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Need advice on how to stop kitten harassing older cat

(17 Posts)
spiky54 Fri 01-Jan-16 11:19:49

We have a 5 month old male kitten who we adopted two months ago and a 4 year old cat who we adopted when she was 1. We followed all the recommended strategies for introducing a new cat - kept them apart for a while, then gradual supervised introductions, swopped blankets etc. Older cat was very suspicious at first and spent a lot of time outside but has gradually become more accepting. She will sniff and rub her head around the kitten, sit close to him and has even allowed him into her favoured spot ( a cubby hole next to the Aga). The problem is the kitten - he just can't, or won't stop chasing her, leaping on her, play- biting her neck etc. She hisses and swipes at him but he won't give up and eventually she runs off into the garage ( her domain, attached to house by a cat flap which as yet the kitten hasn't tried to get through). The kitten was neutered 4 days ago and we hoped this would calm him down but if anything he's worse. One of the problems is that he has become a big cat very quickly and our older cat is petite, so they are almost the same size already. They also have completely different personalities : he is a moggy but looks like an oriental cat - definitely some Siamese or Burmese in his ancestry - and has the confident almost dog-like personality to go with it - and she is a passive quiet cat, though not timid.
Any ideas about what I can do?

cozietoesie Fri 01-Jan-16 11:27:56

It can take a week or two for hormones to calm down if they've already come in - which at that age, and from the sound of his behaviour, they likely had. I'd be tempted to give them a little longer to reach an accommodation because it doesn't sound too bad. Sure she's seeking some private time but that's understandable - kittens can be a PITA.

Are you managing to give her lots of personal attention to lift her spirits?

spiky54 Fri 01-Jan-16 11:36:17

Not really as she just takes herself off to the garage and hides away. We do put the kitten in the study ( which is where his litter tray and food have been since he arrived) from time to time to give get some peace. But she's never been an attention seeking cat - unlike the kitten, who wants to be with people ALL the time!

exWifebeginsat40 Fri 01-Jan-16 11:38:09

my 3 month kitten drives my 8 year old insane. however I try to remember that if big cat wants to get away there are plenty of high places that little cat can't reach.

it's honestly six of one and half a dozen of each other. if I try to monitor too closely I'll spend 24 hours a day cat wrangling!

besides, big cat secretly adores little one. don't tell her I told you that though.

cozietoesie Fri 01-Jan-16 11:38:41

How does she react to the kitten being put away? (And how does he react- at the time or subsequently?)

LikeADivil Fri 01-Jan-16 11:40:58

Sounds like the older cat has found her own way to handle the kitten bastard intruder?

I'd leave them at it! She will put manners on him soon enough.

spiky54 Fri 01-Jan-16 12:13:34

She seems more relaxed when he's shut away. He doesn't like it - miaows and paws under the door! He is very keen on company - she can take or leave it. He's not very responsive to 'punishment' - for example we do the water squirting thing when he jumps onto tables and kitchen surfaces and he jumps off but then he just does it again when we're not looking. Older cat has never jumped on a table in her life - all the Christmas food was out in the garage and she doesn't touch it. Completely opposite personalities!

LikeADivil Fri 01-Jan-16 12:18:06

He sounds like a lovely brat kitty! I prefer the bolder ones!

cozietoesie Fri 01-Jan-16 12:20:18

Yes. You said that she'll nuzzle the kitten and allow him into her favourite spot so it sounds as if she likes him well enough - he's just a royal pain at times so she leaves him to it when he's being OTT. Interesting that he hasn't gone through her cat flap yet - maybe he's a bit frightened of doing that because kittens are usually into everything. You could always consider putting a chip cat flap there although they tend to run a little expensive.

I think things sound.... not too bad at all. If she was a large powerful cat, she'd probably sit on him/pin him down or something but she can't so it all has to be more subtle and longer term.

cozietoesie Fri 01-Jan-16 12:23:36

It just may be that he's acting like a Siamese/Oriental and considering the 'exclusion' from people as punishment. If that were the case, he might be getting confused about the rules because he wouldn't know what he'd done wrong. Just a thought.

timtam23 Fri 01-Jan-16 16:30:07

He will probably calm down now that he's neutered but be prepared for it to take about a month and a half before hormone levels settle. I had to take in a very young male kitten a couple of years ago and before neutering he was a complete nightmare with my elderly cats. He used to lie in wait for them and ambush them, they were very unhappy about it. They are both dead now but we still have the "kitten", he spends an awful lot of time asleep but is still not exactly calm. His behaviour did improve after neutering but it was not an overnight improvement by any means.

spiky54 Fri 01-Jan-16 21:01:17

Yes he is a bit like that - he definitely ambushes her. Having said that, as I type this she is sitting on the windowsill staring haughtily out of the window while he is dismantling the Christmas tree in the next room, but I'm not sure he realises she's here as she's camouflaged against the black window!

cozietoesie Fri 01-Jan-16 21:10:49

Oh he'll know she's there.grin

It sounds pretty positive to me - although a shame about the Xmas tree. wink If I were you, I think I'd start excluding him only for definite rule breaches. That should still give her quiet time and also bring more consistency to his life.

spiky54 Fri 01-Jan-16 21:36:35

Is a rule breach jumping on her though?

cozietoesie Fri 01-Jan-16 22:09:26

Not in my books - that's between them.

(And it sounds as if he's calming down a bit. When I've had to live with cats who might not have liked each other - or one didn't - they seemed to spend most of their waking hours plotting the destruction of the other. Or obsessing about them at any rate. He sounds as if he's getting on with normal kitten mayhem!)

Try distraction if he goes for some rough and tumble, maybe. Does he have any favourite toys?

LikeADivil Fri 01-Jan-16 22:52:58

I wish I could live in your house and just observe them!!! They sound hilarious.

exWifebeginsat40 Sat 02-Jan-16 13:53:09

my older cat sometimes tries to settle with kitten, which goes brilliantly for about 30 seconds before little one starts punching her again. kitten is hilarious - they are indoor cats and little one is currently using a cardboard box as a fort. lots of ambushing and galloping about.

and then kitten jumps on the Irresistable Blanket and immediately falls asleep. I love my cats.

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