Introducing Kitten To Older Cat

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by Nadine Aquilina, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Nadine Aquilina

    Nadine Aquilina Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Hey, I have recently adopted a kitten which is around 2 months old and had an older cat for a few months, currently 11months and a half.

    I have kept the kitten isolated from the older cat for a couple of weeks, because the older cat seems to not be ready to accept the kitten.

    The Older cat is neutered, both cats are female.

    What is the best way to introduce cats?

    I have tried feeding them on separate sides of the doors and also using a carrier method to meet face to face before but none of the things I have tried seem to be working.

    Can anyone help me please? I really would like to keep both cats... I'm not sure how to make it work successfully from this step.
    18816584_10211894802701531_667603440_n.jpg IMG_20161115_134446.jpg
     
  2. inkysmom

    inkysmom TCS Member Adult Cat

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    They're both so cute! Am I reading right that the older cat is 11.5 months old so just under a year? Or is that how long you've had her and she's actually older? Do you know if she's lived with and gotten along with other cats or pets before?
    A kitten so young should get along with other cats and be easy to integrate as long as she was raised normally in a litter with a attentive mom cat. And as long as your other cat isn't attacking and hurting her.

    What happens when they meet through the carriers? Is one of them loose and the other in the carrier? If you give them both lots of praise and treats and attention for getting along, do they settle down and relax? It does take time.
     
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  3. Nadine Aquilina

    Nadine Aquilina Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Well we got the older kitten at around 4 months and is currently under a year yes, we have been told that she was found outside as a feral cat, but I have my doubts about that. She seemed to have gotten along quite well with the rabbits, since I own 7 rabbits as well, living in the same room with me. But she always seemed a bit cold towards us in-general.

    Well the older cat always hisses at the kitten, either when smelling the kitten's scent or in the carrier. We tried to put both cats in the carrier separately in different times but the result is the same. We have tried to praise and give treats but the older cat isn't very interested in either she'd get extremely focused on the kitten. We have also tried to feed them behind separate sides of a door but no matter how far the plates are from each other the older cat still seems to hiss at the door.

    Each time we put the kitten back to her room, the older cat gets a bit aggressive with me especially for the rest of the evening.

    What do you suggest is the best thing to do next?
     
  4. inkysmom

    inkysmom TCS Member Adult Cat

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    My answer depends on if she's really a feral cat or more of a pet cat who bonds to and craves love and attention from humans. if she loves the rabbits or other animals but avoids people and doesn't ever seek affection or let you pet her then she needs to be more socialized and you need to bond with her first. So lock her in a room alone with no other animals for a few weeks or months until you're solidly bonded. And let the kitten out since it's probably already social and you can still bond with it separately.
    The only way I've ever been able to tame and bond with a truly feral adult cat was to lock him in the bathroom away from all other pets and be the only one feeding and interacting with him. Within weeks he was purring and rubbing against me and wanting belly rubs. He even started sleeping wrapped around my head and butting against my face. Until I did that I'd had him in my apartment for 10 years with my other cats and dog and could never even touch him or he'd scratch and rip my arm open.

    If she's already tame and seeks affection and bonded to you then keep being loving to her but if she gets aggressive to you then stop all patting and say no and walk away so she learns being aggressive loses good things like cuddling. The trick is aggression has to result in losing what she most wants. So if she's feral and doesn't trust people she won't care if you're affectionate and won't want you too close so will want you far so will be more aggressive.

    From what you say I think she views the kitten as a threat to her place in the house, status and food, as she would any newcomer. The rabbits were already there so she had to fit in with them. She's angry with you for bringing the kitten and making her get closer. What's not clear to me is if she's jealous as a bonded pet or threatened as a territorial feral. More bonding with her is good in either case. I wouldn't leave the kitten alone with her though. Don't forget to try different kinds of treats and catnip for bonding! Good luck!
     
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  5. Nadine Aquilina

    Nadine Aquilina Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    The older cat does seek affection, in fact she's always seemed to seek for me especially and get mostly upset with me than other people.

