2 months in - 10 y/o and 7 month old. Still swatting?

cassiethulhu

Gracie (11 yr.) & Poly (7 mo.)
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We intro'd Poly (one-eyed, 7 month spayed girl) to our resident Gracie (large, 10 year old Queen) two mo the ago this Friday. We started the intro very slow, did all the Jackson Galaxy stuff, and have felt comfortable enough that for the past two days theyve been entirely alone, night and day, without supervision (mostly).


We took these steps because they eat together with no problem, and Gracie even initiates play - no snuggles or anything super cute, just co-existence.

My worry is with the dominance play. How long can we expect Gracie to swat and hiss and growl at Poly? She's always been kinda grumpy, kinda vocal, so she does hiss sometimes when swatting and even meows weirdly sometimes at her - most of the time when Poly is doing something annoying, or some times even when she's doing absolutely nothing.

I've seen no blood, no fur, no scary scary fighting. All bathroom stuff is fine, no unusual behavior fr Gracie.....but I guess I'm just worried she just really doesn't like Poly but doesn't feel like dealing with her. :/

Can I be reassures this is still her asserting dominance and this will subside over time? I don't expect them to be best friends, but the fact that she does choose to play with her makes me hopeful...Poly seems to adore her.

Just worried we shouldn't leave them alone if there's still hissing/swatting/growling?
 
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cassiethulhu

Gracie (11 yr.) & Poly (7 mo.)
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We intro'd Poly (one-eyed, 7 month spayed girl) to our resident Gracie (large, 10 year old Queen) two mo the ago this Friday. We started the intro very slow, did all the Jackson Galaxy stuff, and have felt comfortable enough that for the past two days theyve been entirely alone, night and day, without supervision (mostly).


We took these steps because they eat together with no problem, and Gracie even initiates play - no snuggles or anything super cute, just co-existence.

My worry is with the dominance play. How long can we expect Gracie to swat and hiss and growl at Poly? She's always been kinda grumpy, kinda vocal, so she does hiss sometimes when swatting and even meows weirdly sometimes at her - most of the time when Poly is doing something annoying, or some times even when she's doing absolutely nothing.

I've seen no blood, no fur, no scary scary fighting. All bathroom stuff is fine, no unusual behavior fr Gracie.....but I guess I'm just worried she just really doesn't like Poly but doesn't feel like dealing with her. :/

Can I be reassures this is still her asserting dominance and this will subside over time? I don't expect them to be best friends, but the fact that she does choose to play with her makes me hopeful...Poly seems to adore her.

Just worried we shouldn't leave them alone if there's still hissing/swatting/growling?
I'll add Gracie is spayed too. I'm just super anxious that we have a bigger issue and get I'm sitting here with one behind me on the couch, another on another couch, snoozing happily.
 

ArtNJ

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This sounds like more "I'm not in the mood brat!" rather than dominance. If Gracie initiates play sometimes, she doesn't hate or fear the kitten generally, and is just being a crotchety senior lady, and communicating her wishes and desire that play and personal space be on her terms, not the kittens. Which is fine, and expected. The kitten will get the message and things should smooth out as time progresses.
 
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cassiethulhu

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This sounds like more "I'm not in the mood brat!" rather than dominance. If Gracie initiates play sometimes, she doesn't hate or fear the kitten generally, and is just being a crotchety senior lady, and communicating her wishes and desire that play and personal space be on her terms, not the kittens. Which is fine, and expected. The kitten will get the message and things should smooth out as time progresses.
Thank you for the response! This is a relief. Gracie swats at US if we play with her for too long, so hopefully she will stop short of anything more aggressive. Thanks again. 🥰
 

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I'm pretty sure that the ultimate prognosis is much better when a senior cat is willing to whump the kitten a little when ticked off. Some here call that teaching manners. Its a bit more of a crotchety old person whacking a kids hand with their cane than any kind of polite lesson, but I guess the end result is the same -- its communication, and it helps the kitten get the message. Sometimes senior cats aren't able or willing to get physical with a kitten, and act like they are afraid of a much smaller kitten, and that tends to last longer.

So this may surprise you, but I'd say its going significantly better than average. A 10 year old that is willing to play with a kitten sometimes, with only two days of unlimited interaction? Thats great.
 
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cassiethulhu

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I'm pretty sure that the ultimate prognosis is much better when a senior cat is willing to whump the kitten a little when ticked off. Some here call that teaching manners. Its a bit more of a crotchety old person whacking a kids hand with their cane than any kind of polite lesson, but I guess the end result is the same -- its communication, and it helps the kitten get the message. Sometimes senior cats aren't able or willing to get physical with a kitten, and act like they are afraid of a much smaller kitten, and that tends to last longer.

So this may surprise you, but I'd say its going significantly better than average. A 10 year old that is willing to play with a kitten sometimes, with only two days of unlimited interaction? Thats great.
This is so reassuring! Gracie is out world and we never thought we'd bring another kitty into it, but the fact that she's been more playful than ever makes me have hope. And your words help that too. Thank you!
 
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cassiethulhu

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I'm pretty sure that the ultimate prognosis is much better when a senior cat is willing to whump the kitten a little when ticked off. Some here call that teaching manners. Its a bit more of a crotchety old person whacking a kids hand with their cane than any kind of polite lesson, but I guess the end result is the same -- its communication, and it helps the kitten get the message. Sometimes senior cats aren't able or willing to get physical with a kitten, and act like they are afraid of a much smaller kitten, and that tends to last longer.

So this may surprise you, but I'd say its going significantly better than average. A 10 year old that is willing to play with a kitten sometimes, with only two days of unlimited interaction? Thats great.
Here's a video of them doing what I'm pretty sure is playing...there's a butt wiggle!

