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Is he fighting or playing with younger kitten?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I need some help with my kitten's behavior. First some background-- I rescued Church as a stray at about 5-6 weeks old and I think he was the only kitten in his litter so he probably didn't have a lot of interaction with other kittens his age. I have had him around cats and he is usually fine with them if they are friendly, but he hasn't really been with other kittens. He is now about 14-16 weeks old.
There is now a female black Maine Coon kitten in the house who is a few weeks younger and smaller than Church. I've been trying to introduce them slowly. Sometimes Church puts his ears back or growls at her, and he often bats at her or bites at her tail or paws. The thing is, though, a lot of the time when he's swatting he does not have his ears back and does not seem to be angry, but he swats hard. I can't tell if he is trying to play with her or trying to warn her to stay away!
I filmed some video of them today in hopes that someone might be able to tell from Church's body language what he is doing?

Link to video: (Church is the tabby)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zurlT2o11Qo
post #2 of 18
Looked like playing to me
post #3 of 18
Church is playing.
post #4 of 18
What a cutie! I could see a tabby and a fuzzy black blob in the corner of the screen! He is absolutely, positively playing in this video! She is comfortable and he is simply play pawing, it doesn't look aggressive in any way! You have a lovely little fuzzy family there!
post #5 of 18
That's just normal kitten play - not fighting. And BTW Church really is a handsome guy - he should do very well in the show ring. Nice and flashy - good luck
post #6 of 18
Yup. Playing and it seems like they really enjoy one another. Your new Maine Coon is comfortable enough to ignore the swatting Church when she's more interested in her toy.

We need a forum for just kitten videos because I could watch that all day.
post #7 of 18
That is very cute, they are just playing My boys go at it a lot rougher than that, it's always worth remembering that cats are well equipped to be able to do each other a lot of damage and if no-ones bleeding then there's no serious intent behind the swatting and nipping
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, today they are wrestling around on the floor, biting and kicking each other! I'm not sure if this is still playing? I mean I've seen kittens wrestle with each other before but they seem to be really gnawing on each other! Their ears are back and their tails are lashing while they wrestle, but when they separate their ears are back up. I can't find any injuries though so should I just leave them alone?
post #9 of 18
Sounds like a bit of rough house playing.....nothing to worry about, this is how they learn respect and tolerance. They are acting like very healthy, spunky kittens! You are being an excellent moderator! Do they sleep together, eat together?
post #10 of 18
Still sounds like playing (when I got my kittens, I was always worried when they got rough like that too).....usually, I let it go, but if one lets out a tortured-sounding meow, I clap my hands while walking toward them and they stop. Mine have never hissed, but I would break it up if it got to that point, too.
post #11 of 18
AWWW what adorable kittens! They really seem to be enjoying each other's company Some cat play can see scary to us, but it really is okay.
post #12 of 18
The only caution I have is to be sure EVERY nail is kept clipped since they are rough house playing. You don't want any eye injurys from swatting at each other.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
The only caution I have is to be sure EVERY nail is kept clipped since they are rough house playing. You don't want any eye injurys from swatting at each other.
Thanks, that's good advice. I need to clip their rear nails, they were kicking each other in the head yesterday!
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
Thanks, that's good advice. I need to clip their rear nails, they were kicking each other in the head yesterday!
Its a great thing to start trimming their nails as kittens, just the very tips because they are soft. But having them get use to it now makes it easier as they grow up and its always good to be able to do this your self regularly. Once a week, even if they don't need it but simulate the process gets them use to it quickly, after all they grow so fast!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
Its a great thing to start trimming their nails as kittens, just the very tips because they are soft. But having them get use to it now makes it easier as they grow up and its always good to be able to do this your self regularly. Once a week, even if they don't need it but simulate the process gets them use to it quickly, after all they grow so fast!
I've been clipping Church's nails since I first rescued him. He likes to leap onto my leg while I'm sitting at the computer so clipping them helps! Unfortunately he still greatly dislikes my clipping them, and tries to bite me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
Sounds like a bit of rough house playing.....nothing to worry about, this is how they learn respect and tolerance. They are acting like very healthy, spunky kittens! You are being an excellent moderator! Do they sleep together, eat together?
They don't eat together, they are kept separate except for during supervised playtime. They don't usually sleep together either, but today they got tired out while playing and they ended up like this:

post #16 of 18
Thats a really good sign when they sleep side by side like this in the beginning of their relationship. Even if it is exhaustion from playing, it shows they can share the same space in complete relaxation, submission!
Maia fusses when I trim her nails as well, I usually get 1-2, sometimes 1 paw, or even some times all, but thats a special day!
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm going to have to be more careful when I trim the Maine Coon's nails than I am with Church's. She is polydactyl and she has what we've started calling a "hidden dagger" -- her extra toe (which looks like a thumb) on each front foot is right above the dewclaw, so the dewclaw is hidden in the fold between the "thumb" and the wrist! You can't even tell it's there unless you feel around for it, so I'm going to have to keep reminding myself it's there when I'm trimming... Plus, she has 5 toes on the back feet so that's 4 extra nails to remember to clip!

I took some video of them wrestling yesterday. Unfortunately I had to cut it short so Youtube would let me upload anything...
Here's a link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5Iq6nAk_qM
post #18 of 18
Let us know how he does at his first show.
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