    And my mom seems to notice that she's been seeking attention more often lately, she loves to play with us on a lot of bases but she's scared of certain sounds so it's quite limited with her. In-general she's not as confident as the kitten.

    Although she isn't deadly with us, as in... she does try to scare us when she's upset (hissing and growling) but doesn't really intend to hurt us, there never been any blood when she scratches us.

    We recently added shelfs in the house and she seems to have became more confident thanks to that.

    So I don't think she's a feral cat per say.
     
  6. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

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    It takes months for cats to accept each other, everything sounds pretty normal here. Females are bossy and like to control their environment, so it's not unusual to have one hiss and swat at an annoying kitten. They will eventually bond. Your older cat is most likely just now getting used to all her changes, now there are more and it is upsetting to her. Continue to let them get used to each other, let the kitten out into the same room and try to keep it busy and away from your older cat. Let the older one observe the kitten. Swats and hisses are normal until the kitten learns her place. Make sure the older cat has a place to escape to so she doesn't feel cornered.
     
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  7. Linda Dwyer

    Linda Dwyer TCS Member Young Cat

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    When I get a new cat or kitten I put it in a large wire dog crate, put in food, water, a litter box, a toy and a bed. This way the cats can see each other but not actually have contact. Get the growling and hissing overwith. I take the kitten out and hold it and the big cat will come to see whats going on, then I put the little one on the floor and watch closely. At that point the big cat will usually go in the crate, eat the food, drink the water and use the litter box, come out and that is the end of the introduction. Only takes a couple of days and they are fine together. But I never have two the same sex.
     
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  8. Nadine Aquilina

    Nadine Aquilina Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    I see, will have to try the possible suggestions, since what I have tried so far only made things worse somewhat.

    The older cat has different places to hide since she knows every corner of the house unlike the kitten, so that isn't an issue. I'm mostly worried the older cat might attack the kitten and hurt her badly or something, it's mainly why I ain't risking much contact between the two cats at the moment, mainly trying to switch scents and making sure the older cat reduces the hissing and growling before anything, but I ain't sure if I am doing a good job with that.
     
  9. inkysmom

    inkysmom TCS Member Adult Cat

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    She definitely is tame then. She just needs time and extra attention and reassurance from you. Keep letting her and the kitten be around each other with lots of praise and treats, just make sure to have you or someone around to supervise and not leave the kitten alone in the house with her until they seem comfortable with each other.
    When I get a new kitten since they're supposed to eat kitten food for the first year anyway, I usually lock it up in a separate room when I'm not home with its own food to be safe for as much of the first year as I can stick to. I try to do so at night too but weaken more if it's cuddly and sleeping with me or meows too much at being separated when I'm home.
     
