Help! Think I've made a massive mistake putting 2 kittens together.(18 Posts)
At the end of February we bought a gorgeous Siamese kitten - we made several mistakes at the time, shouldn't have bought a kitten from a gumtree style site ( please don't flame me, I realise now that we should have gotten a kitten from a local rescue ), when we arrived to look at the kitten we were told he was 9 weeks old, but he was so tiny and being inexperienced we thought maybe he was the runt of the litter. The conditions he was kept in was total squalor and as much as alarm bells were ringing we decided we couldn't leave him in that filth and we took him.
Took him straight to the vets - the vet believed he was only 4 weeks old based on his size, and he had a terrible case of ear mites ( also became apparent that he had fleas ). So we've given him lots of tlc, he's now 12 weeks old ( vets best guess ), thriving, putting on lots of weight, lovely silky coat. The problem is that he is very aggressive - he bites and scratches a lot. We thought this was down to him being taken away from his mum and litter mates too young. I've followed advice online, yelping and going limp when he bites, walking away and stopping playing with him if he carries on biting etc.
So, a few friends with cats suggested that he needed another kitten to play with - to learn how to be a kitten himself and how to play etc. We also thought this would be a good idea so that he always has company when we're at work ( although with our work pattern he's not left alone much ).
We got another kitten today, we went for a Siamese cross kitten so they would have a similar temperament ( new kitten is 10 weeks and very gentle ). Old kitten has not taken this well at all. I expected him to sulk, be confused, maybe hide a bit - he has been extremely aggressive. Constant hissing and growling, harassing the kitten when he's trying to use the litter tray. Attacking us if we try to pick him up and calm him. I know we're stupid and probably naive to have thought this would help.
So does anyone have any advice on how we can handle this? Has anyone had a similar situation? Any ideas on how we can get old cat to see that new cat is not a threat? My husband is going to sleep downstairs with one tonight whilst I sleep upstairs with the other, and I think I'm going to have to take one in the car on the school run tomorrow as I'm scared to leave them in the house together.
Is first cat neutered? I got bitten a lot before neutering.
You should do a gradual introduction, seperate rooms at first then swap the bedding over so they try used to each other smells.
Lots of YouTube videos on it.
Thanks Fluffy. No first cat isn't neutered yet, our vets don't neuter until they're 6 months old but I might ring around a few other vets to see if any will do it younger. The problem we have is that we don't really know his true age - the people we got him from were adamant he was 9 weeks, the vet said she would guess he was 4 weeks so realistically he could be anywhere between 12 and 17 weeks now ( and if 17 weeks I reckon he could be neutered ).
That's great, I will go and search YouTube now - thank you so much for your advice.
Have you got two litter trays? If they're not getting on, they probably won't want to share just yet and you might end up with one bullying the other about acces to the litter tray...
One of the hardest things I've ever done with cats was walk away from a little Siamese boy in a poor state and living in poor conditions. My heart went out to him so.
Thanks Stinkerbelle, we've got 3 litter trays - as we had 2 for first cat and I anticipated him being a bit territorial over his litter trays so I bought an extra one. Problem is second kitten keeps going in one of first kitten's trays so need to somehow get him to use the extra tray I bought. Second kitten also decided to try to go to sleep in one of the litter trays .
Currently going through YouTube videos for ideas.
Aww Cozie, it's so hard isn't it. I knew we should have left him, massive alarm bells were ringing. Pictures online showed kittens in lovely wicker basket, with clean bedding and nice surroundings. When we turned up to get him it was some absolutely filthy student digs - 2 young students who reckoned they were looking after them that day as their mum was working. The poor thing was scrawny, could see every bone in his spine. Just couldn't leave him
Last time I acquired a kitten from a Siamese breeder, I practically had to give blood for analysis to take him home. (And we'd had a number of preparatory phone conversations of the sort that a Great Aunt might hold with a prospective suitor. The probes were .....^searching^. )
OK - she was pernickety but you'll know next time. Once you see them, it's very very difficult to leave them.