 
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cassiethulhu

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WHEW good. Sometimes Gracie hissed and growls but her ears are forward, not back, so it's hard to tell sometimes!

 
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cassiethulhu

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Sorry, one more question if A ArtNJ or anyone could help-

Are there cats that hiss and meow while playing? I'll notice Gracie meow sometimes and it doesn't sound scary, rather, she meows a lot anyway, she's a really vocal cat. I'm thinking maybe sometimes she wants to play it gets tired out, and then other times..she super playful, hisses at Poly..but then goes back for more.
 

ArtNJ

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Hisses can mean a wide range of things, but usually some of element of discomfort, dislike or displeasure is there. So cats do hiss in play, to communicate "thats too much," "thats uncomfortable" or things like that, that are not necessarily inconsistent with further play -- or with a desire to teach a lesson by whumping a kitten. But you wouldn't **usually** find hissing in purely joyful happy play.

However, while I've not personally seen it as far as I recall, I've heard that some cats incorporate hisses as part of play, much like a human child saying "oh I'm so mad at you now, I'm going to wump you with this pillow, you better run!" I've heard some even hiss at toys! We should let others elaborate on that, I may not have it exactly right since I've never actually seen this one.
 
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cassiethulhu

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Hisses can mean a wide range of things, but usually some of element of discomfort, dislike or displeasure is there. So cats do hiss in play, to communicate "thats too much," "thats uncomfortable" or things like that, that are not necessarily inconsistent with further play -- or with a desire to teach a lesson by whumping a kitten. But you wouldn't **usually** find hissing in purely joyful happy play.

However, while I've not personally seen it as far as I recall, I've heard that some cats incorporate hisses as part of play, much like a human child saying "oh I'm so mad at you now, I'm going to wump you with this pillow, you better run!" I've heard some even hiss at toys! We should let others elaborate on that, I may not have it exactly right since I've never actually seen this one.

Thank you so much for all your help - really. My partner and I are more relieved that they seem to eat and even play occasionally. We definitely still see some more swatting and hissing still..and it definitely seems like she's putting Poly in her place. I get a little worried that it may escalate but it hasn't - not yet. We're on month two (two weeks of unsupervised freedom in the house) and most the time they just sit in their respective spots, occasionally play, and then 4-5 times a day a hiss and a smack. Gracie even pinned her down and swatted her today, but Poly has never been injured.

How long it is expected for Gracie to keep up this behavior? Do older cats usually eventually get desensitized?
 
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cassiethulhu

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Oh! Also A ArtNJ or anyone else (I feel bad, you clearly are super helpful around here so really no pressure to respond :p) But recently, Poly loooooves snuggling up to us in bed, and while we love it, it definitely deters Gracie every now and again from getting up in bed with us. Gracie doesn't really sleep with us per se, but she will sometimes, in the morning, come by and get some snuggles for a few minutes. She hissed at Poly once, who jumped up while she was having snuggle time - but otherwise doesn't seem hell bent on kicking her out of bed. This morning, even, Poly slept with us and Gracie slept in the tower right next to our bed. Good or no? Any warning signs I should look out for or should I curtail this behavior? Seen too many Jackson Galaxy videos where cats are fighting over the bed space.
 

ArtNJ

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How long it is expected for Gracie to keep up this behavior? Do older cats usually eventually get desensitized?
Yes, but it kind of sounds like sometimes she just doesn't want to be bothered, a crotchety 10 year old. Its possible that never changes. But it sounds to me like they have a fairly stable relationship regardless.

As far as the bed, I guess the way I see it is that sometimes there is a heirarchy at certain spots like the food dish or the bed. It kind of is what it is, doesn't mean the cats have problems overall. Solutions are practical things, like using two bowls. In the practical solution vein, maybe give both turns, keeping the other out?
 
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cassiethulhu

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Yes, but it kind of sounds like sometimes she just doesn't want to be bothered, a crotchety 10 year old. Its possible that never changes. But it sounds to me like they have a fairly stable relationship regardless.

As far as the bed, I guess the way I see it is that sometimes there is a heirarchy at certain spots like the food dish or the bed. It kind of is what it is, doesn't mean the cats have problems overall. Solutions are practical things, like using two bowls. In the practical solution vein, maybe give both turns, keeping the other out?
Thank you, again. Yeah, at this point I don't expect them to be snuggle buddies (a girl can dream) but as Poly gets older at least Gracie will be happy she's less active. 😻
 
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cassiethulhu

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Decided I am going to continue to document cat intro journey so I can -hopefully- inspire others and look back and realize how far they've come..

Video of Poly trying to get as close as Gracie will allow to her...she really loves this old grouch.

 
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cassiethulhu

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One more for the night, Gracie relaxed, watching Poly be weird (she growls so silly with her toy, little dork)

 

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I would say, just because they CAN be left alone together 24/7, doesn’t necessarily mean they should. The Queen Gracie may still want a little bit of “alone” time just to chill out and have the kingdom all to herself for a bit. Maybe try separating for a small period of time every 12 hours or so just to see if that helps :) good luck, it sounds like you have done a great job so far!
 
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cassiethulhu

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I would say, just because they CAN be left alone together 24/7, doesn’t necessarily mean they should. The Queen Gracie may still want a little bit of “alone” time just to chill out and have the kingdom all to herself for a bit. Maybe try separating for a small period of time every 12 hours or so just to see if that helps :) good luck, it sounds like you have done a great job so far!
For sure! Good idea. When Poly gets too crazy we usually redirect her with a toy for a good 15 minutes and it seems to help! Or if she's being especially bratty, just let her timeout for a minute or two in another room so Gracie can relax (or poop haha).
 
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cassiethulhu

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Officially two months yesterday- playing again, I believe! Gracie is good a about not using claws but Poly is still learning.

 
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