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Adolescent kitten sniping older cat

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  • Adolescent kitten sniping older cat

    Short of giving away or permanently separating the cats, is there any management suggestion I can do to stop my youngest kitten from doing "drive-by" snipes on my older cat?

    I have tons of toys for them, and play with them when I get home from work, but I've noticed my adolescent kitten (1yr ish? TNR cat that never got released) is preying on my 8 yr old cat. This started about a month or so ago, I've had said kitten for 5 months now.

    I've tried getting her to play more to tire her out, but the kitten loses interest in playing with me after 10 minutes or so.

    8 y/o will be grooming herself or sitting on the bed, and the kitten will come out of nowhere and pounce on her, then scats. 8 y/o will always leave the room / kitten's vicinity after that.

    It's not an all out scuffle, and the 8 y/o never retaliates.. but it obviously has the 8 y/o stressed and that breaks my heart.

    There are some times I can see it is about to happen and I remove the kitten from the room, but it just seems to make her more determined to get at her.

    I got a knockoff Feliway collar (sentry) but I haven't seen a difference. Right now I'm thinking of permanently having her live in the other room, which is sad, because she gets along really well with my 4 y/o cat, and he likes hanging out with both of them.

    Any tips on managing herd dynamics? Lol.. I've only ever had a singular cat before, this managing of three is new to me.
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

  • #2
    Squirt gun for when you’re around. Blast the younger cat? My dog was in love with my last cat Poe up until Poe hit 2 and doggo hit 7. Poe had to get rehomed to my brother and he is living his best life as an only child. Doggo was so happy to have the annoying cat gone even though he loved my other cat that passed away.

    Comment


    • #3
      time

      separation = time-outs for all to calm and or recover in peace

      more time
      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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      • #4
        Yes, more time, they'll eventually learn to tolerate each other. my old fat rescue decided she would beat up on my younger

        rescue and the younger one got wiser about avoiding the old grouch. now they have reached a peaceful settlement.

        They still don't love each other but it's like a triangle with the rescue dog in the middle and both cats like the dog.
        "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

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        • #5
          The kitten is maturing and most likely attempting to learn and establish her Queen hierarchy.

          It sounds like simple cat politics and should calm down, especially if the older male isn't contesting her authority.
          Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women

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          • #6
            Distract younger cat, not making a big deal of it.

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            • #7
              Have you tried the multicat feliway diffusers? I do think they make a difference. Best price I could find was on Amazon, at least for the refills. The initial kit was from chewy, iirc.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                Have you tried the multicat feliway diffusers? I do think they make a difference. Best price I could find was on Amazon, at least for the refills. The initial kit was from chewy, iirc.
                I'll give that a try.

                The collar is no longer an option; kitten nearly strangled herself last night

                Thanks all for the advice! I just feel sorry for my old lady; she is an internalizer, is prone to UTIs when she is stressed (though has not had them since being swapped to medicated wet food), and just gets very depressed and sad after the drive-by attacks.

                The kitten is definitely targeting her, and since they're frequent (especially if I am in the vicinity, as the old lady always hangs out with me) it makes me a bit worried. Reminds me a bit of resource guarding for dogs, lol!
                AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                • #9
                  Keep trying with the toys. I had a punk-ass of a male cat that I upgraded from a life living at a doggie daycare. He rewarded us by jumping the two senior cats incessantly. We lived with a spray bottle in hand for over two years. He doesn't laser pointer, cat nip is meh, and he did absolutely no playing on his own. After much trial and error we found that a wand with realistic feathers made him go bananas. We would play with him until he was literally laying flat out on his side panting. Every night we made him run until he panted for over a year. This took us from 10+ attacks to 5-7 attacks.

                  The second thing that totally flipped a switch was Q-tips. It is under close supervision but he gets one every night. He chases it around, bunny kicks, and generally loses his mind. He ignored every real and homemade cat toy up until this discovery. He gets to come unglued for the amount of time it takes me to do my night routine and then the qtip is thrown away. Something about this really gave him a mental release and he's been awesome with the other cats since. We went from 5-6 attacks to <1.

                  Age also helps. Ours came to us as an undersocialized late adolescent and he's now 3-4.

                  Have you tried a kick stick? The ones who are driveby biters seem to do well with something they can physically attack and dominate.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                    Keep trying with the toys. I had a punk-ass of a male cat that I upgraded from a life living at a doggie daycare. He rewarded us by jumping the two senior cats incessantly. We lived with a spray bottle in hand for over two years. He doesn't laser pointer, cat nip is meh, and he did absolutely no playing on his own. After much trial and error we found that a wand with realistic feathers made him go bananas. We would play with him until he was literally laying flat out on his side panting. Every night we made him run until he panted for over a year. This took us from 10+ attacks to 5-7 attacks.

