Introducing kittens

kittywhisper

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My plan was to get two kittens the same age at the same time from a rescue that uses foster homes. I picked out two kittens that are now 3 months. One of the kittens ended up sick and was having trouble holding his weight so we had to hold off on bringing them home. That kitten had diarrhea and was put on antibiotics. He gained on the antibiotics but would lose weight once off. Since it was unknown if he would be able to come home I bought home the other kitten figuring I could pick out another kitten if it did not work out. He has been here a few days and I do think he could use another kitten to play with since he has that 3 month kitten energy. They finally found out the kitten that was having trouble keeping weight on had coccidia and treated for that. I want to really make sure he is gaining and treated before bringing
him home so he does not get the other cat sick but I think now that they treated for the right thing he will be able to.

Waiting a little bit to get another kitten should be ok right? This kitten had other kittens in the house that were not family. For kittens I can just let him in and don’t need the longer introduction done for adults right? To what age does that apply to? There is going to be a size difference between kittens even though they are the same age. The kitten at home is a little over 4 pounds and the other kitten will be 2 pounds.
 

ArtNJ

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Yes, two kittens can just be put together with one wrinkle. Some kittens can be scared of the new house, new people and other pets for up to a week. And scared kittens can find somewhere dangerous to hide. To help speed their transition, its helpful to put new kittens in a safe room for at least a day or two, until they seem comfortable with the house and you. At that point, you can put them together and they will work out any tensions within a few days. Friendship is basically guarrantied with two kittens of say 6 months or younger, but the odds remain extremely high thereafter. As you get closer to two years of age, at some point you move dow to merely excellent or very good odds. So you have time.

Weight differences typically lead to one kitten always being the one to end play, sometimes squealing, running and hiding. They come out in a few minutes and act like nothing happened, and even initiate play sometimes. Its a bit stressful to watch, but its all normal and fine and improves with age. That said, as long as cats are of an age for playing, size differences never stop mattering entirely. My adult cats, a small 8 pound cat and muscular 11.5 pounder are good friends and play daily, but every single time, the 8 pounder ends play. They would certainly have longer play sessions if they were more equally matched. As such, other things being perfectly equal, in an ideal world, you would try to match sizes. In the real world, its not something most worry much about.
 
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kittywhisper

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Thank you. Yes the kitten currently at home did just as you said. He was trying find the smallest most out there place to hide because he was afraid of the new house so we put him in a safe room. He was always fine with people. It took him a few hours to come out of hiding in the safe room. He gradually got used to the room and then the house over 3 days and now he is comfortable everywhere. He still will go in the closet or under the coffee table during the day when he wants to nap. So yes with an even smaller kitten he will definitely need to go to a safe room too. I know he also might not want to eat right away. The one at home took a few hours to eat but then was fine so I really want to make sure he put on a little weight first too in case that happens since he will need to gain. I did not plan on them being such different sizes. I picked based on what the rescue I wanted to use had available and the way the personalities were described. That is just the way it worked out with the one getting sick before we bought him home.

It is good to know what to expect and that at their ages the chances are excellent they will get along. Thank you for your response!
 

Mamanyt1953

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LOL, A ArtNJ beat me to the good stuff, as he so often does, and thank goodness for him! Can't add a thing to this, really, other than to congratulate you on your new babies, and ask for photos, once they are both home and adjusting well!
 
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kittywhisper

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Ok day 1 is here. So the smaller kitten did not work out. He had a lot of weight to gain before going home and still had soft poop so they showed me another kitten before it went on their page. He is 12 weeks and the first kitten is 15 weeks and 5 pounds so I was thinking the new one would be a bit smaller but the 12 week one actually looks slightly bigger.

I had a safe room all set up for the new kitten but he was not hiding at all and wanted out so I let him out and introduced them.

There is some anxiety from both kittens around each other but for day one it is not too bad. The first cat stalks a bit but only swatted once without claws. He makes this funny chirping sound and looks anxious but he has cleaned himself and laid down nearby already. As has the other kitten. I even saw the new one exposing belly with the other kitten in the room. The new cat hisses a bit when the other kitten comes near but it is not too bad.

They both don’t like the other using the litter but both use it. Overall I think it is not bad for day 1.
 
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kittywhisper

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Ok I finally got the new kitten weighed and he does weigh less. He is 3.6 and the older kitten is 5.2. Here are some pictures. The black cat is the 15 week kitten and the white and brownish/greyish one is the 12 week kitten. The one picture shows a brief moment of ears back in the black kitte but they went back to normal right after. He is more anxious in personality.
 

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ArtNJ

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Super cute! Don't worry about a kitten seeming a little anxious in the first few days.

Its hard to judge cat weight by appearance for some reason. Our girl is 8.2 pounds and our boy is 11.6. And you say ok, thats a very large difference. Except the girl is teenie tiny and very much borderline underweight, and the boy is massively long and fit, if lean. It just doesn't compute to me. He looks like 11.6, but she looks like she should be 6 pounds.
 
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kittywhisper

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So they have had one evening and this is the second full day. The 15 week kitten has been the one to always initiate play fighting. Sometimes he seems annoyed like that the new kitten stole his bed and other times it seems like he is trying to play. He barely does the chirpy squirrel noise he was doing when the new kitten follows or gets close. He has ran up to the new kitten and tried to play with his paws but then backed off a few times when he won’t play back. Now the new one joins in sometimes but there is still some hissing and grumbling from him. He is totally fine though with him in the room, follows him places and though I have seen things like neck biting in play from the 15 week kitten it obviously is done gently without any injuries. He ran off into a closet once but then came out shortly after.

The older cat has been purring less and not cuddling me much at all anymore. He did not like the new kitten too close and he likes to cuddle but today he was fine to hop up on one side while the new kitten was on the other side. Just recently he came out of a bed cave he was sleeping in and got closer. His eyes were open and he saw him when it happen. Then the new kitten woke up and got even a bit closer. They always were fine in the same room together, they eat hear each other, played with toys near each other and follow people or each other into rooms. There seems to a little progress each day.
 

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ArtNJ

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Sounds great, they will be besties before you know it. I can't promise the older one will fully return to as playful and cuddly, because the new kitten will continue to be a focus to an extent. But that should get a whole lot better. And if you don't get quite as much cuddles and attention from the one kitten as you used to, the new one should more than make up the difference. Plus you get to watch them be crazy together.
 
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kittywhisper

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I now have kitten besties already. There is no more hissing from the younger one and I see now why the older one was called mellow. Now that he has a kitten to play with there is no more swiping at our hands or feet in play. I played with him a lot before the other but it was not like having a kitten to play with.
 

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