My human brought me home from the Humane Society about three years ago and for the most part, it’s been pretty nice here. When I first moved in, there was already another, older cat, but we quickly made friends. Last year, she became ill and died, and things were sad here for quite a long while. But then a couple of weeks ago, my human came home with a kitten. Not a real young one — she is probably around four or 5 months old, and she is a terror! Don’t get me wrong — I like her, and she can be a lot of fun, but she also keeps invading my space. Like, she’ll take over my favorite afternoon sun patches, or she’ll try to eat my food once she’s finished with hers (that little squirt can put away the food, let me tell you!). Worst of all, she tries to sleep next to my human at night, which is my spot! My human knows it’s my spot, so she will push the kitten away, but before I even get a chance to relax, she’s right back where she shouldn’t be. Between my human and the kitten messing around, it’s starting to disturb my beauty rest! Do you have any suggestions about how to get this kitten settled down? And my human too, for that matter. They both are getting on my nerves!
At Kit’s End
Dear Kit’s End,
Such a joy, breaking in a new kitten, isn’t it? Especially for a nice cat like you, who doesn’t want to dampen her high spirits — and you are suffering all sorts of petty annoyances as a result. Add a human to the mix, who is clueless about the right way to deal with a kitten and you have a perpetual source of frustration. Actually, in this case, I think your human may be easier to manipulate than the kitten. In fact, I’m sure this is true. The kitten is easy enough, really. Just let her continue to do what she’s doing. She’ll eventually get bored of your sun patches and your special spot on the bed and find her own places. And if she doesn’t, you can always, shall we say, encourage her to find them once she’s a little bigger and closer to you in size. So really, she is only inconveniencing you for a little while. Your human, on the other hand, is not helping things because she’s wasting time fretting over the kitten’s behavior, trying to get her to move (which is useless), and generally attempting to control a situation over which she has no control whatsoever. Since she seems to be stressed out over inconveniencing you, I suggest that you milk that for all it is worth. Instead of trying to grab your place on the bed, go into another room and sleep there. Your human will think you are sulking, or depressed and she will do all sorts of things to make you feel better — pay extra attention to you, bring home new treats, maybe buy some toys or even a new cat tree. You don’t even have to work it. Just let the kitten have her way and go off and curl up in a ball. Your human will imagine the rest and act accordingly. By the time the kitten’s a year old, you should have all sorts of great perks that you earned by doing… nothing! Meanwhile, the kitten will have matured and stopped being so annoying. Of course your human will think that she helped things along. She didn’t, but if I were you, I would let her take credit. You may get more new stuff if she thinks it is making a difference.