Introducing new kitten

gagakyu

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Hello, I recently got a new kitten few days ago and I've slowly introduced the current resident cats to the new kitten. So far they've just hissed at him and have run away but now one of the resident cats follows the kitten around and smelling him. Should I be wary of this? I'm just a little scared he might want to attack the kitten.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Most adult cats will not attack a small kitten, THAT SAID...do not leave the kitten alone with any of the cats until he grows up a bit. You don't say how big the kitten is, but I'm thinking just a young one? A larger cat could easily injure a much smaller kitten without intending to do real harm.

Let the older cat follow and smell. This is the best way for him to get used to the new baby, and that needs to happen. But do keep an eye on them for a few weeks! Be ready to step in if things get out of hand. A little hissing and a swat is not a problem, in fact, it means that the older cat has decided it's his place to teach this little newcomer his manners, and is standing in for Mom in doing so. But it should not go beyond that. The swat should be "claws in."
 
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gagakyu

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Most adult cats will not attack a small kitten, THAT SAID...do not leave the kitten alone with any of the cats until he grows up a bit. You don't say how big the kitten is, but I'm thinking just a young one? A larger cat could easily injure a much smaller kitten without intending to do real harm.

Let the older cat follow and smell. This is the best way for him to get used to the new baby, and that needs to happen. But do keep an eye on them for a few weeks! Be ready to step in if things get out of hand. A little hissing and a swat is not a problem, in fact, it means that the older cat has decided it's his place to teach this little newcomer his manners, and is standing in for Mom in doing so. But it should not go beyond that. The swat should be "claws in."
I only let him out of my room when I'm here and I'm always watching to see the other cats reactions. He's only 2 months so he's a small baby! I don't plan on leaving him alone with them for a while until I know he's big enough. The two older cats have just been smelling him then hiss, sometimes they start growling which is hopefully common as well as the hissing?
 

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Congrats on the new kitten!! You should absolutely post pictures! :loveeyes:

8 weeks is very young so good on you for not leaving him alone with the older cats. Growling is less common but I wouldn't be too concerned so long as they only growl when the kitten gets in their personal space and they're asserting their boundaries, and that the growling isn't followed up by anything physical. And also that your cats are still behaving normally when the kitten isn't around! Definitely try to keep their schedules normal and make them feel like they're the top cat in the household. It might be counterintuitive to comfort your resident cats (who are typically the hissing/swatting aggressor), but the more your current kitties feel confident, the faster they're going to realize this newcomer isn't a threat. When my new kitten squirted free of his safe room on his first day home (oops!), my oldest resident freaked out then spent the rest of the day sulking in his cat tree. I had to lift him out to encourage him to come eat dinner, poor guy! But that's the sort of abnormal behavior from your resident that indicates that things are moving too fast — if everyone's eating/drinking/playing when the kitten is put away, I would feel good about the speed things are progressing!

With an 8 week kitten, they're all going to settle in just fine, I promise you! However if you're worried about the growling, there's nothing wrong with taking a step back and sticking a baby gate or screen between the kitten and the residents and letting them get a little more accustomed to the sight/smell of the newcomer. You have lots of time to introduce them as your current cats are still going to recognize them as a kitten for weeks to come, and you won't want to be leaving the kitten alone with them until he's gained a bit of size and weight anyway.
 
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gagakyu

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Congrats on the new kitten!! You should absolutely post pictures! :loveeyes:

8 weeks is very young so good on you for not leaving him alone with the older cats. Growling is less common but I wouldn't be too concerned so long as they only growl when the kitten gets in their personal space and they're asserting their boundaries, and that the growling isn't followed up by anything physical. And also that your cats are still behaving normally when the kitten isn't around! Definitely try to keep their schedules normal and make them feel like they're the top cat in the household. It might be counterintuitive to comfort your resident cats (who are typically the hissing/swatting aggressor), but the more your current kitties feel confident, the faster they're going to realize this newcomer isn't a threat. When my new kitten squirted free of his safe room on his first day home (oops!), my oldest resident freaked out then spent the rest of the day sulking in his cat tree. I had to lift him out to encourage him to come eat dinner, poor guy! But that's the sort of abnormal behavior from your resident that indicates that things are moving too fast — if everyone's eating/drinking/playing when the kitten is put away, I would feel good about the speed things are progressing!

