Cat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I don't know what else to do. Peanut is still bothering Chinchilla. We put him in time-out when she's eating or drinking and we distract him, but he continues to attack her. Yesterday he displayed food aggression. We were putting cat food away and he and Chinchilla approached the tupperware container. At first they were munching together, but then Peanut growled, swiped at Chinchilla and then hissed at her. It was pure aggression. Later that night, when we were getting ready for bed, he went on the attack and Chinchilla had to pin him by the neck with her mouth. That could have gone bad, so he was put in time-out for the night. Just earlier, my SO was petting him and holding him and Peanut attacked his face and could have caused damage, had he not lost a baby tooth last night.

This is bad and it's breaking my heart. He didn't come here with these issues. They have developed and are getting worse. We haven't been doing anything different with him. I don't know where these new behavioral issues are coming from, but if we can't correct them quickly, then we will have to re-home him and I don't like thinking about that possibility. I don't know what to do. We can't afford to bring him to a behavioral expert. This is just getting horrendous. All we want is a cat that won't attack us or Chinchilla all the time. I need help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,962 Posts
Personally, when Chinchilla pinned him down I wouldn't have interfered. IMO, you undermined her putting him in his place by stepping in. SHE needs to be the one to deal with him when he bothers her, not you.

As long as there is no blood I let my big guy deal with the kitten. MowMOw (big guy) has had a few scratches on his nose but nothing terrible and he's always careful not to leave any marks on his little brother. He just scares the bejeezus out of him.

As for scratching your bf.... I think that Peanut probably gave SOME indication he was getting over stimulated like lashing his tail or swatting gently and it was over looked. I seem to remember that he is young, isn't he? YOu can almost always tell when trouble is coming. At that point he should have been put down or BF should have gotten up and walked away until he had settled down.

HOnestly, I don't think it sounds that horrendous. It's just kittenish behavior and him testing boundaries. Hissing isn't necessarily pure aggression and neither is swiping. It's a warning. If Chinchilla had a problem with it she'd let him know, as you said later on she had to pin him down. It sounds like she TRIES to deal with him but you stepped in... do you do that often? Let them work it out....again, that's just my opinion...we have much more experienced people on here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Personally, when Chinchilla pinned him down I wouldn't have interfered. IMO, you undermined her putting him in his place by stepping in. SHE needs to be the one to deal with him when he bothers her, not you.

As long as there is no blood I let my big guy deal with the kitten. MowMOw (big guy) has had a few scratches on his nose but nothing terrible and he's always careful not to leave any marks on his little brother. He just scares the bejeezus out of him.

As for scratching your bf.... I think that Peanut probably gave SOME indication he was getting over stimulated like lashing his tail or swatting gently and it was over looked. I seem to remember that he is young, isn't he? YOu can almost always tell when trouble is coming. At that point he should have been put down or BF should have gotten up and walked away until he had settled down.

HOnestly, I don't think it sounds that horrendous. It's just kittenish behavior and him testing boundaries. Hissing isn't necessarily pure aggression and neither is swiping. It's a warning. If Chinchilla had a problem with it she'd let him know, as you said later on she had to pin him down. It sounds like she TRIES to deal with him but you stepped in... do you do that often? Let them work it out....again, that's just my opinion...we have much more experienced people on here.

My SO did break up the scrap last night, but only because Peanut kept going at Chinchilla after she pinned him. It's like he's challenging her to an all out brawl. We usually don't interfere UNLESS it's apparent one or both will get seriously injured. Do boy kittens at 4 months tend to do this? Challenge and WANT to fight?

My SO didn't see a tail flicking. One minute Peanut was fine, and then he bit his face. It was unprovoked.

There are days when he's well-behaved and then there are days when he's out of control. I thought at first that he was just irritated because not all of his baby teeth have come in and he just lost a tooth, but I don't know anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
I agree with everything said above. It's a very good thing that Chinchilla pinned Peanut down. She is standing up for herself and I'm pretty sure as an adult, Chinchilla would control her bite to hurt a bit but not draw blood. I think you should only interfere if Peanut is being bully and Chinchilla doesn't have the gut to fight back. Peanut may not learn his lesson the first time, but with Chinchilla's repeat diciplines, he will know his place eventually. You are worrying too much, cat mom :)

As of hissing/swiping at meal time, no biggie. I have two sweetest and gentlest girls who have been best friends since kittenhood, yet there are occasional food agressions if they are getting something they really enjoy. As long as it's not scaring Chinchilla away from eating, you don't need to be worried.

