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Just got a new kitten, vicious little bugger! Help!

(33 Posts)
Buttholelane Wed 03-Dec-14 22:21:04

So my husband surprised me with a kitten! Yay!

It's a girl, I think around 6 weeks old.
The lady apparently says 8 but I'm not convinced, seems awfully small.

Have tried introducing it to the dog, there have been moments of calm but mostly it growls and hisses.
This does not impress the dog.

I fed the kitten some chicken, my husband went to stroke it and it growled with astonishing ferocity!!

Can cats get resource guarding like dogs??
We are very taken aback, and truth be told, a little worried.
We have a 5 year old and a 7 month old, I don't want any nastiness towards them.

Please help me.

Tell me my husband has not brought home psycho kitty?
sad

JamForTea Wed 03-Dec-14 22:24:46

How long have you had her? If only a few days then it's not all that surprising she's a bit freaked out. Where did he get her from?

Buttholelane Wed 03-Dec-14 22:29:54

Since about 7 tonight!
I know the relationship between her and the dog will take time, and that she is no where settled yet.

It was just the aggression over the chicken that shocked us.

Me and my oh have grew up with cats, we are experienced owners and have never encountered this!

I have no idea, probably gumtree or somewhere.
It was a complete surprise, he literally just walked in with her!

timtam23 Wed 03-Dec-14 22:32:31

The poor little thing is probably terrified. 6 weeks old is very young. What is its background? A busy house with small children and a dog will take some getting used to. Is there anywhere which it could use as a hidey hole to get some peace & quiet?

timtam23 Wed 03-Dec-14 22:34:03

Have you had kittens before?

Buttholelane Wed 03-Dec-14 22:36:54

I know, they aren't meant to leave until 13 weeks.
OH is old school and thinks 8 weeks is fine which is what he thought she was.
To be fair she might be, I just suspect that she is younger.

He says the home she came from had young kids and was running round with them.

I have the dog on a lead with me and she seems quite happy at the moment, she is exploring the living room.

feelingunsupported Wed 03-Dec-14 22:36:54

Kitten food, a nice soft blanket in a box (we used the long box that asda baby wipes come in - perfect size with the flaps cut off and one short side trimmed to allow her to climb in.We've since bought her a bed etc
but she prefers the box) somewhere really quiet for the first couple of weeks.

Buttholelane Wed 03-Dec-14 22:38:37

We have both had kittens before, we grew up with cats.
We are experienced owners but have never seen what looks
like resource guarding in cats before.
Especially one so young!

timtam23 Wed 03-Dec-14 22:48:01

I wouldn't jump to final conclusions after only a few hours, she is suddenly in an unfamiliar place, maybe the introduction to the dog has upset her if she's not used to them and then the chicken/stroking episode was just too much for her at that moment. Maybe go back to taking it really slowly & give her somewhere quiet so that she can take it at her own pace.

I took in a very young stray kitten last year. It wasn't an ideal household for it at the time, and a kitten was absolutely not on my list of things to do smile but we did manage to socialise the kitten whilst maintaining the usual family routine/chaos & he has now grown up into a lovely & very friendly cat.

WitchWay Wed 03-Dec-14 23:00:33

this does not impress the dog - sorry but that made me laugh grin - I can just imagine the look on the dog's face

Kittens do growl over food - it's making a point, don't worry

Hope things settle down smile

juneybean Wed 03-Dec-14 23:04:35

The first time I fed my boy chicken he attacked it and growled just like in the wild, its innate.

He is now the calmest, sweetest boy in the world, wouldn't hurt a fly.

Just take it slowly.

ArabellaStrange Wed 03-Dec-14 23:16:34

Cats and kittens should be confined to a quiet room until they show clear signs of wanting to explore.
Introductions to other pets should also be done slowly, with introducing both animals to the smell of the other one, as a starting point.
Obviously we live in the real world and things don't always go to plan.
But somewhere quiet and dark, as well as somewhere high for the kitten would help with any anxiety it may be feeling.
Lots of people also swear by feliway.

Jux Thu 04-Dec-14 00:09:57

Agree with others, make her a small, cosy, quiet place where she can hide and feel secure. Once she goes in it, don't disturb her as she'll need to feel safe.

Resource guarding is very common in cats, ime. She probably won't do it once she feels safe and has got used to you all.

Are you going to take her to vet to have a basic health check? It's not a bad idea to do it soon after you've got her. I know you'll have to take her in for jabs soon enough, but it's worth the extra cost to ensure she's healthy right now. The vet may be able to age her more accurately than us mere mortals can!

What's her name? Can we have pics? Love kitty pics grin

cozietoesie Thu 04-Dec-14 07:13:57

How did things go overnight and first thing? Oh - and has she used her tray yet?

Buttholelane Thu 04-Dec-14 08:17:12

Thank you everyone for your comments smile

It is a lot for her really, my hubby said she was used to dogs!
Unless the dogs she lived with were utterly ancient and decrepit I can't believe this, the ferocity of the growl she has towards my pooch is incredible!
I didn't force interaction between them, I had the carrier open and worked out the distance where she didn't growl and kept the dog at that distance.
She felt comfortable enough to groom herself and make blinky eyes at the dog, then the dog threw her toy in her carrier and it all went a bit crazy, full on hissing, growling and lunging...
The dog half shat herself and growled and barked in response so I put the lid on the carrier and left it for a while.

