DH wants to rehome our kitten(21 Posts)
We have a 4.5 month old kitten that was found abandoned at 7 weeks. We have had her since then, she is part of our family now but a real livewire.
We also have a 14 yr old male cat who we've had since he was 10 months old and is the most wonderful boy with a beautiful calm personality and has never caused us any problems.
Kitten has always been fascinated with old boy and tried to play with him, but he isn't interested. He is quite elderly in his ways, and I think may have a bit of arthritis so is quite slow moving. This now seems to have got worse with her increasing size and kitten is actually jumping on top of old boy and scratching him, making him very wary around her.
This is now causing a rift between the family as DH is very attached to old boy (but so am I!) and can't bear to see him upset by kitten. I know kitten is probably just being a normal kitten but I don't know what to do! I don't want to get rid of kitten, but can see it is upsetting old boy and DH is adamant she has to go.... help!
I think I agree with your DH. Your first responsibility is to your old boy.
I know its heartbreaking, and we nearly had to take evilgingercat back to the CPL as he was attacking one of our others (we were giving it one more week and he finally calmed down about it), but the other cat wasn't old so we were prepared to give it some time.
I agree with your DH im afraid, not fair on the old boy.
Kitten will grow out of it though. She wont always be 14wks.
We have a kitten and two older boys. They have learned to steer clear of the kitten or have a go at home when he's getting too lively with them. Kitten will grow into cat soon enough.
Thanks for your replies, I am torn, but do think old boy comes first of course.
Kitten is just about ready to be spayed, and I was wondering if this will help her calm down a bit. Once spayed we will let her outside too, will this help things?
I feel awful after taking her in, getting her up to full health, microchipping, vaccinating etc then giving her away. I don't want to make old boy's last few years (hopefully!) stressful but was really hoping kitten would improve a bit. She does try jumping on our old dog too to play but she just growls at her and kitten backs off. Kitten doesn't seem so worried when old boy growls and hisses at her....
Am surprised at the replies to get rid of the kitten!
I would persevere a bit longer, she will calm down a bit once spayed (well my girl kitten did) and once she can go out and burn off some energy as well.
I personally think if you take on a kitten, unless there is a seriously drastic reason, you take them on for life. Your older cat being peed off would not be a seriously drastic enough reason for me to rehome.
I would wait until after spaying and letting her outside. She will be going crazy with excess energy. It's not her fault.
Can you separate them when you are not around? Play with the kitten when it wants to play with your old cat? (Laser pointer or scrunched up balls of paper?)
I'd guess things will get better when the kitten is a little older and can get out.
I also think you should give it another few weeks (till post spaying, post kitten going outside) and in the meantime try as hard as possible to keep them separate.
Hi, I was in a very similar situation a couple of years ago - 2 ancient cats, one with arthritis, the other one almost blind, trying to enjoy their twilight years. Then out of the blue I had to take in a 7 week old kitten who was in great danger at the time so there was no choice in the matter, although it was far from ideal. At first he was fairly subdued but between age 10-20 weeks I can safely say that he made my old boy cat's life a complete nightmare (sadly old girl cat died a few weeks after we took kitten in). He would lie in wait for old boy & delight in pouncing on him/play fighting with him, this was especially difficult as old boy was blind & couldn't avoid him. I was very sad for old boy as we were supposed to be cherishing him in his old age, not making him miserable.
HOWEVER...it did definitely get better one the kitten was neutered and able to go outside. Kitten also loved cuddling up with old boy and we have some lovely photos of him conked out curled into old boy's tummy. I think old boy secretly liked this too, as he had always been rebuffed by my old girl when trying to make friends with her. Kitten calmed down on the play fighting and it did get better. Sadly old boy died when the kitten was about 10 months old but I would say the last 4-5 months or so of his life were ok. The kitten seemed to know that old boy was blind & he would "guide" him when old boy was pottering around outside, it was quite interesting to watch them together. Personally I wouldn't immediately rehome the kitten, I would wait & see if the spaying settles things down & also try to give her lots of active playtime to tire her out, make sure old boy has hidey places to get away from her etc etc.