And the issue of attacking your SO... How long has your SO been petting/holding him? Some cats only tolerate being pet for a short time, and don't like to be hold at all. If start squirming, let him go. There should be signs before he attacks.

Overall from what it sounds, Peanut is just a normal kitten. Nothing over agressive. Just be patient, give him a few more month and he will grow out of these issues eventually :)

PS: I think you can play with him more often to burn those excessive energy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
I went through something similar when I brought in Moxie, who was under a year old. Sassy is my grumpy older cat, and she had been an only cat for about 13 years before Moxie came along. Needless to say she wasn't at all thrilled with the new cat, but like MowMow said... you kinda have to let them work things out on their own. The hissing and swatting are all just attempts for them to figure out who's dominate. You can't figure this out for them, so it's best not to interfere.

Also you have to remember that cats can't just speak to each other. They can't simply ask another cat to back up, or tell another cat they want to eat first. Hissing and swatting isn't 'pure aggression', it's a feline conversation. I know it can be upsetting for people to watch, but I've been hissed at and swatted before. Being swatted on bare skin doesn't hurt. So I imagine with a covering of fur it's probably even less noticeable.

I will say that I truly wish I had gotten another younger cat at the same time as Moxie. I don't know if that would be an option for you, but now I understand why people recommend getting kittens in twos. They drain each other's energy. Kittens love to play, but all Moxie's attempted to get Sassy to play with her didn't go so well. These days I spend close to an hour a day on play sessions with Moxie, and it's helped her relationship with Sassy a lot. Now she doesn't need to pester Sassy to play with her - she comes and pesters me :p

If you're putting your kitten on time out a lot, especially if you're doing it when he's trying to play with your older cat, I would worry he's not getting enough exercise to drain his energy. If he's not getting enough play time he could be acting out because he's bored/frustrated because he's full of pent up energy.

And one last thing... about Peanut attacking your SO. You're absolutely right that he could have caused damage, but I really doubt a missing baby tooth was the only reason he didn't. Cats can chew through bones - if they really want to hurt a person, they can do A LOT of damage. If they don't, then I would be hesitant to consider it an attack. Kittens 'bite' each other in play all the time, Sassy has used her teeth on me as a warning before (but she's never broken the skin). They have a lot better control of their teeth than we usually think - a cat can use their teeth to kill and eat small animals, and yet also use them to gently transport their new born kittens. If they don't hurt you with their teeth, it's because they're not actually TRYING to hurt you with their teeth.

You do have to make it clear it's not acceptable for your kitten to use his teeth or claws on you, because kittens especially can cause harm when they get carried away and don't realize their own strength (just like any kid really). My uncle's kitten is like that, because my uncle has been using his hand as a cat toy, and now the kitten thinks it's ok to claw and bite people - to the point where he's drawn blood on me.

Anyway I don't think you're dealing with a highly aggressive animal at all. Just a young animal, with a lot of energy, trying to test boundaries and figure out what he can get away with. Maybe it would help if you checked out some videos of kittens and cats rough housing. They play by chasing/pouncing/biting/wrestling each other, which is how they learn the skills they need to be predators. It's perfectly natural.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I think some of his behavior is due to the fact that he's teething still and he just lost another baby tooth. I noticed some blood on one of his toys and checked his mouth. He lost the tooth on the other side of his mouth on the bottom jaw. Unfortunately we can't find where the tooth fell.

Could that be part of the problem too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
I think some of his behavior is due to the fact that he's teething still and he just lost another baby tooth. I noticed some blood on one of his toys and checked his mouth. He lost the tooth on the other side of his mouth on the bottom jaw. Unfortunately we can't find where the tooth fell.

