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New kitten and older cat -- is this normal?

  1. #1
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    New kitten and older cat -- is this normal?

    Hey all!

    I have a 4 1/2 year old neutered male (Krueger) and just recently brought home a 9 week old kitten, Finn.

    Considering how recently I brought him home, I think the pair are doing pretty good. They chase each other, Krueger will sometimes try to groom Finn, and vice versa. Finn even tried to suckle from him last night!! They sleep in the bed together, and generally there is a lack of aggression -- except for when Krueger does this one thing.



    I've noticed it a lot more this last couple of days that whether Finn is playing with toys or pestering Krueger or whatever, he will sometimes walk up to him (or if they're playing, he'll catch him) and pin him to the ground, biting him and kicking him and not letting him go even when he squeals or cries out (sometimes it starts with a complaining type mew but other times he basically caterwauls). When Krueger does this he isn't growling or puffed up, but his ears do pin right back against his head. I know how aggressive he can play and I know how hard he bites when he gets going, and I'm afraid he's really hurting Finn.

    I would not be concerned if Finn was older and had more padding, but he's just a little skinny fella (I can feel his spine, rib, and hip bones easily. Not sure if that's a kitten thing or what) but because he is just little, I don't want him to get hurt. I understand there's a dominance thing that has to take place but I'm wondering if this is something else?

    Can anyone help?

  2. #2
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    Some more information:

    I live in a 1 bedroom basement suite, it's not very big. I have a cat tree and some windows, and of course LOTS of toys and treats. I do my best to give them everything that I can to keep them happy and they seem to do really well.

    However, there is not enough room that I would be able to separate them effectively for a long period of time because they share a litter box (which they are both fine with).

    I also cannot put up any wall shelves or anything like that because I am renting.

    Will things improve once Finn is neutered?

  3. #3
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    Hi and welcome! Congratulations on your new kitty, it sounds like the two are getting along fine! I think Krueger is just showing dominance, he does it when Finn is bugging him, or playing with toys that may belong to Krueger? Krueger does let go, even if not immediately when Finn cries out, correct? That's a good thing. You haven't noticed any injuries like broken skin, or bleeding, have you? How long have you had Finn? Maybe Krueger just needs more time to get to know him and feel confident he's of no threat at all? I would think things would improve once the kitten is neutered.

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forum, Sketch! Thank you for posting. What colors are your cats?

    I used to have a male cat who mounted on his much smaller "sister" and bit the back of her neck, which unneutered tomcats do when they mate unspayed queens. She made a painful meow, but he did not let go and I had to tell him to stop it. Both cats were fixed, but as a former stray Wilbur could have sired kittens before he was neutered. He was the dominant cat.

    Pinning the ears back is not normal; That indicates aggression. Perhaps it would help to give Krueger toys and play with him first. He needs to know Finn will not take over as the alpha cat. Do Finn andc Krueger like the same toys?

    If Finn is almost skin and bones, he needs a dietary and/or meal schedule change. Is Krueger keeping him away from the food bowl?
    An inside cat is a safe cat.

  5. #5
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    BTW the benefits of neutering include being less territorial. In a small apartment, that can only be a good thing. But it is not guaranteed to stop fighting and dominance issues altogether.
    An inside cat is a safe cat.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha1 View Post
    Krueger does let go, even if not immediately when Finn cries out, correct? That's a good thing. You haven't noticed any injuries like broken skin, or bleeding, have you? How long have you had Finn?
    See, I'm not so sure. I usually get after him -- I let it continue for a moment so he can get his point across, but once I can see that he may or may not intend to release him, I scold him and he lets go immediately.
    As for injuries, the only ones I noticed are the ones on the top of Finn's head. Nothing major, just tiny little crusties that could indicate a scratch or a bite or something. You can't even see them through the fur on his head. I've had Finn for a week as of today, so they definitely seem to be doing a lot better than I thought I such a short time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatMom1994 View Post
    What colors are your cats?

    Pinning the ears back is not normal; That indicates aggression. Perhaps it would help to give Krueger toys and play with him first. He needs to know Finn will not take over as the alpha cat. Do Finn andc Krueger like the same toys?

