Introduced kitten to resident cat yesterday.....it’s going poorly

Sarabismom

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So my SO and I brought home a kitten yesterday (Augustus) and my 4 year old female Bengal/savannah mix didn’t take it well.

sorry for this long post I’m just really nervous...

We had been gone for 3 days visiting family and Sarabi always is SO happy to see us. She is very affectionate towards us and loves attention. We came home yesterday and while my friend held the kitten in a carrier, we loved on Sarabi and let her smell Augustus on us. my friend set down the carrier so Sarabi could see him and she freaked out: hissed, growled like a wild animal and then skunk around until she could escape to the bedroom.

She refuses to come out from under the bed now. She hasn’t had water since we came home and won’t eat. She did sleep in bed with us last night but she hisses at the smell of the kitten — who sleeps by himself shut in the kitten proof bathroom. I don’t know if she left the bedroom last night, we left the door open so she could go out into the living room and get used to his scent without confrontation

Today we got up and loved on her even though she was hissing, she really wanted to be pet. The kitten heard us get up and started meowing frantically in the bathroom so we got up to go let him out. He was hand raised so he really thrives on human attention and affection and I feel awful leaving him in the bathroom all night.

As soon as Sarabi heard the bathroom open and the kitten whining, she growled and went back under the bed. She has a litter box in the bedroom that’s been in there for 2 weeks in preparation for the kittens arrival. I also added hot water to her dry food and some wet food cause I’m worried about her water intake and I’m hoping the smell will tempt her. I also put her fountain in there to hopefully encourage her to drink more. I shut the bedroom door and I go in every so often to see her and try to coax her out but she isn’t having it.

Later today I’m going to Petco to get a couple feliway diffusers in hopes that will help. I feel like her coming out and sleeping with us was a good sign, even though she hissed and growled when we pet her, she also headbutts into our hand and has her tail up.

She is in the bedroom now. I closed the door and haven’t let the kitten in there at all. I decided to make that her safe space to encourage her to come out.

Am I doing things right? Did I make a mistake by getting a kitten? She grew up with 2 cats and a dog before we got her, but has been an only cat for 3 years. I thought she would like having a playmate as she’s pretty active....
 

rubysmama

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Hello and welcome to TCS. :wave2: I think in time things will work out between your resident cat and the new kitten, but for now, keep them separated, and work out a plan to slowly re-introduce them.

TCS has this article that should have some tips for you: How To Introduce A Kitten To An Older Cat

There is also these ones:
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide
Introducing Cats To Cats
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction

And about her not eating, this may be helpful: How To Get Your Cat To Start Eating Again | TheCatSite

Since your resident cat is a Bengal/Savannah mix, you might find this thread by bengalcatman bengalcatman interesting, as it's about a Bengal cat that befriended a kitten. Abandoned Kitten

Good luck. Keep us posted.
 

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Its going fine, its been one day. The whole purpose of a little bit of separation is so the older cat can get this stuff out of the system without the kitten jumping on the older cat escalating. The absolute most this means is that you might need at least 4-5 days of an introduction process, maybe longer. Its totally fine if the older cat hisses and even defensively swats once the kitten is roaming, but I would prefer the older cat not be hissing/hiding much when the kitten is still in the bathroom before proceeding. If that takes a bit, it takes a bit.

All will be well. At worst, the older cat will be a bit stressed for a while, but it won't be that bad. Older cats never attack true tiny kittens.
 
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Sarabismom

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Its going fine, its been one day. The whole purpose of a little bit of separation is so the older cat can get this stuff out of the system without the kitten jumping on the older cat escalating. The absolute most this means is that you might need at least 4-5 days of an introduction process, maybe longer. Its totally fine if the older cat hisses and even defensively swats once the kitten is roaming, but I would prefer the older cat not be hissing/hiding much when the kitten is still in the bathroom before proceeding. If that takes a bit, it takes a bit.

All will be well. At worst, the older cat will be a bit stressed for a while, but it won't be that bad. Older cats never attack true tiny kittens.
Thank you so much. This made me feel better. I bought two feliway diffusers and have one in the bedroom and one in the living room. I also got some tuna for cats (sarabi can’t resist it) and she actually was super interested in it.

I went injust now as the kitten was asleep and she was in the bedroom window just watching the birds. She seemed so starved for attention and kept rubbing on me, even when the kitten started crying at the door she growled but kept head butting me for pets. Her tail was up but flicking so I think she’s saying she loves me but is still mad haha.

I am off this whole week so I have lots of time to work with them. Tomorrow I’m going to bring one of his toys into the bedroom for her to smell if she keeps progressing.
 
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Sarabismom

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Hello and welcome to TCS. :wave2: I think in time things will work out between your resident cat and the new kitten, but for now, keep them separated, and work out a plan to slowly re-introduce them.

