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Adult cat keeps pinning down and licking kitten !!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have this other thread running but wanted to understand better how cats/kittens interact, as I've never owned two cats before. My little kitten Mylo (10-12 week old male) keeps getting jumped on and pinned by Millie (18-month old female). I thought at first it was quite violent and it usually is for about 30 seconds, however once Millie has him pinned she just holds him down and licks him. Mylo initially meows and tries to get away, but then Millie gets him again and eventually he submits. There isn't really any growling or hissing anymore from either of them, but I don't know if this is good or bad behaviour. Should I try and step in and stop Millie or should I just let them be. I haven't seen any signs of physical wounds and Millie eventually lets him go. Can anyone explain this behaviour, is it just Millie being dominant and are there likely to be any long term emotional scars for Mylo?
post #2 of 9
My neutered male started doing this with my two kittens (now 7 months old) when they were about 6 weeks... Same situation as you describe. One kitten loved these "grooming" sessions, the other would fight tooth and nail to get away. I let toby groom the kittens because they didn't have a mother cat to actually teach them "cat manners" so to speak. Now one of them actually goes to toby to be groomed.

I only ever interfere if Toby gets rough with them (tries to bite their neck like cat-mating behavior, etc).

I think it's partially dominant behavior on behalf of the adult cat and partially social (you're in my fmaily so I'm going to groom you).

post #3 of 9
I haven't had kittens in quite some time, but remember that our alpha cat always did that to our kitten newcomers. My guess it was in part dominance, but also in part showing a maternal instinct.

The kittens all grew up to be good friends with the alpha cat. I wouldn't worry too much about ill effects of the interaction. They are simply bonding, cat style.
post #4 of 9
Grooming is a friendly behavior, even if the recipient doesn't feel the same way.

More assertive cats enjoy "training" the new cats.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments, I thought it would probably be a social interaction thing. It's funny looking at Mylo's face when he is being restrained and licked, it kinda reminds me of a baby when his mum is trying to clean his face
post #6 of 9
It is a dominance behaviour, but a friendly one - the older cat is showing the kitten that she is in charge, but in the loving caring way a mother would to her kittens, and it's a perfectly fine interaction. As the kitten gets bigger you'll most likely find that he's either not particularly dominant and will tolerate the grooming and indulge in some mutual grooming, or he'll warn Millie off and give her a smack, either way is fine, they have to work these things out for themselves. I'd imagine that Millie as an older female will remain the dominant one, but that's not always the case.

It sounds like it's going fine.

btw of my 2, Radar is a licky boy, he'll groom anything and Sonic is no exception. Sonic however is definitely alpha cat and won't tolerate it for too long without growling and smacking Radar round the head, the look on his face while he's being groomed is absolutely priceless, talk about looking like thunder!
post #7 of 9
Fred did that to all the other cats. He would hold them, down gently and bathe them. He wanted to have his own kittens, and he raised every one that ever came into the house. Some of them did not care for it, and it semed to hurt Fred's feelings. I never had any problems with intros. I just had to put a kitten down where Fred could find it and he would be thrilled. He would bring it to show me, then he would show them where the food and litterbox was. They were all his "babies" and he taught them to be cats. I miss my kitty .
post #8 of 9
Jaffa was the same with Mosi when he was little. He'd pin him down and groom him very thoroughly. As Mosi got bigger and more confident (he's a dominant cat) he started doing it to Jaffa. Now we have mutual grooming but it usually ends in a bit of a scuffle. I think it's definitely dominance behaviour.
post #9 of 9
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
Now we have mutual grooming but it usually ends in a bit of a scuffle.
I watch my 2, Radar puts a paw on Sonic and starts to groom, and I'm always wondering how long peace will last, it usually ends with them wrapped around each other, Sonic with his front paws on Radar's head pushing him away, and Radar with his front legs around Sonic trying to pull him closer - then descent into smacking and grumbling (from Sonic)
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