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About 3 weeks ago we bought our Kitten Missy. She's very playful, and we find it hard to get her to know when it's hurting when she bites or scratches. We decided to buy her a playmate.

We brought scoobie into the family yesterday. Missy is 12 weeks, scoobie is around 9 weeks and is quite a bit smaller. We didn't Introduce them as she should of (our mistake).

They seem okay together, as they sleep next to each other and they eat together. But missy is overally playful and won't leave scoobie alone when he doesn't want to play. I don't know if Missy is trying to fight or trying to play?

She uses her back legs and kicks scoobie, which Is when we have to break it up, as he makes noises at her. Not in a squeal, but a "get off me" noise, and missy just doesn't understand. She doesn't know when to stop or to calm down.

Is there anything we can do so she can understand when she's being to rough? Should we separate them more? Scoobie is a very loving and playful cat, but he doesn't quite no how to stand up to Missy, so he lies on the floor most of the time with Missy kickin and biting him!

I don't interfere when they are chasing each other or play fighting. But when Scoobie makes the noises, I don't know if she's in pain or warning Missy?

Please help! I'm happy she has a playmate, but I don't want her to hurt him!

  • We didn't Introduce them as she should of (our mistake) what do you mean by that? Sounds like pretty normal cat behaviour. You haven't had them for long it should settle down. Are you getting them desexed? – Yvette Colomb Jul 10 '17 at 3:39
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I think this is just play behaviour, but it's getting a little rough for Scoobie. If there is hissing and then jumping on each other and having their hair spiked that's when you should stop them. But if they kick each other and follow each other it's probably just playing. You could try to seperate them and leave their contact to be only behind doors, but I'd suggest it better for you (if you have a big space in your house) to let both roam freely but with supervision, as they are still young. If you notice things are getting too rough first watch, kittens usually stop when the other tell it, that it's getting too much. But if they don't stop don't put your hands in the middle of them, that way you'll only get hurt, instead spray them with a water bottle and then seperate them. Have them have a nice time together by giving them both treats in the same room. And it's better if you trim their nails a little with a cat's nail cutters.

  • Btw I'd like to see a picture of them, that way I get to know which breed you are talking about, because some breeds are just nicer than others, it makes it easier to expect positive or negative results. – toothless199 Jul 8 '17 at 9:50
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If the kittens are not actually hurting each other, it's best to let them fight it out. If you are concerned about Missy being too aggressive, it may be the case that they need more stimulation. Play with Missy more, buy her more toys, make sure they have scratching trees, add catnip to her toys if she seems disinterested. Possibly take her out on a leash to play outside if none of these work.

If she seems like she is actually hurting Scoobie (fur flying, blood drawn, screeching) you should most definitely seperate them for a few weeks. Then reintroduce them as if they're new cats, slowly.

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Reintroduction is not necessary in your situation, because your cats obviously love each other, I'd say supervision is what's really necessary here. But not in a way that you should stop them from playing together, they should after all learn to understand each other, and to understand each others boundaries. You should leave them do it on their own. Supervision by you means to play with the extra hypered cat when she displays play aggression on the other, and move her attention away from the other. Try to pass her energy on something other Scoobie, like a toy. But when she gets less hyper let her play with Scoobie as normal. They are still kittens and I'm sure they both want to play together. When Scoobie makes the noises Missy should back off after a little time. If she doesn't that's when you should try to take all of Missy's attention to something else, but don't seperate them by putting each cat in a different room. Just play with both. If you hear hissing or warning sounds that's when reintroduction is necessary.

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As the owner, you aren't going to be able to change Missy's understanding of Scoobie's behavior. What you can do is change their environment and your reactions so they can both have their needs met.

Provide an Escape Route

First, you should make sure that if Scoobie wants to get away from Missy, there is a way to do that. Generally the easiest way to do that is to get a tall cat tower with multiple levels and platforms that are sized for one cat.

If Missy chases Scoobie up the tower, then the small platforms will ensure that she can't do more than swat at him (which will be annoying, but not as much as trying to wrestle when Scoobie doesn't want to).

Provide Other Play Outlets for Missy

Missy wants to play, and Missy should play! If Scoobie does not want to participate, it's up to you as their owner to step in and fill her needs.

Generally, I find 10-30 minutes with a wand toy sufficient to wear out a 2-3 year old cat (I don't have experience with young kittens). Once the cat becomes less interested in the wand, or they start huffing and breathing hard I'll give them a small amount of food (you caught the prey you've been chasing!). They will then typically groom and fall asleep, leaving the other cat to be unbothered by the more playful cat.

Learn How and When to Break Up a Fight

Second, observe the cats wrestling. If Scoobie's ears and whiskers are forward, he's interested in participating. If his ears and whiskers are drawn back, his tail (and maybe back fur) is bristly, and he's hissing, then he's not interested.

If he does not want to participate, the best thing to do is to distract them so they separate on their own. Make a loud sound (clap, slam a book on the floor, etc). If that doesn't work, from a distance throw a blanket over them, separate them visually with a piece of cardboard, etc. Do not under any circumstances come near them with your body, as they can redirect their aggression towards you and injure you.

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I think an important element of the situation is that Scoobie is so young that he requires more sleep and rest than Missy. Both kittens are quite young but 3 weeks makes a huge difference in their stamina and strength. I second supervision and toys.

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