This is a difficult and unusual case IMHO. I would strongly suggest a consult with a cat behaviorist (Jackson Galaxy, Pam Johnson-Bennett are two). I would be more concerned about her hurting him than the opposite. She is being quite aggressive toward him! and he just wants safe haven.I'm baaaaack!
Tinky is now a very robust 8 weeks old. I had quite a scare with her umbilical hernia a couple of weeks ago - for some reason, she regurgitated her morning canned food, and her hernia popped out quite alarmingly as a result. She spent the day at the vet, where they gave her some pain meds and reduced the hernia. No other problems with it since (and I stopped giving her the food that made her sick). I'm trying to discourage leaping and jumping, but it's about impossible with this kitten. She is extremely active (the most active kitten I've ever had, and I've had a bunch of 'em), and she flies through the house like a blue streak.
So, now onto today's dilemma: I introduced her to our Baboo (age 15) very gradually, starting when Tinky was about 4 weeks old. They got along fine, and I was proud that Baboo was so nice to his Baby Sister. But now Tinky's out and about a lot more often, and she won't leave Baboo alone - she follows him constantly, bats at and bites his tail, leaps on him, or repeatedly bops him on the head to get his attention.
Well, Baboo doesn't think she's that cute any more - he can't even eat and drink in peace, let alone sleep - and he is getting increasingly irritated with her. I've read a number of articles and threads that address introductions, and I've tried to get Baboo to go in our room as a "safe space" when things get too hectic, but he yowls at the door and doesn't want to stay in there. Tinky has her own playpen for isolation, but she's gotten big enough to leap up and clamber over the top edge (which also gives me gray hairs due to the hernia). I reconfigured the playpen to accommodate a "ceiling," and at times this frustrates her to the point of frenzy when she doesn't feel like being confined. The only time she'll quiet down immediately is at bedtime, when the house is dark.
I've tried gently separating them and distracting Tinky. No go. I've also tried letting them duke it out, but Tinky is still much smaller than Baboo (he weighs about 15 lbs.) and I'm afraid he'll hurt her, so I may be stepping in before I should - but when Baboo starts to hiss and growl, that spells trouble to me.
Any suggestions? I'm getting positively twitchy here.
Many vets now say to spay/neuter once a kitten is over 2 pounds, which is usually about 2 months old. Others say to definitely spay/neuter by 4 months, and some by 5. I would definitely look into doing it at 4 months, if not before. Hopefully your cats are indoor-only?Sarthur2, funny you should say that. I pretty much left them to their own devices this afternoon, and now she's worshipping him from afar. In fact, she's asleep in the recliner next to the double-decker table where he's sleeping. That's a first!
I haven't talked to the vet about the spay/hernia repair timetable yet, but I assume it'll be when she reaches 5-6 months. My original vet retired, and I haven't had that much experience with the doctor who took over the practice, so I'm not sure what his age preference is.
Sounds like everything is going well! Kittens do love play, and play will help wear her out and calm her down. Kittens and cats need to stalk and catch "prey" every day -- it's how they're wired. They love wand-and-lure toys like da Bird or Cat Dancer. You can get these at most places that sell cat supplies, and online.Yes, we are an indoor-only cat family! Too many hazards out there for kitties.
I'll be taking her in for another deworming and first shots next week, so I'll ask about the surgeries then.
I believe part of this is my fault for over-protecting her. The hernia incident really freaked me out, and I don't think I was letting her run free as much as I should have, but I'm fixing that now. I'm hoping that extended time out and about the house will help - once the novelty wears off, she should establish her routine, the temptations should diminish, and hopefully she and Baboo will at least come to an armed truce.
And I finished kitten-proofing the house today, so that should help with my frazzled nerves.