This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Purred: Tue Dec 25, '07 7:52pm PST 
Hello, everyone. I have a 6-month-old cat named Oliver. About three days ago or so, my sister adopted a 4-month-old kitten named Athena. Athena is a very sweet girl. She loves her humans- in fact, she won't stop whining if my sister (her mom) leaves the room. She loves being held and petted and sitting in our laps...

Oliver, my cat, seems to be okay with Athena. At first, he was terrified of her, and he literally followed her around everywhere, jumping every time she made the slightest movement. After a couple of hours of him just figuring her out, all he wants to do is play!

The reason I'm concerned is this: I feel as if Oliver thinks of Athena as one of his "toys." He plays VERY rough with her, sometimes holding her and biting her and kicking her with his back feet. (This is how he plays with his stuffed animals...) Athena hisses and growls and becomes very upset, but Oliver doesn't seem to get the point. He just insists on playing with her. She is significantly smaller (Oliver is probably going to be large when full-grown anyway), and I'm really scared he is going to accidentally hurt her! He has cornered her several times, jumping on her and irritating her to no end. frown

Also, I'm concerned about Oliver. This could mean he's quite jealous and unhappy about this new adoption. I don't want my baby to be sad, so I've been trying to show him extra attention...

It has only been a couple of days since Athena was adopted, but I don't want her to be injured in the meantime. Do you guys have any tips on how to help this situation? (They're being seperated for now and I've been yelling at Oliver when he is too rough.) But anything else? Thanks!

kaya skye

not fighting my- demons-we joined- forces
Purred: Tue Dec 25, '07 8:06pm PST 
i could be off-base, but that sounds a LOT like how our kittens-littermates-play. and you'd think they're killing each other, but they shake themselves off and are fine-some of it's drama, honestly. yelling at oliver might be counterproductive. kaya just got hurt-fell off a shelf onto a hard wooden tube-and instead of getting mad at shyloh i just pick up kaya when they get too rough. always better to coddle the victim and ignore the offender when the currency is attention-even negative attention is attention.
oliver just sounds like he wants to play, not like he's mad or jealous. like our shyloh, though, he might not be realizing how rough he is, might not be letting go when he gets the signal to back off from athena. some of it they'll just have to work out for themselves-i'm only intervening right now because kaya's side is bruised and i don't think it needs to be used as a trampoline.
using an interactive toy to play with them both could be helpful-teaching them parallel play, as the preschool teachers call it. unless oliver goes off his feed, or hides and sulks...i think he's just trying to make friends and is being goofy and gawky and awkward about it...typical boy(MOL). watch them, but try not to be too tense, since they pick up on our emotions. and unless oliver seems unhappy-and unless you didn't mention something, he doesn't-relax and stop feeling guilty about the other kitten. another cat in the house will probably make oliver even happier and healthier.cloud 9cloud 9


Purred: Sat Dec 29, '07 4:35am PST 
Thanks Kaya! Our other kitten, Athena, has since gotten more into playing. She has even attacked him a couple of times! And when Oliver is especially mean, I'll pick up Athena and give her more affection. It seems to make Oliver lay off for a little while. I think everything's going to be fine. Thanks again. smile


Must kick and- shred!
Purred: Sat Dec 29, '07 7:10am PST 
I was the same way as a kitten, playing rough with my adult fur siblings! Now I am 3 years old and I still do the same! Mom thinks of me as a personal trainer because I run around the house and chase everyone. I don't mean any harm, but I tend to get carried away and have bitten the ears of both Yoda & Matilda. For a while my nickname was Mike Tyson MOL laugh out loud

I think us kitties can play rough, but it is good exercise for all of us and no one is ending up badly hurt. Good luck with everything!