Why Is Older Cat Playing Rough With Kitten? (And How To Help!)

Is your older cat playing rough with kitten at home?

It can be a frightening sight to see your older cat trying to outmuscle or bully a small kitten. However, this is a common sight and something that can happen depending on the situation at home.

An older cat playing rough with kitten can come down to several different variables. It’s essential to understand what the root cause is and then come up with a viable strategy to stop the older cat’s aggression towards the kitten.

The reasons can include:

  • General Curiosity
  • Not Realizing the Size Difference
  • Becoming Territorial
  • General Curiosity
  • Not Realizing the Size Difference
  • Becoming Territorial

It’s best to take your time as a cat owner to better understand what’s going on and keep them separate until you come up with a useful strategy.

Don’t assume the bond will get better on its own because it won’t!

This guide will take a look at what to do for an older cat playing rough with kitten at home. You will learn more on what works, how to implement the strategy, and what not to do during the bonding phase.

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Tips to Stopping Older Cat From Playing Rough with Kitten

Tip #1: Create Separate Eating Spots

Feeding time is important for cats and they don’t want anyone bothering them.

This is normal in the wild and it’s something you are going to expect from a domesticated cat too. However, it becomes ten times worse when another kitten is in the vicinity and the older cat is used to a set pattern with its eating schedule.

This is why you want to get out in front of this problem by creating separate eating spots.

Set up two bowls and make sure they are not in the same area.

The benefits include:

  • Less Likely to be Territorial
  • Reduces the Chances of Aggression During Feeding Time
  • Limits Interactions

When you see an older cat playing rough with kitten at home, sometimes it has a lot to do with what’s happening during feeding time.

By separating where they are eating, you are going to reduce how much aggression the older cat shows. It will eventually simmer down when it is getting the opportunity to eat properly without interference.

Kittens are inquisitive and that is the last thing you are going to want when it comes to them being around an older cat that’s eating!

Older Cat Playing Rough With Kitten

Tip #2: Get Older Cat Used to the Kitten’s Scent

For an older cat playing rough with kitten at home, sometimes it comes down to them not being used to the younger cat’s scent.

The older cat is going to be terrotorial when there are other cats around, which means your kitten isn’t going to fare well in a situation such as this.

By taking the time to get the older cat used to the kitten’s scent, you are going to have a calmer cat on your hands. The older cat is going to get used to the scent and will know that it is a part of the environment.

Cats take time to adjust to new animals including kittens, which makes it important to focus on scent.

A lot of cat owners will try to bond the two cats immediately.

This is the wrong approach to take and is going to put the kitten in harm’s way. Instead, you want to begin by separating the two cats and placing them in different parts of the house. This means they shouldn’t be able to make contact with each other.

During this period, you are going to keep them close to each other (out of sight) while letting them get used to each other’s scents.

It may take a few weeks, but the older cat is slowly going to get used to the scent and won’t even notice it.

This is when you can start bringing the kitten into the same room.

Tip #3: Keep an Eye on Both Cats During Playtime

You will want to keep an eye on both cats when it is time for them to be in the same room.

Let’s assume you are bringing them into the common area of your house and want to make sure they get an opportunity to bond.

This is a lovely idea, but it has to be implemented properly or you are going to have the older cat playing rough with kitten during playtime. It’s essential to take action with a purpose and that means planning out how you are going to keep an eye on the older cat.

Experts Say...
Playtime is great for bonding cats but it should always be done under vigilant eyes when there is a size disparity.

It’s recommended to stay in the same room as them and always keep the cats in your line of sight.

This will allow them to play without the older cat getting rough and no one protecting the kitten. As long as you are there, the cat will also be more likely to behave with the kitten.

If the older cat does start playing rough, you can immediately come in between and make sure to get the cat to stop. It’s a simple trick but one that does work well with an older cat that is used to your presence around them.

Older Cat Playing Rough With Kitten

Tip #4: Reward Good Behavior

A good step in the right direction is to reward good behavior when the cats are around each other.

The premise behind this strategy is to make sure the older cat is aware of its bad behavior. A lot of older cats don’t realize the disparity in size/strength, which can cause them to become overzealous.

This means you want to take out a bag of cat treats and use them when the cats are playing nicely. If you see the older cat playing rough with kitten at home then it’s time to admonish them on the spot.

You don’t want to delay your reaction and make sure they are aware of what they’re doing wrong.

Within a few days, you are going to see the older cat learn what is allowed and what is not. For the bag of treats, the cat is going to take the time to remain calm around the kitten. This is ideal and is a key part of training your older cat not to become aggressive with the kitten.

It’s also important to stay patient because there is a learning curve for the older cat.

Final Thoughts

For an older cat playing rough with kitten at home, it’s imperative to take action with a purpose.

This means you are going to need to have a plan in mind right away. This includes using a quality set of accessories, allowing the cats an opportunity to bond in short bursts, and making sure you are always around to admonish bad behavior.

It is these little things that are going to make sure the cats bond quickly and don’t hurt each other.

If this problem isn’t nipped in the bud right away, it is going to fester for years to come. This is why making sure the two bond right now is imperative.

Use the tips listed here as a way to make sure you help the older cat playing rough with kitten at home. You want to train it the right way and make sure it knows what’s wrong about its behavior.

To learn more about what you should do for an older cat, here are a few articles to read through – how to help a cat that wants to go outside, how to help a cat that continues to run away after eating, how to train a cat not to growl or hiss at dogs, and how to assist a cat with hairballs.