Hi! I’m new to this and I just want to have clarity this is normal.

CP24

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So I have an 8 year old male cat named Smokey. He is my absolute world. When he was a kitten he was raised around other female cats and loved them. As he grew up he wasn’t around cats as frequently as I left the household that had all of the other cats he played with. He would play with my moms male occasionally, but then my moms other male cat attacked him and he did not interact well with either since.
My husband and I moved into a home 8 months ago and I recently got a 5 month old kitten. She is pretty laid back and has no fear. She is currently in her base camp as I am trying to follow the rules of introduction. Before getting her I had talked to the volunteers about my concerns of my cat getting attacked and they said since she is a kitten he shouldn’t be AS threatened and they should at least get to a point of toleration.
My male seemed to be doing great in the house but when I would come home from work he would want to play and unfortunately I go to school full time as well so I can’t play as much. I thought this kitten would be a great playmate for him and keep him company while I am gone or busy working.
All he has been doing is walking around the house hissing and growling. He even came up to the door while I was in the room with the kitten, hissed/growled, and lunged at the door. It’s only been a couple of days and I know the process can be long. I just want to know if his behavior is normal at this point. I have never introduced two cats to each other and I am very stressed out.
 

neely

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Welcome to TCS! :welcomesign: Not all cats are the same and it will more than likely take time for Smokey to warm up and accept or coexist with the kitten. The key is time and patience, there is no magic formula.

Please check these Articles which will have some very helpful advice and information for you:
How To Introduce A Kitten To An Older Cat – TheCatSite Articles
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction – TheCatSite Articles

Best of luck, please keep us posted on your progress. :goodluck:
 
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CP24

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Thank you!
And I suppose I should clarify that I’ve never introduced cats slowly…. All past introductions were just putting the cats together and it always worked out. But my male is extremely upset this time around so I don’t want to do that considering that the kitten is small and I don’t want her to get hurt.
 

susanm9006

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While it is not likely that he would hurt the kitten, you want to take their introduction very slowly so that he has time to adjust. I wouldn’t take any new intro steps until he seems calmed down. This might take a few days or a few weeks, you just need to wait and see how he does.
 

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8 is kind of an in between age. There is still a chance of friendship, but there is a also a chance that just getting to toleration is going to be a lengthy PITA. So unfortunately getting a kitten for the 8 y.o., while a common reason that millions are motivated by, was nonetheless actually not a great reason -- he might never be happy about it. You didn't know, and importantly, its incredibly early, and this start doesn't really diminish the chances of friendship much, if at all.

Agree that the kitten wont be hurt, but the 8 y.o. might or might not act like a crotchety old person yelling at the kitten to get off is lawn. Of course, a lot of times the kittens are so crazy about play and so bad about taking no for an answer that one really cant say the older cat is being unreasonable. But you never know -- still possible this ends in friendship. Follow the intro steps, let the older cat calm down and you'll see what happens when you finally put them together.
 
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CP24

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Dang, I really wish the volunteers were more open to me about this. I’m going to try to keep up on the introduction period. Jackson galaxy said it could take 3 weeks or longer for the resident cat to even get used to the smell. My husband is convinced my cat will adapt, but I don’t want to diminish anyone’s quality of life if he isn’t happy.

I have been going on posts and people have been working on getting their cats to get along for 6+ months, and they still don’t! That’s a very long time and I wouldn’t want to risk the kittens ability to get readopted if my cat is extremely not into it, should I wait that long? It hurts even asking that and I couldn’t imagine it to be easy after that long getting attached. I’m the kind of person who thinks of worse case scenarios.

I thought this would be easier due to my past experiences of bringing cats together immediately or I would have thought more deeply about bringing in another cat. Now I just feel guilty. Even if it’s early.
 

ArtNJ

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I personally would never do a process of months with a 5 month old kitten. Kittens get the advantage of being perceived as kittens, and there is zero chance at violence with intent to injure on either side (a get a "get away from me" charge and swat from the older cat is possible, but thats as bad as it gets). Eventually, at some point, can't tell you exactly when, that changes. So personally, no matter how crotechety the older one seems, I'd do several weeks (maybe 2-3 depending on how its going) and then put them together. Yes, the older one might be a bit stressed when that happens, and it might persist for a while. I call it the long slow crawl to toleration. But that could still happen if you do a process of months.

I wouldn't beat yourself up about it. In the typical case, things proceed relatively quickly to where the older cat is only really annoyed when actively being bothered. Which is not the end of the world. And it could well go better, you'll have to see.

...but yes, it would have been better for the shelter to warn you that the 8 y.o. might never appreciate the kitten and there might be some stress in your house for a good bit. But lets be optimistic -- an 8 year old you never know, they could be buddies.
 
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CP24

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Okay thank you so much for this.
I have been so stressed and not quite sure how fast or slow to move with it.
My cat is still loving on me and sleeps with me at night, which is a positive. I didn’t think he was going to when he swiped at me with the kittens smell on my hands.
He still goes around growling/hissing and won’t go too far down the hallway the kittens room is in.
I will try to introduce them in a couple weeks and see where I can go from there.
 
