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Will they ever get on, or is that expecting too much?

(23 Posts)
valrhona Fri 30-May-14 16:11:09

Posted recently about our two new rescue cats. They came from the same rescue, but didn't know each other. As time goes on I see that they are very different little characters (naturally) but they don't seem to get on very well. There's plenty of hissing and the odd swipe (larger at smaller) but smaller seems feisty enough and holds her ground most of the time. They have no interest in sharing the same space but will argue over toys mostly. I do my best to give equal attention to them.

Does anyone have experience of a situation like this? I'd just like to have an idea of what to expect. Will things escalate between them or will they eventually grow to accept one another? Smaller is definitely a scaredy more nervous character but she seems to annoy the more territorial bigger cat confused

cozietoesie Fri 30-May-14 16:28:12

She's not deferring enough, probably. (You said she was feisty and holds her ground.)

Forgive me for not remembering but how long has it been now? And are they to go outside?

beccajoh Fri 30-May-14 16:33:50

That seems fairly normal in my experience (lifetime) of living with cats. Some siblings get on, some tolerate each other. Some unrelated cats bond with each other, others don't. It's impossible to predict which way they'll go.

If they're new to your house they might be trying to establish some sort of pecking order.

beccajoh Fri 30-May-14 16:35:44

Meant to add. Things should calm down a bit - they'll reach a point where they just ignore each other - but it's likely that there'll be the odd hiss and paw swipe now and again.

timtam23 Fri 30-May-14 22:18:19

I took in 1 female kitten and when she was a year old I took in a stray male kitten so they were not related and had not even grown up together. Girl cat was not impressed and there was lots of hissing - boy cat was more timid & keener to be griends. In the end a truce was reached although they never exactly curled up together or anything like that. Girl cat always ruled the roost and did the paw swipe thing as cozie says. But they lived together well enough until girl cat died last year aged 18 so yes it is possible. They each had their own favourite spots etc.

valrhona Sat 31-May-14 09:33:00

Really appreciate the replies, thank you all very much. cozy we have them a few weeks now. I love them both in different ways but sometimes think was it a mistake to take the two since they were meant to be company for each other. Still, I suppose they each have a better life now. I do hope scaredy smaller settles a bit though.

GemmaTeller Sat 31-May-14 09:47:34

We had a 15 year old cat then acquired a kitten.

At first I was a bit upset that old cat showed no signs of being motherly to little tiny kitten and hissed, spat and growled at him.

Kitten was unfazed by this and attempted to play with both her and the dogs (dogs were a bit hmm )

After a month or two old cat stopped being so stroppy and whilst still not being affectionate started to tolerate kitten.

A few months later again and kitten had his operation, when we came back from the vets he immediately went to old cat and cuddled up to her, she let him.

Now, three years later, whilst they are not overly affectionate and cuddly with each other, they do play, play fight and have been seen to clean each others heads/faces.
We now have to stop boy cat being too boisterous with old cat as she's 18 and a bit arthritic.

valrhona Sat 31-May-14 09:54:18

Aw gemma that's sweet that older cat allowed a snuggle after the kitten's op. I live in hope!
Despite the hissing it's funny to me to watch smaller observe larger, and almost learn to be a cat from her. Smaller had no idea how to play or engage but is slowly coming along. Her favourite possession is a small green ball which she carefully repositions next to her food bowls every night. Little goof.

cozietoesie Sat 31-May-14 10:21:37

I think you have grounds for hope.

Lots of toys around, I think. Maybe raid your local charity shop bins and get some mini-kiddy toys (teddies, dogs etc) when they have them. (They can be put through a quick soft cycle in the washing machine.) Plenty, anyway, to occupy minds - and lots of playing with them.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

cozietoesie Sat 31-May-14 10:28:17

Have a read of this as well for interest.

Applecrumbly Sat 31-May-14 17:19:57

Oh golly OP have a read through my previous threads on this very topic here .They absolutely will in time I would say.Stick with it.I drove everyone mad here for a while looking for advice and never thought they would get on but they do.It took a few months though.All the advice I got here was correct and such a help thoughsmile.

