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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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I have two cats- 8 month old litter mates, one male and one female. Over the last few months, the male has started growling whenever I give the cats new toys. He usually takes the toy in his mouth, runs under the bed, and growls loudly. If the other cat comes near, he will sometimes hiss. I thought it might be related to toys containing catnip, but he does it to both catnip-scented and "drug-free" toys. I usually take the toy away after 10-20 minutes of growling. If I give them each a toy, he will take one, put it under the bed, then go take the other and growl under the bed with both. Sometimes he comes out and sits in random places with the toy in his mouth while growling.

Any suggestions for discouraging the growling? He does not usually growl otherwise and there is no aggression between the cats. I'm hesitant to give them new toys now because I don't want it to end up in a fight.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 10:00 PM
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He's just showing his dominance and asserting himself. At 8 mos. old he's started to become mature. Is he neutered and the girl spayed? As long as they're not fighting I would likely just ignore it. Or if it bothers you that much get out a lot of toys so that he's overwhelmed by them. He likely wouldn't hoard them all. Maybe he feels like he doesn't have enough, and is just being possessive. I suspect it's just a phase he's going through. When he grabs some toys you might try some interactive play with a fishing pole type of toy like "Da Bird" with the girl cat. I'm sure he would give up his toy to play with it instead of growling with his toy under the bed.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 01:52 AM
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Winston used to do that when he was a kitten even. He is a year and a half now and has mellowed in that area. He is still the most playful of the cats and carries his toys around, leaving them by his food bowl.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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It's strange because he only does it with new toys. The cats have a big basket of various stuffed toys, crinkly toys, noisy balls, etc. and he doesn't growl at any of those. Both cats were spayed/neutered around 2 months of age. Maybe he is just suspicious since they don't smell familiar.

I'm glad to hear it is probably just a phase. Since it doesn't seem to bother the other cat too much, I'll let him do his thing. Thanks!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 01:19 PM
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My 6 month old will growl at his 1.5 year old brother when he gets certain toys in his mouth. He will grab it in his mouth, look for his brother, and growl. His brother will usually just look at him like he's being a little twerp. I feel like the next time they play his older brother will be extra aggressive, prolly to teach him a lesson. We try to yell NO a him and take the toy away, but it doesn't seem to stop the behavior the next he gets the toy. Since it doesn't really bother his older brother, and they don't fight over it, we decided to let it go. Hopefully he'll grow out of it eventually.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 04:12 PM
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I find it hilarious when my cats carry a toy around growling or meowing loudly. They're either warning the others to not take their toy or boasting a neener-neener to the others that they have one. It's not unusual behavior and nothing to worry about unless fierce fights break out over a toy.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 03:41 PM
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I have a very shy little Himalayan who didn't even meow for six months. One night I heard all kinds of growling and thought her brother must be chewing on her or something. When I checked, she was alone with a toy and acting like the king (or rather queen) of the jungle. I think they just like to be BIG. If they are playing and not aggressive, I think it's harmless.
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