I’ll admit that I have been a bit lenient with Serenade’s training. She’s a kitten, and I let her get away with little things here and there because I love her, and because she is so cute. (How do you say “no” to that face?) This week she did something so incredibly bad though, that Master Pravus had to devise a strict no-nonsense plan to help teach her right from wrong.
The house was really hot, and I needed to lock Serenade in the bedroom so she wouldn’t escape while we had the porch open for a little bit to help get some cooler air inside. I called her over to me, and she came (she really is a pretty good cat most of the time!), as usual, I picked her up and held her carefully while I carried her over to the bedroom. She doesn’t like being held like a baby, she prefers to be upright with her face next to yours. This has never, ever been a problem for us. All of a sudden, she just bit my face, and not only did she bite me, but she drew blood. I was livid, to say the least. I know she’s still just a kitten, but biting (and drawing blood) are not OK. She’s never drawn blood before, so we had to really think about what to do about this. She has her adult teeth now, so it hurts a whole lot more than her baby teeth did.
In the past if she bit, she was immediately put into the bedroom for ten minutes. Master Pravus thinks that the bedroom is too much of a “treat” for her. It is huge, littered with soft plush toys, and has a nice big bed in it. Doesn’t sound like a punishment to us. So, instead he decided we’re going to put her in her plastic crate – sans bedding, food, or water for five minutes each time she bites either one of us. It doesn’t matter how minor the biting. We’re picking her up immediately and putting her in her crate. She just squirms around the whole time and cries, she definitely hates it in there, which makes me feel soo bad. The truth of the matter is that the crate is more than three times her size though (and she’s a big kitty), so there is no real reason to feel bad. It’s only been a couple of days, but there has been a lot less biting going on. She’s a really clever kitty and she’s starting to learn that if she bites, she has to go to the “Calm down crate” until she’s ready to come out and be a good girl. Being a cat mommy is hard sometimes!