I think my 1 year old cat is playing too rough with our new kitten. How can I get him to play more gentle?

We have a VERY playful 1 year old Siamese boy named Twyx. We just got a new kitten (shes 10 weeks old now.)named Reese.
We love the fact that Twyx has a companion now but we are worried that his playing is too rough with our little girl.

Often he tries to groom her but then proceeds to bite her on the neck (I think that's normal though right?)

He's relentless in his stalking her and chasing her around and jumping on top of her.
She is so tiny that his paws can wrap right around her body and I'm afraid he's going to hurt her.

We are now at the point where we can't leave them alone together because we are worried what might happen.

Is he trying to play with her or hurt her?

What should we do?

Asked by Reese on Mar 24th 2008 Tagged danger, hurt, behaviour, agression, playing in Behavior & Training
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Best Answer

Izadore (Izzie)

When I rescued Izzie, he was 12 weeks old. Even at that time, he could pin Ernie (who was about a year old then) to the floor, lay on top of him and chew his ears. Ernie seemed to know that Izzie was a baby and tolerated this rough play. If you've ever seen lions on television, they play rough, too. This isn't "fighting" as such. Kittens are pretty resilient and even though it may be hard to watch, I doubt if Twyx would hurt Reese. Ernie got to the point where he would just growl and then walk away. Izzie seemed to know that Ernie wanted to be left alone. In the same vein, when Reese becomes old and "bold" enough to start playfighting with Twyx, he will "correct" her and she'll listen. That's what so cool about animals. Their kids actually "listen" ;-)

Izadore (Izzie) answered on Mar 25th.

Other Answers



Oooh! we're all too familiar with this! When I first came home, Captain could fit my head in his mouth, and he often did. His mouth was bigger than my whole body. The fact that Twyx is grooming Reese is a good thing, and leads me to believe he's not trying to hurt her. Mom used to be up all night worried that Captain was just going to eat me, he was just SO rough, but everything turned out ok. Just keep an eye on Reese for any puncture wounds, and keep the claws trimmed. Otherwise, sounds like they're just playing around, and trying to figure out who's dominant. Unless someone gets hurt, just keep an eye on them and they should be ok.

*purrs* Good luck!

Scout answered on 3/24/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

the kaya skye & shyloh paige

i agree with the earlier posters. unless you see injuries-puncture wounds, scratches, etc.-assume they're playing. twyx knows she's a baby, he'll "pull his punches". seen this again and again...very very rare for resident cat to hurt the baby. dogs are careful with baby dogs, and with baby cats, cats are careful with baby cats-and baby dogs, i've found.
churrah-our older cat-restricted his displeasure with the kittens to hisses and growls until they got a little bigger-he's so big, and they were so tiny, i think he was afraid to touch them. it looked almost ridiculous. kaya-weighing less than a pound at the time-would walk up to him and hiss and he would back off. now they tumble all over the place together. we thought he was actually scared of them-he's a bit of a chicken, runs from the wind-but now we think he just wasn't sure how to physically interact with month-old kittens without hurting them.
just enjoy the show.

the kaya skye & shyloh paige answered on 3/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Oscar J. Cat

Agreeing with everyone else. Unless you see serious aggression (and you'll know it when you see it) it should be just fine. The fact that Twyx is choosing to interact with Reese is a good sign.

Oscar J. Cat was very playful with Miss Buddie the Wonder Dog when we first brought her home (she was 8 weeks). Now it's the World Wrestling Federation in my living room on a daily basis. They have 10 tons of fun playing ball and just general rough-housing.

Animals just instinctively know to be gentle with babies.

Oscar J. Cat answered on 3/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My Rainbow Bridge brother and sister duo, Kitty and Botchan, were litter-mates, which meant that they were together from the time of conception to Kitty's death at 15 (Botchan soldiered on to be 18). To the end, they were always swatting and biting each other, then licking each other to make up. It seems to just be a form of cat communication. One cat I had, however, was a bit too violent towards a former cat, mostly because he was frustrated that she didn't appreciate his attempts to groom her. Later cats enjoyed his grooming, and he ceased his biting and other abusive behavior. I am confused, however, as to why Harvey insists on hitting little Chibi and hissing at her if she gets too close. Their breeder surmises that she's just an irritant for him with her energy and playfulness, but I think it may be jealousy. On the other hand, Harvey doesn't mind his other sister, Leila...

Spike answered on 3/30/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer