Introductions going well, needing a bit of advice

robertskitty

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So just short of two weeks ago I fished a 6 week old kitten, Jiji out of the pool that we are hoping to keep.

We already have a 7 year old cat, Luna. Luna grew up with two sibling tom cats, who passed from old age roughly 1.5 and 2 years ago so she's been the only cat for a bit.

As soon as I got Jiji out of the pool I let Luna see her, kind of hoping that Luna's momma cat instincts would kick in. Luna took a few sniffs and hissed so Jiji was placed in a (very small) kitten safe room.

They smelled each other under the door for a few days and when Luna seemed interested enough, Jiji got a chance to explore the house. Since the first introduction, if the kitten does something she doesn't like Luna will hiss or claw free smack and the Jiji backs off.

We have continued with daily time together. For the most part the kitten just runs and plays and Luna monitors from a distance. They generally come together to boop noses maybe 3-8 times each time Jiji is out and Jiji generally gets 2-5 corrections from Luna.

Wednesday Jiji got a clean bill of health from the vet. The vet also encouraged getting Luna and Jiji together as quickly as possible since Jiji is missing out on some vital socialization not being will her mom.

Luna has a room all to herself that she gets locked in when no humans are home. It houses her food and water and litter box as well as cat trees and windows to look out etc etc. It's closed off by a baby gate when we are home to keep the dogs out of Luna's litter box and food but Luna can jump over it to go in and out.

My family is off for the 4th so we have 3 days in a row we are all home. I would like to move Jiji into Luna's room, both because it has more space for her to run and because the end goal is for Luna and Jiji to share the room when the family is out. Jiji has visited the room every day this week, Luna often watching, without issue.

Yesterday and today I closed the door so they were locked in there together (I stayed with them to supervise). Luna just laid on the floor and the kitten bounced around like a crazy ball of fluff. A few times Jiji would go after Luna's tail and Luna would hiss but not move or anything. Today Luna groomed Jiji! But then Jiji got too forward and Luna gave her a swat.

I am planning to move the kitten's food and litter box in there, as well as all her toys. I am covering the gate with plexiglass so the kitten can't slip through the bars but Luna can still jump out. There is a lot of vertical space for Luna that Jiji can't reach.

My question is, am I moving too quickly? Based on Luna's reactions does it seem like they are getting it figured out? Also, while they are getting used to sharing a room this weekend should I move Luna's food elsewhere or up out of Jiji's reach. Jiji still only eats wet food and Luna has dry so Jiji has sniffed the food a few times but not eaten any of it.

For this weekend Luna will not be locked up at all, we will be home the whole time. She can jump the gate to go in and out but the kitten will stay in the room most of time. Then Tuesday and Wednesday Luna would need locked up maybe an hour or two. Thursday it would be for eight hours. It will be a nice slow build up.

Open to ideas and suggestions!
 

ArtNJ

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That sounds fine. You have a bit of youngster and grumpy old man saying "Keep off my tail!" and waiving his cane around. Thats pretty mild. I think they can be put together full time.

Not to be depressing, but there is a chance that this is as far as you ever get. The kitten gets some chastisement when actively bugging the older cat, and is otherwise ignored. I know you are hoping for more, and there *is* hope, but even if there is no progress its not a terrible outcome.
 
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robertskitty

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If they only ever tolerate one another but can safely exist in the same room during work days, I am fine with that outcome.

Luna is still her super cuddly lap cat self and that's all I want is for her to co exist safely with our little fluff ball.
 

ArtNJ

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Keep in mind that adults never intentially hurt young kittens. Occassionally, with a stupid over enthusiastic very very young adult cat (usually around 1) sometimes they play so roughly that we do recommend some heightened vigilance when the kitten is as young as yours. But that isn't your issue. At 7, your cat is playing the role of crotchety senior citizen. 7 is still middle aged, but this is pretty common. So the cat may growl, hiss, even swat or pin the kitten, but not with intent to injure-- rather to back the kitten off or teach manners.
 
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robertskitty

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Luna closely monitoring Jiji playing in her new space.

The increased exposure has led to an increase in hissing from Luna but I'm hopeful that will even out over the next few days. I am a little worried about overnight but Luna tends to sleep in the living room not her room so I'm hoping Jiji will go unbothered.

Jiji is acting a bit more anxious in her new space, puffing up and hiding when she first sees someone at the baby gate but then coming out to play fairly quickly. Is this just new home base blues or something of concern?
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Jiji has already figured out how to jump into Luna's litter robot though we have to keep the auto cycle off until she's 5 lbs.
 
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robertskitty

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Jiji has also been eating Luna's dry food even though she has dry food of her own. So far Luna seems unconcerned about this.

Jiji appears unphased by her night in the new room. An interesting development this morning. I was in the cat room playing with the feather teaser. Luna has always been a wait till the toy comes close then smack kind of cat. Even as a kitten she'd never really give chase, preferring to wait for the toy to get close.

So imagine my surprise this morning when she took turns chasing it around the room. Jiji would chase for a few minutes then get distracted so I would give Luna a turn. A few times she still waited till it came to her but more often than not she chased it around! Not sure it means anything for the introduction but it was fun to see my old girl sprinting and bounding along with the kitten!

Luna is definitely just walking up to the kitten and hissing, even though the baby gate. Not sure if she should take a step back or if this is just "working it out".
 
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robertskitty

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Noticed some strange behavior from both cats tonight.

Luna was walking and Jiji was in the way so she hissed and slapped her repeatedly. Still no claws but it's odd for her to attack without Jiji acting up.

Then later I was feeding them treats and Jiji would growl any time she had one in her mouth. No tail or eat action, just growling. She's never had treats before so maybe she was just really into them? Then after that Jiji was playing with her mouse toy and every time she picked it up she growled. At first I thought it was directed at Luna but then Luna left and the behavior continued.

Not sure if I should persist with Jiji in Luna's room or if we should take a step back.
 
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