    If Finn is almost skin and bones, he needs a dietary and/or meal schedule change. Is Krueger keeping him away from the food bowl?
    Krueger is a handsome, glossy furred black young man, and Finn is an orange and white little devil. What colors are your cats??


    See, the ears thing is what tipped me off, I got quite concerned when I saw it. It also worries me that he doesn't always let go when Finn cries. However, they also groom each other, chase each other, eat next to each other, and even just today I got several videos of them snuggled up against each other, too. I'm very confused. They do like the same toys but rarely are they ever both playing with the same one and if they are, the other simply plays with a different one.

    Yeah I've always known kittens to be a little skinny, and he does have a big chubby kitten belly, but the rest of him needs to be beefed up a bit. I've been making sure he eats enough so I'm hoping after some more time here he will start to grow and gain weight. Ive only had him a week.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchyeh View Post
    See, I'm not so sure. I usually get after him -- I let it continue for a moment so he can get his point across, but once I can see that he may or may not intend to release him, I scold him and he lets go immediately.
    As for injuries, the only ones I noticed are the ones on the top of Finn's head. Nothing major, just tiny little crusties that could indicate a scratch or a bite or something. You can't even see them through the fur on his head. I've had Finn for a week as of today, so they definitely seem to be doing a lot better than I thought I such a short time.
    A week is a short time, I think if you keep a watchful eye on the kitten and make sure he's not being injured or bullied to the point of it affecting his confidence and personality, it's be okay with more time. It does seem like other than those little scraps, they do get along well, in the future they may be great buds.

  9. #9
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    have you had the kitten to a vet yet? A fat pot belly is a sign of worms. He needs to be wormed several times as at the time of the worming not all the worm eggs have hatched so the wormer has no effect on them, so it must be done four or five times at two week intervals to be sure they are all dead. When you take him to the vet they will give you wormer medicine for you to give him every couple of weeks. At the end of that time they will do another stool sample to make sure you got them all.

    When I get a new kitten I put it in a large wire dog crate, they can see each other but not interact right away. Then I take the kitten out of the crate and see how it goes, even if it goes well I put the little one in the crate when I'm not able to watch them and overnight. Once they are comfortable with each other I extend the time out and when I'm sure there will be no issue only then do I let the kitten out and remove the crate. Not always a good idea to get two the same sex, the transition is much easier with two opposite sexes.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  10. #10
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    Even if the scratches on Finn's head are usually invisible, the act of being scratched is painful. You should not let Krueger continue and hope he stops before giving him a command.

    Kittens can be skinny, but the spine should not feel like a mountain range.
    An inside cat is a safe cat.

  11. #11
    Welcome.

  12. #12
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    What colors are your cats?
    I only have one cat, Daisy. She is all white except for gray tabby markings on her head.

    Your kitties are cute.
    An inside cat is a safe cat.

  13. #13
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    If helps if you get a tiny nail trimmer and cut off the sharp pointed tips of Drueger's nails, just take off the tips, careful not to cut down too far and cause injury and bleeding.

  14. #14
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    Hey! Sorry, it's been crazy at work.

    It has been getting a lot better. I've been observing them more closely when they do this, and I think it's gone from seeming aggressive to playing. Finn is actively trying to wrestle and fight with Krueger probably every 20 minutes, pulling on his tail and ears, that sort of thing. Krueger sometimes puts up with it for a minute before wrestling back with him and giving him some bites - but Finn is definitely learning how to "fight back" as well, so they rarely last more than 2 minutes. Krueger has also started to end their games when his little brother cries out, usually, so I think all in all they are making a lot of progress.

    As for Finn's weight and such --
    No, I haven't taken him to the vet yet. I am waiting until he is old enough to get neutered. He doesn't have a pot-belly per se, it's just a healthy sized little kitten tummy. He has been putting on some weight, so the bones are a little less obvious. I think maybe the diet he was on before I got him maybe wasn't giving him enough nutrition or something. Normally I would take him to the vet just to be sure, but money is kind of tight right now so I'm just saving up to do it all in one trip.

  15. #15
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    So Finn has tummy fat hanging down that swings like a pendulum when he walks fast? There is nothing wrong with that.

    You need to take him to the vet before he is ready to be neutered. The Helath and Nutrition section certainly has threads about kitten shots, neutering age, etc.
    An inside cat is a safe cat.

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