Applecrumbly Sat 31-May-14 17:27:02

Just to add that the younger of my two,kitten now one yr old,still does the 'paw swipe' sometimes when the bigger one walks past cheeky grin.The older one retaliates and chases her but overall tis fine and they get along ok.They will never be buddies snuggling up together but mosey along just fine now.The hissing stopped completely but kitten still likes to give the other one the odd swipe..just to remind her who is boss I think.
Honestly OP, I was even going to rehome the second cat at one point but the advice here made me stick with it .I think your two will be fine in a few months .Don't give upsmile.

cozietoesie Sat 31-May-14 18:03:42

Well Seniorboy, a gentleman of advanced years, has still been known to dib-dab/swipe my heels if they're bare and I'm walking past him up the stairs - and I've seen film of lion cubs doing the same thing with a senior lion/lioness. It's a game.

Applecrumbly Sun 01-Jun-14 11:29:57

That's interesting cozie.I do wonder often if it is indeed just a game ?It really seems to be playful for the most part.Lots of running away and hiding from the other one after giving her a swipe...that sort of thing,just like human siblingssmile.

cozietoesie Sun 01-Jun-14 11:41:14

I reckon it is a game - although like most/many cat and kitten games it has the serious undertone of honing hunting techniques and muscles. (You can imagine a swipe being required to bring a prey animal/bird down or within range although claws would likely be involved in that case.)

Your two sound fine. Believe me, if there's fighting going on you'd be in no doubt about it.

valrhona Wed 04-Jun-14 13:31:34

Just popped back to say thanks for advice re my two adoptees. We saw a bit of positive behaviour (nose-touching, bottom sniffing, and the smaller seems more keen (or not afraid) to be occasionally in closer proximity to the other cat. The other cat is still pretty swipe-y and cross at the other but I suppose they will just have to figure it out between themselves. Cat politics.
The rescue shelter lady said she'd take one back if needs be, but I would be very, very slow to do that, unless there really is full-on skin and fur flying regularly.
I'm sure Margot our bigger cat would like to the sole cat though. But the poor mouse Coley deserves every chance - she had such a tough miserable life beforehand.

cozietoesie Wed 04-Jun-14 13:36:38

Some cats (I'm looking at you, Seniorboy) won't tolerate another cat around but many cats will grump a bit and then accept it. Sounds as if Margot may be one of those latter.

Are they getting on peaceably enough to give you some hope?

ToFollowJulie Wed 04-Jun-14 13:38:14

My cat takes a swipe at my heels every time I walk past him! I thought it was normal cat behaviour (he is my first cat). He only swipes other family members in the kitchen so i thought it was a food-related issue. Many, many pairs of DDs' school tights have been lost, though.

Good luck valrhona. It's lovely that you've taken them on.

cozietoesie Wed 04-Jun-14 13:43:25

My own thought is that it's a sort of 'hunting' game so vaguely food related, I guess. But maybe the kitchen is the place he feels freest to get the rest of the family. A mystery.


ToFollowJulie Wed 04-Jun-14 14:03:27

On reflection it would be fairly accurate to say that if he isn't in the kitchen, demanding food with menaces, he's asleep. He only notices me in other rooms because I am the bringer of food - the others have nothing to offer him so are of no consequence. He probably only bothers them in the kitchen in the hope that they'll find it easier to feed him than not to...

cozietoesie Wed 04-Jun-14 14:07:28

Goodness, Julie - you make him sound almost......mercenary!


Blithereens Wed 04-Jun-14 14:11:32

My girl and boy are siblings and have been together their whole lives but she's still horrible to him. She is better since we moved to a bigger place, but she still sometimes hisses, growls or swipes if he looks at her wrong. Other times she's totally fine and cuddles up with him to sleep. I think she just likes to remind him she is Top Cat. I leave them to it unless I think he's really getting agitated.

chockbic Wed 04-Jun-14 14:13:26

It does take time mainly for them to have a good sulk.

I think one of them usually the newer or younger cat or kitten needs to learn to be all submissive.

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