Cats/cat & kitten living together
"We have a 4 year old cat adopted for the humane society 2 years ago, (they told us she was very mothering to other cats.....). We recently got 2 kittens (now 8 weeks old) so she wouldn't be alone and board while we're at work. This is their 7th day together, the little ones spend most of their time playing together but sometimes bug Lexie (the older one). Sometimes lexie just sits there and watches them, other times she will run after them and then sit back and watch but at other times she pounces on them and bites them (I think), it hard to tell. The kittens don't cry at all and I break it up as soon as it happens because I'm afraid Lexie will hurt the littles ones. When we're not home I separate the kittens from Lexie but when someone is home they are all allowed to be in the same room, this is how it has been since they came. We try to give Lexie a lot of attention but most of the time she doesn't want to be petted and walks off. She used to meow ALL the time and that's reduced by 90% (good for us, but is that bad?). I just want to know how much "fighting" between older and younger is normal and healthy and when to know that it's time to break it up. Should I be doing anything else? Thanks for your help!"
it may not be fighting, often play can look very aggressive, if the kittens are not yelling out then it is probably just a game. Also your older cat may be showing them how to hunt and attack etc but obviously without teeth etc.
How did you introduce all the cats together? generally it is recommended that cats are introduced slowly to each other so that they can get used to each other first without any fighting etc. See my web page about introducing cats here /introducing-cats.html
I would continue what you are doing me monitoring them together and separating them during the day for a while longer until they have built up a stronger bond.
It is very difficult to say how your older cat feels about them, she may be maternal, she may se them as a threat to her territory. All will depend on how they are treated and handles over the next few weeks. Also your 8 week old kitten will be need to be spayed very soon and this can also remove a lot of the threat from the situation.