Could that be part of the problem too?
it could be, kittens that age tend to be a little mouthy. and they usually swallow their teeth, so you most likely wont find any
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
781 Posts
teething can make them a little more bratty,, find some acceptable chew stuff for him.. and yes as said above chincilla may need to teach him some manors.. when we put are little monster into the mix with three older girls two of them let him get away with nothing, the third was afraid of him and he chased and tormented her.. he made the mistake of forcing her into a corner one day, she got mad and wacked the crap out of him,, problem solved!! the next day he got ready for the daily assault, she looked at him, he decided it was no longer the thing to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,520 Posts
You say Peanut's 4 months old? Has he been neutered? It's about that time that the male hormones start to flow, so that would certainly make him feel more feisty. Get him neutered ASAP if you haven't had him done already. Also the fact that he's teething is likely making him feel a bit cranky if his mouth is sore, and crankiness=aggression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
teething can make them a little more bratty,, find some acceptable chew stuff for him.. and yes as said above chincilla may need to teach him some manors.. when we put are little monster into the mix with three older girls two of them let him get away with nothing, the third was afraid of him and he chased and tormented her.. he made the mistake of forcing her into a corner one day, she got mad and wacked the crap out of him,, problem solved!! the next day he got ready for the daily assault, she looked at him, he decided it was no longer the thing to do.
We actually read something about plastic straws for teething and we bought some today. He's too busy chewing and playing with the straw to bother Chinchilla. Yaye!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
My SO did break up the scrap last night, but only because Peanut kept going at Chinchilla after she pinned him. It's like he's challenging her to an all out brawl. We usually don't interfere UNLESS it's apparent one or both will get seriously injured. Do boy kittens at 4 months tend to do this? Challenge and WANT to fight?

My SO didn't see a tail flicking. One minute Peanut was fine, and then he bit his face. It was unprovoked.

There are days when he's well-behaved and then there are days when he's out of control. I thought at first that he was just irritated because not all of his baby teeth have come in and he just lost a tooth, but I don't know anymore.
I vividly remember my two naughty boys at four months. They aren't challenging and they don't want to fight the way you are thinking about it. Rather than thinking about him as a mean brat, try thinking about him as a kid who doesn't have anyone to play with. The things you are describing are exactly why we decided to keep Muffin rather than finding him a home when he was old enough. Doran was such a brat when I wasn't home that my BF agreed to keep Muffin, so they boys could tackle and wrestle each other...leaving the girls alone.

Note that I said when I wasn't home. Yes, Doran was still sometimes bratty, but he knew I would leave whatever I was doing to make sure he was following my rules. Every. Single. Time.

If Doran tried to play with Torri or Jitzu I would le thim get told off, then wait. If he backed off and went to do something else I always rewarded him with a quick (30 seconds or so) play time. Even just saying "Good boy Doran!" and trowing one of his toys worked.
If he didn't back off when he was warned then I stepped in before he could annoy the other cat more. I would grab his harness (which both boys wore until they were 7 months or so) and move him away saying "Doran, uh uh." I would distract him with a toy.
If that didn't work and he went back for another try I would again take him by his harness, but this time he would go in a kennel for up to a minute. After that I'd let him out and try the toy again. Repeat as needed.

It is important for kittens to learn from the adult cats, but I didn't trust Jitzu to correct him appropriately and TBH I didn't feel it was fair to make her. Jitzu didn't bring the kitten home, I did. It was my job to teach him manners to a certain extent. I let her tell him off, and then I would step in and make sure that was what happened. Jitzu never got in trouble for beating up the boys, they always deserved it, but I never let it go that far until the boys were over 6 months, big enough that she couldn't really hurt them.

Your solution for Peanut is ultimately going to come down to one of three things.

1. Management/training. You play with him more to decrease his energy level, and you lock him in a kitten room when you aren't home untl he learns to follow the rules, and grows up a bit.
2. You get another kitten to play with him. This will make him leave the older cat alone for the most part, and you won't be the one having to work out his energy.
3. You rehome him.

My SO didn't see a tail flicking. One minute Peanut was fine, and then he bit his face. It was unprovoked.
...I want to point out that just because you, and your SO, didn't see the sings doesn't mean they arent there.

Kittens aren't always great at really obviously showing body language, and they aren't known for their self control, so it could be that he showed his signs and reacted so fast that you couldn't have done anything about it anyways. Practice will help with that.