TCS has this article that should have some tips for you: How To Introduce A Kitten To An Older Cat

There is also these ones:
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide
Introducing Cats To Cats
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction

And about her not eating, this may be helpful: How To Get Your Cat To Start Eating Again | TheCatSite

Since your resident cat is a Bengal/Savannah mix, you might find this thread by bengalcatman bengalcatman interesting, as it's about a Bengal cat that befriended a kitten. Abandoned Kitten

Good luck. Keep us posted.
Thank you so much for all this info!! Sarabi is a very timid Bengal mix like the female Bengal in that story. That made me feel a little less anxious about all of this. I was physically sick with worry last night which I know wasn’t helping anyone.
 

rubysmama

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She seemed so starved for attention and kept rubbing on me, even when the kitten started crying at the door she growled but kept head butting me for pets. Her tail was up but flicking so I think she’s saying she loves me but is still mad haha.
Keep spending time with her, and trying to keep her routine as normal as usual. Tell her you love her, and that the kitten isn't replacing her.

That made me feel a little less anxious about all of this. I was physically sick with worry last night which I know wasn’t helping anyone.
Cats can pick up on their human's stress, so the less anxious you appear, hopefully the more relaxed she will become.

The main thing you don't want right now is her getting stressed, and stopping eating and/or having litter box issues.. Stress in Cats – The Ultimate Guide
 
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Sarabismom

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Cats can pick up on their human's stress, so the less anxious you appear, hopefully the more relaxed she will become.

The main thing you don't want right now is her getting stressed, and stopping eating and/or having litter box issues.. Stress in Cats – The Ultimate Guide
I’m doing my best to be chill when I’m hanging out with her. The feliway has definitely helped her relax some.

Keep spending time with her, and trying to keep her routine as normal as usual. Tell her you love her, and that the kitten isn't replacing her.
I have been doing my best to go sit with her when the kitten is napping. She’s not really interested in food but I think I’ll try setting it out again tonight when we go to bed. She used her litter box twice while I was in there last and she ate the treats I gave her. She played a little bit too so I’m hoping these are all good signs.
Thank you so much for the encouragement. I was starting to doubt if this was a good idea.
 
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rubysmama

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Has she eaten anything other than treats since your last post?

Right now, that's the most important thing, as cats can't go too long without eating or they can develop hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver. If she hasn't eaten more than treats, try enticing her with anything she might like, such as tuna or deli turkey.

Why Has My Cat Stopped Eating And Is It Dangerous?
 
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Sarabismom

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Has she eaten anything other than treats since your last post?

Right now, that's the most important thing, as cats can't go too long without eating or they can develop hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver. If she hasn't eaten more than treats, try enticing her with anything she might like, such as tuna or deli turkey.

Why Has My Cat Stopped Eating And Is It Dangerous?
Yes she finally ate a bunch of her kibbles yesterday and some applaws chicken pate treat! this morning she picked at her wet food but the kitten was meowing so she didn’t eat much. I’ll give some kibbles this afternoon and see how that goes. She is still using the litter box regularly.
 
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Sarabismom

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I know no one is really following this thread but I’m going to post an update every day in hopes this helps someone else!

After the first full day, Sarabi has finally come out from under the bed and forgiven us. She even flopped and rolled over for belly rubs! She finally ate yesterday afternoon. I bought some Applaws chicken pate pouches and she housed it and then ate a full scoop of crunchies (kibble) over the next couple hours.


When my fiancé got home we put up a makeshift gate (made out of a wire shelf) so Sarabi could see Augustus but he couldn’t get in (at least not easily. He’s getting stronger every day). She jumped on the bed and watched him from across the room. She seemed interested and growled softly but there was no hissing this time. I think she has realized that the bedroom is her safe space.

Last night was Augustus’ second night spent in the bathroom. He cried for a while but eventually settled down. Sarabi was happy to share the bed with us and snuggle with my fiancé. This morning I got up early, loved on Sarabi and then let Augustus out as he started screaming and I didn’t wanna wake up the downstairs neighbors at 4am.

We introduced them thru the gate again this morning and Sarabi had the same reaction. Soft growls and quiet observation. We took turns petting Augustus and then letting Sarabi smell our hands. She seemed more relaxed this morning, even jumped down to eat her food and walked around our legs with her tail up — but keeping a wary eye on the imposter.

A little bit ago Augustus got over the “gate”. Sarabi was in the window and started hissing like mad but didn’t hide. I quickly got him out of there and tried to make up with her but she went back under the bed.:cringe: I just went in again to pet her and she wouldn’t come out. It’s also early and normally she sleeps at this time so I’m hoping that’s the case.

