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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Waffles is a 9 week old cat. He's happy and is showered with love and attention. The older he gets the more aggressive he becomes, week by week. He's starting to play with us in a tougher way every day, ready to bite and scratch.

We have been dealing with his aggression with scruffing, but he seems unphased by that method. It worked on our food problems but not so much with this. We figured he was bored and needed some extra stimulation. We also figured having a play mate would help him determine boundaries with his play. Unfortunately it seems it has only made it worse.

We adopted a 6 week old kitten. When we first brought Toddy home, it started as a cute sniffling and gentle head pats, but he quickly started to try to bite, scratch, just very tough cat play, he thinks the little kitty is a toy almost, and the kitty is just too young to even defend himself. it seemed like he was so anxious to play.

I just do not know what to make of this. I will be laying with the kitten, and Waffles will abandon his play time with my husband to sneak up and start patting his head, and immediately try to put his entire mouth around Toddy´s head. If left alone - I am certain he would kill him - but not certain why.

We´re wondering what is going on, is this a neutering issue (we read 5-6 months was ideal for a neuter, so we were waiting on that.. we may have to do it sooner, if this is the cause.) Is this rivalry? Is this just a kitten wanting to desperately play with another?

One thing we have been very careful with is to show them just as much attention as the other. We have not pushed Waffles to the side. Toddy has a basket to sleep in (for safety) and Waffles has maintained his corner of our bed lol.

We hope in about 2 or 3 more weeks this will not be an issue, because Toddy will be able to defend himself better, or play just as rough.

Any feedback is much appreciated - we are really hoping this is quite common or just an age gap. I know it seems like a few weeks, but the size of kittens is from week to week is incredible and Waffles truly is huge compared to our new edition.

Here goes pictures of them, Black one is Waffles, Black/White is Toddy.
 

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I don't really have any advice on how to stop the bad behavior really, but the root of the problem is that both kittens were taken from their mothers Way too early and so both will have to be taught by you how to behave properly.
 

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Sounds normal to me, its what my kittens do anyway.

I have 14 week old brother & sister and the boy is alot bigger than the girl, he is always 'playfighting' with her, biting her head and neck.
Sometimes he makes her cry a bit but we just leave them to it (supervised of course) as i read somewhere that they are establishing who is boss and should only be seporated if they hurt each other, which so far (touch wood) they havent.

Plus, it gets annoying seporating them when she is crying because as soon as you seporate, she runs back and pounces on him asking for more!
 

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When I first brought Muffin into the house Doran was 4 months old. Doran would pounce and chase, chomp and wrestle...and Muffin would always come running for more.

I taught my boys to stop whent he other cried in pain, but other than that let them do their thing. They taught each other about how hard to bite is too hard, and to keep their claws in when play fighting. They still wrestle like little kittens, but it's very rare for one of them to bite too hard.

As long as the smaller kitten isn't getting tons of scratches and scrapes I'd leave them to it. BTW at 9 weeks it's impossible for your older kitten to kill the younger one.

To help you feel safer I've added a few pictures of Doran and Muffin happily wrestling when they were little.







*Disclaimer* No kittens were harmed in the taking of these pictures :D

If you're very concerned then I think it would be a good idea to seperate them when you aren't home, but otherwise keep them together. They'll be the best of friends!

BTW I'd suggest not using scruffing so often. As with any disciplinary technique where you're adding things the animal doesn't like they can become immune to it. Check out my reply to your other post about food stealing, or the link to my blog at the bottom, for tips on kitten training. With two mischevious kittens in your house you've got a lot on your plate! Take lots of pictures, then look at those cute faces when they've done something naughty. I find it helps, lol.
 

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Kitties should stay together to play fight through 8-14 weeks, as that's an important time in learning how to control their bite and claws. So your guy arrived a little early and is lackin in manners. It hasn't helped that you got an even younger 6 wk. kitten, one about 12 wks. or older would have been a better choice. So what to do now? There will be lots of squealing when play fighting, but hopefully Waffles will learn to temper his bite and claws. Keep their the tips of their claws trimmed. If Toddy is constantly running away from Toddy to hide after play fighting and seems afraid refusing to come out and interact, then Waffles is being too rough, and you'll have to supervise their play fighting. It would be better to have a feather or fishing pole type of toy or a long piece of ribbon to sit on the floor and play with them both. Then Waffles wouldn't be so fixated on fighting with Toddy. It's going to take more work and supervision on your part. If Toddy is showing fear of Waffles, it would be best to separate them if you can't surpervise them. You want them to play together and have fun, and you'll have to be a part of that. As for getting male kittens neutered, 4 months is usually an ideal time. I also do not like scruffing, and it's better to just pick up the kitten and carry it somewhere else and distract it with a toy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks a lot everyone for the replies, it helped a lot and it gave us lots of ideas.

We've noticed that waffles is less rough when he's tired or right after we finish playing with him. We're going to buy extra toys soon, specially those that more than 1 cat can play at the same time.

We've been supervising their fights, we now know the difference of toddy's fight noise and his I'm hurt noise. Every time we hear it we pull waffles aside and say Wrong to him firmly.

That seems to help a bit, waffles is not ambushing toddy as often (because that's what he does, he waits for when toddy is the most defenseless like when he's eating or taking a nap, to jump on him and start biting his legs and scratching his tummy area quite hard).

We still dont know what to do about when we're not around(like when we're sleeping) my wife tries to sleep with toddy wrapped around her arms but we're worried they could pick a fight on the middle of the night.

Thanks for the help!
 
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