                    The second thing that totally flipped a switch was Q-tips. It is under close supervision but he gets one every night. He chases it around, bunny kicks, and generally loses his mind. He ignored every real and homemade cat toy up until this discovery. He gets to come unglued for the amount of time it takes me to do my night routine and then the qtip is thrown away. Something about this really gave him a mental release and he's been awesome with the other cats since. We went from 5-6 attacks to <1.

                    Age also helps. Ours came to us as an undersocialized late adolescent and he's now 3-4.

                    Have you tried a kick stick? The ones who are driveby biters seem to do well with something they can physically attack and dominate.
                    I never heard of a kick stick.. but googled. I can get that too.

                    The house doesn't have a shortage of toys. We have a bin that has about 20 toys in it, I get a new toy every Chewy order as the male is very play-oriented and looooves running around the house with a little mouse (toy) in his jaws. Most of these are the mouse or crinkle toys.

                    They also have a box fort, and three different electronic motion toys (with a toy on a teaser string) > one of these:
                    https://www.chewy.com/smartykat-loco...-cat/dp/130292

                    The adolescent kitten likes to run around with string and the like. I'll try the q-tip and look into kick-toys. I ordered the Feliway yesterday.

                    I think you are onto something, re: socialization. I think her socialization skills are subpar; she is lucky the male is very laid-back because she harasses him too, but he doesn't mind. She spent the first 7 months of her life in a cage/small bathroom with her two sisters as a TNR transplant, then I took her home a few months ago. She's way more tame now she is away from her sisters; her sisters, I've heard, are also very mean to the cats in their house too.

                    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                    • #11
                      Is kitty food motivated?

                      I know this sounds crazy, but cats can be clicker trained. Not suggesting that you clicker train the bully to leave the sweet cat alone, but just giving her something to THINK about and earn prizes can be helpful. Keep her brain a little busier.

                      Similar vein, and less work for you, would be those little mice shaped dry feeder toys. You fill them up and hide all over the house--allows the cat to hunt. Warning: it also teaches them to open cabinets and drawers and flip stuff over, depending on where you put them. But it definitely takes up some mental energy!

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                      • #12
                        I'd try the kick stick type toys. My big cat loves "kickies", gets one down and just flogs the hell out of it.
                        They have several different ones made of different fabrics and I can tell by the sound which one is getting a beating!

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                        • #13
                          I had a similar issue introducing a baby to my 10 y/o + older kitties. My kitten was being a hyper kid who really wanted to play and hang out with the older boys, but the older boys would just ignore him which made him start pouncing on them or ambushing for attention.

                          What really helped us was feeding Royal Canin Calm. All the kitties loved the taste, and it helped the older guys be less offended by the youngin's "drive bys" and it took the edge off of the younger's boundary-pushing enthusiasm.
                          It is expensive, and vet Rx only, but they all seemed happier on it but by no means kitten zombies. My vet said it also helped with urinary tract stuff, so that was a nice bonus.

                          I also clicker trained the kitten since he is really smart and busy-minded. It didn't solve everything, but he loved the challenge and it made him more independent, rather than wanting to be with the older boys all the time.

                          Ultimately what helped the most was just time. Once the kitten was 1.5 y/o (so not really a kitten anymore LOL) he mellowed out a bit and now they all cuddle and nap together.



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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BatCoach View Post
                            I also clicker trained the kitten since he is really smart and busy-minded. It didn't solve everything, but he loved the challenge and it made him more independent, rather than wanting to be with the older boys all the time.
                            I have two little brass bells, one upstairs and one on the main level. I trained my two kittens with mittens(now 16 months) to stop everything they're doing and come running to me when I ring the bell. The other four don't bother to respond to it because I didn't specifically include them in that part of training but the two miscreants get really excited when I ring it knowing they'll get their hugs and cuddles on the spot.
                            Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women

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                            • #15
                              A grumpy older cat with claws. Works for me. Teaches respect and boundaries.
                              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                              • #16
                                I am still dealing with this problem with the rescue older grumpy female. She has been hissing and spitting in the 6 months she has been here. Young punk Bug takes umbrage and now beats up on her mercilessly. I tried the Feliway, couldn't see a real difference. But I have decided the squirt bottle is my friend. I do need to carry it with me, but Puddin pretty much lives in the living room. There is a chair she sleeps in. She camps on the table, (I don't really eat there,) and now, the top of the sofa. I squirt at her if she growls at the others, and as soon as Bug sees it, he disappears like the roadrunner in the cartoons. So peace is achieved, even if it is at the point of a gun!
                                Another killer of threads

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                                • #17
                                  8 really isn't that old- I'm surprised the "old lady" cat hasn't given the catten the smack down yet. Or play with her. Does the younger male cat play with the kitten?

                                  1 year old cats are basically 11 year old boys. Annoying, awkward, growing, don't know boundaries or their own limitations. Is she really attacking the older gal or is she trying to play and the older gal isn't interested?

                                  I'd consider separating them when you're not home to monitor behavior. The kitten will grow up eventually.

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