With an 8 week kitten, they're all going to settle in just fine, I promise you! However if you're worried about the growling, there's nothing wrong with taking a step back and sticking a baby gate or screen between the kitten and the residents and letting them get a little more accustomed to the sight/smell of the newcomer. You have lots of time to introduce them as your current cats are still going to recognize them as a kitten for weeks to come, and you won't want to be leaving the kitten alone with them until he's gained a bit of size and weight anyway.
The first two days they've retreated to my room and didn't want to leave my room or even eat. Now they're slowly getting more comfortable and are ok walking by my dads room (where the kitten is). With the growling they aren't getting physical with him just when he would get too close they would start growling and hiss. I bought a playpen for the little guy so there is some sort of barrier between them when I do bring him out. I've also bought the feliway diffuser to hopefully make them more relaxed and calm. Like I'm trying everything so things go smoothly when I let the baby loose into the house. 😭The one thing that worries me is the growling.
 

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The first two days they've retreated to my room and didn't want to leave my room or even eat. Now they're slowly getting more comfortable and are ok walking by my dads room (where the kitten is). With the growling they aren't getting physical with him just when he would get too close they would start growling and hiss. I bought a playpen for the little guy so there is some sort of barrier between them when I do bring him out. I've also bought the feliway diffuser to hopefully make them more relaxed and calm. Like I'm trying everything so things go smoothly when I let the baby loose into the house. 😭The one thing that worries me is the growling.
It sounds like your dad's room is the kitten's base camp/safe room; that's great that they're not being so reactive at the door anymore. Completely natural that they were so stressed out with a new baby in the house, cats are very rarely thrilled to have a new addition as we are, even if they end up friendly or even bonded eventually! How did you introduce them? Was it gradually, or did you let them see the kitten right away? If it's the latter, even though the kitten is so young, it might have been a lot of stress for them to be around this newcomer right away. It's very hard to mess up introductions with a kitten and honestly just sticking the kitten with the adult cats usually works itself out, but going slow is the best way to minimize stress (for the cats and you too!) and set your cats up for a more positive relationship.

You might consider keeping these visitation sessions short: it's great to end them on a positive note, before anyone really gets stirred up and starts growling a lot. Playing with your adult cats or giving them treats while the baby is around is also a great way to establish positive associations. Mostly it just takes time! If your cats are now eating/drinking okay and aren't showing any redirected aggression to each other, short but frequent sessions to get rid of that "stranger danger" is the most beneficial. And again if things seem tense, no problem just backing it up! Feed your residents and the kittens treats on the opposite sides of a door, or play with your residents near your dad's door until they no longer hiss at the smell of the kitten or the sound of the kitten meowing.

Also if you're worried, feel free to upload pictures or a video of your cats interacting! There are fantastic cat behaviorists on here who can give you a good idea of if your cat is acting aggressive or asserting their boundaries, and offer more refined suggestions. :blush:
 
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gagakyu

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It sounds like your dad's room is the kitten's base camp/safe room; that's great that they're not being so reactive at the door anymore. Completely natural that they were so stressed out with a new baby in the house, cats are very rarely thrilled to have a new addition as we are, even if they end up friendly or even bonded eventually! How did you introduce them? Was it gradually, or did you let them see the kitten right away? If it's the latter, even though the kitten is so young, it might have been a lot of stress for them to be around this newcomer right away. It's very hard to mess up introductions with a kitten and honestly just sticking the kitten with the adult cats usually works itself out, but going slow is the best way to minimize stress (for the cats and you too!) and set your cats up for a more positive relationship.

You might consider keeping these visitation sessions short: it's great to end them on a positive note, before anyone really gets stirred up and starts growling a lot. Playing with your adult cats or giving them treats while the baby is around is also a great way to establish positive associations. Mostly it just takes time! If your cats are now eating/drinking okay and aren't showing any redirected aggression to each other, short but frequent sessions to get rid of that "stranger danger" is the most beneficial. And again if things seem tense, no problem just backing it up! Feed your residents and the kittens treats on the opposite sides of a door, or play with your residents near your dad's door until they no longer hiss at the smell of the kitten or the sound of the kitten meowing.

Also if you're worried, feel free to upload pictures or a video of your cats interacting! There are fantastic cat behaviorists on here who can give you a good idea of if your cat is acting aggressive or asserting their boundaries, and offer more refined suggestions. :blush:
The way they got introduced for the first time was when he bolted out of my dads room. Lots of hissing from the other two and running away. Just now though the kitten ran out of my dads room and into the "cat room" and one of them started to growl again and hiss. What I don't understand though is with this same cat earlier in the morning she walked into my dads room booped noses with the kitten and didn't hiss at all and walked out. I don't understand!!!! Just now too the kitten decided to poop in one of their litter boxes and the other cat started to hiss again after going all day without hissing at him. 😔I know they wont be "best friends" like right away but it is kinda stressful because it seems like one step forward two steps back.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Take a deep breath. This is a process, and it frequently takes a step back, then forward again. It is more like two steps forward and one back, but it does seem to be the other way when you're living with it!
 
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