My 19 Month Old Cat Stamps On 10 Month Old Kitten's Tail

by Jason
(Melbourne, Australia)

I have a question about my cats... I've got two neutered male ragdoll cats - the older one (19 months) is more reserved than the younger 'out there' kitten (10 months)...

They get along mostly - and chase each other around a lot at play. Sometimes the older cat meows loudly and bites at the little one (who tends to lie on his back) - don't worry, the little one can hold his own!

The older one has just started to (what looks like) stamp on the younger cat's tail - at first we though he was trying to mount him but we are pretty sure he's just stamping on this tail...

What is this about?

Reply from Liz (Editor): Without actually observing this cat behavior as it's happening, it's hard for me to say what I think is happening for sure, but I'll hazard a guess!

You say the smaller cat is rolling on his back. That's a sign that he's being submisive, but not in a bad way. By rolling on his back, he's exposing his tummy and effectively leaving himself quite defenceless. This isn't because he's scared, he's just playing, but at the same time letting the older cat know he's the boss.

I reckon the tail stamping is just a playful thing. Does the older cat do it when the younger one is waving his tail around? My two cats do this - when the girl swishes her tail the boy stamps his paws on it, I think he sees it like a toy.

Your older cat could also be doing it to the younger one as an act of dominance... a cat squaring up for a fight will swish its tail round, so it's possible that the older cat is suppressing this in the younger one.

Thank you for your question.

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