Introducing new kitten to mature cat

ArtNJ

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Well remember, an adult wont actually ever hurt a true kitten (i.e. one below 6 months). So its not the kitten that one needs to worry about, its the 14 year old's anxiety level. And indeed, the kitten was showing you its fine by coming right back and trying to be near the big cat. So with that in mind, I think you can safely let it go a bit more while you take your video.

Put another way, the problem with these things isn't violence. Its that the senior cats can stay stress for a long time, and sometimes the stress can be at problematic levels.
 
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JavierG

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Started off relatively calm but then I thought escalated fast, feels aggressive to me, but would like your thoughts.
 

rubysmama

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Started off relatively calm but then I thought escalated fast, feels aggressive to me, but would like your thoughts.
I've never personally introduced a kitten to a cat, however, I tend to agree with your assessment of what happened in the video. Interested to see what A ArtNJ 's take on it will be.
 

ArtNJ

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The 14 year old is very clearly stressed by the kitten and desirous of convincing him to stay the bleep away. Even before the kitten got too close, the 14 year old seemed to have some hyper vigilance going on -- like they have to be on high alert because in their mind there is a possible intruder that might try something. If you had tried to pet your cat at that time, you might well have gotten scratched yourself. Often its very tough to distract a cat in hyper vigilant mode, because they take staying on guard seriously.

I think it might be a good idea to back up. If it was just hissing and running away, letting them work through it would be more viable, but the 14 year old clearly wants to give the kitten some "stay the f away" swats. While its theoretically possible for them to work through that, I was recently reminded that my 7 year old cat has mild cauliflower ear from some similar swats he received from a senior cat when he was a kitten. So while "get away" swats are not the biggest deal in the world, and they are different from an attack with intent to injure, they are not nothing either.
 
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JavierG

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Thank you, I figured as much and maybe was moving too fast. So resumed the playpen approach , but was wondering are those temporary mesh screen doors good?
I figured something like that might offer another option for them to get exposed safely to each other. But Are they sturdy enough for use in these situations?
Like the below one?

Reinforced Cat Screen Door, 31.5”X82” Heavy Duty Pets Proof Screen Door with Bilateral Zipper, Prevent Dogs Cats Running Out from Home, Bedroom, Living Room, Kitchen Patio Door Amazon.com
 

ArtNJ

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Probably. If the older cat is too stressed you could cover part of the door with a towel and raise it over a few days. Thats a known strategy for when the resident cat is crazy stressed at the mere sight of the other cat.
 
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JavierG

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So a question on the use of a screen door. Is the idea that I have the screen on all the time so the cats can visit each other safely whenever they want and this become used to seeing each other? Or is it only let them see each other when someone is there to offer treats to make them feel good about seeing each other?
 

rubysmama

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You know, that's a really good question. I've never personally introduced cats, just read many, many threads here about the process, and that hasn't ever come up that I can remember. But I would think once they are semi-comfortable seeing each other, as long as the screen is strong enough to keep them apart, it would be fine to keep it there all the time. The idea is to let them see each other, without the chance of an outright cat fight. But certainly, I would suggest, seeing how they interact at first, before leaving it there if no humans are nearby.
 
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JavierG

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So another question, I have had the kitten and cat seperated now for 4 days, trying to reset things. I let them have turns in running around the house seperated. But also just today took kitten out while carrying her near resident cat was napping. Resident cat noticed and just went back to sleep. Did this twice as it also helps me get kitten used to getting handled and such. At a distance resident cat doesn’t seem to care much. I think that’s good. I figured to do this more and gradually getting closer. So maybe RD can get used to seeing kitten without having to deal with kitten coming up to her directly. Is this the right way to think of this? Or am I creating some other problems like resentment or jealousy in resident cat in the future?
 

rubysmama

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Since resident cat looked up, saw the kitten, and went back to sleep, it doesn't sound like there was any stress felt. So probably play it by ear, and see how it goes.

Your mention of jealousy reminded me that we have an article on the topic. Here's the link, if you want to read it:
Do Cats Get Jealous? (And What To Do About It When They Do) - TheCatSite
 
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JavierG

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So I just read on another past thread an approach for reintroducing a cat to household. Basically dab some vanilla under chin and tail on all cats. This making them all smell similar and making new cats easier to be accepted. Does that really work? Theoretically I can see if cats are very scent oriented that it could help, but has anyone actually done that and had it work?
 
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JavierG

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Interesting is this a scent added just at the time of introduction? Or something done longer term as in added periodically to make sure they stay with a similar scent?
 

rubysmama

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I think, generally, it's for when initially introducing a new cat to the household, or if one resident cat goes to the vet and comes home smelling different. So not sure if it would work in your case, since the introductions are ongoing.

But on the scent topic, have you considered Feliway? Some cat parents find it helpful, though others not so much. I've never used it, so can't give a personal opinion. It's also pricey. But might be something to look into.

FELIWAY for cats
 
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JavierG

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I think, generally, it's for when initially introducing a new cat to the household, or if one resident cat goes to the vet and comes home smelling different. So not sure if it would work in your case, since the introductions are ongoing.

But on the scent topic, have you considered Feliway? Some cat parents find it helpful, though others not so much. I've never used it, so can't give a personal opinion. It's also pricey. But might be something to look into.

FELIWAY for cats
Yes I have had Feliway Optimum for going on 3 weeks now. Don’t know if it is doing anything as honestly I have slowed down introduction activities somewhat. So can’t tell if there is any difference because of Feliway.
 
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JavierG

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So I have been for the past week letting Lola our resident cat get a visual of the kitten by simply walking around while holding the kitten. Usually for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. Most of the time there is seemingly little response from Lola. She’s just sits in her spot. Sometimes looks at me and the kitten, other times not at all and just lays down. Then yesterday she did something different. I would move around walking to different areas of the living room and Lola would follow. If I moved next to Sofa, she would walk over and sit down about 5 feet away. She didn’t look threatening mostly. Sometimes walking with Tail up, sometimes tail down. When tail was down I tried to move in case she was not happy where I was standing. But otherwise it seemed neutral other than she was following us. I thought it was a curious development
 
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JavierG

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Hi so just noticed a puddle of Pee in front of the third litter box I bought. The only cat with access at the time is the resident cat. She does not normally have accidents. So I have to assume this is somehow marking territory. But does doing that generally leave a puddle of pee? Or something more subtle?
 

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JavierG

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Hmmm.... Could be marking territory, I guess. Could also be litter box avoidance, caused by a UTI which can be brought on by stress.

Stress in Cats – The Ultimate Guide – Cat Articles
How To Solve Litterbox Problems In Cats: The Ultimate Guide | TheCatSite

Make sure you clean the urine with an enzyme cleaner so that the smell will be gone, and she (hopefully) won't pee there again.
I was just now watching Lola try to use the litter box. I may have solved the problem ….I hope. The box is apparently too small. For some reason Lola seems to scrunch up to use it. I literally just saw her pee on the wall next to while standing INSIDE the box…..sigh.
 
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