I do understand where your DH is coming from but I hope you manage to find a way to keep old boy happy AND keep the kitten.
Should have said we do still have that kitten...he is now 2 and it has been lovely to still have a cat, after so long with my other two it was very hard to let them go but a young healthy cat is great to have around.
Give old boy somewhere he can go to get away from her. If he gets really fed up he will flatten her anyway but he seems very laid back! I'd give him a high up space to hide from her and make sure that they are kept apart when he wants to snooze.
She's still young and will learn. She will calm down.
If he was really annoyed he would swipe at her or hiss. He probably isn't used to having a loud, hyper mini ball of fluff around, but honestly if he hated it that much he would strike back. Ours fight sometimes and you can tell when it's play and when one is pissed off. There's a big difference in how they react.
I think you chose to keep the kitten, so you can't just give her up when she's showing totally normal kitten behaviour! Give the older cat a space to go to away from her, and yes, get the kitten neutered and let her out, that will make a big difference as she'll have space outside to let off steam.
Is the kitten being played with? Sounds like she has a lot of energy - I find tin foil scrunched into balls provides hours of amusement for hours, as well as a bouncy ball or a shoe lace hung from a door handle. Make sure she's not relying on your older cat for entertainment/fun.
Is your old boy receiving treatment for his arthritis? I have an elderly cat with the condition and treatment made a massive difference to his whole attitude to life - cats put up with things in a surprising way but to be relatively pain free and easy moving can cheer them up no end. (And might help him with the younger cat also.)
Thank you so much for all your ideas and advice. I agree that I need to do everything before thinking of rehoming, which is really what I don't want to do. Kitten gets played with a lot (we have a 7yo DD who is obsessed with her, so always ready to play!).
I do keep them separate most of the time. Old boy has always slept on our bed and he stays upstairs most of the day, Kitten is shut downstairs with full run of all rooms. They are kept separate at night time too so don't come into contact. One of the reasons for this is because old boy has access to a catflap all night and kitten can't go out, so she has her own big bedroom at night.
Old boy comes down a couple of times during the day and it is only really if he times it when kitten is having a crazy time that she will jump on him. Old boy has swiped occasionally and kitten does back off, but 2 mins later is stalking him again. She stalks anything at all though, her attention is not solely for old boy.
I am not getting old boy treated for arthritis it is only in recent months he has really slowed and he was at the vets last week and they didn't seem concerned about him. Maybe he is in more pain than I realise?
Have you ever watched My Cat From Hell? It has lots of good techniques for helping cats get along. You could use some toys and playing with the kitten to tire her out (until she is panting), and as a distraction from her attention on your older cat.
I would ask your vet what supplements might help your old boy's arthritis - i think glucosamine(?) is supposed to help with their joints? I think what you're doing - giving him his own space, tiring the kitten out - sounds perfectly reasonable and not a reason to rehome the kitten, which will calm down soon. I imagine once it can go outside it will find lots of other interesting things to chase and your older one will get some respite. Feliway might be good too, not necessarily to calm the kittten down since it's really just doing what kittens do, but to help your older one stay calm.
Sadly, even some veterinary professionals overlook the possibility of arthritis. I was lucky with my own old boy in that he went/goes to a practice that is very strong for older animals and his then vet didn't hesitate to treat as soon as I talked about his symptoms. Since then, I've read about it - including the ICC guidance - and the stats on incidence of arthritis in cats are actually quite marked.
I'm just thinking that treatment might help him generally including raising his confidence levels. One of the people who post on this board is an experienced vet who was involved in arthritis meds trials and she's posted about that in this old thread. You never know but that she might be on the board later so keep an eye on this thread in case she comments?
Maybe you and DH could read the information later and discuss it?
My old girl was on meds for arthritis. They really helped. We also bought her a heated whelping pad!
Seniorboy has an electric blanket which is permanently on. (He likes to lie long because of his old bones.)
I know my place.
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