Cat Intro Help!

tom272

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Hey everybody, I'm new to the forum here and have spent the last few hours looking through old topics but nothing quite matches my situation, so I was hoping maybe some of you folks can offer some advice!

I have an 8 year old cat (Molly), who's been living as an only cat for last ~7 years, and I recently adopted a 12 week old kitten (Jack). I got Jack about 3 months ago, put him in a separate room with all the necessities and did the normal slow introduction protocol. After the first month of slow intros, I've been letting him out to play with me in the living room for short amounts of time each day, and found the bird wands really do a great job at distracting them both so they aren't focused on each other. I started letting him out longer each day, but when I don't actively play with them, Jack either stalks/pounces on her, gets close to smell her, sometimes give a nibble on her butt, or just paw at her - all in an attempt to play, but as soon as he gets close and especially if he touches her, she growls and becomes much more aggressive towards him. Once she eventually runs away after her growls and swats aren't working his instincts tell him to chase and not leave alone or let out of sight, and I feel like it's wearing on Molly. I thought maybe they just need a few days together to get used to living in the same spot, so I let Jack out for a few straight days, but it seems to have made Molly more on edge than ever. It's gotten to the point where when I go to pet Molly she growls at me when I touch her and I think its from the anxiety of the kitten constantly pestering her. I put Jack back in his room for a few days and Molly, while still on edge and growling when I touch her when she wasn't expecting it, seems to have calmed down a little, but as soon as I let him out to play, she doesn't want him near her. Molly has no problem when he is playing next to her a few feet away, but as soon as she becomes the focus of his attention or he gets too close she will hiss and growl to deter him, but he isn't phased. Molly is a much lower energy cat, she only plays with toys for a few minutes, and is overweight (been working on that too). Basically she doesn't have the speed to really land any type of serious attack, most of the time missing completely, and over the last month I think Jack has been getting used to her hisses and is less and less affected by them. She will get up and scurry off but he's fast and easily stays right behind her and brings the conflict to a different room. It doesn't matter where she is, she CAN NOT get away from him and I hear constant hissing, growling, and attempted attacks from Molly. Molly is a ground dweller, and besides the occasional chair/couch/bed, she doesn't climb on any of the cat trees, or multiple cat wall shelving, which I know will give her the best chance at defending herself from his play advances. I'm not afraid of either getting hurt, but it's all the stress Molly is going through. I love both cats, I don't want to rehome the kitten, but Molly is a super mellow overweight ground cat and Jack is super energetic athletic climber. I just don't see how I can get this to work! I feel like I've tried everything.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Sometimes 3 months is just not enough for some adults cats to be able to adapt to a new cat - especially a rambunctious kitten! I think you are going to have to take a few steps backwards in the introduction process. I am including links to 3 articles about cat introductions, to see if there are any ideas in them that might help you with this process.

How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction

How To Introduce A Kitten To An Older Cat

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide

You'll get there eventually!! And, I know other members will soon read your post and offer some first hand advice in similar situations they have had with their cats! Hang in there until they do!
 

Mamanyt1953

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The articles that FeebysOwner FeebysOwner gave you are excellent, and exactly what I was thinking of when I read your post. Be patient. I've seen some very successful introductions that took almost a year to do...and as Jack gets older and settles down more, some of the issues will solve themselves.
 

rubysmama

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I don't really have any advice to offer, but did want welcome you to TCS. :wave2:

Hopefully in time Molly will accept the kitten, but for now, keep them separated and continue working on the introductions.

Other than the hissing/growling, is Molly's behaviour normal? Eating/drinking/sleeping/litter box?
 
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tom272

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Hey guys I went to work just got home now and so happy to see people actually giving me some advice! I have to say those articles are amazing. I wish they would have popped up when I did my google searches months ago lol!

When she's not around the kitten, Molly is still acting like a normal cat in regards to eating/drinking/litter/playing with me when I play with her...

I feel like she wasn't well socialized with other cats. I adopted her when she was a year old already and she was sitting in a cage at the local shelter for god knows how long. She was instantly affectionate and thats what I loved about her, and she's still trying to be affectionate today, but as opposed to being able to pet her for hours before the kitten days, now i'll be happy with 60 seconds before she's overstimulated.

Although you guys offer much support, and I feel like once he calms down they may have a chance, but that is potentially years away, and if it wont work out eventually, Molly still had to endure all that stress. Not to mention Jack would probably have a much higher chance at being adopted as a kitten than a 2 year old. He is honestly an awesome cat and I want to keep him, but hes just a complete polar opposite from Molly!
 

rubysmama

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That's good that Molly is acting normal when the kitten is not around. If she wasn't eating normally, or throwing up, etc., I'd be worried about her being stressed out. But just growling/hissing is the normal way cats communicate with each other. So her way of telling the kitten to leave her alone.

Here's a few TCS articles on stress, just in case:
Is Your Cat Stressed Out?
You, Your Cat And Stress
Potential Stressors In Cats - The Ultimate Checklist
Six Surefire Strategies To Reduce Stress In Cats

How old is the kitten now?

Can you post a video of them together? That way we can see Molly's body language and tell if she's being aggressive, scared or playful.
How To Upload And Add Videos To Your Posts
 
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