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Kitten and older cat

(16 Posts)
lifestooshortandsoami Fri 21-Aug-20 14:22:09

We got a new kitten about a month ago and have been taking it slowly trying to introduce him to our older cat but she still hisses and growls when she sees him. We’ve kept them mostly separate and tried to introduce a bit each day but she’s still so stressed we put him back in a separate area to him. Jay wondering how long it’s taken other people cats to get used to the new introduction? Are we being too nice and dragging it out too much? I don’t want her to hurt him as he’s tiny still and she quite a chunk grin any tips and advice welcome!

OP’s posts: |
Oldestchild90s Fri 21-Aug-20 17:49:13

My cats have been with eachother about a year and a half and they still don't get on 😂 mind you my girl is very very jealous 😼

I'm not really sure what advice to give but i always thought they would get used to eachother in time, trust my luck though it didn't go smoothly with my two!

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Sat 22-Aug-20 05:14:26

Honestly I’m just following. We have an 8yr old female and just rescued an 8 week old kitten: she doesn’t know he exists yet, we’re going to do scent swapping this weekend and next week start feeding them on opposite sides of a door. Planning to do it super slow like you so if you fancy mutual support then I’m up for that!

islandislandisland Sat 22-Aug-20 05:55:21

Both times I've done this we tried the different rooms thing and it's made the new kitten lonely and distressed and the original cat has just growled through the door at them so we opened up the whole house and let them get on with it. Disclaimer this is not the recommended approach and undoubtedly won't work for everyone but in our case with careful watching it settled both times in a few days. Older cat kept her distance often from up high (so make sure they have places to get onto that the kitten can't reach) and there was hissing and a bit of batting if kitten got too close. Kitten seemed oblivious to the attitude if I'm honest, was just busy exploring the house. I found the whole thing really traumatic initially but by a few days they'd settled down and both times I've introduced they've ended up cuddling together relatively soon with the older cat washing the kitten and playing mother. This was with female-female both times, no idea what mixed or male cats might do differently.

lifestooshortandsoami Sat 22-Aug-20 07:01:41

@ @Oldestchild90sI think ours will end up the same/ I don’t expect her to like but am hoping she’ll settle so she can just ignore him?
@IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Definitely! I could do with the handholding as I think it’s worrying me as much as our older cat- I just don’t want her to stress out!

@islandislandisland. That’s the thing, we’re doing the ‘recommended’ route but I think it’s stressing our older cat more because it’s stop starting? So she thinks he’s gone away and then she goes near the door - or he ge the out of the separated door (he’s quick!!) and she freaks out. So I sort of feel maybe we should now just get on with it?
I just don’t want our older cat to stress more than she needs to - plus I then worry too which she’s bound to pick up on? She’s been very growly and hissing tho including at us when we go near her if she can smell him?

OP’s posts: |
stophuggingme Sat 22-Aug-20 07:14:12

Feliway friends
Separate feeding
Escape zones up high for older cat
Extra litter tray

Other than that just watch them and let them sort it out
That’s what I did and will be doing again

You can’t over choreograph cats they know what they want and will do it.

islandislandisland Sat 22-Aug-20 07:16:23

Maybe just go for it then. I do think from our experience that prolonging the separation largely prolongs the inevitable, they're going to have to coexist eventually. I wouldn't say our original cats were distressed, more put out and a bit cross. Just be prepared for a nail biting few days and press on, but IME it doesn't last forever, your older cat just has to adjust to having another feline in their territory. It can be a bit two steps forward one back in terms of progress too. Helps if older cat can go outside as well for extra space.

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Sat 22-Aug-20 15:42:06

Is it recommended to separate them at some point before they come to blows though? Hissing seems a good point to do that but maybe sit and allow the slight yowling?!

islandislandisland Sat 22-Aug-20 15:54:12

I let the hissing happen, it was only older cat to younger cat and then I would sometimes separate them if a physical spat started, although older cat never went for the kitten, it was just if she would get too close and get swatted which is fine, teaches her for next time, or she would get cocky and try to play with our older cat and get hurled to the ground. At this point I would pop one of them out of the room for five mins to let them calm down, then back in together and all forgotten. They pretty quickly established a pecking order but you kind of have to let them sort it out, painful as it is. Cat play can look really rough but I think unless there's fur flying and yowling it is just that. They still play quite violently, hurling each other about but it is just play. A bit like lion cubs you see on documentaries! The kitten is now much much larger than our older cat but still submissive to her, it's interesting to watch.

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Sat 22-Aug-20 17:30:13

So it's more about the sounds they make? If they’re howling and screaming that’s not good but if it’s just rough and tumble that’s ok? Keep an eye for ears flat on the back of their heads etc?

lifestooshortandsoami Sun 23-Aug-20 17:45:49

I think we do need to let them get on with it it’s prob us overthinking it maybe? My older cat tends to run off when we’ve let them carry on- she hides in our room which we’re keeping him out of so it’s a safe space for her. Fingers crossed for tomorrow as I’ll try and get them together for longer!

OP’s posts: |
IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Thu 27-Aug-20 22:12:30

So we’ve done some scent swapping but big girl cat refused to be fed on the opposite side of the door from kitten boy, so we brought him down in the carrier, she miaowed and stared at him and he raised his back a little but they were easily distracted with treats so it was ok - think we’ll do this for a few more times to get them used to each other then remove the barrier 😬

Dragonsanddinosaurs Fri 28-Aug-20 07:48:16

We got a kitten earlier this year and it took a good couple of months for our older cat to accept him. She was terrified of him initially and would hiss every time she saw him but she showed no sign of attacking him so we let them get on with it. They play together really nicely now and it is lovely to see, even if the kitten does go OTT and get told off occasionally.

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Sat 29-Aug-20 16:42:03

We removed the barrier and they got close enough sniffing each other to bump noses! She hissed when he went for her treats but no attacking....so far so good!! So whenever we’re around we’ll let him have run of the house so she gets more used to him but also appreciate maybe now they’ve seen each other she needs to know he’s here for good?

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 30-Aug-20 06:04:56

Have you watched the Jackson galaxy videos? Just letting them get on with it can lead to a lifetime of miserable cats who don’t get on.

Ask me how I know wink

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Sun 30-Aug-20 09:42:27

We love Jackson galaxy and studied ALL his videos before we got our kitten

We’re now into regular and often access, in the same room, have learnt that we need to make sure the kitten is in a chilled mood because when he was in a playful mood he pushed the older cat’s boundaries more and once ignored her warning hiss so she took a swipe at him, but on the whole she’s starting to slowly tolerate him, bit we’re giving them plenty of individual time in the house too

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