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New Kitten - is my older cat hurting her?

August 30th, 2003, 10:12 PM
We just brought a 3 week old kitten into our apartment, where our 2 year old cat lives with us. He plays rough with us and I'm unable to tell whether he's hurting her in play.

Obviously, there is no blood.

He'll chase her, she'll run and then fall on her back, paws up. At this point, he pins her down ( he is declawed in front). She starts to yelp when he pins her down. He does this by putting his back paw on her belly, and sometimes he opens his mouth around her neck for a second or two. It makes me nervous because she is so tiny, and he is almost full grown. It could either be rough play or fighting. Either way, I'im afraid to let them go at it unless I'm watching near by.

She doesn't seem afraid, and right after they break from the pin I just described, she is right back for more, diving at his paws, then running away.

She has been with us for less than a week.

Does this sound like trouble? I don't want her getting hurt.


Lucky Rescue
August 31st, 2003, 11:38 AM
Are you sure this kitten is only 3 weeks old? Are you bottle-feeding her?

If you are sure she is not being hurt or terrorized by your cat, then supervised play periods might be o.k. Does your male cat stop when the kitten "yelps'? Sometimes young toms can get very wound up and do damage without meaning to.

If you see him getting too rough, or starting to lash his tail, pin his ears back, take a stalking position etc. you might want to have a little squirt bottle handy to cool him off and teach him that this is not allowed.

I would be sure to put this tiny kitten someplace - like a bathroom or carrycage - when you go out. Much better safe than sorry.;)

August 31st, 2003, 12:08 PM
we were bottle feeding her for a week, but she's taken to eating kitten food from a bowl now.

he doesn't stop when she yelps. we do put her in another room when we go out.

we're doing the water bottle thing but he's never learned from that in the past, so i'm not confident he's going to learn from it this time. we'll keep a close eye on them. thank you for your response.

the local animal hospital has reccommended that we keep them in separate rooms for a week, even though we told them we failed to do this (out of our own ignorance) initially.

does that sound ok? the only room we have to keep her in would be the bathroom.

Lucky Rescue
August 31st, 2003, 03:56 PM
Yes, put her in the bathroom with lots of toys, bed, etc. As I said, young toms can be unpredictable and even "mean" with other cats and kittens, especially if they have always been the only cat. He may not even recognize that this tiny kitten is a cat! The fact that he doesn't stop when she cries is worrisome.

If this kitten begins to feel bullied and fearful, she might get stress-related problems. Let them be together if you are sitting there watching like a hawk, but do not let your cat maul this kitten. She is way too young for them to work it out.The second the kittens seems afraid, stop the interaction. Just one bite could seriously injure the kitten.

He needs to learn how to play nicely with her and that might not happen until she is quite a bit older - like 12 weeks or so and can at least hiss and scratch to let him know she's had enough.

Until then, I would keep them separated most of the time. You can also lock your cat into a room for a few hours a day and let the kitten out. Or you could get another kitten to keep yours company.;)

August 31st, 2003, 09:59 PM
I'm baffled as to why the owner sent the kitten home with you so early. It is only harmful to the kitten to be taken away from its mother at such an early age. Or did you find/rescue the kitten from somewhere? (just a curiosity post, thats all!!)

September 1st, 2003, 02:20 PM
she was rescued by an animal hospital worker.

September 1st, 2003, 07:01 PM
Ahhhh, ok! That makes sense!! Thank you!!