How to Stop a Kitten From Climbing up Your Leg
I would not be in favour of de-clawing the kitten, as a cat needs its claws for many purposes other than scratching you and the furniture. However, a cat that has little opportunity to walk on hard surfaces may well need its claws trimmed regularly to prevent them from getting too long.
I would also support the suggestion of providing a scratching post, and encouraging the cat to use that rather than the legs of your Queen Anne dining table.
However, the action of telling a cat not to jump up at you could give it mixed signals. The kitten wants to be close to your face, so as to give and receive affection. You are its substitute mother, remember. If you say to it, "you can have affection only on my terms", you are breaking the two-way communication that the kitten needs, and which will be repaid as he/she gets older.
We have trained our cat to jump up from the floor to an adult's chest height, thus avoiding the legs. We just hold our hands out in a catching posture, and make encouraging noises, so the cat jumps into the hands and is then taken the rest of the way to the shoulders, where he gets fussed and also has a good view of things from our eye-level.
He has learned not to jump up when the hands are not in position, although he has been known to forget himself on occasion and one ends up unexpectedly wearing a cat!
With a young cat, you would start this training by kneeling on the floor, so the jump does not involve the legs, and associating the hand position with permission to jump. Later, you can encourage jumping up when you are standing, but with the hands held as low as you can reach, so the cat has only a short distance to jump, but again missing your legs.
If you watch a cat climbing a tree, you will see that his first move is to jump to about three feet up the trunk, and then scramble up from there. This is a natural action on the cat's part, and one that you can encourage, as a substitute tree, to your mutual benefit!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.