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AIBU to ask if I've been stupid?

(27 Posts)
ToddlerandCrazyCatLady Fri 02-Sep-16 16:58:41

I'm a regular but name changed as I'm worried about linking to my normal name.

Background: I am married, have a 14month old DD and already had a nearly 4 year old cat (DCat1). DCat is a lovely quiet girl who generally hides under the bed but does come out for a play at night after DD is in bed and let's DD stroke her in the mornings before breakfast. DD is gentle with DCat1 and is taken away from her if she's rough; hits, pulls fur or scratches the cat.

Today while browsing Facebook I saw a post from a local woman saying she had 2 nine week old kittens that needed rehoming. Either they went today or she was going to let them out her house. It broke my heart so after a quick call to the RSPCA, who said they couldn't do anything because her animals where currently housed and well looked after, I travelled over to her address and rehomed the female cat - welcome DCat2.

Since then it's been hectic. The cats accidentally got introduced to each other when i bought DCat2 home because DCat1 had come to say hi to me really should of shut her away before I bought the other cat in Cat 1 was all for saying hello to Cat 2 (until 8 months ago when we rehomed her she lived with 6 other cats) but Cat 2 hissed at her so Cat 1 went back to hiding under our bed while Cat 2 explored. DD chased the kitten, but they seemed to be playing: Cat2 would look at DD run a bit ahead then stop and see if DD was following.

DH had to go off to work at 3pm leaving me with both cats and DD.

So, DD who's usually pretty laid back and placid threw a tantrum because the kitchen door was closed even though it's always closed unless I open it to go in there where I such it behind me. I shut DCat2 into the cat carrier while I was cooking DDs tea and she was eating.

DD then fell face first asleep into her tea at 4.15! So I put her into her bed, where she's been asleep since. Which means she'll most likely wake up early as she usually goes to bed at 7pm.

After DD was in bed I let Cat2 out to have an explore of the house. She immediately finds Cat1 and a hissing match ensues for 10 minutes before Cat2 finds Cat1s food bowl and eats her food. I take Cat2 away and feed her kitten food instead. After she finishes her food Cat2 tries to go back to our bedroom but I've already closed the door with DCat1, a food bowl and some water inside.

I've now shut DCat2 in her carrier to try and tempt Cat1 out but she won't budge from our room. Her foods not been eaten.

I'm worried I've made a mistake and we should rehome Cat2 today. I'm an experienced cat owner and have seen reactions like this before, but worried with DD as well things won't calm down until the kitten is older. I've always had older cats (2+) and never kittens.

DCat2 has never seen any other cats other than her mum and brother as she didn't like to go out at all. But she is now fast asleep in her carrier apparently unfazed by DD and her meeting with DCat1.

AIBU to think we've made a mistake? Or is this just first day settling in?

19lottie82 Fri 02-Sep-16 17:07:40

Introducing a second cat is always going to be stressful for the first cat....... It's in their nature as they are territorial creatures.

The kitten isn't likely to be bothered as she is young and doesn't view it as her territory yet.

This may continue or they may tolerate each other, you don't know. You'd prob be better posting this on the "litter tray" Part of the board in the "pets" section.

19lottie82 Fri 02-Sep-16 17:09:01

PS if the worst comes to the worst you can take cat2 to a cats protection shelter. They will take her and kittens get rehomed really quickly.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 02-Sep-16 17:14:15

First day settling. It'll be fine in a month or two.

ToddlerandCrazyCatLady Fri 02-Sep-16 17:15:36

RunRabbit I hope so, Im sure they'll like each other eventually. I guess I'm just impatient

thecatsarecrazy Fri 02-Sep-16 17:25:46

Cats don't like other cats. We re homed a cat from the cats protection and our original cat was less than impressed. They recommend separating them for a few weeks and introducing their smells by stroking one with a sock on your hand then stroking the other. We could only separate them for a few days because our house isn't big enough. It is stressful but things will settle down. Mine will never snuggle up and groom each other but they don't tare shreds out of each other when they pass on the stairs but my young one still hisses at the other.

19lottie82 Fri 02-Sep-16 17:26:40

Not necessarily. Give it a few weeks and see how DCat1 takes to the new arrival. If he continues to show signs of stress it may be better to rehome.

