Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 5, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 5, 2015



I have a new furry, four-legged feline friend named 
Kingsley. He is a mere 5 months old and he is 
undoubtedly one of the most adorable kittens I 
have ever met. (As you can clearly see in the photo). 
Kingsley loves to spend time with his humans, Jeff and 
Meagan; he eats more like a full grown lion than the 
tiny kitten that he is; and oh boy, does he love to play!

 After spending a few days taking care of Kingsley 
while his people were away, they asked if I had any 
ideas on how to get him to stop biting while playing 
and I had to admit I didn’t. Later, I looked up 
techniques on training a kitten not to bite during play 
and I found an article by the Humane Society of the 
United States. The tips they offered seemed to make 
practical sense, so I decided to share them in this 
week‘s column. Credit goes to the HSUS website for 
this insightful, hopefully helpful information. Happy 
training and best of luck!

 Learning to Play Nice

A kitten’s first playmates are his mother and siblings, 
and from them he learns how to inhibit his bite. A 
kitten who is separated from his family too early may 
not have learned that lesson well enough and doesn’t 
know when to stop. Acceptable behavior can quickly 
escalate. If you use your hands and/or feet instead of 
toys to play with a young kitten, he may learn that 
rough play is okay. In most cases, it’s not too difficult 
to teach your kitten that rough play isn’t acceptable.

 If playing with your kitten evolves from peek-a-boo 
to professional wrestling in a matter of seconds, follow 
these tips to keep playtime interesting and reduce the 
number of trips to the first-aid kit.

 Don’t let your kitten play with your hands or feet (or 
any other body part). This sends the wrong message.

 Use a toy when playing. Drag a toy, preferably a 
fishing pole-type toy that keeps your hands from 
kitty’s mouth and claws, along the floor to encourage 
your kitten to pounce on it, or throw a toy for him to 
chase. Some kittens will even bring the tow back to be 
thrown again.

 Give your kitten something to wrestle with, like 
a soft stuffed animal that’s about his size, so he can 
grab it with both front feet, bit it, and kick it with his 
back feet. This is one of the ways kittens play with each 
other, especially when they’re young. It’s also one of 
the ways they try to play with human feet and hands, 
so it’s important to provide this type of alternative 
play target.

 Encourage play with a “wrestling toy” by rubbing 
it against your kitten’s belly when he wants to play 
roughly-and be sure to get your hand out of the way as 
soon as he accepts the toy.

 Don’t hit or yell at your kitten when he nips or 
pounces. This will only make him fearful of you and 
he may start to avoid you. The idea is to train him, not 
punish him.

 Discouraging “Bad” Behavior

Playing is not bad behavior, but you do 
have to set the rules for your kitten; no 
biting. Everyone in the household has 
to be on the same page, too; your kitten 
can’t be expected to learn that it’s okay 
to play rough with dad but not with the 
baby. First equip yourself with the right 
training tools: toys, toys, toys, and a 
water pistol.

 A Gnawing Problem: You shouldn’t 
let your kitten play with your body 
parts, but if you’re petting him and he 
starts gnawing on you, immediately 
say “uh-uh” 
and carefully 
take your 
hands away. 
Give him a 
toy to play 
with instead, 
but be sure 
he’s not 
gnawing on 
you when you 
give it to him 
or he’ll think 
he’s being 
for gnawing. 
Don’t try to pet him again until he’s tuckered out 
and no longer tempted to “kill” your hand. You 
can also make your hands unattractive by putting 
a bad-tasting, harmless substance on them such as 
Bitter Apple or Tabasco sauce. Most kittens catch on 

 Gimmie That!: Kittens always seem to want to play 
with whatever you’re using-knitting needles, pencil, 
telephone, remote control. If yours starts “attacking” 
your utensils, sharply say “uh-uh” to disrupt his 
behavior. Then give him one of his own toys. Be sure 
he’s not attacking when you give him a toy or he’ll 
think he’s being rewarded.

 On the Hunt: Kittens also like to “hunt” you while 
you’re walking around. They’ll jump out from behind 
a door or under a chair and pounce on your ankles. If 
he doesn’t pounce, praise him with “Good kitty”. If he 
does pounce, use your sharp “uh-uh” to distract him 
and interrupt his behavior, and offer an acceptable toy. 
Be sure he’s not pouncing when you provide the toy or 
he’ll think he’s being rewarded.

