

MorganDax

Savannah Super Cat
#17
Playing with humans with claws and teeth should be immediately discouraged and refocused onto a toy. They need to recognize that the human is not a toy.
But that doesn't mean it's not "normal" behaviour for a cat. Also IMO what "should" or should not be done with a cat (or dog, or whatever) is up to the individual owner. Within reason of course.

My cat plays aggressively and yes, I've had many scratches and gouges because of her playing with me, but she listens when I tell her to be gentle or stop. So I don't see how that's misbehaving. Though mine is a F6, and I can see how with generations like a F2 or F3 you would want to limit that kind of playing. I don't inherently see a problem with it and I certainly wouldn't call it abnormal behaviour.
 

tdbradin

Savannah Super Cat
#18
I tend to lean towards MorganDax view. I do play "hard" with my kitty as well.
Now when she was really young, the claws were out and I had battle wounds, this was my own doing and in no way is blame directed at her, as we played when she got too serious I would say ouch and tell her no.
That leads us to today, I still play with her in the same fashion but she doesn't have her claws out. I believe it is good and fun play for both of us. I chase her through the house then turn around and run away and she chases me.
I'm the only one who plays this way with her and she doesn't play with anyone else in the house in the same manner.
These are very smart animals and I believe they learn each person's individuality.

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Rafiki

Site Supporter
#19
A 7 lb DSH can do plenty of damage with teeth and claws. I have never allowed any of my cats to view our hands as toys. It is one thing for me to say "No!" if it gets too rough.....but what about when my little niece comes to visit? Do I want her in harm's way? When my brother brought home a kitten, I quickly intervened when my nephew started rough housing and laughed when the kitten sunk his claws into his hand. It may be cute when a small kitten does it but dangerous when a full grown cat does it. It is the same thing as people that encourage their little yap dogs to bark at everything when it is a puppy. Cute little yips become annoying as heck when it goes on and on and on when they become dogs. Just saying......
 

Rafiki

Site Supporter
#20
I tend to lean towards MorganDax view. I do play "hard" with my kitty as well.
Now when she was really young, the claws were out and I had battle wounds, this was my own doing and in no way is blame directed at her, as we played when she got too serious I would say ouch and tell her no.
That leads us to today, I still play with her in the same fashion but she doesn't have her claws out. I believe it is good and fun play for both of us. I chase her through the house then turn around and run away and she chases me.
I'm the only one who plays this way with her and she doesn't play with anyone else in the house in the same manner.
These are very smart animals and I believe they learn each person's individuality.

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My concern is that they have a baby coming in the near future. While I do very much enjoy rough housing with my cats, they know that they are only to sink their claws or teeth into the toy and not the human. The baby will not be able to curb rough behavior that is directed at it without getting injured.