We adopted two little kittens at 5 weeks old. I think the lady we got them from was some sort of cat hoarder or she was capturing ferals from outside and rehoming them.

Anyways, the kitties are two brothers. They were sweet but a little skittish when we first got them which was expected. I noticed they both ate aggressively and one, Cinna, was def more dominate. I thought maybe that would subside, but now they are 8 months old and have been neutered. Cinna, has seemed to have warmed up to us a little more and is no longer acting dominant. But the other kitty, Olive, is behaving more aggressively and dominant since being fixed. He won't let us pick him up or pet him. He STILL runs from us when he sees us coming, unless we are feeding him of course. The only time he will get close is if I am laying in bed and he will crawl up on me and force me to pet him like he is displaying some sort of dominant behavior.

But the most peculiar thing about these two, Olive more than Cinna, is that they seem to have an eating disorder. They CONSTANTLY want to eat. Olive will wolf his food down so fast that he usually will throw it up within 5 or 10 minutes. They also trash my house like little kids. If there is anything out they will get into it and tear it up. Like this morning, I woke up to a broken plate and spoon on the floor that had a little spaghetti sauce left on it and they had eaten through a package of bread rolls and ate a few of the rolls. They also found a bag of hidden and sealed cat treats and was gnawing through the package when I woke up. This kind of behavior is an everyday struggle. They get in the garbage and drag out any little thing they can find. My house is constantly covered in trash because of these two.

Cinna, I think will be okay overall, but it's been 6/7 months and Olive seems to have gotten worse. I don't know how to help him. My only other option is to rehome them (or just Olive maybe), but I hate doing that. I've tried all the suggestions from my vet and information I have found online. Any little bit of help is appreciated.

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@BadComputer Thank you. Yes, I've fed them in separate bowls since they were babies. They don't fight or anything, but just rude behavior towards each other when it comes to food. Over the last week I've actually started sitting with them on the floor with treats and when one rushes the other for his treat I gently put my hand between them and push him back. That seems to help a little. I worry more about their psyche with this eating situation. They show signs of Obsessive eating disorder and Pica. I think the lady we got them from was hoarding cats. She said she had two other litters and one on the way. She rehomed them when they were only 5 weeks old and I do not think they got any human contact or bonding. Plus she said they were fully weaned and eating dry food...AT FIVE WEEKS. So I think they were just fighting over food to survive when we got them. I got them proper kitten formula and we fed them around the clock for several weeks until they were bigger and healthier looking. ...but now we are dealing with them eating everything like locust and chewing on stuff. They literally dig in the trash, not necessarily for food, but for stuff to just chew on. I've had cats my whole life and I've never seen anything quite like it. We thought we put everything up last night, but they still managed to find a soft taco wrapped up on the counter that was overlooked. We woke up to it strewn all across the house. I'm worried they may end up eating something and causing an obstruction of some sort.

We do play with them quite a bit, which they like, but it seems like when we stand up and tower over them is when they become skittish. I think our size intimidates them. Also, when we got them, the lady said she had to trap them in her bathroom just to catch them. I noticed a week into having them that the very tip of Oly's tail was bent like it had been broken. I wonder it hadn't been shut in the door or something when she was trying to capture them. Really, it's a toss up whether this woman was hoarding cats or just catching Ferals outside and rehoming them for a fee.

Anyways, you have great suggestions, but I'm worried they are emotionally scarred and have psychological damage. I was hoping to find someone who might know more about cat psyche problems

  • Cats that have Siamese blood often have a kink near the tip. If you suspect anything more, consult a vet.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 0:43

3 Answers 3


Well, cats are a dominant species. You cannot deny that, but you can try following the suggestions below. Hope they help:

  • Play with your cats using some sort of toy, like a stick. Play enough to let them get tired 2 - 3 times every day! They are youngsters. They need to utilize their energy.
  • For the food problem, I suggest you should have separate bowls for each cat, and place them in the same room while eating, but bowls should be placed some distance apart. They will try to fight for each other's bowls, but it's your job to pick them up, cuddle them and put them back to their bowl.
  • For the petting problem, you should not rush things like that, observe your cat's sensitive parts where he doesn't want to be touched, and cuddle where he always wants you to. As you've mentioned he crawls to you, but he is aggressive. If he tries to bite while cuddling or petting, say "NO" and stop petting/cuddling. That's how he will understand his owner doesn't want this behaviour.
  • Finally for the rush hour problem, I would suggest you have a separate room for cats and lock that room with cats in at night. If it's not possible, then don't worry, tiring out your cat before sleep is the best option for you to ensure he will sleep longer.

Good luck!


I personally do not like the idea of locking a pet in a room or cage. If you do that, why have a pet? But that is me.

I save feral cats and some take longer to calm down and get used to us. And some seem to trust more quickly. You just need to give them time.

Does your trash can have a lid? I do have one cat that likes to get into everything. He is a brat, but very lovable. I have had him since he was about 8 days old. Did not even have his eyes open yet. He was bottle fed.

But all of my cats are strays. They range from 7 months to 10 years. And the 10 year old I also bottle fed as she was very tiny when I found her. The mother disappeared, so my boyfriend and I took care of them.

Just try to be patient. If they are feral, they are a little more instinctual of protecting themselves but will learn to trust you with time. Hope this helps and good luck with your new kitties.


First of all, thank you for giving these kittens a home. Although you're having some real difficulties at the moment, remember that they are still kittens. I suspect they will mellow out over the next few months as they get older.

This might be a good situation to use that cat pheromone, Feliway (I don't know if there are other brands). It helps cats relax and feel secure. You can get a diffuser that you plug in that releases small amounts over time.

One thing you might want to try is one of those puzzle balls that you put small amounts of food in. This would be in addition to their regular meals. It would give Olive something to focus his hunting skills on instead of trying to raid your kitchen.

Make sure they have lots of toys. You don't need to spend money on this -- some of the best cat toys are free: a wadded-up piece of paper or aluminum foil, a cardboard box, a walnut, a cardboard tube from a paper towel or toilet roll, an old sock rolled into a ball, a plastic bottle cap. A cat that is tired from playing all day is more likely to behave.

You might ask your vet to refer you to an animal behaviourist with experience in cats. They would visit your home and observe your cats for a bit, and make suggestions about how to deal with the problems. If your vet can't suggest someone, go to any animal shelter and ask their advice. They've probably dealt with all kinds of tough cases, and would be more than happy to offer suggestions.

Here are some suggestions for helping the cats to be more comfortable with being petted: How can I keep my cat from being scared any time he sees or hears a person?

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