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Play Aggression

I am having some issues with my 4 1/2 month old kitten, Heinie. He is relentless in the pouncing, biting and play-fighting of his two older brothers. I did get Heinie when he was 8 weeks old and have read that this might be part of the problem in that he didn't learn "proper" play from his siblings.
Pirate is my oldest kitty and is almost 4, Vinnie just turned 1 in June. They do seem to like the little guy. Pirate grooms him and Vinnie is his usual playmate. I have noticed lately that Vinnie is seeking me out for protection and this worries me that the inter-kitty relationships could be damaged if the aggression continues. The big kitties do occasionally hiss, smack and generally put him in his place, but I don't want them to get stressed while we are waiting for little "atilla" to grow out of this phase.
I know that Heinie needs lots of playtime to wear himself out and I am starting to think I might need to get another kitten close to his age for him to play with while I am at work. If I get another kitten that will raise me to 4 cats... have any of you dealt with this challenge (play aggression) and can you give me tips on how to "protect" the big kitties? Is getting another kitten a good idea? I am happy with the number I have, but can always love one more... I just don't want to multiply Pirate & Vinnie's persecution: )


Hi Debbie,
I think you can probably verbally discourage Heinie - my fosters usually listen when I take a tone with them. Are you sure that Vinnie's looking for protection and isn't trying to get extra snuggle time or to let Heinie know that your his woman? I've found that my cats get pretty clingy when I have foster kittens. They also put the kibosh on any pestering when they get too much. It sounds like the big guys enjoy his company overall, so don't worry too much! Good luck!

You, know I hadn't thought about the the jealous/possessive angle. Vinnie is very possessive of me - he has actually run off Pirate (the oldest of my three) when Pi was on my lap. Sneaky kitty - he's busted for sure now! They have been doing a little better since I try to wear Heinie out before bedtime. We are still having "time-outs" for Heinie in the master bathroom when the big kitties start getting tired of the wrestling.
Heinie is quite a handful - we have been trying to teach him "no" with limited success. He has that incredible case of ADHD that most 5 month old kittens have.

This may sound weird, but if you're cat/kitten is misbehaving while interacting with you, you can HISS at them instead of say, "no." Be as realistic as you can. You'd be surprised at how fast they cool down a bad behavior if YOU are consistent with your reaction to their misbehaviors.

Doesn't work if you hiss while they are being bad with the other cats. Just scares all of them away!

Good luck!

not sure if I can "hiss" without laughing... I am laughing just thinking about it!
I have seen this technique on "It's Me or the Dog" show on Animal Planet... only it's a sharp bark or deep growl (depending on what they are trying to stop).
I am sure Steve (hubby) is gonna pee himself the first time I hiss... (I'll make sure NOT to tell him what I am going to do)... hahahahahahaa
I'll keep you all posted on my success.

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