Day 3 of intro...what does this behavior mean?

Kristen HKristen H Member Posts: 29
edited 14 August, 2007 in Choosing the Right Cat
So today is day 3 of introducing the new kitten to our 4 year old resident cat Asher. So far they get to see each other a couple of times a day for 10-15 minutes (that's about as much time as they can stand to be around each other). They enjoy chasing each other around the living room. The kitten still seems fearless and charges Asher, jumps on/at him, and sometimes even bites him. Most of the time Asher is quick to let the kitten know not to do that but I think he gets tired of it after a while. The kitten doesn't seem to know when to give it up and is very persistent. Maybe it's due to the kitten's age...approx. 8 weeks old. Does it sound like the kitten is just trying to play with Asher just as he would his littermates or is he trying to be aggressive? Will he ever learn to not do these things to Asher? Sometimes the kitten will lay on his side with a paw raised and show his belly to Asher. Sometimes he does this move but leaves his bottom up in the air and sometimes hisses and has his ears back. He seems to be puffed up a lot around Asher. I've also noticed the kitten making a sucking noise at Asher when they get close. What does all this behavior mean?

Comments

  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 13 August, 2007
    Asher - Showing his belly means your little brother accepts you're the main cat dude. The sucking might mean he was weaned earlier than he wished to (8 weeks is the earliest they wean but some kittens need more time), and is trying to nurse off of you. :h: The butt thing? I dunno - maybe making a play for dominance, just to see what you do? As long as you don't show any signs of backing down or hiding, that might stop soon. As for chasing, nipping, etc., that is stuff that littermates do with each other all the time, until they grow older/calmer. It sounds like the kitten is lonely for play and so he tries to get you to sub for his lost sibs. Your reaction, a mix of toleration at first and then laying a gentle smackdown once you've had enough, is perfectly normal. You are just teaching him the etiquette about playing that he should have learned had he remained with his sibs. As long as you just swat him down, rather than bite at him or hiss him into running away, you're being a trooper, and keep up the good work. You'll have the kitten socialized to you in no time! Asher's mom - A kitten is a pure ball of energy. My daddy joked that I was made of "kittonium" aka "a strange reservoir of molecular energy that is almost nearly inextinguishable" when I first came home. :)) Maybe you should get kitten something he can chase like a feather wand, and bring it out right before he visits Asher to get some of that energy out. However, it varies from kitten to kitten. Some kittens play awhile and then are quiet for a bit, and some keep going like tiny energizer bunnies! If kitten is the latter, try another strategy: mommy also noticed of me that I would get a little calmer and quieter after dinner, so maybe after meals is the best time to bring kitten out so that he visits with Asher but does not overly pester him.
  • Veronica BaezVeronica Baez CaguasMember Posts: 402
    edited 13 August, 2007
    the laying on ur back and raising ur paws is ok Misu does that when she gets hyper and sometimes to Kobi ,(the dog). and she also charges at him but thats just a weird way of getting him to play.
  • Veronica BaezVeronica Baez CaguasMember Posts: 402
    edited 13 August, 2007
    the laying on ur back and raising ur paws is ok Misu does that when she gets hyper and sometimes to Kobi ,(the dog). and she also charges at him but thats just a weird way of getting him to play.
  • Forrest JenkinsForrest Jenkins Member Posts: 439
    edited 13 August, 2007
    The kitten is trying really hard to make friends the same way he would with kittens his own age--it's the only way he knows how! My kittens do the butt thing at each other when one wants the other to chase them. My husband says that when they play, they look like the whack-a-mole game, just popping up in the air in turns and bowing up. If Asher is more chilled out, it is definitely a good idea to either play the kitten tired or else choose a time of day when he is calm of his own accord to get them to socialize. The sucking is probably a nursing thing from being weaned early. Does he suck on blankets, hair, towels...? If so, that's definitely the case. He might do that for the rest of his life, or he might grow out of it. If they are playing chase and seem to be having fun, let them keep that up. Cats take a while to get to know each other, so just keep the sessions short until they get comfortable and relaxed, and make sure the baby has plenty to keep himself occupied without overwhelming poor Asher!
  • Kristen HKristen H Member Posts: 29
    edited 13 August, 2007
    Do you think nursing the kitten with some special milk for kittens in a little bottle would help the suckling? He does try to suckle me and anything fuzzy/furry. I'm not sure how to get him to stop.
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 14 August, 2007
    As Margaux mentioned, some kitties never stop doing that, no matter how aged they are. But what you want to do just in case is maybe redirect his sucking towards something "safe" like a baby blanket. Less chance of his baby teeth nibbling you or mommy by mistake. Is he eating his kitten food, or does he have a bit of difficulty with it? See, there's suckling for hunger, because he can't eat regular food, and there is suckling as a source of warmth and safety. Assuming that he is eating on his own and enough to sustain him, the poor little thing is just missing his mommy. Wouldn't you, if you were an 8 week old kitten?
  • Forrest JenkinsForrest Jenkins Member Posts: 439
    edited 14 August, 2007
    You know, I didn't think of suckling for hunger because the typical 8-week-old does fine with its own food. However, if he isn't very interested in solid food, tell your mom to try mixing either wet food with dry food or kitten milk (found either at your vet or at most supermarkets), and warming it in the microwave. Same rule as with human babies--if it's hot to your wrist, it will be too hot for his mouth, so you want it just barely above body temperature. It will be warm, extra-smelly, and soft to his mouth, which might make the transition to big-boy food easier. It sounds like he has a lot of energy though, which is a sign that he's just wanting a little emotional comfort. Definitely try to direct the sucking onto something safe for him and for you. Baby blankets are a good option because, since babies suck on them, they're made to be pretty sturdy and keep baby from swallowing fuzz or blanket chunks.
  • Kristen HKristen H Member Posts: 29
    edited 14 August, 2007
    He is doing great with his food and has a healthy appetite. He gets fed several times a day and I've been blending dry kitten food with warm kitten milk so it is softer for him to eat, plus he's getting the milk.
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