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I'm so frustrated! We went to the local SPCA and adopted a new 9 week old kitten "Spooky". She's a sweet little thing, and is very friendly. The problem is my 2 1/2 year old. She just will not leave the poor cat alone. She's always been around cats and is very used to them. I think she sees "Spooky" as a little cat just big enough for her to drag around. I keep getting after her for it, and explaining that it hurts Spooky when you pick her up like that, or try to jam her in a basket to carry around , and she will say she's sorry, but she'll just do it again later. I even caught her with the cats paw stuck in a DvD case she was closing on it. I freaked and told her if I caught her hurting Spooky again I was going to find her another home where she could be safe and happy. And I was serious! I'm not going to put the poor cat threw torture from my toddler. We had 5 cats, and she never did any of these things to them. I guess because they we so much bigger. Grrr!
Repitition and consistency. She might need time to really "understand" what you're saying. I know this is really "out there" if you're pressed for time, but you could make a kitten out of toothpicks or eggs or something, cover it in fabric, and SHOW her just how easily a real kitten breaks. It's like sticking a piece of paper into a fan to show what would happen to a finger... sometimes you just have to demonstrate to get their full attention and understanding.
Personally if I saw my dd doing that again, I would take the kitten and bring it to a friend or family's house for a day or 2. Then dd would see what it's like without the kitten and that you really meant that you would let the kitten go to another family. JMO.
Marie, married to Richard, parents to Amber (11.28.05) and Grace (9.28.08)