Feral kitten and senior resident cat

mxw1214

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Hi everyone, I posted in February about how I had my feral family TNRed right before the big winter storm. Mom and two kittens still haven’t returned since the bad snow. Two kittens stuck around - one of them was too smart for the trap so hasn’t been fixed and one of them was fixed. These two no longer get along. I brought the one who was fixed inside after some days of coaxing and she lived out the storm in my office. She is now about 6 months old and I think she is comfortable living inside.

However my senior resident cat RC does not accept new cats. I’ve introduced them slowly but RC continues to hiss and growl at this kitten. I let the kitten out of the office during the day and keep her in the office at night to give RC a break from the stress. I would love to keep the kitten inside but I don’t want to continue to stress out RC who is old and set in her ways.

I read that it can take cats up to 8 months or longer to accept a new cat. Is it worth the risk of more stress to RC? Or should I try to rehome the kitten? Photos below.

PS - regarding feral kitten #2 who was not fixed yet, I made good progress over the last month in getting her to trust me. She lets me pet her now! I will have to try to catch her and get her neutered.
 

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FeebysOwner

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Hi. Other than the hissing and growling, you don't really explain more about why you feel RC is so stressed. Not that I am saying the hissing and growling are good things, but if RC is doing OK otherwise, it may just take more time for RC to get to the point of ignoring the kitten. And, that might be as good as it ever gets between the two - at least in the near future. The kitten will mature more over the coming year, and that could help the situation out as well.

I don't know what kind of introduction process you used, but the golden rule is to only move as fast through the steps as the slowest adapting cat - in this case RC. See if any information in the following TCS article links might help you to develop a plan on how to proceed.
How To Introduce A Kitten To An Older Cat – TheCatSite Articles
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction – TheCatSite Articles
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
 
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mxw1214

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Hi. Other than the hissing and growling, you don't really explain more about why you feel RC is so stressed. Not that I am saying the hissing and growling are good things, but if RC is doing OK otherwise, it may just take more time for RC to get to the point of ignoring the kitten.
Thanks for your response! RC will hide in her closet or other safe space when the kitten is in seeing distance. I have followed the methods suggested with slow introductions, but It has been about 6 weeks and RC is just adapting very slowly. In addition to the hiding, RC has developed laryngitis, which I believe is from all the hissing an growling and stress. Luckily she is eating and drinking normally, but she seems more cranky than usual.

New kitten is doing ok, I have started keeping her in the office more to give RC a chance to rest her voice.
 
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