I did think about feliway, is there a cheaper alternative?
Jollyes sell a cheaper essential oil version for dogs but I'm sure I heard that essential oils were bad for cats.

I haven't taken her to the vets yet, because I think she is around 6 weeks I want to wait until she's older before vaccinating her, she'll be an indoor cat anyway so I don't see that she's at any huge risk.
She appears very healthy, glossy coat, no discharge or smell from the ears, no scratching.
She hasn't been to the loo yet, that I've seen anyway!
To give you an idea of her size, where her tail begins to her neck is about the same length as my hand. She is DIDDY.

No official name yet, my husband wants to call her Guido. Yuck. Seriously.
My 5 year old thinks Amaya and I want to call her Dorothy smile

All good overnight, she was in her carrier next to the dog in her crate. Not a peep out of either.

I will take a picture later.

juneybean Thu 04-Dec-14 09:35:00

I use the cheaper one pet remedy and it worked great for my old boy when we moved houswae. I found it in pets at home but believe its on Amazon cheaper.

shaska Thu 04-Dec-14 11:00:31

IME most animals who don't know you will growl if you make them suspect you're about to take something as tasty as chicken away from them. One of our grown up cats will still go into complete meltdown if she gets chicken - regular food is fine but chicken turns her into a snarling demon. This is particularly common if your little one has had to fight for food, or been uncertain about where her next meal's coming from.

Basically, I tend not to pat animals while they're eating, especially if they don't know me very wel.

With the dog, if she's not hiding in abject terror then she probably is used to dogs, but she's not used to your dog - so she is working out how much of a threat it is, and the fact that she's standing up to it is a good thing. Once she realises the dog isn't a threat she'll calm down, but I'd try to head off trouble before it starts with toys and things - if the dog starts barking at her it will make the behaviour worse as she'll see it as unsafe.

Buttholelane Thu 04-Dec-14 11:17:36

Currently, I have been trying to bond the kitten and the dog over their mutual love of chicken smile

Its a bit hit and miss, the kitten did sniff the dogs nose with no reaction from either.
Unfortunately, as soon as the dog started moving to get a treat the kitten freaked.

I have the dog tied to the table at the moment, I fed them both chicken together.
They ate it while mega close to each other, everything was great then dog decided to jolt forward to get a better look at kitten.
Kitten freaked.
sad

Will they ever be friends?

Dog is just so pissing exuberant, she just can't help herself.

I don't think she wants to eat the kitten, I think she wants to play with her and have a proper sniff but kitten is having none of it!

juneybean Thu 04-Dec-14 11:19:37

They will be friends, its early days and kitten is so small she's probably frightened of the big galumphing dog!

We got a kitten last month and she would growl at my gentle boy cat because she was either scared or determining the family hierarchy.

Now they love each other and snooze together.

shaska Thu 04-Dec-14 12:15:00

Of course the kitten freaked! She's exercising reasonable caution around a dog she doesn't know.

I'd maybe keep them a bit more separate until kitten feels more secure in her environment? Perhaps there could be a room for the kitten that the dog isn't allowed to go into? Letting the dog lunge at the kitten, even in play, isn't ideal so I'd try to minimise the chances of that happening as much as possible, as it'll only make her more frightened.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but you sound kind of like you expect the kitten to be an entertainment for the dog? I'm sure that's not what you're meaning, but I'd be worrying more about the kittens feelings at this point, than how the dog feels about it all. A small kitten is highly unlikely to want to play with a dog when they don't even know if they're coming or going. Give it some time and it sounds as though everything will be fine.

Buttholelane Thu 04-Dec-14 12:54:21

I don't 'let' her lunge, she is corrected for doing so and any attempt is incredibly minor as I have her on a very short lead.

No I don't see her as entertainment, of course not.
I'm sad for both, there is no favouritism.
I am trying to get them to like each other because it's not nice for the cat to be scared of the dog and it's not nice for the dog to be growled and spat at, she gets very upset by it and if the kitten is particularly aggressive she does show some aggression back.
Considering the size difference, that's not a good thing.

shaska Thu 04-Dec-14 13:04:39

OK, no I know what you mean. But I do think the dog will have to learn to put up with a bit of attitude from the kitten. I could be wrong, but every dog/cat relationship that's worked that I've seen, the cat has been the boss, and a little bit of aggro is how they get there - I guess because the alternative wouldn't last long!

I'd keep them mostly separate for now, until the cat has settled in a bit and feels more comfortable in its surroundings - then you can introduce them properly, and they can figure it out between themselves. Make sure the cat always has an escape place, so that if the dog does become aggressive (even if provoked) the kitten has somewhere to go.

I wouldn't expect them to be friends immediately either - give it a few weeks and I'm sure it'll be fine. But it does sound like the cat is behaving as well as can be expected at this point. I wouldn't worry at all about the growling, but just remember that in cats, especially kittens, growling and hissing is more about fear than aggression, and at that age if it experiences a lot of fear it's likely to alter its personality. So do try to limit exposure to fearful situations as much as you can.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 04-Dec-14 20:20:59

Is she tortoiseshell?

Buttholelane Thu 04-Dec-14 20:33:22

No, black and white.
So cute smile

Buttholelane Thu 04-Dec-14 20:42:21

First cat I have had that plays fetch!
Must have spent too much time watching the dog!

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