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We need help & encouragement!!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
The babies were in the bathroom for 2 or 3 weeks and Maui knew they were there- even interacted with them. At first he would be ok then he'd try and bite their necks, smack them in the head, and he'd try to bunny kick them- he would go from good to progressively meaner.

For two days now they've been in the kitten cage in our living room. He'll lay next to the cage & sometimes he'll try to play with them through the bars or he'll try and smack them. When we let them interact he does the same good to progressively worse behavior although now he's being VERY mean to them!! Once we break it up he'll be ok for a few minutes then try and attack them again, then we put the kittens away. Problem is they cry constantly to get out of the cage.

How do I get Maui to accept them!? This is getting very stressful because he is just not budging and being very stubborn! Plus these poor babies are so unhappy in the cage.

Help please!!
post #2 of 19
How about turning it around and putting Maui in the cage when he gets too rowdy. Just for a few minutes each time, but enough to know what behavior puts him there. He will probably strat changing his ways pretty quick.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I thought about trying that....

This morning I got the babies out for a minute because I couldn't take the crying Maui chased after them but if we yelled "No!" right before he was about to pounce on them, he'd turn away. I know if we weren't there he'd eat them though...

Anyone else have any suggestions?

Seems like I have a hard time getting advice when it's really important- at least to me!
post #4 of 19
how old are the kittens? and how old is Maui?
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
The kittens are approx. 8 weeks and Maui is 7 months- but I think he's a big boy for his age. That's part of the reason I'm so nervous- he dwarfs them!
post #6 of 19
When we have cats aggravating one another, we get out the squirt bottle filled with water. It diffuses most situations... without any effort.
post #7 of 19
When Stinker plays what I consider too rough with the kittens, I intervene and tell him not so rough. I've only had to put him in the cage once since the kittens moved in. A couple times when I stopped him, I saw the kittens start it right back up so I decided to let it go and see what happened. They always seem pretty good at getting out of what they started and the playing usually turns into mutual grooming sessions or naps together.

Stinker is a year or so old and the kittens are just about 12 and 16 weeks.
I don't know what else to suggest.

I hope you find the answers you want.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well.... I don't know what to do. Maybe I am breaking up their fights too early There are times I let it go just to see what happens but it just keeps getting worse and worse.

When the kittens fight with each other they will cry when one is hurting the other but they are short little cries like "Ow!!!"- when Maui "attacked" Skunk yesterday it was a different type of cry- more like "stop, stop, you're hurting me!!!!" and it didn't look like Maui had any intentions of letting go. I feel like I can tell the difference between them fighting & playing but maybe my problem is determining at what point to break up the fight?

I'm just getting discouraged that Maui will never let them be part of the family.

I will try putting him in the cage tonight- we'll be using it as a time out! As for squirting him... we'll probably give that a try too if the cage doesn't work (we already use that for my plants and scratching furniture) but I'm nervous if he will associate it with the kittens and not like them even more?

Edit- I am really wondering if part of our problem is that Maui just plays too roughly. At times he will be nice to the kittens but then he starts out like he wants to play and then things turn ugly. I think it might come from the fact that every time he has seen them (when they were in the bathroom) they were wrestling with each other and maybe he wanted to play too? Now that they are in the cage he sees they don't wrestle 24/7 but it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference.

On Wednesday Maui was sleeping right next to the cage & the babies were sleeping inside. So I took Skunk out and put him next to Maui- he just licked Skunk like it was his baby but when Skunk got up and started walking around Maui started getting too rowdy.
post #9 of 19
Originally Posted by SarahBeez View Post
I'm just getting discouraged that Maui will never let them be part of the family.
Have faith, it will all work out eventually. It just seems like forever when we are trynig to correct a problem.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well so far tonight Maui has gone in the cage three times. I think he likes it in there though!!!
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by SarahBeez View Post
Well so far tonight Maui has gone in the cage three times. I think he likes it in there though!!!
Wow, maybe he is fighting them cause he's jealous? Was he ever in the cage and maybe thinks it's his and they are taking over?
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well.... we brought it in on Tuesday night (while the kittens were still in the bathroom) and while Chad was recarpeting the shelves he got in it for a minute. We never shut the doors or anything and he didn't hang out in there long- just checked it out.

Tonight's the first night he's been restricted in there and it's full of the kittens stuff- dishes, blanket, litter box... nothing of his.
post #13 of 19
It could be that he is just too big & plays too rough. Maybe next time you could try playing with Maui alone for 15-30 minutes to get him sorta tired out? Then he might play a little less rough with the kittens!
post #14 of 19
Our little foster kitten is about 7 weeks, and Lily started playing with her last night, and I felt like Lily was being horrible, and kept on attacking little Smudge, because Smudge was squealing. Then I realised every time I pushed Lily away, Smudge would run back after Lily looking for more. So I let them wrestle together, and only got in the way if Smudge squealed too much, but they seemed fine, and today they're best of friends!

Lily's a small girl though (about 5 months), I imagine if she was a boisterous big boy like your Maui I would have been a lot more nervous.

I guess you need to keep supervising, and maybe scruff him when he gets too rough and give a loud no, and put him aside, then pat him to try and calm him down and divert his attention away from the kittens?
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well today things are going better I would say... Maui still attacks/plays way too rough with the kittens but not as often. I've been giving him time outs in the cage, saying no, squirting him, or just totally removing him from the situation.

This morning I was being lazy but before Chad left I came out in the living room & the kittens were crying to come out (and driving him NUTS!) so I took them both in the bedroom with me. I got back in bed while they played and after a while Maui pushed the door open- he was being a little turd at first but after a while Smokey climbed up on the bed to sleep with me & Maui followed. After a little encouragement they both took a nice nap together!!! Skunk was somewhere in my room sleeping, he didn't join the party until they were waking up & getting too fiesty :/

I've been able to not have them in my view 24/7 but I still am always listening & close by. Just now I had to go break up a fight between Maui & Skunk- and now Maui is in the bathroom taking a time out

After watching them more I do think he just wants to play but I think sometimes he gets irritated or just can't resist those sweet little babies and wants to eat them up!

IS there even a way to encourage him to play 'friendlier' and not so rough?? I can't think of a way other than to continue separating them and hopefully he'll get the point.

I should post a picture of them next to each other so everyone can see their size difference!! I'll work on that today!
post #16 of 19
as he's 8 months old he surely wants to play with the small ones. The thing is he's rough and bigger than them. The time-out cage thing is a good option. I have 3 cats like you, 2 yrs and the kitties are 7 months. When we brought them home the big one used to smack them in the head but eventually as time passed he got used to them. Nowadays the little ones try to snuggle up to the big one, and he avoids them. I hope you luck with your babies. Keep us updated
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
I got a chance to take a picture of the boys during nap time

Maui is still beating up on the babies but it is getting less & less as the day goes on! I'm so happy!!! Now if only it continues It'll be a while before I leave them out while we're not here or at night but at least they are out pretty much all the time now!
post #18 of 19
This is great news
post #19 of 19
Time is your friend! They are just working out the details of who's in charge and all that stuff. If it gets too rough at my house, I throw a towel into the fray to diffuse the situation, then use it to "herd" one of the cats away for a little break from the action. If Hannah (the younger of our two) gets too rough too often, then she gets put in her room for about 10 minutes to calm down.

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