In the meantime introduce them gradually. Give DCat1 something with the kittens smell on it.

beginnersewer Fri 02-Sep-16 17:37:31

Feliway is a cat pheromone that humans can't smell. It comes as a spray or a plug in diffuser (looks like an air freshener). It can be helpful in reducing stress levels - worst case scenario is it doesn't make any difference.
I would also suggest a separate area for each cat with food/water and litter trays so that they are not forced to approach each other for bodily functions. They need to divide your house into two separate territories so each cat feels secure (cat behaviourists often draw maps of houses to help deal with this sort of thing). Also make sure there are lots of hiding places around eg cardboard boxes so neither cat feels too exposed - a minimalist 'show home' is a nightmare for a cat.
I think ultimately the question is whether having had a bit more time to think about it you are ready for the longterm commitment of a second cat, including introducing it to your current cat. If not, then investigate rehoming centres local to you.

beginnersewer Fri 02-Sep-16 17:39:58

PS having reread your OP it does sound like your current cat may already be quite stressed if she's spending most of the time under your bed. Our cat definitely found our toddler difficult to deal with, especially in our old smaller house.

thecatneuterer Fri 02-Sep-16 17:42:15

It can take a couple of months for cats to settle in, so give it a while.

Also can you see if you can help the person you got the kittens from to get the mother cat neutered? Otherwise this will keep happening. If you happen to be in London please pm me for help.

ToddlerandCrazyCatLady Fri 02-Sep-16 17:43:54

Beginner DCat 1 isn't stressed, she's just a quiet cat. Vet has seen her in our house and thinks she fine. She spends a lot of time under the bed but not all of it, she comes out for fuss and food and to use the litter tray. She does like DD as she lets her stroke her and doesn't back away/hunch up, in fact she brushes against her hand for more fuss so I think she's ok.

ToddlerandCrazyCatLady Fri 02-Sep-16 17:48:40

TheCatNeuterer i believe it was the woman's partners cat that did the deed and since having the kittens the males been rehomed and the female neutered

ToddlerandCrazyCatLady Fri 02-Sep-16 19:57:35

Yay progress. I went upstairs to use the toilet and Cat1 was sat outside my DDs bedroom, she then followed me downstairs to use the litter tray in the kitchen (Cat2 was shut in living room) and walked off to chill at the top of the stairs! Progress at least!

Welshrainbow Fri 02-Sep-16 20:09:29

Aww well done you for taking the kitten in, I second whoever said to buy some feliway though and maybe keep the new kitten in her carrier and let cat 1 on to explore. As it's the kitten who is doing sll the hissing etc hopefully as its so young it will adapt quickly and your dcat1 will become more confident around it.

ToddlerandCrazyCatLady Fri 02-Sep-16 20:22:39

WelshRain I've been putting kitten in carrier every hour for 10-15 minutes and opening the doors so DCat1 can come look if she likes. It's progress she came downstairs. DH is off tomorrow and DCat1 is more his cat so he's going to make a big fuss of her, and let her know she's still loved.

CatThiefKeith Fri 02-Sep-16 20:26:48

Dcat1 will get used to it. We introduced a bouncy lab to our 4yo 3 legged cat, kept them apart for feeding and socialising for a week or two and now, 3 years later, lumpy cat and dog curl up and sleep together.

Give them time, it will be fine.

CatThiefKeith Fri 02-Sep-16 20:27:15

Limpy. Not lumpy. 😳

BooAndM Fri 02-Sep-16 20:29:17

I have 3 kids and a cat and last year we got a puppy!! For days it was utter chaos and I worried if made a mistake but now, 18 months later, we are all settled and happy.
I hope things settle down soon smile

Thefitfatty Fri 02-Sep-16 20:32:05

Don't keep the cats from each other, let them hash it out. It sounds cruel but in my experience (I've got 4, have had 6) it's the only thing that works. Keep your DD away from the both of them at the same time till they figure out who is the "top" cat. Polysporin is great on scratches. 👍

ToddlerandCrazyCatLady Fri 02-Sep-16 20:39:35

They're having a staring competition now. DCat1 in the back by the door, DCat 2 in the foreground

TowerRavenSeven Fri 02-Sep-16 20:46:44

I had similar. It was awful. Mine never got better, they growled, hissed at each other and fought all day for months. We tried everything. Finally we rehomed kitten as we were moving and knew someone that wanted her. It might get better op but it might not.

ToddlerandCrazyCatLady Fri 02-Sep-16 20:50:37

They seem ok, hissing has stopped but now just staring at each other. They haven't actually swiped at each other or anything, so I think with time they'll tolerate each other.

ToddlerandCrazyCatLady Fri 02-Sep-16 21:21:01

DCat1 now rolling around in the hallway downstairs while DCat2 is staring at her. Does this mean Cat2 is boss?

maddening Fri 02-Sep-16 21:51:37

My mum used fellaway (sp?) When she was introducing a second cat, kept them apart and kept getting them together slowly - took a few weeks but they are fine now

19lottie82 Sat 03-Sep-16 09:02:12

Rolling around on the floor is a sign of dominance so it sounds like cat1 is telling cat 2 this is her patch

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