Preschoolers and Kittens

So I rescued a 4-6 wk. old kitten from abandonment outside my apartments, a few nights ago. I have a daughter, Sofi who will be turning 3 in February. She happened to be spending a couple days at her dad's house, when I brought him home, but she came home yesterday afternoon.
My throat hurts from trying to get her to stop being rough with him, trying to make him do what she wants him to, etc. When I try to make her understand that she's hurting or mistreating him, she has a meltdown. I have put him in 'his room'(my ex-roommate's room, where I keep his litter and food), a few times, and she's my normal kid again afterward. But he doesn't like being alone, and I don't want to get caught having an animal in my apt.(we are moving in a week or so), so I let him back out. She's beginning to play better with him, but she's still trying to be a little dictator. What advice does anyone else have?

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7 replies since 19th November 2009 • Last reply 19th November 2009

well you need to watch her play with him, you may think she is being rough, but at her age, she really isn't trying to be rough, she just doesn't know how to interact with him. The more you get mad with her, the more she will be rough. Just take the kitten and show her how he likes to be touched. Tell her she can be his mom, and take care of him.

Also what child at 3 hasn't tried to pull a tail or pick at a pet. Its normal. If she gets upset, instead of putting the cat away, put her in a corner or naughty chair for 5 min. Tell her she can`t move, ingore her yelling and tantrums(my neice did that too at three) after a few sits in the naughty chair, they know you mean busniess

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First of all I would like to say you have done a wonderful thing opening your home to a abandon animal! Very awesome of you! Much respect Happy

Maybe use a little bit of a more hands approach eg.
Gently tug on her arm and say "this is how the kitty feels when you do that"
Try and get her to understand the kitten is like a human baby and they are very tiny.
Even do it to yourself, children understand more when you explain things to them hands on. If you compare the kitten to a baby I think she will understand.

Hope all goes well and good luck!

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metal has good advice.. Im going to be doing the same thing with my 3-year old.. were opening our house to foster some abandond cats who dont do well in shelters. Im lucky because I got the basement and half of the upstairs connected and with one baby gate, can easily seperate the cats from my kid if shes not listening. It is exactly like teaching your child how to act around a baby, use the word gentle a lot and give lots of hands on examples of what gentle means. And if your child refuses to cooperate, as with any situation, a time out will show her that you mean what you say, and bad behaviour will not go un punished. good luck and im sure that little kitty is very thankful.

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so can we see a picture of the cutie?

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yea a picture would be great!

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nods

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pics! i wanna see! awwww!!! :-D

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