15 week kitten and 6yr old cat…confused!

ERR53

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Hi there,

We have had our lovely boy George for 6 years now and we recently brought home our kitten, Larry. He’s been with us for 2 weeks now.

We slowly introduced them over the course of a week after Larry had been in his own room for a few nights but was desperate to explore the rest of the house. To start there was lots of hissing/growling from George but that has almost completely gone now.

George will swat Larry quite a bit and will sometimes charge at him and swat, then walk away. My only main concern is that there has been a few occasions when I think they are getting too rough (nervous cat mom), this seems to be when Larry has his zoomies and runs around, George runs at him and then there is a bit of hissing and tumbling around (this is the only time George hisses or gets annoyed at him). George’s back is never up/tail isn’t big so his body language seems okay.

I am just wondering if we are on the right track or if George actually hates Larry :-( neither of them seem stressed and have even slept in the same room together with George lying flat out on his back with tummy out. They even both sat on the sofa today!

I will try and put a wee video up too of when they have played on scratcher together, which to me seems okay.

Any advice would be much appreciated as I am feeling quite anxious I am doing something wrong.

Thanks,
Erin
 

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ERR53

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The pictures of them sleeping are when they are both on the sofa together!
 

di and bob

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Everything sounds completely normal and good to me! George is confused and upset taht tehre is this tiny whirlwind in his territory right now, swatting, charging, hissing, growling, are all completely normal. the kitten will be a complete pain in the you know what for a while, but I acn guarantee you two boys will be best buds after a while. These things take months to resolve completely, it just takes time. george may even pin him to the ground by his neck, that shows dominance. Normal again. Just intervene if things get a little too intense. One way to see if everything is going well is to observe Larry. If he runs and hides when George discilplines him, and doesn';t come back for more after a short while, he is really getting hurt. If he comes back for more play, everything is normal. George will learn to love and accept him, you could get a kickeroo on Amazon, etc. and throw it towards the one that is too intense, they are a great distraction. All the luck!
 
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ERR53

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Thank you so much for the reassurance! I guess I just worry that George is getting to aggressive but Larry always pops back up and carries on with his business when they have had a scuffle - Larry never seems hurt and he is never afraid of George (Larry’s back is never up etc). Only a few noises when it’s seems to get a bit rough.

I think the chasing/swatting/slightly rough playing is what I need to get used to.

We are getting Larry neutered when in a few weeks when he is 4 months old so hopefully that will calm things…slightly!
 

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+1. Charging and swatting seems to mean something completely different from rolling around, biting and scratching (i.e. fighting for real). Rather than "I'm going to kill you" charging and swatting means something more like "Back off!" or something of that nature. The older cat may not be showing stress, but he is feeling some. He is unsure about the kitten, and distrusting, but doesn't hate him. Cats generally cannot work through actual fighting on their own, but light charging and swatting is not much different from only growling and hissing -- they can likely worth through that on their own.
 
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ERR53

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Thanks ArtNJ for replying! Yes it is mainly chasing and swatting that George does. Larry never seems phased and keeps going back for more which I think George then has enough of.

I am trying to feed them in separate areas, separate litter boxes but they keep sharing them and not sticking to their own ones, this doesn’t seem to annoy either of them though.

The fact they can sleep in the same room and engage in some play together is reassuring me somewhat.

Fingers crossed it will somewhat settle with George soon.
 

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Yes, the kitten is clearly telling you that from its perspective, everything is fine, and you can trust that. The issue is with George, who is still a bit stressed. But it seems mild enough that I think you'll see good improvement and may even end up with friendship.
 
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ERR53

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Okay, thank you that is helpful to know. I will keep an eye on George and help him manage his stress, he is still purring away and always getting lots of love. Thank you again :-).
 

di and bob

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From knowing all my cats, females are a LOT less willing to share their territory. Two boys can be buds. Poor George will eventually accept his little brother!
 
