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toy turns kitten vicious

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Boris is about six months old and a very placid, friendly cat...except when he gets ahold of this one certain toy - this simple little furry thing with a bell on it. he actually turns vicious when he get's it, he starts slinking low to the floor while carrying it around the house and periodically stopping to bat the toy around, all the while growling extremly loudly (louder then i've ever heard a cat growl) and even HISSING both at me and his sister.
i find it a bit amusing since it is difficult for me to take threats from a kitten seriously, plus he often snaps out of it when you pet him, and other times if you pet him or pick him up he will continue to hold the toy in his mouth and alternate between purring and growling. He also stops this agression as soon as i take the toy from him, and because of his reaction i limit his exposure to it and keep the toy in a drawer and only give it to him occasionally. he seems to love it though and actually comes running when he hears the drawer open.
But he really only acts like this with this one certain toy (as far as i know there is no catnip in it.) he also acted the same way with a the plastic circular ring from a milk jug i let him play with a couple times too. what makes him behave so agressively with certain objects while other items do not elicit this type of behavior?
it isn't a real problem since he isn't injuring me, his sister, or damaging the house in any way, but i do find his sudden mood swings somewhat surprising
post #2 of 11
That is so funny!

There is this one fuzzy ball thing that gets Saki in a mood like that sometimes. He will carry it in his mouth and growl at the same time. My friends cat will also fetch the toy mice but when she brings them back she growls and hisses at them
post #3 of 11
Teddy is like that with a toy we have, its also furry and I believe it is rabbit fur, which I didnt know when I bought it
Anyway when he plays with it he is just like you describe. I think the smell of the rabbit fur is bringing out his natural hunting behaviour and he is protecting his 'kill' you know like the big cats do.

So I dont think its anything to worry about its just natural hunting behaviour
post #4 of 11
Yeah! Mine is like a rabbit fur too. I wonder what it is about that kind of fur
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazanlak View Post
Boris is about six months old and a very placid, friendly cat...except when he gets ahold of this one certain toy - this simple little furry thing with a bell on it. he actually turns vicious when he get's it, he starts slinking low to the floor while carrying it around the house and periodically stopping to bat the toy around, all the while growling extremly loudly (louder then i've ever heard a cat growl) and even HISSING both at me and his sister.
i find it a bit amusing since it is difficult for me to take threats from a kitten seriously, plus he often snaps out of it when you pet him, and other times if you pet him or pick him up he will continue to hold the toy in his mouth and alternate between purring and growling. He also stops this agression as soon as i take the toy from him, and because of his reaction i limit his exposure to it and keep the toy in a drawer and only give it to him occasionally. he seems to love it though and actually comes running when he hears the drawer open.
But he really only acts like this with this one certain toy (as far as i know there is no catnip in it.) he also acted the same way with a the plastic circular ring from a milk jug i let him play with a couple times too. what makes him behave so agressively with certain objects while other items do not elicit this type of behavior?
it isn't a real problem since he isn't injuring me, his sister, or damaging the house in any way, but i do find his sudden mood swings somewhat surprising
Could you post a photo of this toy? I am very curious as to what this toy looks like!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I don't really have a way of putting up a photo of this toy, just picture a nondescript green and purple furry thing with a bell on it attached to a red bungy style string.
Hmm you know examining this toy i'm thinking it might actually be rabbit fur. i didn't think of that before since the "fur" is purple and green. but it could be dyed rabbit fur. so if that is the case maybe it really is trggering a "predatory" response. Boris does seem to have strong instincts including making scraping motions and trying to "bury" his dish after eating as if hiding the uneaten portion of a kill.

of course playing with that milk jug ring also triggered the same agressive behavior and i don't recall reading about cats in the wild preying on the vast herds of milk jug rings that roam the african plains.

in any case it gets me chuckling because it is such a funny departure from his usual personality.
post #7 of 11
Boris sounds like quite the character! I agree that it's hunting behavior.

Some cats are more posessive about their food and toys than others. My Pumpkin growls while she chews her food, "gr-nummm-nummm-nummmm, gr-numm...". It's funny, but it sort of scares the other cats.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazanlak View Post
of course playing with that milk jug ring also triggered the same agressive behavior and i don't recall reading about cats in the wild preying on the vast herds of milk jug rings that roam the african plains.


Do you know if his mother ever "taught" him how to hunt anything? Some kittens that come from outside or even inside have had mother cats bring them mice. Then again some cats just take their play hunting more seriously.

You may want to take the bell off of the toy, especially of he gets very rough with it. Your cat could chew the bell off and swallow it.
post #9 of 11
my cat doesn't growl when she plays with her favorite toy but she attacks it furiously i don't know how to describe it, she hold it in her paws and gets her hind legs to scrape it and then she snorts and throws it around the room lol
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post


Do you know if his mother ever "taught" him how to hunt anything? Some kittens that come from outside or even inside have had mother cats bring them mice. Then again some cats just take their play hunting more seriously.

You may want to take the bell off of the toy, especially of he gets very rough with it. Your cat could chew the bell off and swallow it.
as far as i know he's never seen a prey animal in his life since he's never been free outdoors, and his parents were both indoor cats by the time he was born (although his father is an adopted stray....boris is almost the spitting image of him actually. apparently father and son were good buddies too). his sister doesn't exhibit any of this behavior.
neither of them are agressive with food either. i think boris just has some hard-core instincts ha ha.

he only has access to the toy under supervision (just because i want to make sure he never goes overboard and does actually injure his sister during one of his "episodes") so i can usually keep an eye on the bell, he spends more time menacing those around him then he does actually chewing on the toy anyway.
post #11 of 11
My PHX is obsessed with a few different toys, like those fish that come on the fishing pole. Well, PHX took that off the first night we got it. He plays with that constantly, and when he's playing with a different toy, he hides the fish so we can't take it from him. It's weird because he'll hide it in stupid places like- in my bed!!! I end up finding it in the middle of the night if he hasn't taken it out. I found one of his fake mice behind the kitty litter box. Umm I have found mice under the fridge close enough where he can reach it. All of this is because he is obsessed with his toys and he thinks we are going to take them. He watches our every move when he gets them out of their places...
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