Questions About New baby Kitten

flopsie

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Hello. I took in a 5 week old baby kitten that mom quit feeding and owner was not taking care of her. I took her straight to the vet, she weighed 15 ounces and was so skinny. Vet ran all tests and gave shots she was old enough for. She is very loving and spunky.

The problem: I have an older female cat that stopped speaking to me or interacting with me in any way for 3 days. Would not even look at new kitty. Kitty is in crate if my eyes are not on her.
Suddenly my older cat wants to be a mommy, she follows baby around, even watches her while in litter box and helped her get in once .She grooms her and acts like a mom. Then the playing or whatever it is started. Older cat will love on baby then get what I think is really rough. She flips her over, nips the side of her neck, when baby cries out ,older cat gets up and taps her on top of head and pushes her away. Is this love or attempted murder????
Forgot to mention that they eat together in same area but from different bowls, of course. I am very nervous.
 

ArtNJ

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Don't be too nervous, she won't hurt the kitten. However, 5 weeks is really young, and I did once see a video of an adult cat playing with a 5 week old like a catnip mouse. If it reaches that extreme level, you might need to separate for a few weeks. But thats super rare. Mostly, play just looks too rough to us humans, the little kitten cries, squeels or hisses in that moment, but comes right back later and wants to be near the big cat. You can pretty much trust the kitten -- if the kitten acts like its a big deal only when rough play is going on, and acts fine at other times, that tells you everything is fine. But rule of reason because yeah, 5 weeks is crazy young. Can link a video for us to watch if uncertain.
 

Eddy Burgetti

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I'm in same situation. 8 week old kitten will NOT leave my big 4 year old alone, constantly pouncing his tail and he will willingly play but gets to a point he wants her to stop and she wont so he'll hiss and full body pounce her and it looks rough. She will scream and he will get off her and she will come right back at him. So I assume she's just being dramatic or she would get away from him for at least a few minutes. They do eat out of same bowl no problem but she NEVER calms down.
 

ArtNJ

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I'm in same situation. 8 week old kitten will NOT leave my big 4 year old alone, constantly pouncing his tail and he will willingly play but gets to a point he wants her to stop and she wont so he'll hiss and full body pounce her and it looks rough. She will scream and he will get off her and she will come right back at him. So I assume she's just being dramatic or she would get away from him for at least a few minutes. They do eat out of same bowl no problem but she NEVER calms down.
Exactly Eddy. You can 100% trust the kitten in that regard. Its uncomfortable in that particular moment so the kitten protests (dramatically) but its not injury level stuff and doesn't affect the kitten's overall love of playing with the big cat. And its actually good when an older cat is willing to get physical when they have had enough -- it teaches limits and manners. Eventually. To some extent :)

So it sounds all good. Kitten will be less of a PITA in time and they will move to a mature stable and mature friendship. Eventually :)
 

danteshuman

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That tap on the head is how adult cats tell kittens to knock it off. (It is a clawless bop on the head.) It sounds like she loves the baby kitten but is also telling her who is in charge. I would let it happen with supervision until the kitten gets bigger. Though you may not be able to separate them at night when you go to bed. Not sure how to handle that but trust your instincts. Because I’m a worrier I would seperate the kitten and resident cat when you are not awake and there to watch things until the kitten is 8-16 weeks old..... depending on how things go between the kitten and cat.

I will add that I had one neutered male cat that adopted the kittens that were 5 weeks when he adopted them. (We found the 2 kittens at 4 weeks old but 1 kitten was failing to thrive. So I stuck her on her belly, she nursed on him. After that he let her nurse whenever she wanted! He mothered both kittens.) I have heard stories of male cats even lactating for the kittens they adopted.
 
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