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  10. inkysmom

    inkysmom TCS Member Adult Cat

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    It does take time and the adult cat is going to want her space while she adjusts to this new little intruder, in her view. The hissing and growing is just her way of claiming her territory and warning the kitten to give her space and respect her territory. As long as the kitten respects her warnings, she shouldn't just attack out of nowhere. She'll attack if she feels threatened. Like if she's hissing and growling and cornered or eating and the kitten pounces on her anyway and won't respect her space.
    When my mom died I was too upset and stressed about planning the funeral to be logical. I had four cats at the time and she had two. One of hers had lived with two of mine before years ago, the other was wild outside with the other two of mine years before as well so they weren't all total strangers. But I was so grief stricken I just picked up her cats from her apartment and drove them over and let them out in my apartment and set up an extra litter and extra food and water dish in my room. No careful introductions or separation or anything gradual. Just let six adult cats who hadn't seen each other in 4 or 5 years and some who might have never met, work it out. Along with my large dog who knew all of them well.
    There was hissing and growling and yowling for a good six months but not one ever had any injuries. One of my mom's cats hid in a closet in the dog's room for at least a week or two before I could find her.
    I found my tiny stray kitten at the time Ruby later that year and took him in too. I separated him at night and when I wasn't home but he was loose when I was home. Which wound up being a mistake since he was given a clean bill of health before I brought him home. However he had a little bald spot on one paw that the vet tested. Turns out it takes several weeks for the ringworm test to come back, and ringworm is highly contagious. He slept with me and my bf at the time every night. We both got ringworm and had to wash and disinfect everything and I had to spend a month medicating him and giving medicated wipedown rubs to 7 cats and a large dog every night. Cats hate getting wet. 1 of these cats was my beloved Inky who at the time I hadn't tamed yet and was still feral and would attack and draw blood if I patted him. His buddy Fawn's was an abused stray who was petrified of people. My mom's cats hated being caught, restrained or medicated and she never trained them so they woukd hide and require being chased around the place for hours and if caught be nasty little wildcats, hissing, clawing, escaping, thrashing. This process took at least an hour or more every night. Total nightmare.
    Always good reason to separate any new pet until you know their completely healthy to avoid risking your current pet's health, and in some cases your's and your sanity.
     
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  11. Nadine Aquilina

    Nadine Aquilina Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    I see, so trying to let them face each other daily through gates or carries would work at first and later go one letting them face each other? hence, treats don't work on both cats.
     
  12. Linda Dwyer

    Linda Dwyer TCS Member Young Cat

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    you don't need treats, by the time they actually interact with each other without the gate or crate they will be used to each other so there won't be a problem
     
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  13. inkysmom

    inkysmom TCS Member Adult Cat

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    On the early stages I'd give both treats and praise to encourage them to associate positive things with each other. Especially extra good things to reward no hissing and growling. I wouldn't do anything to encourage that behavior since you want it to be temporary.
    You don't want to make them literally face each other either, as that's forcing a confrontation. Whenever they are loose together just eventually open the door or gate or carrier when they're both relaxed and seem calm and happy with no growling or hissing or angry or defensive body language (big puffy tail, ears flat back, eyes narrow and slits, fur raised and puffy, tail lashing, tense, front paws swiping or cuffing. All BAD signs). If they're calm and happy just open the door or gate and ignore them but watch them and let them move around cautiously.

    Don't get in the middle of it if there's an actual fight so you don't get hurt. Make a loud sound to startle them out of it. Like banging pots or clapping your hands or throw a blanket over them or throw cold water on them. That's for a real fight, which I doubt a young kitten would do. She'd probably run or get submissive and appease your other cat. Just in case.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
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  14. Nadine Aquilina

    Nadine Aquilina Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Alright, will try that, thank you so much for the suggestions and help, much appreciated :)
     
  15. mani

    mani fervent feline fan Staff Member Moderator

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  16. Nadine Aquilina

    Nadine Aquilina Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Hello, can anyone help me please? I have been trying the suggested methods, it seemed to have been working until yesterday.

    The kitten got out of the room and everyone pretty much made a scene, the older cat got scared and she ran outside, and after all that, the older cat doesn't seem to want anything to do with me, she pissed and angry at me, she's been hissing and growling at me non stop each time I try to pet her and sometimes even tries to attack me, but doesn't really scratch me or anything except bitting, and I don't really know why and what to do regarding that.
     
  17. mani

    mani fervent feline fan Staff Member Moderator

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    It will have been the tension that was created, 'everyone made a scene' that really would have added to this. Nadine, did you read through the articles about introducing? I think you are doing something similar, but it's good to do it systematically. If you rush it then the relationship unlimately won't be as good. Time and patience. :)
     
  18. Nadine Aquilina

    Nadine Aquilina Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    I don't feel like I am rushing, we didn't mean to let the kitten out the room until the older cat was fully comfortable having her around.
     
  19. mani

    mani fervent feline fan Staff Member Moderator

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    I know you didn't :hugs:
    I just mean that you probably need to start the process again, and the process in the articles is useful, if you want to use it. :)
     

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