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CP24

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Hi!
So it’s been around 2 weeks since I got her. I have been feeding the cats on opposite sides of the door and my resident cat has been doing really well. No hissing or growling when eating his dinner next to the door.
We finally wanted them to have a visual and tried it out yesterday. As to be expected my cat was hissing and was trying to swat through the gate.
He would go to the other side of the bathroom door that connects to the hallways and swat under there as well.
He then came over and did a chirp and rolled on his back and reached out towards her. Which was confusing to us because it seemed like he wanted to play?
As we were putting laundry away and watching them the kitten scaled the gate and started free roaming. We let it happen with extremely close supervision. My cat would run up to her and hiss in her face and swat, seemed without nails, when she would approach his trees or any of his things.
I found this to be an extremely fast introduction but I think it might have gone okay?
I just want to make sure I didn’t mess anything up. The kitten didn’t care and would back off when my cat hissed at her. She was very confident going around the house. My cat was pretty unhappy with her in his territory.
 

ArtNJ

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It doesn't sound bad, but I'm a little confused why you didn't do longer with the gate since there was some hissing on visual access. Of course, if the kitten can scale it, its not useful, but you could improve it. We have instructions on making a home made gate in the articles. Ultimately, maybe you end up in the exact same spot, but it does make sense to let the visual access step do work. I like to say that maybe doing a bit longer and going step by step doesn't help, but at least you know you did what you reasonably could if some tension persists for a couple of months and won't have to be second guessing.

But it does sound like its going fairly normally, with some significant tensions but hopefully nothing too serious or preventing things from gradually calming down.
 
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CP24

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We are thinking about backtracking while we find a solution for the visible access to happen. Maybe do some site swapping and allow Smokey to go into the kittens room while she isn’t in there.
My husband wants her to be able to have access to her room in case she wants to go back in, but I do have a dog crate that I could put her in for a few minutes to allow them to see each other.
Smokey was calming down pretty fast after each interaction with her behind the gate and would lay on the ground close to it with his back turned. After she was put back into her room he was completely back to normal.
We aren’t planning on her free roaming again anytime soon as I didn’t really want that to happen for another week or two. She is persistent lol.
 

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My example might not be the best since my cats are young, but it sounds similar. I brought back a 6-month old male kitten to my home with 2 residents 1 year old cats (one male one female). I only separated the kitten for a couple days because he got relentlessly very soon, was upset being alone and constantly meowing to get out. After a few meetings through the cracked door, I let the kitten out. My male cat and the kitten hit off immediately, although he also hissed at him at the beginning. My female cat is the boss of the household. She really didn’t like him, hiss, growl and smack him any chance she got. It took a month for them to be in one room, and a few months for her to play with him. And these days she still punch him (and hiss and punch the other male cat, who is her litter mate and was bonded when I adopted them). The other day she just punched him like 20 times so she can be on the top of the cat tree alone. But a few hours later they chase around and play together. All I’m saying is, some hissing and growling are needed for the resident cat to establish their hierarchy and probably not avoidable. So I wouldn’t worry too much since it seems like there were some positive moments. An older cat probably takes way longer to get used to the new arrangement. I would take it slow too but won’t be too concerned about a bit hissing at the beginning.
 

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We are thinking about backtracking while we find a solution for the visible access to happen. Maybe do some site swapping and allow Smokey to go into the kittens room while she isn’t in there.
My husband wants her to be able to have access to her room in case she wants to go back in, but I do have a dog crate that I could put her in for a few minutes to allow them to see each other.
Smokey was calming down pretty fast after each interaction with her behind the gate and would lay on the ground close to it with his back turned. After she was put back into her room he was completely back to normal.
We aren’t planning on her free roaming again anytime soon as I didn’t really want that to happen for another week or two. She is persistent lol.
Forgot to mention, site swapping definitely helps a lot. I think your resident cat is probably unhappy about the lost territory. If it’s possible, definitely let him go in and explore while exclude the kitten in another room or the crate.
My opinion might be the unpopular one here but I think that free roaming session you mentioned doesn’t sound bad at all.
Don’t forget to give your cat some of his favorite treats whenever he met the kitten for positive association.
 
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CP24

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Forgot to mention, site swapping definitely helps a lot. I think your resident cat is probably unhappy about the lost territory. If it’s possible, definitely let him go in and explore while exclude the kitten in another room or the crate.
My opinion might be the unpopular one here but I think that free roaming session you mentioned doesn’t sound bad at all.
Don’t forget to give your cat some of his favorite treats whenever he met the kitten for positive association.
Thank you for your positivity. I have definitely been getting discouraged lately, but my husband has been trying to point out the positives as well.
I have been giving him sooo many treats, especially when he isn’t reactive to the kitten so I’m hoping that is helping. The kitten is getting restless in the room she is in and destroying the carpet between the door and the bedroom. Which adds a bit of stress. My husband is trying to get me to see it as a learning experience for when we decide to have kids...I don’t think my older cat is going to be happy about that either lol. He is a grumpy thing.
 
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