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Big cat terrified of little cat, help!

(10 Posts)
whaleshark Tue 19-Jan-16 21:59:23

We got a kitten three weeks ago. She is incredibly cute, has settled in well, and is not scared of anything. Our adult cat, however, is absolutely terrified of her. I am worried now that he is going to abandon us and find another family!

He was feral when we got him, 8 years ago, and it has taken a long time for him to trust us. Even now, he is cautious, in that he will lay on my lap purring, but if DH twitches a leg to get up, he is off like a shot. Over the last few weeks he has hardly come in the house at all, and if he does come in, as soon as he sees the kitten he hisses at her, then runs to the door asking to be let out.

Is there anything I can do to persuade him she is not dangerous, before he does vote with his feet?

cozietoesie Tue 19-Jan-16 23:07:38

I doubt he's that worried about the kitten, actually, but if he's been feral, he might have a healthy respect for what in his mind could also be around ie Protective Momma!

How old is she?

cozietoesie Tue 19-Jan-16 23:12:00

PS - I'm afraid I'm stumped as to what you could realistically do though - do you have.a shed or something similar that you could give him a retreat in?

whaleshark Wed 20-Jan-16 11:43:35

We think she is about 15 weeks but she was a rescue so not entirely sure of her age. He has the garage to go to, and a cat flap into the conservatory where the kitten can't go, so he can escape her. He genuinely seems terrified of her! Maybe it's just a case of giving him time to get used to the idea?

cozietoesie Wed 20-Jan-16 11:57:33

She'll be being neutered soon then? (If not already done.) She might calm down as she gets some age on her.

I'm a little at a loss here - given that he was a feral - but maybe try leaving food for him in the conservatory as well as a nice warm blanket/box or similar? Hopefully, he'll adjust to her without packing his bags and leaving altogether.

Other posters may have more thoughts and ideas.

Good luck.

TunawithShrimp Thu 21-Jan-16 11:44:37

Don't despair, 3 weeks is a very short time. I have done this with a semi-feral cat (4-5 years old) and a kitten and it took 5-6 weeks before they could be in the same room without feral cat hissing and running away. It took 2-3 months before they were playing happily but after 5 months they began grooming each other and sleeping together and they are now really close.

During the first hissy months I made sure that feral cat had access to a room that was kitten free and went through an industrial amount of her favourite snacks. I used a Feliway plugin and only opened the door to the 'kitten' room when kitten was tired and calm. Feral cat would sit high up on a shelf and peer into the room so she could watch kitten from a safe distance.

Feral cat is still nervous and jumpy but is much more relaxed now than pre-kitten. It is very clear that she is reassured by how relaxed kitten is about being picked up and handled.

Good luck!

whaleshark Fri 22-Jan-16 07:22:05

Don't worry cozie, she will definitely be neutered. The vet has suggested leaving her a month as she hasn't had the best start in life, so needs a bit of time to grow first.

whaleshark Fri 22-Jan-16 07:23:37

Tuna, thanks so much for your response. It has given me hope that they might become friends eventually! grin

whaleshark Sun 24-Jan-16 20:30:14

Well I think we've had some progress today. Been bribing him with bits of chicken, and he will now come within a couple of feet of her without hissing at her or running away! smile

cozietoesie Sun 24-Jan-16 20:34:28

That's big given the situation and his history. smile

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