Foster Handbook: non-adoptable behaviors


Please do not encourage or allow cats or kittens to ride on your shoulders, climb your legs, bite or scratch your hands or face or suck on you or your clothing. It may be cute as a kitten but grown cats doing these things will make them less adoptable and can cause them to be returned once they are older.

Never ever use your hands to play! It’s ever so tempting if you have small kittens and natural to use your hands to get their attention. But using hands as toys teaches them it’s OK to attack hands, and often feet too. Cats often lose their homes when they are allowed to bite as kittens.

Please use pipe cleaners or wand toys to play games like pounce, bite, scratch, stalk and hunt. If your adult foster cat shows any biting behavior, please contact your Foster Manager so we can help retrain that.

As an example, if a kitten is climbing your leg, slowly sway your knee so the kitten gently drops to the floor and walk away if you have to. Repeat it consistently and the kitten will learn that climbing human legs makes them leave. Always play games like pounce, bite, scratch, stalk and hunt with wand-type toys.

Never punish or yell at your cats or kittens. Your relationship with them is fragile and that may break your bond. If the cat or kitten does something unwanted, either remove anything positive that is happening (petting, play, etc) and walk away or distract with play.