Feisty Kitten Plays Too Rough

Our 3-4 month old kitten is feisty. She loves to play but she gets too rough and now she is rough with our 1 year-old.

She jumps at him and pounces on him and he is covered in scratches and I’m finally fed up with it.

Thought about getting it a playmate but nervous I’ll just end up with twice the fight.

My son loves her but I’m worried she is going to hurt him someday all because she is a rough player.


Hi Crystal, thanks for visiting and submitting what seems like a question. You probably would like some ideas from other people.

It seems to me that your female kitten is behaving normally. I don’t think the rough play with the one year old kitten is a problem. Kittens do make lots of noise and play rough and it looks worse than it is often. They learn limits – how far to go in play.

(Note: I misread this. By “one year old” Crystal seems to have meant a child not a cat. I have corrected that afterwards and thanks to Ruth for getting it right.)

The only real issue as I see it is your son. You say that your kitten might hurt your son. That should not be a problem either because it is up to your son to control how rough play is and how far it does etc..(Update: I have since realised he is one year old and therefore too young to control play).

For example, if your son did not play with the kitten at all he would not get scratched at all. That is obvious but some careful, sensible play using a cat tease (a feather on the end of a stick) would please the kitten and protect your son. Update: Of course he is only a year old so I would supervise the whole thing. I would think he is too young to be left alone to play with your kitten. Also small children play too rough themselves causing a reaction in the cat. A recipe for problems.

Just try and devise some strategies that work. It is not that difficult. Keep your kitten. Don’t get anymore cats. Your kitten will quieten down and in the meantime enjoy her and play with her sensibly.

Good luck and thanks for visiting.


6 thoughts on “Feisty Kitten Plays Too Rough”

  1. 2 kittens together is great fun but they do take some watching.
    When we rescued Walter at 8 weeks old we had Ebony who was 11 years old at the time and he wouldn’t leave her alone.So along came Jozef,he was only 6 weeks but his young mother had no milk so her 7 kittens needed homes quickly.
    The fun and games Walter and Jozef had! lol They ran us ragged but it was a wonderful time and Ebby was able to sit in peace and watch them. They grew sensible with age but we do still ‘think cat’ to ensure their safety and both are 11 years old now, sadly Ebby long gone, they still play chasey games at times, they keep each other young.

  2. I have 2 kittens who play rough and sometimes I worry they will hurt themselves. I have made the apartment as safe as possible for them. I make sure there is nothing bad to land on from high surfaces they get to and no sharp objects around and so on. I heard once of a kitten who sadly died because he broke his neck falling from a windowsill. This is terrible luck. Kittens are very hardy and I believe its totally natural for them to go totally nuts running around and fighting at least a couple times a day. It can be very noisy and destructive if you dont move things out the way. Sometimes I shout at them to slow down a bit if they are really making a terrible mess or if one of them has a close shave with danger but otherwise I let them go on. I have even learned to sleep through the noise. While I am at work I have my eye on them too via webcam and Skype so I would hear if there was a problem. I think a tiny bit of guidance is good around the apartment so they understand human things such as cookers and heat for example but apart from that you have to let them be and make it as safe as possible for them. Mainly just keep a close eye on them. If i sense one is really pushing the other too hard because the other is making a very unhappy noise more than a few times I will cut in and just say ‘slow down guys’ in a loud voice and they do.

  3. Just an afterthought Crystal, your kitten has got a scratching post and cat toys hasn’t she? I’m sure you know kittens need to exercise by digging in their claws and scratching, it ensures their muscles grow strong and healthy. Adult cats need to scratch too to keep those muscles healthy. So here’s an idea, you could sit your little boy down and let him watch your kitten playing on her scratching post and he could throw cat toys for her to chase, roll balls etc….fun for both of them. Children can learn to be gentle, you have your hands full with 2 babies I know but both human babies and kittens grow up too soon, so I’d make the most of this fun time if I were you.

  4. Hi Crystal. As Michael says, your kitten is just being a normal kitten. Kittens do play rough. The problem is that a one year old child isn’t old enough to know how to treat a pet, a child that age grabs at everything to explore it, naturally the kitten grabs at him too thinking it’s a rough game and having sharp little claws, she can’t help scratching.
    You need to closely supervise both child and kitten so neither hurt each other, a child can kill a fragile kitten quite easily by throwing her. The kitten will quieten down as she grows and especially after she’s spayed, but it will take time and take much patience from you to teach your son that animals are not toys and should be always handled gently.
    Yes 2 kittens would amuse each other but that wouldn’t stop your son from thinking he then had 2 toys.
    If you are thinking of rehoming your kitten do it now while she’s young enough to adjust to a new home, but if you feel you have the time and patience to watch over them both until you are sure neither will get hurt, then good luck, your son will grow up to be a good kind cat lover.

    • Thanks Ruth for getting this right. I misread the ladies post and assumed by reference to “one year old” she meant another cat! I thought she had two cats and on son 🙂 Sorry Crystal – apologies.

      My advice to Crystal: Ruth provides the best advice.


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