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A$$hole Teenager Help!

Monica

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Kenzo has been nearly a saint since the day I brought him home, over 5 months ago. Now suddenly, at 8 months old, he has started acting like... well an a$$hole!

He's always been rambunctious, like a typical sphynx. Very playful, at times quite hyper, but always mindful to not play too rough. Just this week, he has bitten me twice to where it's broken the skin. Both times was at the end of the day, when he's bored and seeking attention. It's so bad though, that as I'm walking to get Da Bird toy, I'm being attacked repeatedly. He only targets me, and he ALWAYS does this in front of my hubby. I have a notion that he has accepted hubby as pack leader, and he's trying to display dominance over me in front of him to prove he's number 2 in the ranks. Once David leaves, Kenzo winds back down and plays like he usually does... He will literally go from acting like a crazed lunatic, to curling up in my lap and purring like a machine!

I make a point to play with him everyday, especially in the evenings when he's up from his day time naps. We have various cat toys around at all times, he has a variety of scratching posts, a cat tree, and we play with the Da Bird toy every day until he's worn out. Things I've tried:

1. Stern "NO!" and disengage- He continues to attack
2. Hissing at him- continues
3. Acting hurt; saying "Ow!" and appearing upset- continues
4. Playing with Da Bird- works, but I'm afraid that rewarding his attacks with playtime will enforce this behavior

This has only happened, recently, a handful of times. I'd like to nip it in the bud as soon as possible. Some sites suggested biting back? I know that works with a dog, but I don't really agree with that. When I was training my pit-boxer, I would act really hurt and sad when he accidentally nipped me (#3). That worked like a charm with him, and now he's the most docile dog I've ever met. That really doesn't work the same with a cat, lol.

Please send any and all advice! I want my sweet boy back, and I really don't want him turning his attention from me to my 1 year old daughter! :(
 
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Try not to laugh at our solution. Cleo would play rough so when she would start getting too rough we hold her head and neck down and tell her softly to "play nice". When she relaxes we let her go. It's not painful but I think they're embarrassed. Apparently a mother cat will hold a kitten this way when they are teaching them to behave, or so I've been told. It seems to work for us.
 

Catzzzmeow

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Our boy is always almost 8 months old and I get it. He is a rascal. He plays hard, sleeps hard and eats big lol. Living life to the fullest these days. I have to agree pushes my patience more than ever, but his older brother who is 2+ is worse lol. Enjoy every stage...they eventually mellow out on their own time and you will not be yelling at them. Let it be known it took 16 years for our Bengal to finally calm down. Lol
 

Monica

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@Duglynukem that’s brilliant. I will try that! I think that may be “speaking his language.” Thanks for the tip!

@Catzzzmeow 16 years :eek: lol. Hopefully Kenzo mellows out sooner.:p I really feel like he’s trying to impress David, like trying to be a macho man in front of him. :sneaky:
 

Catzzzmeow

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@Duglynukem that’s brilliant. I will try that! I think that may be “speaking his language.” Thanks for the tip!

@Catzzzmeow 16 years :eek: lol. Hopefully Kenzo mellows out sooner.:p I really feel like he’s trying to impress David, like trying to be a macho man in front of him. :sneaky:
We were blessed our Bengal lived to be 20 years old. Up until 16 he jumped on us, up on top of doors and was HELLION. As a kitten he was ridiculous. We once heard a noise in the silverware/utensil drawer and thought omg a mouse!? Nope, I slowly opened the drawer and there was Loki looking up at me....he climbed in the cabinet underneath and into the tiny drawer. Just enjoy and cherish the crazy and at times crazy moments lol.
 

NinaGato

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I have used a bit of a scruff technique to help with too much being a jerk. Wolfgang is 3 and SUPER high energy also. I would get swiped with a paw if I was not paying enough attention to him and it was play time.
I really recommend Jackson Galaxy's book total cat mojo (chaper 16) or Pam Johnson Howard's books (Twisted Whiskers is about problem behaviors) (Psycho Kitty is a book of case studies with action plans and follow ups.) There is also a good book called the Trainable cat. The trainable Cat is great because it gets into the ways cats think and how to be relatable to them.
Really, playing with him is not rewarding his BAD behavior. He is frustrated and needs to get out his energy and if you dont give him the PLAY outlet the energy will come out in negative ways.
Cats dont think in dog terms. Instead of a NO situation you need to find a way to turn those situations into a YES. Negative reinforcement isn't usually useful to cat training. It instills fear where we want to instill confidence.
I would recommend some environmental enrichment. Puzzle feeders or roller feeders, maybe a birdfeeder window or if he likes to watch TV like my Anna does some birdies on the boob tube. Keep up the playtime. So sorry you have been on the bad end of Kenzo's naughtiness. Hope this info helps.
 

