4yr old cat plays rough with our 3mo old kitten Pounces on him and bites No wounds but kitten cries sometimes like it hurts Big cat also sometimes smothers the kittens head under him while playing I worry he cant

This is actually quite normal. The thing to watch for is what happens after these interactions.

A kitten cries out during play to tell its playmate that the play is too rough. The older cat should then ease up, at least temporarily. (In the excitement of play, it’s easy to get rambunctious again.)

If your kitten continues to want to play with your cat, all is well. If your kitten runs and hides from him, refusing to come out when he’s around, then you need to keep the cats separate for the time being and only allow supervised play for a while.

As for the smothering, unless you have a 20-pounder lying still directly on top of the kitten for a long time, it’s not gonna happen. If the kitten goes quiet the other cat will get bored and get up, and if the kitten gets desperate enough to seriously use all its claws and teeth, the cat’s going to move to go into defensive or fight mode. If your kitten was 3 weeks old I might be worried, but not at 3 months.

Anita Pirkle’s answer is perfect and I would tell you the same. The fact that you aren’t seeing wounds is your proof because the older cat could certainly cause wounds if this was a true attack, it sounds like perfectly normal play. The cry of “ow, ow, stop now” sounds alarming, but it is supposed to. It doesn’t mean the kitten is actually hurt, but sends a no-nonsense message that they are submitting and done playing.

Ditto with the smothering concern. Cats and kittens are physically able to breathe in very tight, covered spaces, and despite appearances, the light fluffy fur of the other cat won’t be very constricting— and an older cat won’t have the weight to pose a danger to a kitten that age.

Cats have varying levels of aggressive play. My two are the same age, but one plays far rougher than the other and frequently bites, while the less aggressive one often meows as if it hurts. The odd thing is that the aggressive one will frequently wash the face and ears of the other before he pounces. Also, the less aggressive one will sometimes initiate the play. As long as there is no broken skin on the kitten, and the kitten doesn’t run in fear from the older cat, I would say they are ok. As the kitten grows, he will start getting his own back! The kitten can probably breathe perfectly well under the other cat (and in play, he’s probably not there long enough to worry) – I’ve seen cats sleep that way. Their fur lets air through just fine.

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Big cat is being a bully and could hurt and scare poor little one . Separate them for a while , with their own litter boxes, food/ water/ toys . They will tell you when they are ready to resume decent relations . WHEN do these boxing matches happen? It could be a food issue, or a litter- sharing issue. And then again they might just be playing..

Love and purrrs,


You’ll need to break them up when things get rough and separate them, which means for the next few months, you should not leave them together unsupervised. Three months old is still small and vulnerable. You cannot expect your adult cat to hold the line and not cause potential harm or injury.

It depends. Does the cat stop after the kitten cries? It is normal for a cat to play fight the kitten but hurting it it will do BUT it might do it on accident. If it stops after the kitten cries it’s just playing if it does not it is possible that the cat is trying to kill the kitten. If it does it thinks it is a kitten as well. If the kitten wheezes after being smothered than he can’t breather if not you don’t need to worry. If so then keep them seppreted

It’s pretty normal, but it’s the right side of the bell shaped curve. I think you can probably squirt the cat when he’s too aggressive with a water bottle or shake a rattle can to moderate it. Before too long the rules will probably be reversed. The kitten will be terrorizing the adult cat and the play will probably be very vigorous.

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is your kitten fearful of your cat? Does the older one ease up once the kitten squeaks? The head smothering is a technique older cats use when younger ones are getting too rambunctious.

In other words it sounds like perfectly normal older cat and kitten interaction so long as the older heeds the squeaks of the kitten.

Well yes he cries, he is being hurt. It is your responsibility to make sure all of your animals play nice together. If one is constantly getting hurt, he likely will grow up to be a very aggressive cat. If the older cat continues to pick on the little one, you need to step in and correct the situation. Just like you would with kids that are fighting.

It doesn’t matter whether the four year old cat’s rough behavior with your three month old kitten is normal. It can be frightening to the kitten. Separate the cat and the kitten for the sake of all concerned.

Hes fine if there are no injuries and the cat eventually backs off We had 3 5–9 month old kittens then a VERY small 10–12 week kitten they’d play extremely rough and he was always fine same with all our other litters when their are bigger kittens