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Scared and Need Some Advice Please!

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by MaxTucker, May 3, 2011.


  1. MaxTucker

    MaxTucker PetForums Newbie

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    I think this goes beyond play fighting and I really need some help as I may have to give a on of these cats away. 7 days ago I purchased a new kitten, he is roughly 8 weeks old. Around Christmas time I purchased my first kitten who is now 6 months old.

    After a by the book introduction procedure for the new cat both seem to get along ok. They play rough but no puffy tails or hissing so I think it is just cats being cats.

    Just now things got weird though. My older kitten keeps walking up behind the 8 week old baby and trying to wrap his entire mouth around the kittens neck (from the back of the neck). It looks like a lion trying to kill a gazelle with a choke hold. He never quite goes through with it as the young one turns on his back and flails his claws which causes the old kitten to move away. Neither hiss or growl when this happens

    Is this normal and safe cat behavior or is the old cat planning on murder? It looks very, very worrying but with no hissing I cannot be sure.

    I really need some advice, I cannot leave the house right now out of fear that I will come back to a dead kitten. Is it playful/normal for a big cat to try and wrap his jaws around a smaller cats neck?
     
  2. dom85

    dom85 PetForums Senior

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    My first thought is that the older one is probably trying to pick the kitten up, that's how a mummy cat carries them around. If there are no signs of agression then i would just put it down to that.
     
  3. MaxTucker

    MaxTucker PetForums Newbie

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    Two boys so I think it is not a picking up by the scruff thing. Also there is an update when the kitten flips over the big cat tries to wrap his mouth around from the from the front of the throat or stomach. It seems like he is trying to pin him down.
     
    #3 MaxTucker, May 3, 2011
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  4. Shimacat

    Shimacat PetForums Member

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    A few questions:
    - is your older cat male or female?
    - is your older cat neutered yet?
    - are you planning on having the older cat neutered?
    - did you introduce the new kitten to the older cat very slowlty? You say you did a 'text book introduction', but no text book would allow full contact after only 7 days!

    It sounds like the older kitten is stretching their wings (so to speak) and testing boundaries - this includes playfighting, roughhousing and fighting for a place in the pecking order. Standard cat playfighting involves biting the neck. Mostly, kittens will be playfighting other kittens their own size, or playfighting with adults who will let them know when they are playing too roughly (boundary-setting).

    Unfortunately, your older kitten is doing this sort of play on an 8 week old baby who cannot fight back. I would allow the two cats supervised play together, but would separate the cats when you're not around - at least until the baby is older. I'd also make sure you give the older kitten a lot of energetic chase play - a laser pen, balls, etc or a climbing frame. He neds something to take his excess bounciness out on!
     
  5. MaxTucker

    MaxTucker PetForums Newbie

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    Sorry I did not mean 7 days. I was typing fast because I was a little freaked out. I have had the new kitten for 14 days, sorry about that I was in panic mode.

    Here are the answers to your questions one by one.

    1. Both cats are male.
    2. Older one is neutered.
    3. n/a
    4. It was a very slow process and during the entire thing we only got three hisses.

    They seemed like they wanted to meet after 3 days and when they first saw each other they seemed very nice and friendly. To be honest the little one gives as good as he gets and they both stalk each other. The play fighting seemed normal and never too aggressive.

    This really came out of nowhere and it shocked me. They have been fine for a while now.
     
  6. Shimacat

    Shimacat PetForums Member

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    OK, ta. I do think that what I wrote before (about playfighting and testing boundaries) is what's going on. The issue here, of course, is that you have a 6-month-old kitten who has no idea how strong he is playing with a little one - most of the time, their play will be fine. Cats do fight each other as play. But these two are very mismatched, and when playfighting tips into something a little more aggressive, the baby can't get away or fight back. The 'back of the neck' thing, by the way, is exactly what you think it is - it's the killing bite being practiced, and you're right to be very wary.

    I'd be tempted to let them together only when they're with you. Can you separate them the rest of the time? An 8-week old baby won't need a lot of room, but the 6-month-old certainly will.

    If you've only had them together for 14 days, I wouldn't think about rehoming one of them (certainly not yet). I'd separate them when you're not around, tire out your bouncy older kitten with a LOT of play and supervise them together. The baby will grow fast and will be able to give as good as he gets in a few months! Hope that helps?
     
  7. Dante

    Dante PetForums VIP

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    My two cats, both brothers and now 14 months old, did this all the time when they were a lot younger - One would literally mount the back of the other and grab the others neck. As much as we didn't like to watch it, we presumed it was a dominance thing, trying to show the other who was the boss. They still very rarely do it now, I think they'll never work out who is the dominant one - I swear it varies from week to week who 'wears the trousers' so to speak in their relationship. It has always been part of their playfighting and neither has been seriously hurt as a result.

    For now I'd suggest just keeping a really close eye on them, purely down to how young your little one is. Basically just repeating everything Shimacat has said :p
     
  8. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

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    I got two kittens last year with a similar age gap to yourself. The play between them was pretty much as you describe...often looking quite rough, but I could tell that the older kitten was obviously 'pulling her punches' when she pounced on the much smaller boy. If she got too rough then the youngster would sometimes squeal at which point she would let go and run off while he chased her. This rough play is how kittens learn their boundaries and manners! I bet you will find that the younger kitten never scratches you in play a he is being taught how to behave.
     
  9. Gem16

    Gem16 PetForums VIP

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    My 2 males, one 15 amd one 4 can be the best of friends, but do like to 'play rough' which includes my eldest grabbing the other by the neck, it really is a form of dominance but i certainly don't think your kitty is planning to murder the other! Boys do tend to be rougher with each other than girls, if there is no hissing or growling, no one is upset and there isn't physical marks then i wouldn't worry too much
     
  10. merothe

    merothe PetForums Senior

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    It's hard to know - it must be scary :( I guess in the short run don't leave them alone together until the little one is bigger. It could just be that the bigger boy needs to stamp his dominance and then will back off :confused:

    Sometimes when my 2 play fight they pull literally chunks of fur off each other and the other day Freya got scratched in the face :nono: but they both initiate play and they are best of friends and litter mates.

    If they do it when I am home it stop them in the hope they learn that it is not acceptable play...but I don't know if they can learn that :confused:
     
  11. IndysMamma

    IndysMamma PetForums VIP

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    my oldest male Indy is 3, he does this exact same behaviour with Loki (18 months) and both girls (8 years and 2 years) - it is a dominance display and as long as he is letting go when the younger kitten panics then it is fine - he will learn his boundries.

    However - due to the size difference and the fact that at 6 months he is at the over exuberent 'teen' stage I wouldn't leave them alone as accidents can happen.

    I got Misha at 8-10 weeks when Indy was 6 months, after 2-3 months Misha was more than big enough to look after himself size wise and they were more than settled down.

    take a big slow breathe, have a drink and don't panic - sounds like things are going pretty well to be honest :)
     
  12. Mollie M

    Mollie M PetForums Newbie

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    :D Everyone has given the exact same advice that I would have regarding these two. The older cat is showing baby who's the boss, but that could turn around in a few months when baby decides he's had enough and bats back. Perfectly normal behaviour. ;)
     
  13. MaxTucker

    MaxTucker PetForums Newbie

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    Oh the baby is brave and he fights back already. Sometimes he initiates play fights and he stalks the older cat sometimes. Today he learned how to do jump assaults. Her hides on a book shelf or scratching post above the big cat and pounces on him.

    Thanks for the advice everybody it has been a huge help. I am going to allow supervised visits only and I will tire the big cat out first with a laser point and other toys.
     
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