Kittens do seem to like to sleep in their litter trays. Is it one of those covered ones, with a lid and flap-door? He might be sleeping in there to hide from Alpha kitten, so how about getting them both (so no competitive fighting) an igloo type cat bed, then the littlest one can hide away, when it all gets a bit much for him.
Have you considered reporting the person you acquired first kitten from? Pedigrees shouldn't be homed until at least 13 weeks, after their second lot of jabs. I'm assuming they didn't provide GCCF papers? Which means they're breeding illegally. If you report them, (to the GCCF) it should prevent them from more back street breeding.
*... I believe vets go on weight (2kg?) rather than age, re. neutering.
Has he got plenty of interactive toys (laser pointers, Flying Frenzy) to tire him out?
I think a day is a bit optimistic to manage integration. Don't rush it because you risk it never happening if you try and force them together too quickly.
When we introduced a kitten to our adult cat, we did it over a number of days. The kitten (now 8) soon started to ignore the hissing and just jumped all over the adult. She did it for years but they were friends really. Always found them curled up together and the kitten sat with my adult cat when she got very sick and had to be put to sleep.
Good luck but give it some time
Presume you have a 'safe' room where you can shut Kitten 2 up when you go out? That's the best way to integrate, really, and then supervise their interactions when you introduce them.
We got another kitten when our first was about 4 months old. She was very upset the first day, hissing and attacking him. I don't know what changed but the next day I found them sleeping together in her bed and it's been fine ever since. So hopefully it'll just take a little while for them to sort it out.
A feliway plug in may help.
I was just about to suggest a Feliway. also its important to recognise that kitten of that age do bite and scratch a lot so you need to ensure that you don't use your hands/feet as a play thing. Get lots of toys and things for him to chase, hunt and scratch. Also spend active time with him playing and don't force cuddles. Make sure that each kitten has some hiding space (we used to build caves out of the couch cushions) so they have somewhere to go for down time.
I just want to offer some reassurance. I got a kitten that had been badly abused, he was a little horror for a few years but we persevered and with enough love and stability he evened out eventually. We then got a kitten again and he hated him! We followed the advice upthread though and kept them seperate while we weren't around and supervised them together. It did take a while, just under a year if I remember correctly but they've become good friends now. I think being able go outside made a big difference.
They're 17 and 6 now and always snuggled up together
So moral of the story is that friendships take time to build, they won't happen over night but if you love them they'll come round eventually.
Thanks everyone for the advice. Today has been a little stressful but I've seperated them for hours at a time, and allowed them to be in the same room every so often to get used to each other. First kitten is very hissy and growly. He has tried to attack second kitten a few times but second kitten doesn't seem too phased by it at the moment.
I've bought some new toys today ( although we had plenty to start with ) and have bought a Feliway diffuser in the hope that it will calm the first cat down.
Whenever I've introduced a new kitten I've always put them in a large dog cage - they cost about £20 on Ebay - in the front room. I put everything they need in there - food, water, bed, litter tray. It means the cats can sniff each other through the bars and get used to the scent of each other but the kitten is completely safe. I've done this three times now and it's worked like a charm every time. When the other cats are elsewhere I let the kitten out to wander round, play, have cuddles and put their scent around the place. They sleep a lot anyway at that age. Once the cats are used to each other I leave the cage in the corner of the room for a few weeks with the door open and the kittens have always tended to use it as a safe space to go and have a snooze - occasionally I find the adult cats in there trying to get some peace when the kitten is being too boisterous.
I've just introduced a new kitten to my 1 year old girl this week. At first, she didn't like him at all and followed him around the house, growling at him. I was worried that she would never take to him but within 48 hours they were the best of friends. They now sleep together and this morning he was playing with her tail and she didn't bat an eyelid. So don't panic yet.
I made sure the kitten was kept away from my older cat for various periods of time so that she could have some time to herself. Suddenly they decided to have a kind of 'dual' and after that they were the best of friends, I think that when they are together you should make sure they each have somewhere to run to.
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