Introducing new kitten - specifics

Iceanddfire

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Hi there!

I know there are many posts on introducing a new kitten to a resident cat, but was hoping to get some specific insight on the "supervised visit" stage.

We have a resident 5 year old spayed tabbyXmainecoon (Mandoo) who has lived with pets before, and was only adopted within the past year. 9 days ago, we adopted a kitten (Bowie) - male, domestic short hair, 11 weeks old now, neutered.

We have kept them separate, feeding on opposite sides of the door & scent swapping, then the last two days feeding on opposite sides with the door open (only one hiss from Mandoo if Bowie stops eating and walks toward her, then she continues eating or walks away).

Now - supervised visits. I know some amount of hissing is normal, but what has been successful for you?

We did one visit of 5 minutes today, playing with both (although Mandoo is lazy and not really into toys so she just watched Bowie). She hissed a few times when he got close, but no paws raised. After this we put Bowie back in his room.

We don't want to move too fast and start from square one, but these are our first cats. What is acceptable? When should we separate? Should we just let them do their thing and intervene when claws are drawn, or is too much hissing bad?

Thanks for any insight!
 

ArtNJ

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There is no such thing as too much hissing. Hissing with nothing bad happening is just venting and they get it out of their system. Even a "get away from me" swat by the older cat is fine. Once in a while you get an older cat that seems to want to charge the kitten. I think its almost always a "back the heck off" charge, adult cats don't really hurt young kittens, but still, when you get an adult cat that seems to want to charge, thats where even the experts figure that backing up the process and going slower might be a good idea. Assuming you don't have that, let them interact on their own for as long as you have time to be watchful. After a couple of hours (in any combination of sessions) with nothing bad happening, you can be in the next room over doing whatever. Personally, I don't worry about trying to play with them or giving treats or anything like that. If they are bonna fide stressed, you will not distract them by doing that. And if they aren't stressed to that level, why not give them time to work through stuff?
 
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Iceanddfire

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Thank you for your reply! They've been together with no separation for about 8 days now (so much nicer for us) and they are doing well. Occasionally Mandoo will lick/clean Bowie and then bop him on the head for no reason, but I put that down to her attitude and only 3 weeks together. They are playing together, eating together, and sleeping in the same room without incident so an early success I'd say :)
 

ArtNJ

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Awesome! Lick, lick, bite/bop is a tootsie roll type thing sometimes, although I've more seen it with very young & playful cats.
 
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