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Can a new kitten help with my cats temper? Help!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm new to TheCatSite.
I have a 1 year old Lilac Siamese named Twyx. He is still very active and playful and so much like having a baby! (I guess you can tell this is my first cat lol )

Sometimes he goes from being active to being very affectionate almost instantly.
Then, if you make a subtle wrong move (still not sure what that move is), he will dart for your wrist or your ankle or sometimes even your nose. With such a powerful bite, he can even draw blood .This has gotten my wife scared at times.

The ankle biting doesn't stop there. Sometimes when you walk into a room or just away from him he wants to dart for your ankles as if they were play-toys. Because of this, my wifes ankles and wrists have cuts all over them.

It makes our Twyx sound so horrible when I say all this. But he's really a loving cat who will give you or anybody kisses and cuddles when you meet him.

He seems to be a needy cat who always wants attention. But my wife and I work 9-5 jobs 5 days a week. We can't always be there for him.
Is he lashing out at her (and sometimes me) ankles and wrists because we aren't around enough?

This brings us to the whole point of the post!
A female kitten has come up for sale. (it's actually his niece! ) We think the second cat would keep him company during the weekdays and maybe help with his issues in the evening and morning. But I'm worried that Twyx could potentially go in to "attack mode" on the kitten? Is a female the best choice for a new cat?

I'm sorry for the long post. I just felt it was necessary for some background information.
We really need some help with this!

post #2 of 10
It does sound like a good part of your cat's biting is due to playful urges. At one year old he's still a young cat, and they have a ton of energy.

My cat is a bit of a biter, too. And a few times a year he spends time with a relative's young cat. When he's able to play all day with the other cat, he doesn't try to bite people. It seems like he's getting his energy out. And he's tolerant and gentle with the younger cat -- it stays playful.

Of course every cat is different. But it does sound like yours might benefit from a companion. I don't think the gender of the new cat matters much; it's the age of the new cat that matters. A kitten should be very quickly accepted by a one-year-old cat, and vice versa.

If you don't get a new cat, there are threads about dealing with aggression. And your cat might need more playtime.
post #3 of 10
Siamese tend to be a bit different then most cats. They are more people oriented and kinda "needy" types. I'm not sure I'd bring in a small kitten for him at this point. He's in the teenage stage and may not settle down.

Adopting another cat to change the personality of your cat, is NOT a good idea. How old is this kitten you are looking at? If anything, I'd look for a nuetered male about your cat's age rather then a much younger kitten. He could hurt it.
post #4 of 10
My older boy is much like this- he's not aggressive but he is very excitable and can be a right little you know what sometimes, the only way he knows how to initiate play or get attention is to pounce and grab!!! He's not a mean cat in the slightest, but my mum is terrified of him, and she's not the only one.

I found it more difficult than I expected to introduce him to a kitten, because he was as overenthusiastic with the kitten as he is with us, and the kitten being that much smaller wasn't able to fend him off and tell him that he was being too rough. We did manage to get them introduced ok, but it was very hard work and we had to wait until the kitten grew bigger before we were happy to leave them alone together while we weren't around to supervise.

Having said that, I do think that Siamese and Orientals (my younger boy is an Ori) aren't really that well suited to a single life, it's OK if you're at home a lot, but they are very emotionally dependent cats and have a lot of energy, and if you're not there to give them attention most of the day, then they are likely to benefit from feline company.

Rather than looking for a young kitten, I suggest looking for an older kitten, preferably another Siamese or an Oriental (having spoken to many many breeders and families about this there is general agreement that they do tend to get along best and bond closest with others of the same breed) say 8 or 9 months upwards - still playful enough for your youngster to enjoy, but a little bit younger than him as he's less likely to see this as a threat to his number one spot!

Don't rush introductions, take things slowly, and hopefully like me you will find that your energetic cat will expend a lot of that excess energy playing with his friend. You will still have to give plenty of attention when you are home of course as Siamese do need plentiful interaction with their humans, but yes having 2 cats together has definitely taken the edge off Radar's often painful attempts to play with us
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the great advice. We really appreciate hearing everyone's stories. Maybe not always what we want to hear, but I'm sure it will work itself out. I wonder if the fact that this new kitten is coming from the same breeder as Twyx would make a positive difference in their interaction? Also, if we were to ask the breeder to keep the kitten for another month (so take her in at 4 months instead of 3) - maybe it will make a difference?

