Is this "normal" how my 3 year old cat is acting since we got a new kitten

McMims

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HELP!! I know this may be a bit long but we need HELP!! We have Asia, our 3 year old female cat (we adopted her at 2 mos). She's been a happy girl. She hates being alone or when we're not paying 24/7 attention to her. Six days ago we adopted Kota, a 3 month old female kitten. My husband and I have no kids or other pets. We're following the proper introduction process with having the new kitten in the guest bathroom and bedroom. Kitten has settled in wonderfully and ready to explore the entire house! Asia hasn't actually seen her yet (she's not ready) but she smells her scent and hears her meows. FYI....We do have Feliway defusers around the house and always give Asia extra attention when we've been with the kitten.

ISSUES:
Asia hasn't seen Kota yet but has been hissing and growling just from Kota's scent and meows. She's even been hissing and growing towards us....mostly towards me. I'm the one Asia is bonded with the most (she follows me everywhere). She's never been aggressive like this towards me...only the vet. She's even swatted at my leg a few times like she was going to come after me. I leave her alone and she eventually she comes back around and normal. BIG concern Asia hasn't been eating much at all the last few days. She's had pee in her litter box but no poop yesterday. I'm REALLY concerned about her not eating normally because I know the health issues that can bring. She acted happier than normal today which gave me a ton of hope (except eating). But later this evening after I'd just left the room from playing & feeding the kitten, Asia glared at me, hissed, growled, walked over to me and swatted at me again. I again left her alone. About an a our later she came back to me and seems ok.

QUESTION:
Is all of the above normal for cat/new kitten introduction? Even her hissing swatting at her favorite human ? Not eating properly? Is all this a sign that Asia is not a candidate for another cat companion? Has anyone else experience any of this? I'm scared I made the wrong decision to give Asia a friend. Kota is a wonderful, cuddle bug, purr ALL the time kitten and we're bonding with her fast! I don't want this to premaritally change Asia into an aggressive, unhappy little girl :(

HELP!!
 

ArtNJ

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This is the reason that scent swapping is part of the normal introduction process. Some cats do react very strongly to the scent of another cat. And very stressed cats can take it out on their humans. As you have recognized, your going to have to spend a little longer with at least this step, and let the 3 year old get used to the scent more before moving on. Here is our guide:

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles

Its a bit of a bummer for a 3 year old cat to react this strongly, cats this young often have an easier time, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the whole process will be problematic, or that friendship is impossible. No real reason to be pessimistic yet, since your resident cat is so young, the chances for a good relationship are still strong.
 

SarahGonzalez

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Don’t panic. This is normal. We did a similar process with our newest but quicker. It has now been almost two months and the oldest still occasionally hisses or smacks the baby when she’s playing too rough, but they now groom each other and sleep close to each other and play often. It just takes time. Hang in there.
 
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McMims

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This is the reason that scent swapping is part of the normal introduction process. Some cats do react very strongly to the scent of another cat. And very stressed cats can take it out on their humans. As you have recognized, your going to have to spend a little longer with at least this step, and let the 3 year old get used to the scent more before moving on. Here is our guide:

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles

Its a bit of a bummer for a 3 year old cat to react this strongly, cats this young often have an easier time, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the whole process will be problematic, or that friendship is impossible. No real reason to be pessimistic yet, since your resident cat is so young, the chances for a good relationship are still strong.

Thank you for replying and sending the links!! I expected hissing and growing but didn't expect her to act so aggressive towards me the way she has or stop eating. She still has energy like a kitten but seems sad when we can't play at the exact moment she wants to. Which is why I thought she needed a friend. Good news about the eating btw...she's picking at her food as of last night and this morning. She hasn't had any poop in her bow the last couple days still. She's slightly overweight and can afford to lose a tad so hoping that might be ok?

Kitten Kota is ready to rock & roll in the entire house! It breaks my heart hearing her meow when she's alone. She went from being around all her siblings then straight to us so it's the 1st time she's had to spend any time alone. We're both at home all the time and go in & out often throughout the day. I read that it's not good to leave a kitten crying alone (especially younger than 6 months) so my husband is starting to sleep in the guest half of the house with her until....well...we're not sure when. Any advice on that? Is it ok to leave a kitten younger than 6 months meowing so loudly? She's fed and ok....she just wants company. We don't want her to develop bad separation anxiety.
 
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McMims

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Don’t panic. This is normal. We did a similar process with our newest but quicker. It has now been almost two months and the oldest still occasionally hisses or smacks the baby when she’s playing too rough, but they now groom each other and sleep close to each other and play often. It just takes time. Hang in there.
Thank you for replying! It makes me so happy to hear successful stories like that. I've seen the videos of cats hating each other at first then snuggle buddies later. I know I'll cry if I ever saw that with Asia and Kota.

I mentioned this above in my other reply:

It breaks my heart hearing her meow when she's alone. She went from being around all her siblings then straight to us so it's the 1st time she's had to spend any time alone. We're both at home all the time and go in & out often throughout the day. I read that it's not good to leave a kitten crying alone (especially younger than 6 months) so my husband is starting to sleep in the guest half of the house with her until....well...we're not sure when. Any advice on that? Is it ok to leave a kitten younger than 6 months meowing so loudly? She's fed and ok....she just wants company. We don't want her to develop bad separation anxiety.
 
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McMims

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ArtNJ

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Some kittens are so demanding of constant attention that for most people, its just an impossibility. The kittens get over it, and turn out fine, happy and well balanced. Around the world, happens a couple of millions of times a year I suspect. So, personally, I would never tell anyone that its "bad" to leave a kitten crying alone. I mean, maybe it is? Maybe instead of an 87% chance of a happy well adjusted cat, you'll tick down to 86% if you leave the kitten alone too much? But most people just cant be with the kitten 24/7, and here is the thing, if you constantly give in to the kitten's crying, it becomes a reinforcing cycle where the kitten knows it works and is going to cry more. So for me? Rule of reason all the way. And we have now had I guess 7 or 8 cats (lost track lol) over the years, and literally all of them have liked us a great deal. So in your situation, if its not too big of an inconvenience for the husband to sleep in the kitten's room as he is doing, I'd consider it. However, if it was something he was reluctant to do for whatever reason, I wouldn't sweat it. Hope that helps.
 

Eonblue

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Locking a kitten/cat up was a big concern of mine, but I can tell you at the end of the day it's fine. My "kitten" is almost a cat now and I still have to do it. It becomes part of their routine and mostly just sleep it away anyway. Go to your local pet store or shelter and cats spend all day in tiny cages. You can "catify" (as Jackson galaxy would put it) the room as much as you can and make it enjoyable as possible for them to help ease your mind.
 
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