Disciplining the Begging Kitty
I still have the pleasure of fostering a gorgeous black 20 week old kitten that I posted about previously. He gets along fabulously with both my pit and our other adult kitty and is such a little cuddle bug. But man, is he ever The Devil!! :D Said very lovingly of course.
The kitty's background is unknown, but he is most likely a stray although his weight really wasnt too bad. Unfortunately, he thinks he is just dying for food all of the time. Any food left anywhere (in containers, bags, drawers, cupboards) is fair game. He will eat his way through a bag or container to get to the food. Needless to say I have had to kitten proof a few cupboards and I keep stuff "hidden" in the microwave or oven. Kitty's are not allowed on the counters and kitchen table and that is very slowly sinking in (Yay!), however I cannot eat in peace ever. He will even mug my pit for her dinner so he is separated.
My dog is not allowed to beg, and I can eat at my coffee table and she isn't allowed to look or sniff at my food...I wish kitty could leave me alone as well. He will climb up your leg, jump you from behind, whatever it takes to steal your food. He is slowly learning that "ACH!" means stop what you are doing, and is also learning to stay off the coffee table, but I'm getting tired of being mugged for my food. Yes, I can lock him up in his kitty bedroom but I would like to stop this behavior in hopes that it will make him easier to adopt.
Should I discipline him? How? Or just put him away and make sure he eats when I eat? Remember, he is a foster so I want to do right by him so he has a better chance. This guy is pretty darn hard headed and has been scruffed a few times for climbing up my legs (claws out, ouch!), I don't want to hurt him but I'm constantly fighting for my food. A spray bottle with water doesn't affect him at all. Scruffing him (removing him from my leg by picking him up by his scruff and sending him on his way) also doesn't deter him and I can't tell you how many times I have accidently kicked him when he runs under my feet and he just doesn't care. I need a Boss Mare to come knock him into place;) Or maybe positive reinforcement instead of negative?
ETA: This kitty is not mean or really attacking in any way. He is very very sweet but just doesn't understand that my food is really mine and I don't share well.