kitten trying my patience

installerbOctober 12, 2011


My kitten is 16 weeks old and we introduced him to our home 8 weeks ago. We already have a cat that is about 5 -6 years old. The kitten badgers the cat frequently by biting him and jumping on top of him- basically being a kitten. My concern is I would like to know some of the signs that my older cat is stressed. He continues to properly use the litterbox and I know this is one good sign. Right now he just fights back by pushing the kitten down and laying on him and biting him back. This goes on quite often. We do close the cat in our bedroom with us at night and he enjoys the peace but what can we look for that will tell us he is stressed and what else can we do to kind of give him a break? Also how do you train a kitten to stay off of countertops and kitchen tables? None of my cats in the past have done this.

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Is there growling, tail lashing or hissing going on? If they are just wrasslin' like boy cats do - that's a good sign! A vet told me once that if they are silent they are playing, if they are vocalizing that means it's serious.

I have two guy cats I got from shelter and even at 5-6 yrs old they roughhouse with each other a lot. I'm surprised how rough they can get with the play fighting. Occasionally they get carried away and I have to give a time out. But they love each other - sleep together, groom, etc. The quiet time with your older cat is great -helps keep you bonded.

Not sure what to say about the counter tops. Best I could do was train cats not to jump up there in my presence! Have heard about tricks like put cookie sheet trays with water up on counters. Pop a balloon in front of the cat and then tape up balloons all around the counter. Hopefully that would be temporary....????

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 11:28AM
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Thank you for the response. I can tell you that it is definitely not silent play! The big one makes all the sounds an angry cat makes! He is as stubborn as the kitten and neither will back down. My wife says the older one met his match. Funny because then later, they will sleep side by side on the couch...guess I will just keep an eye on it and hope it passes and keep trying to keep the stress level to a minimum. Any other input would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 1:07PM
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You may see more of a change in acceptance once he's neutered, but there are no guarantees! : )

For keeping my cat off the table I used a spray bottle filled with water and a command. Soon I needed only the command and she now stays off the table. The counter she is allowed on since she was obsessed with the kitchen sink faucet and the sound of the garbage disposer.....and,yes, we spoil her! She rarely gets on the counter now but I still keep a container of clorox wipes nearby and wipe the counter before any food prep.

As your kitten matures I think you'll see him start to follow the rules..........

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 6:43PM
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It's a really positive sign that they nap together, too! My cats are the best of friends but every now and again they rough play and one will sound angry. I've always interpreted it as part of their play (unless one bites too hard by accident, it would be a warning to the other that she was getting carried away). They continue despite the noise and end up bathing each other when finished. When they wrestle, it seems to me they are mimicking how they'd actually fight out in the wild and the noises are all apart of it. That's always been my interpretation of it because they seem to be having a great time. They actually made more noises when they were younger as a part of the learning process I suspect.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 12:11AM
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If you can take on the responsibility, get another kitten closer in age to your baby. Then he will have someone else to pester! I always say, two kittens are no more trouble than one but twice the fun!

As for the counters, I have what I named the "attitude adjuster". It is a spray bottle of water that has a stream setting. Works every time.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 8:25AM
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As far as the countertops go, a water bottle works miracles! It takes some a little longer than others, but they all get it eventually!

The rough play sounds totally normal to me. Your kitten is testing the waters, and your older kitty is teaching him who is boss, and also how to play properly. The fact that they nap together says it all!

Be patient- kittens can be exhausting :o)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 8:43AM
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Spray-bottle works fine as long as the sprayer is present, but don'[t count on it to make a lasting impression, I assume they are on the counter as soon as my back is turned, I pick up the bottle and hear the tell-tale "kerplunk". Best thing is to sanitize the counters with a mild household bleach solution, to do food-prep on a cutting board which is stored under cover if not used and, of one eats at the breakfast bar, use place-mats.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 9:38AM
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I think the older cat will teach it to behave, just be patient.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 2:56PM
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I just posted on another post, asking for some help in much the same situation....We have 2 older, altered, females and took in a stray female kitten..She terrorizes the other 2, will not let them come in a room without her jumping on them...At 1st they tolerated but now it's getting old hat and they are starting to "fight back"...The little fur baby has no fear, none at all and will take on the older ones...If we leave the house for more than an hour, we put her in the laundry room just to keep peace and at night, she sleeps in the bathroom....AND she does love the counter...I think she feels the spray bottle is just another toy, she loves water...This sweet little fur baby has turned into a gorgeous monster, lol...She'll sit on your lap and purr and then in the next second, she's got you by the arm and is biting or scratching...I've never had this before and don't know how to handle it...We will be having her spayed in the near future and hopefully, that will help but what else can I do?????
I did tell my hubby, she would be a perfect "only" pet...She can play for hours on her own...We do love her to death but just need her to calm down.....

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 1:34PM
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This is normal - it's discipline.

And you will never train the kitten to stay off the counter.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 2:25PM
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