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ERR53

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Thanks Di and Bob! I hope they will, they are male British Short Hairs and George is the softest, cuddliest boy. His little brother just seems to be testing him at the moment. I will try and post with progress over the next few weeks. Thank you again for your help. 😊
 
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ERR53

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I just have another question… I have been watching them (what I think is play) and I noticed it sometimes looks like George is trying to bite Larry, but doesn’t actually bite him (no piercing of the skin/Larry doesn’t cry out). Is this just normal play behaviour?
 

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I just have another question… I have been watching them (what I think is play) and I noticed it sometimes looks like George is trying to bite Larry, but doesn’t actually bite him (no piercing of the skin/Larry doesn’t cry out). Is this just normal play behaviour?
Sure! Play bites are a common part of play. Sometimes if one is much bigger, the other will sort of give up and lay there and get play bit on the neck. But when things are more equal and there is wrestling, part of it is getting in position for a play bite! Sometimes one will make noise, but not because it hurts. More like "OMG get off my damn neck!" And sometimes they make a sort of bitey expression at each other and make like they are going to bite other places, paws, body, whatever, which is funny to watch, but they dont generally latch on.
 
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ERR53

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Ah phewf, it scared the life out of me when I saw it happening. It looked like George was trying to bite Larry’s tummy, tail - even his bum! Thanks again for the help, much appreciated.
 

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Ah phewf, it scared the life out of me when I saw it happening. It looked like George was trying to bite Larry’s tummy, tail - even his bum! Thanks again for the help, much appreciated.
Yeah, thats mostly just goofing around. The only especially useful bite in the wild is the kill move, biting the neck. (When cats fight for real they do sometimes bite other areas opportunistically though.) So play biting the neck is the main one they do in play, and if given the chance they will latch on for a bit and stay there. Its not "dominance" its just sort of winning play lol. Play biting other areas is common too, but they don't seem to actually manage it very often, if they are even actually trying to do it vs something more like fake poking each other. I think sometimes its the same as a little whap with the paw, just trying to provoke play.
 
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ERR53

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I’m so upset this morning George really went for Larry, he wouldn’t stop and I had to place a pillow in front of Larry to diffuse the situation. George was growling while really going for him and didn’t stop when Larry hissed back. This hasn’t happened and was so heartbreaking to see. It’s has been going pretty well and George actually hadn’t been doing much swatting either, I don’t get how he has had this huge burst of anger. I feel like I am letting both of them down.
 

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No you are not letting them down. There are bound to be set backs once in a while. Larry just pushed George a little too far. He is learning boundaries. As long as there were no deep bites with blood, it was just a disagreement. Was Larry trying to hide, or did he stand his ground? If he stood his ground it was testing boundaries. Just keep doing as you are. You might go to a Tractor Supply or a farm supply store and see if they have some calming treats for cats. give some to George and see if it helps calm him. This WILL straighten out!
 
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ERR53

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No there was no blood or deep bites that I can see, but I am worried if I hadn’t intervened that this may have happened. Larry is trying to fight back with him which I think is adding to the situation. I have let them both back out again and they were biting each others necks this time with no hissing or growling (I did notice George’a ears were right back). I will keep trying, I am just worried I will never be able to leave them un-supervised. I slept with the door open last night and no issues between the two of them.
 

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When blending families, there are bound to be fights. as long as there was no blood everything is OK. Believe me, cats can hurt each other really quickly! You are doing well, it has only been 3 weeks!? I have had cats take a year before they stopped trying to kill each other. Mine did have injuries. So you are doing really well! As long as nothing happens and you are close it is good. If you leave it may be a good time to separate them. It will all work out, these things take months, not days or weeks. when they start sleeping together and grooming each other you are there!
 
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ERR53

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Well after many hours apart we let Larry out again and George did the exact same thing. They ended up in a bit of a ball, Larry hissed and George hated that so he growled! Could it be that George is really jealous when I’m with Larry and I really need to focus on George more than Larry at the moment. I am now so scared to let Larry out again, I have been reading horror stories of male cats that have killed kittens!!
 
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