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Why Does My Cat Play Rough With Her Kittens?

If you have a cat, with a kitten, you may be wondering why she is so rough with her kittens and if this type of behavior is normal…

Why does my cat play rough with her kittens?

Your cat may play rough with your kitten because it is displaying mock aggression. Meaning, it does not mean harm. This behavior is seen in cats from kittens and as they grow into young cats and beyond.

What you will need to Help You

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So, now you know. But, why does my cat lick and bite the kitten? Should I start to play rough with my cat? What may cause my cat to bunny kick my kitten? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Why does my cat lick and bite my kitten?

Cat yawning

Cat yawning

It is well known that some cats will lick each other. This is for grooming, to maintain their fur. However, it is also normal to see them play fight during or after being groomed.

This playfighting can appear aggressive sometimes. When this happens it can even involve bitting. In most cases, this is not a cause of concern. But, it may look a bit concerning at the time.

Should you play rough with cats?

It is not a good idea to play rough with cats. This is because it may train it to get progressively more aggressive. If this happens it may go beyond your comfort zone.

Also, this is the reason why it is not advisable to negatively discipline your cat. Such as slapping, or using physical force. Your cat may interpret it as a form of rough play and react aggressively.

In some cases, this form of discipline could cause your cat to lose trust in you. Resulting in it running away from you or hiding away.

Do adult cats lick each other?

Adult cats do lick each other. This is normal grooming activity. When it is done each cat benefits from grooming in areas that they may find hard to get to, such as the middle of their back.

To us humans, it may seem a bit odd. But, cats not only do this for practical reasons. They also do it to keep a close bond with each other. This stems from their upbringing with their mother cat and littermates.

Why does my cat bunny kick my kitten?

A cat may bunny kick its kitten as a form of rough play fighting. The bunny kick is naturally an aggressive method used on their prey in the wild.

But, play fighting is often a simulation of hunting. And, it may be a way for your cat to train your kitten for hunting.

Is it Normal For Cats to Bite Their Kittens?

Yes, it is normal for cats to bite their kittens if they are carrying them by the scruff of their necks. giving loving nibbles, or disciplining them. However, if it appears to be aggressive this is not normal and may be a cause for concern.

So, now you know it is normal for a cat to bite their kittens in a certain context, but not to be aggressive. But, will your other cats hurt your kitten? Do cats remember their kittens? What happens if my other cats do not like my new kitten? Keep reading for these answers and more.

How do mother cats teach kittens not to bite?

If you have a kitten you may be wondering how they learn not to bite.

To teach her kittens not to bite the mother cat will hold down the kittens using their neck. Teaching it not to bite hard again. Also, within the litter, their littermates will often squeal and make loud noises if they are bitten to make the kitten understand she has done wrong.

So now you know how a mother cat teaches her kitten not to bite and the impact of her littermates reaction. But, how do you deal with a cat that flat out does not like your kitten?

What do I do if my cat doesn’t like my new kitten?

If you have noticed that your new kitten hasn’t had a nice warm reception from your older cat you may be concerned and wondering what you can do.

If your cat doesn’t like your new kitten it may take some time so it’s a good idea to take a slow approach. Rather than pushing them together give them small intervals of time together. Separate their food bowls (Click here for other ways to keep an adult cat from taking your kitten’s food) so there are no disputes. Also, sleeping separately is a must, so that your older kitten does not feel animosity.

Regarding sleeping arrangements, it’s a good idea to have a fresh cat bed (Click here to see why I rate this one) with fresh linen for your new kitten so that your older cat does not feel that their property has been taken. But, is there a chance that your older cat will attack your kitten?

Will my cat hurt a new kitten?

If you have a new kitten you may be wondering if you’re older cats will actually attack or even hurt it.

An older cat is not expected to hurt a new kitten. However, you may notice some hostile behavior towards it, such as hissing or swiping at the new kitten. But, no real harm is normally intended. To avoid jealousy issues give your older cat a lot of attention especially in the presence of your new kitten.

So, now you know that you’re older cat is not likely to hurt your new kitten and some tactics to avoid jealousy.

Is Scruffing a cat cruel?

If you have ever seen a cat being grabbed by the scruff of its neck you may be wondering if this is acceptable or painful for the cat.

Scruffing an adult cat can be traumatic and a big shock to the cat. Especially if they have never had this for a long time. This is not a good idea because it can traumatize them and lead to a lack of trust. Which can lead to a relationship breakdown with your cat.

As young kittens, they are often held by the Scruff of their neck by their mother. But, it is often accepted at this stage in their life. However, as they get older this is not expected.

How can you tell how old a kitten is?

If you have a new kitten you may be wondering how you can be sure how old it is. Keep reading to get an indication of how you can work this out.

To tell how old a kitten is you have to analyze their behavior and physical developments. For example, a newborn kitten at week zero is expected to have their eyes closed and ears folded. This is an example of some indicators of their age.

However, it is not an exact science. But, it is it has been used for a long time and is often quite effective with enough experience.

Do cats remember their kittens?

If your cat has recently had kittens and they’ve been given to a new home you may be wondering, in time, if your cat will remember them.

No, cats do not usually remember their kittens once they move on. Once they are weaned and rehomed they are not regarded as your cat’s responsibility and are often forgotten. Cats do not have the same emotional attachment to their offspring as humans do.

So, now you know that cats often do not remember their kittens and have a different mentality with their offspring. But, what about feral cats?

How long will a feral cat leave her kittens?

Kitten meowing

Kitten meowing

If you have witnessed feral kittens you may be wondering how the mother deals with them. In particular, how long will she leave them unattended?

A feral mother cat who has kittens is known to leave them alone for several hours while she looks for some food for them. You can prove this by standing near her kitten litter for a few hours. However, be warned, the mother cat is very protective of her litter and it is not advised to do this.

So now you know how long feral cats will leave her kittens and how she will great to unexpected guests. But, is there anything you can do to help a mother cat protect her cats?

How can you help your mother cat protect her kittens?

If you have a cat that has had a recent litter of kittens you may be wondering if there’s anything that you can do proactively to make her life easier, right?

To help your mother cat protect her kittens it is a good idea to have a reserved area for the mother and her kittens. It should be enough to contain the kitten but allows the queen to go and come as she pleases. Also, keep other pets or cats away from this area.

So, now you know how you can help your mother cat protect her kittens in your home. But, what happens when she is in labor?

Will mother cats chew the umbilical cord?

If you have a cat that has recently had a litter you may be wondering what happened to the umbilical cord, right?

A mother cat will chew her umbilical cord. This is normal behavior and is done to help the blood clot and naturally heal. You will also notice that she grooms and licks the newborn kittens to clean them off. This is instinctive behavior to them.

So, now you know the mother cat will chew the umbilical cord after labor as part of the process. But, what about their owners, will they chew or bite them?

Why do kittens bite their owner?

If you have a new kitten and she’s constantly biting you its understandable that you may be wondering why this is happening.

Kittens bite their owners because they are born hunters. This is instinctive behavior deriving from their ancestors in the wild. To help them develop and learn the boundary properly you need to play with them regularly to develop their boundaries. Ideally before meal times each day.

So, now you know why kittens bite their owners and some tips on how you can help them define some boundaries.

Do cats deliver their own kittens?

If you have a new cat that’s pregnant you may be wondering how they deliver their kittens, is this on their own?

Cats deliver their own kittens. They do this instinctively without a thought. However, if they are struggling to deliver, for example, having contractions without delivery for more than half an hour a vet is often called in to help them.

So now you know cats deliver their own kittens but may need assistance if they come into some complications.

Lindsey Browlingdon