I’ll keep posting updates as time progresses. I’m shooting for her to tolerate being in the same room as Augustus and I hope that can happen by the end of the week but I’m not going to push anything

Some snuggles at the end of a long day Of being annoyed about the imposter
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rubysmama

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Oh, Sarabi is beautiful. And Augustus is pawsitively adorable. :catlove:

Looking forward to your future updates. And, definitely your thread may help people in your similar situation that are either lurking right now, or will read this thread in the future.

BTW, TCS has a New Cats on the Block forum where you can "formally" introduce yourself and your little darlings. :catrub:
 
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Sarabismom

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Oh, Sarabi is beautiful. And Augustus is pawsitively adorable. :catlove:

Looking forward to your future updates. And, definitely your thread may help people in your similar situation that are either lurking right now, or will read this thread in the future.

BTW, TCS has a New Cats on the Block forum where you can "formally" introduce yourself and your little darlings. :catrub:
Oh I’ll go do that right now! Thank you!
 
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Sarabismom

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It’s the third night and I am trying to wear out Augustus so he will sleep without crying. His little cries kill me. I hate making him sleep alone. :( Tomorrow he goes to the vet for his first vaccinations.
Today not much has improved. Sarabi seems curious but annoyed. When Augustus walks away from the gate she runs up and smells it cautiously and hissed/growls/yowls if he comes back. Otherwise she just observes from afar.
Tonight when I shut Augustus in the bathroom I will take the gate down and try to encourage Sarabi to explore her domain again.
 

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If Sarabi will take some treats or wet cat food she likes while watching Augustus, or if she'll play a little while watching that'll help have some positive association with the kitten, I also try to give scratches, pets, brushing- whatever the resident cat really enjoys and will tolerate while they are watching from a distance. That is if Sarabi isn't to hyped to react to you with a scratch to you or otherwise lash out at you.
I think going to the gate to sniff sounds like progress from the first day! It does take time for the resident to adjust.
 
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Sarabismom

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If Sarabi will take some treats or wet cat food she likes while watching Augustus, or if she'll play a little while watching that'll help have some positive association with the kitten, I also try to give scratches, pets, brushing- whatever the resident cat really enjoys and will tolerate while they are watching from a distance. That is if Sarabi isn't to hyped to react to you with a scratch to you or otherwise lash out at you.
I think going to the gate to sniff sounds like progress from the first day! It does take time for the resident to adjust.
She actually came out of the bedroom yesterday a few times and today she got up on her tower in the living room to watch him.
We have been feeding them in sight of each other, but Sarabi tries to take his kitten food cause I guess it smells more appealing than her wet food lol! I think I’m gonna work in giving her small licks of the kitten food as a reward when she tolerates Augustus being nearby without growling.
She does sometimes get a little worked up and I don’t trust her to not lash out. Nail trimming is impossible for her (her previous owners didn’t get her trained to let them do it) so her claws are SHARP.
I bought her a new toy today that we play with when Augustus is nearby and she does really well with that distraction.
Augustus is also finally starting to sleep thru the night, at least 5-6 hours. Or if he’s awake he’s not crying until he’s hungry.
 
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Sarabismom

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The past few days, we have been allowing more and more interaction between Sarabi and Augustus, as long as Sarabi is comfortable and not showing signs of aggression.

She seats him to get him to settle when he’s too tenacious and she bullies him a little to where we have to separate them.

This morning we got up, fed both, and then they chased each other around for a bit! Sarabi still gets a little aggressive, and when she’s done she will growl, smack him around, and then escape up the cat tree.

In this first video, Sarabi has come out of the bedroom in her own for the maybe 3rd time at this point and Augustus woke up. That was Thursday . The second video was yesterday afternoon. Gus thinks they’re playing but I feel like Sarabi was still being a little aggressive and asserting her dominance.Both videos
 

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Hmmm... that first video looks a bit serious with Sarabi's ears back like that. She hasn't attacked Augustus yet, right.

Here's a TCS article that helps answer the question Are My Cats Fighting Or Playing?. There's pics and videos explaining the difference, which you might find helpful.
 
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Sarabismom

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Hmmm... that first video looks a bit serious with Sarabi's ears back like that. She hasn't attacked Augustus yet, right.

Here's a TCS article that helps answer the question Are My Cats Fighting Or Playing?. There's pics and videos explaining the difference, which you might find helpful.
Sorry for the late reply! In the first video she was absolutely unhappy. That was her first day coming out on her own and setting boundaries with Augustus. The following day she did give him a good smack and I think that settled him down a bit.
After that they began chasing each other around. She stills smacks him around if he gets too rough but it’s never rough. Usually she just bowls him over with her body haha.

There has only been one time that she made him cry and that was after he jumped on her and scared her pretty bad. Other than that, she just climbs her tower or gets in the bedroom window where he can’t each her, when he gets too much for her.
 
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