Monica

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@NinaGato Thank you for the reading references and advice! I will add that Kenzo’s bff, Brodie (the yorkie), has been kind of M.I.A. this week. Those two are always wrestling and rough housing together, but Brodie had his teeth cleaned on Monday, and has been less playful than normal. He had 4 teeth pulled, so he’s not quite himself. I think maybe that’s also why Kenzo’s energy is bubbling over into aggression. I will definitely look into some more stimulating toys. I’ve also been looking at the One Fast Cat Wheel for some time. I’m just debating if it’s worth it, or going to end up being a coat rack, lol.
 

NinaGato

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@Monica I have also been looking into a cat wheel. Still deciding. You will have to do a review of you get one
 

Monica

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@Catzzzmeow Lol, the utensil drawer! :oops: I had a friend who had a Bengal with very similar personality. I could have sworn he was more wildcat than housecat, lol. They are gorgeous though!
Kenzo’s behavior change is strange though. He’s been such a sweetheart up until now. Even though he’s crazy at times, he’s never bitten. He especially hasn’t kept “attacking” over and over, like he has been. Maybe he’s mad that I still haven’t found him a sister. :ROFLMAO:
 
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Well Beerus was always boisterous he used to nip and play super rough no matter what I did. When I got champa he transferred all that rough play to him (which he loves) and is a sweet heart to me. I'm not saying get another cat but that's how that issue got solved.
 

Monica

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@dbzmastergal We have been looking for a sister for him! Unless we find a perfect match from a diff cattery, I think we will be waiting until next year for our breeder’s next litter... The wait is killer!
 

Monica

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Sweet Update: It seems like Kenzo knew I was stressing about his behavior yesterday... Last night, when it was time for bed, he cuddled up on my chest, purring like mad, suckled like a kitten, and even licked my nose! The licks were surprising, and fairly unpleasant (soo scratchy!), but almost as if he was apologizing for getting out of hand earlier in the day! Obviously, my doggos give kisses everyday, but this was a first for Kenzo. Three sweet little licks on my nose :love:. He stayed curled up with me all night... strange creature... lol.

Still taking everyone’s advice to keep him from crossing the line when he’s too riled up. Thanks again!
 

Monica

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A$$hole update: For nearly 5 days, Kenzo has been a gem! Just sweet as can be. Hubby was out of town for work until last night, and I was soaking up all the naked love & attention! :giggle: ... Fast forward to this afternoon, I am covered in scrapes/bite marks on my legs and hands. :( None broke the skin, but they still sting! Kenzo was unrelenting in his “play attacks” for nearly an hour. I saw his mood coming around, so I quickly got Da Bird and played with him vigorously for over 30 mins (I’m supposed to be working, mind you). As soon as I stopped, the stalking and biting continued. I also tried other toys, none kept his interest. Hubby was home during this entire time, and was not attacked once! He then left for his 1 o’clock meeting, and just-like-that, Kenzo stopped, curled up next to me, and fell asleep. :rolleyes:
I swear this is a “thing.” It’s confusing and frustrating. I still feel as though Kenzo is trying to act tough and cool in front of David, then chills out whenever he leaves. I ordered some behavior books from Amazon, I just hope I can figure this out sooner than later. :cautious:
It’s so disheartening. Even though I’d refer to Kenzo as my Sour Patch Sphynx, he’s only be like a little naughty up until now. He would knock things off countertops, steal food, and be rather hyper. However, he NEVER bit like this, never bit to hurt. He would only nip at me while doing his nails if I went too short. Even then, it was like he was mindful not to bite hard.
 
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Sheldon13

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Wow, this sounds like a tough situation. I think you have it somewhat pegged though as his behavior coincides with your hubby’s presence. I like the idea above about kind of momma-kitty dominating him by holding the back of his neck. Have you tried that yet? It would probably take multiple attempts and the occasional reinforcement to stop the behavior.


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Monica

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@Sheldon13 I’ve been doing the neck thing. He will struggle, then give up. I left him go and he will walk away just briefly, before turning around and coming back for more, and the cycle repeats. :rolleyes: I think maybe just consistency and repetition are needed. Hopefully, we all figure this out soon. Perhaps he’s jealous of the attention I’m giving to hubby when he’s home, and then takes out his frustrations on me like a jilted lover. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 
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