Watch for his pupils to dilate, his ears to go back, his mouth to be slightly open, his tail to lash, even something as simple as his body tensing. These can all be signs that he is getting over stimulated.

You can also prevent this sort of thing happening by watching him to see how excited he is. If your SO was playing with him roughly, wrestling, tossing him around, growing, getting him all riled up, ect...it was bound to happen. Make a point of playing with him in calmer ways, or ways that are less physical. Rather than wrestling and using your hands use a laser pointer, large toys, or a wand toy. This will make your body less exciting, and will help him learn self control.

Overall just remember that he is only 4 months old. He's a baby! He has no self control, just instincts. It's up to you to teach him what he can do and what you don't like him to do. Note I didn't say what is 'wrong' to do...It's not wrong to him. It's instinctual.

And yes, teething can be very uncomfortable and make him a little grumpier than usual. But don't punish him for it. It's not something he can control.

*Edited to ad:
Be careful with the straw. If he starts chomping bits off to swallow take it away. Petsmart sells these awesome teething toys, my cats love them!
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3548959
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
We actually bought the worm for him when we first got him. He lost it again. He always pushes it under things, but he does love it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,164 Posts
I really think it's premature to be considering rehoming a four month old kitten. Kittens are rambunctious. They'll bite, scratch, annoy other cats,...the list goes on. Peanut is being a typical kitten. Don't rehome him for that. Learn to deal with his behavior, but don't rehome a kitten. And let Chinchilla handle her business. Peanut isn't going to learn if you and your SO intervene. The only time I'd intervene is if blood is drawn by either cat. Otherwise, let Chinchilla put Peanut in his place.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,687 Posts
I'm not sure that I would have brought a rambuncious kitten home with an older cat who needs to be assist-fed at times and has some medical issues, not the greatest combination. For that reason alone, I don't see rehoming as a bad thing in this situation. Sometimes it's best for everyone, and kittens find new homes and adapt very easily.

If Chinchilla was healthy, I'd agree with everyone else and say let them work it out. Believe me, I'm familiar with aggression problems, and yours isn't that serious. (Of course, it's easy to say when you're not right there.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I'm not sure that I would have brought a rambuncious kitten home with an older cat who needs to be assist-fed at times and has some medical issues, not the greatest combination. For that reason alone, I don't see rehoming as a bad thing in this situation. Sometimes it's best for everyone, and kittens find new homes and adapt very easily.

If Chinchilla was healthy, I'd agree with everyone else and say let them work it out. Believe me, I'm familiar with aggression problems, and yours isn't that serious. (Of course, it's easy to say when you're not right there.)
We're taking this one day at a time. Yesterday he lost a tooth and started calming down. As much as it would make me feel like a bad pet-mom, if he doesn't start chilling out more, re-homing might be the best choice. I'm going to hope that he starts behaving better. Sometimes, his behavior tells me that he wasn't properly fostered before we adopted him. I don't want to have to re-home him because someone else screwed him up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,962 Posts
I don't think he's screwed up at all and that he's getting a bit of a bad rap. I think he's an average rambunctious 4 month old kitten.

I hope if you DO rehome him that you don't stick the stigma of 'needs to be only cat' or 'problem kitten' on him because i really don't think that he is. From everything you've said he sounds quite average and normal to me. He just needs proper training to mature into a well behaved cat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
He's four months old... There is only so much mess someone can make in that time.

Kittens are easy to train, it might be frustrating to teach him what's appropriate, but it's fully possible.

If your older cat can't handle his kitten antics, and you are considering rehoming him this is the time to do it. At four months old he's not anywhere near his set adult personality. Kittens are cute and are easier to find homes for than adults. If you end up waiting and not working on his behavior you'll end up with a cat that's a year old and you'll have a hard time rehoming a year old cat with minimal manners.

IMO if you're set on rehoming do it now.

If you're willing to work with him then pull up your socks and do it. Protect your older cat by putting him in a kitten room (with toys, litter box, food, water, scratch post) when you aren't home and at night, and teach him manners. He's not going to magically get manners over night. There's work involved.

Keep in mind that he's no where near done teething, so be prepared for more bad days/weeks. It's just something that happens with kittens.