 Pay no Attention: Withdraw attention when your 
kitten doesn’t get the message. If the distraction and 
redirection techniques don’t work, the most drastic 
thing you can do to discourage rough play is withdraw 
all attention. The best way to do this is walk to another 
room and close the door long enough for him to calm 
down. If you pick him up to put him in another room, 
then you’re rewarding him by touching him, so you 
should be the one to leave the room.

 Remember, your kitten wants to play with you, 
not just toys, so be sure to set aside time for regular, 
serious and safe play sessions.

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

To share the holidays with? Kiddo is a 2-year-
old carefree Staffy mix who is as loving as he is 
energetic. Kiddo came to the shelter in October of 
this year as a stray. 

 His light fawn coat is accented with a striking 
white burst across his chest that is as spirited as his 
personality. At about 60lbs Kiddo is definitely a big 
and strong boy who could be 
described as a big walking tub 
of love! Kiddo is always ready 
to meet new people and make 
new friends with his beautiful 
and typical Staffy big smile 
and eager-to-please attitude. 
He would certainly prefer to 
spend his time with people 
enjoying petting, hugs and 
belly rubs… he’s a true belly 
rub aficionado who does not 
hold back in offering up his 
belly to friends and strangers 
alike in no time. 

 As much as he loves belly 
rubs, Kiddo also loves to 
strut his good looks on walks 
and runs and would thrive 
with an active and outgoing 
family that would allow him 
to stay calm and strut on. If 
you’re looking for your next 
loyal best friend who will 
love you unconditionally (as long as belly rubs are 
provided), then Kiddo is the dog for you! Please 
consider making Kiddo a member of your family; 
just in time for the holidays.

 He currently resides at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 851 E. Grand Avenue 
in San Gabriel. We are located off San Gabriel 
Blvd., north of Mission and south of Las Tunas. To 
arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Kiddo, please stop 
by any time from 10:30am to 
4:30pm Tuesday thru Sunday. 

 2016 calendars are available 
at the shelter for a $10 
donation. The photos were 
selected among hundreds 
submitted by shelter suppor–
ters. They make great holiday 
gifts for the animal lovers on 
your list! If you would like to 
order a 2016 calendar on line, 
you can stop by the shelter 
or do so through Paypal. 
Go to the shelter website at for more 

 Shelter supporters are 
encouraged to visit the 
website to read about the 
amazing story of Hoppy told 
by his rescuer’s blog. This 
three legged Chihuahua 
now has a second chance for 
a happy life after a terrible 
accident left him alone and helpless trying to 
survive on the busy city streets.


A supremely awesome dog 
is available for adoption! 
Meet Fonzi (A4899172), a 
tenderhearted 2-year-old 
white male Maltese who 
was found in Baldwin Park 
and brought to the Baldwin 
Park Animal Care Center on 
November 21st. Weighing 
7 lbs, Fonzi may have 
limited vision that should 
be examined by an outside 
veterinarian. Fonzi excels at 
being a lap dog; it’s where he 
is most happy and confident. 
The shelter environment is 
overwhelming to him and so he isn’t much interested 
in walking on a leash here. We expect that once 
Fonzi is adopted or rescued, he will feel a lot more 
confident and safe in a loving home so that his true 
personality can emerge. Fonzi will make an awesome 
indoor companion for an adult or senior; once he 
feels more relaxed and at home, we’re sure a family 
will enjoy his company too! To watch a video of 
Fonzi, please visit the following link: https://youtu.

 To meet Fonzi in person, 
please see him at the Baldwin 
Park Shelter, located at 4275 
N. Elton, Baldwin Park, 
CA 91706 (Phone: 626-962-
3577). Fonzi is currently 
available now. For any 
inquiries about Fonzi, please 
reference his animal ID 
number: A4899172. The 
shelter is open seven days a 
week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-
Thursday and 10am-5pm 
Friday-Sunday. This is a 
high-intake shelter with a 
great need for adoptions. 
For more information about Fonzi or the adoption 
process, contact United Hope for Animals Volunteer 
Adoption Coordinator Samantha at Samantha@ To learn more about United 
Hope for Animals’ partnership with the Baldwin 
Park Shelter through its Shelter Support Program, 
as well as the many dogs of all breeds, ages, and 
sizes available for adoption in local shelters, visit

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