Do Older Male Cats kill kittens? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-19-2007, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Do Older Male Cats kill kittens?

We got a new stray kitten 8 weeks old about a month ago. I had her in quarantine for a week then I was trying to introduce her to my male cat.My older 2 1/2 year old male is constantly chasing her and we've caught him over her with his mouth around her neck and she's crying. No blood drawn, but I'm worried he might kill her. I watched on tv that male lions kill other male's cubs when he wins a pride. We have to constantly supervise them and she acts like she wants to play and he acts like he's stalking prey!

Has anyone had this happen? I'm even worried that he might kill her when she's bigger and can defend herself! Help!!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:28 AM
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Is your male neutered ??it sounds like mating behaviour.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:43 AM
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In the time I've been here I've read a lot of posts from other people posing the exact same scenario, with the same concern, and not once has anybody come back and said the kitten was harmed. I'm not saying it never happens, just that I think the possibility is remote. The "stalking" could be play; it could also be aggression. If aggression, his intent would most likely be to establish and maintain position as the dominant cat, not to actually hurt the little girl. So there's a possibility of trouble here, but not what you're worried about. Just keep an eye on it.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:58 AM
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When I brought Harley home, he and Jax had a few bouts like that. It was just play - and Harley was never harmed. When they weren't wrestling, they were cuddling and grooming - and when I really watched them, I saw that Jax sometimes "let" the kitten get the better of him, and Harley ALWAYS instigated things by pouncing on Jax. Now, if Jax was really hurting Harley, then you'd think Harley'd be wary of him, but he never was. And Harley cried for drama, I think. Once I stopped jumping in to stop Jax (I knew he wasn't hurting Harley), Harley stopped crying out.

Also, as Tim said, if your older cat is the instigator, he's probably teaching the kitten who's "boss".

As long as she's not actually being harmed, I wouldn't worry too much, especially if she doesn't seem to be afraid of him.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, my older cat is neutered. The younger cat is usually pouncing on him first but the last couple of days, if I let her out of my son's room, the older cat (Storm) asumes attack position and starts chasing her right away.

So how do you tell if the kitten is acutall being harmed when I stop Storm as soon as he assumes the "kill" position? Wait till she's dead?

I'm afraid if I don't interven when Storm has her by the throat, he'll kill her. She cries so pitifully.

Now when the kids go back to school, and I work, I'll have to keep them separated till the kids get home every, day.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 10:19 AM
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I'd keep them separated except when closely supervised. An older cat can kill a kitten so small. Even if Storm's original intention is "play", that play can get too rough for a baby. I have neutered males here who sleep together, groom each other, and get into squabbles that actually get downright lethal. If one of them had been a little kitten, I have no doubt there could have been a fatality. I'd let them together only when they can be watched, admonish or discipline Storm when he gets too rough, and hope that as the kitten gets bigger she can learn to either avoid Storm or bring out her can of "Whoop-a$$".

In the meantime, don't forget to lavish attention on Storm when he is alone and especially when he is kind to the little girl. He needs to know that it's still "his" house and to think that you love him the best.

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you criticize him, you're a mile away and you have his shoes.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 10:40 AM
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In the wild I do believe male cats kill kittens becaus mother's aren't ready to mate while their nursing. This is why I received Norman so early in his life - a bunch of feral male cats were killing the kittens of the feral females on the NJ Turnpike.

In a household situation, I don't think I would be crazy concerned. Just keep an eye on things.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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OMG, how horrible I'm glad I don't take the turnpike. I live in Jersey too. I knew it! I figured if lions did it, other cats would too!

I really don't need this stress. Thanks. we'll be supervising them until she's as big as him at this rate!!!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:57 PM
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My opinion, is if she is "crying", she is protesting him MAKING her do something...which is lie still and accept that I am stronger than you.
If he were really hurting her or 'killing' her, she'd be SQUALLING at the top of her lungs.

I don't think it would hurt to keep an eye on their interaction together for a while longer, but I really feel there is no danger of death. If he wanted her dead, she'd have been dead the first time.



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 01:23 PM
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....and a squalling cat will make your ears hurt, so you can definitely tell the difference.
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