TBH I was absolutely shocked to hear that you think someone 'screwed him up.' He's a BABY. At four months old there are almost no behavioural problems that you can't completely get rid of with time and effort. If you truly think he's 'screwed up' then rehoming him is probably your best option.

I have rehabilitated kittens that were feral until 4 months old...it took me one month to make them into happy, playful, polite kittens. Well, as polite as kittens get anyways. I had no problem adopting them out to your average pet owners.

I will be happy to support you if you want to put the work into him...but please don't say someone 'screwed up' this poor baby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
He's four months old... There is only so much mess someone can make in that time.

Kittens are easy to train, it might be frustrating to teach him what's appropriate, but it's fully possible.

If your older cat can't handle his kitten antics, and you are considering rehoming him this is the time to do it. At four months old he's not anywhere near his set adult personality. Kittens are cute and are easier to find homes for than adults. If you end up waiting and not working on his behavior you'll end up with a cat that's a year old and you'll have a hard time rehoming a year old cat with minimal manners.

IMO if you're set on rehoming do it now.

If you're willing to work with him then pull up your socks and do it. Protect your older cat by putting him in a kitten room (with toys, litter box, food, water, scratch post) when you aren't home and at night, and teach him manners. He's not going to magically get manners over night. There's work involved.

Keep in mind that he's no where near done teething, so be prepared for more bad days/weeks. It's just something that happens with kittens.

TBH I was absolutely shocked to hear that you think someone 'screwed him up.' He's a BABY. At four months old there are almost no behavioural problems that you can't completely get rid of with time and effort. If you truly think he's 'screwed up' then rehoming him is probably your best option.

I have rehabilitated kittens that were feral until 4 months old...it took me one month to make them into happy, playful, polite kittens. Well, as polite as kittens get anyways. I had no problem adopting them out to your average pet owners.

I will be happy to support you if you want to put the work into him...but please don't say someone 'screwed up' this poor baby.
We got Peanut from a so-called rescue organization. On the paperwork, the person who fostered him's name was etched out for some odd reason. We have no info on where he was before he got to us besides being in a little cubbyhole at Petsmart where the volunteers barely socialized him or the other cats there. When I say I think someone screwed him up, I'm saying that I suspect he might have been neglected in his first three months(we got him before he was three months) or poorly handled in general. I don't think he's a bad kitten at all. I don't want to re-home him. I'm willing to work with him. My SO suggested re-homing after Peanut bit his face, which I felt was an overreaction.

I've never dealt with a kitten that behaved like this before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
I've worked with lots of kittens and his behaviour sounds completely normal to me, right down to the nose biting. Doran did that to me a few times when he was over excited. I have many scars from naughty, distracted, or scared kittens. It's what happens when you have a high strung baby animal.

Even if he was completely ignored, or didn't get the training and attention I think all baby animals need from a foster-mum he's still at an age where consistancy, exercise, and patience will work wonders.

I worked at a PetSmart as their dog trainer for 3 years. I was also the resident dog/cat food expert, and the cat behavior expert. I was the one who clipped the nails on all the cats in the adoption center, and I think in three years there were only 4-5 cats that I didn't get trimmed before they were adopted. Considering the borderline hoarder rescue we were working with that's a miracle. I spent time with kittens who had been around people, but had never been really interacted with, or at least never properly interacted with.

It is possible, that's what I'm telling you. If I can teach a kitten decent manners in less than 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week, you can certainly work with yours. Most of kitten training is redirection anyways. Don't bite this, bite THIS. Don't wrestle me, wrestle THIS. Don't jump on that adult cat, jump on this kitten!

All I'm trying to say is that I would love for you to work with this kitten. I'll be more than happy to coach you throught naughty kitten stuff, and I know I'm not the only one.

But don't say that he's 'broken', 'screwed up', 'awful' ect. Your mindset will have a lot to do with how he turns out. If working with him is a chore, rather than the fun bonding playtime it should be, then you need to ask yourself why are you doing this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I want to work with him. So here's a question to start. He seems to be really attracted to attacking Chinchilla's backside. I've been letting her correct him on this, but her growling only makes him want to do it more. Would redirecting his attention or giving him a little time out be the better way to get him to understand that her butt is not his plaything? Or should I just let her do the correcting? She's an old gal who seems to have the "I'm too old for this" mindset.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top