We recently adopted a couple of kittens (both males and currently over 3 month old). My daughter (will be 6 in January) keeps picking any of them up, hugging him, treating him as a doll, and insisting not to loose him despite any advice or signs from her parents or the cat himself. One of the cats already scratched her on the neck when trying to escape, and yesterday I heard the other one meowing in pain.
A little context:
We adopted the kittens a couple of months ago, soon after my mother-in-law died. The kittens were born, almost feral, in the backyard of the nursing home where she spent her last months. Before, she lived with us and she was close to her grandchildren. My daughter seemed to deal with her grandmother's death quite fine at the beginning, but I've noticed she has become more irritable and sensitive. We had already discussed in adopting a pet earlier, before my m-o-l's disease (and me and my wife are cat people, and my kids had also shown predilection to cats), so from my point of view adopting these kittens were rather an opportunity than a replacement. But now I am worried that my daughter's inability to let the cats free might be related.
I would like to keep this question related to the relationship between my daughter and the cats, rather than on mourning. I just don't know if the context has to do with the issue or not.