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How to break bad habits


Savannah Kitten
Hi Everyone,

I just got my first Savannah cat about 3 and a half weeks ago. She's a darling F2B baby. I also got an Ocicat to keep her company as a playmate and to allow me to have a dependable lap cat. :D I got them both on the same day, quarantined them, and after lots of hissing, growling, sniffing, and batting, they're playing relatively nicely, curling up together, and grooming each other.

Somethings that concern me is that Nova, my Savannah, likes to play rough with Nyx, my Ocicat. Nova has taught Nyx to play by going for each others' throats and it makes me highly uncomfortable especially since Nova is almost twice Nyx's size. Generally I let them have at it until Nyx complains (meows loudly and hisses) before I yell "no" and break them up. I usually try and prevent Nova from playing for a couple seconds after that by scruffing her, but I'm sure you guys understand how hard it is to keep an eager kitten from her play. Should I be worried about this rough play and should I try and stick Nova in a more definite "time out"?

Another thing I found is that Nova has reached the "what's mine is mine, what's yours is also mine" stage. Any play-toy that I have immediately gets hogged by Nova. She growls at Nyx and walks away with the toy. I figured that that was normal territorial behavior, so I simply got out another toy for Nyx to play with, in which Nova ditches her other toy to grab the current toy that Nyx is playing with and starts growling again. The weird thing is, Nova does not mind letting Nyx play with previous toys that she had "claimed", so I'm not even sure if this is an actual problem. Either way, is there a good way to make her share with her sister during playtime?

Thanks in advance!


Animal Communicator
I can't give you any advice, but I just wanted to say I LOVE your avatar lol...they are both so beautiful!
My F4 is like that with her toys, but her brother is an 8 year old DSH who doesn't care if she hogs all the toys. At least she shares, and doesn't get upset when Nyx plays with "her" toys

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
To me, this sounds like normal cat behavior. The only way for Nyx to tell Nova when she is going too far is to hiss and meow... it's hard to know from this whether if you let them go whether they would sort this out themselves. I tend to think they would. I don't think scruffing her is going to stop her, but you could try distracting her by giving her some active play with a wand and string toy... so that she is leaping about after the feather or mousie or whatever and thus distracted from Nyx.

And "sharing" is not a concept most pets get. Then again, most toddlers don't either...


Staff member
For instance, tonight Nyah "stole" my 2 year old's night time stufftie, a pink horse named Neigh. Ryleigh saw it, scrunched her face up, wagged her pointy finger and said " no, no Nyah! Mine Neigh!" So toddlers don't share with pets, either.
Ah ha! Just as I suspected...your 2 yr old taught your SV how not to share. Poor lil Nyah is just being a copy cat.:big grin:


Savannah Super Cat
Unless you see fur flying, ears back, and obvious discontent- count it as good cat fun. Once I posted a photo of two 7 week old kitten playing and someone took offense that, she the kittens they were to bring home were vicious! I guess it is all about perspective.


Savannah Kitten
Haha, ok. Thanks for the insight. I guess I'll just be a spectator in their play-fights for a while and see how it goes. I think they mostly sleep when I'm at work, but I can't be positive, so I want to make sure Nyx can fend for herself if Nova gets too rough when I'm not around.

About the sharing thing, I guess I'll continue playing musical toys. :p

Oh, another quick question, I'm leash training both of my babies and so far I think they're fine with the harness? They seem to get really lazy with the harness on and just end up sleeping next to me. (See pictures of today's harness and leash session, haha.) Any suggestions on how to get them moving and actually be leash trained?


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Staff member
Well first of all, those harnesses are on way too loose to ever contain a cat that suddenly freaks out, so I would make sure they are on snugly. As for getting them up and moving, you might want to try to motivate them by using a wand toy to get them going in the direction you want to head.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
Agreed with Patti, those harnesses are way too loose to be safe when outdoors.

But what you want is a cat so comfortable with the harness they behave as if it is not being comfy enough to sleep seems good?