Please, let me know if anyone else has any more info for us!

Twyx's Mom
post #6 of 10
A 3 or 4 month old kitten IMO is still too small to bring in - I think both of us (Ep and I) agree that something like 7-8 months might be more suited to your cat.

Charlie is 18 months, I don't think I would have brought in a 4 month old Oci kitten when he was 1 yr old as he would have been far too rough.
post #7 of 10
My mother has a cat who simply put is a b****. One wrong move and you are bleeding bc she just clawed you. Last summer I got 2 kittens and kept them at my parents for a month until summer school started. It didn't really help her temper. Sure she played with them and lost a little weight from running around, but she still claws you if you make that one wrong move.
post #8 of 10
I agree with previous posters that Siamese breeds are a little more needy and people oriented. I am not sure what bringing a kitten in will do - even if he is from the same breeder. There is a Siamese rescue organization (they may have a website, I think they said they're national) that may be able to provide you with more information about the uniqueness of the breed. I was looking into adopting one before my Saturday found me.

Funny thing about Saturday, she exhibited many of the same behaviors that you described. Her agression was mainly at myself and once she even jumped at my stomach to attack. It wasn't pretty and it was nearly the last straw for my husband and me. I couldn't bear the thought of giving up on her so we decided to try a companion to increase her socialness. We took a while to decide whether or not bringing in another kitty was a good idea. That's when we got Friday. She was a kitten and very, very sickly. Amazingly, it only took 3 days before Saturday was content with her new sister - no more agression, at all.

I think, though, that sometimes you just need to look for what is setting him off.
post #9 of 10
I don't know anything about the personalities of different breeds of cats. I just know that one week after rescuing our first cat (he was 10 weeks old) we rescued one of his brothers to keep him company because of long hours we spent away for work. He didn't recognize him, didn't want him around, and years later it is SO apparent our first kitty would have been perfectly happy without our bringing any more into the house. So I don't think bringing in another kitty just because it's from the same breeder would make a difference between any other cat you adopt - unless you specifically want the same breed of cat.

If you and your wife want another cat, that's a different story. But I never advise people to get another cat to solve the problems of or with the first one, because cats are not pack animals like dogs are. They CAN be very social - and with time and dedication almost all new intros can be made to work. At the very least, you can end up with a territory truce between the cats and them not hating each other. But whenever you bring a new cat into the home, there is just no way to predict whether it is actually going to have the intended/desired result, and often just creates a new set of problems (at least in the near-term).

Introducing a new cat can take time and patience - it doesn't always go the way we want it to. Our Spooky takes a full sixth months to stop hissing, growling and swatting/batting at a new kitty (and that is with a fairly long period of separation and scent-swapping done before actually letting them meet) - and a full year before she accepts the new kitty as part of the household. If you're prepared for something as extreme as that (because you just never know) and you want another cat, then go for it! But don't do it to "help" your existing kitty.

My guess is that this is behavior that started while he was teething, and it just never got corrected. My usual advice for unwanted biting is when kitty attacks hands, feet, ankles or arms, stop whatever you are doing. Blow a strong, short, sharp puff of air directly into his face - perhaps several times. Tell him "No" firmly. Redirect the biting to something appropriate (during teething we always recommend keeping a box of bendy straws scattered around the house for this - so they're everywhere and handy) and then ignore him. When you see him biting/playing with appropriate things, praise him to high heck. Kitty understands the puff of air in his face (like a mother cat hiss), he learns the meaning of the word "no" quickly, he learns that inappropriate behavior gets him ignored, and he learns what is appropriate behavior.

That said - sometimes it is a battle of wills. If he repeatedly ignores the puff of air in his face, then the next thing to try appears to be biting kitty back - again, the way a mother cat would. It shouldn't be hard enough to make kitty yelp, but enough to send the message - biting sucks.

I'd also make sure to give your energetic kitty lots of play time when you are home.

post #10 of 10
I think it would be okay to adopt the kitten at three months. You can try the introduction gradually (that's the best way, no matter what), and if necessary keep the kitten in a different room for a few months.

Grown-up cats (or, in your case, an adolescent cat) tend to respond well to a kitten... they don't have the same fear and hostility they would with another adult. Sometimes you'll see parenting behavior from the older cat.

A good way might be to have a trial introduction to see how it goes. Maybe the breeder would agree to this?
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