Maine coon Kitten and Established 8 year old cat

Lontara

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Hello

We have a new addition of a maine coin kitten (Chester) who has been with us 2 weeks. The first week we scent swapped fed closer and closer to the door which went relativley well although our 8 year old cat (Sookie) made the odd noise and hiss.

We decided to introduce them visually which went OK but a bit of hissing so we played with them, fed them treats etc. The 8 year old cat over the last few days still makes noises, no ears back occasional swat but at no point did we feel that there would be fighting. Chester has been completley chilled out.

We also tried feeding them.in sight, giving them fish which sookie loves and they both ate. Sookie did seem a bit shocked initially. But ate.

We still have the odd growling and occasional swatting day 3 but have been moving Chester to his safe room. If we feel its getting too much for Sookie.

We tried feeding them.in sight again tonight, Chester ate but sookie didnt and just sat there grunting away. (may have been as its quite a hot day)

When Chester isnt in sight Sookie is fine no signs of stress.

I think maybe we rushed things slightly and am thinking of going back to square one do you agree

Thanks in advance.
 

ArtNJ

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No, I'd keep going the way you are. Doesn't sound like its going badly. It sounds like the kitten is being somewhat respectful and not overly playful. Thats great. That gives the Main Coon time to get over things and see the kitten isn't so bad. Time together is what will lead to progress. It can be harder if the kitten is constantly jumping on the big cat.

When the big cat seems really stressed, longer introductions can be better, but you big cat doesn't seem to be doing too badly. Also, the closer kittens get to six months or so the greater the chance they will be perceived as an adult. Big cats may be scared of tiny kittens, but they don't actually hurt them or fight them with intent to injure. Just maybe a "get away" swat. But if you wait too long, you use up to much of this golden-hour time. Granted, if the kitten is like 14 weeks you probably have plenty of this risk-free time left, but my opinion is that two weeks is enough if the big cat seems to be doing generally ok, with just some light hissing and maybe a get-away swat.
 
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Lontara

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No, I'd keep going the way you are. Doesn't sound like its going badly. It sounds like the kitten is being somewhat respectful and not overly playful. Thats great. That gives the Main Coon time to get over things and see the kitten isn't so bad. Time together is what will lead to progress. It can be harder if the kitten is constantly jumping on the big cat.

When the big cat seems really stressed, longer introductions can be better, but you big cat doesn't seem to be doing too badly. Also, the closer kittens get to six months or so the greater the chance they will be perceived as an adult. Big cats may be scared of tiny kittens, but they don't actually hurt them or fight them with intent to injure. Just maybe a "get away" swat. But if you wait too long, you use up to much of this golden-hour time. Granted, if the kitten is like 14 weeks you probably have plenty of this risk-free time left, but my opinion is that two weeks is enough if the big cat seems to be doing generally ok, with just some light hissing and maybe a get-away swat.
The established cat did come over to the kitten whilst eating and hiss and try to swat today but I just see this as asserting dominance?
 

ArtNJ

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The established cat did come over to the kitten whilst eating and hiss and try to swat today but I just see this as asserting dominance?
Maybe. I've more seen curiousity/a compulsive need to see what is going on. So they come near the kitten to check out what is going on, and still hiss or swat. Maybe its a "you better not be touching my stuff" kind of curiosity. Anyway, its a normal variation of how this goes down, and it beats the big cats that want to hide from the kitten (because then they don't get the needed time together).
 
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FlabbyTabby

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Congrats on your new Coonie! I am a proud Maine Coon owner myself! When I introduced my new kitten to my tabby I kept her in the cage, and let my tabby come smell her for a while. Also, I put them in adjacent rooms and let them smell each other through the little opening under the door, that seemed to help put tabby at ease, she's very territorial.
 

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I agree that it seems to be going pretty well.

How old is Chester? Sookie just seems to be trying to teach Chester manners and establish boundaries, which is all rather normal based on my experience. I have never seen it as dominance, per se, unless it becomes actually violent. It is when there is violence that there is an actual cause for alarm. Thankfully, the most violent thing any of my cats have done is stalking with a mild "attack" that was not playful.

I have 12 cats in my home at the moment and have fostered in the past. The greatest age difference we had in introductions would be our 16 1/2-year-old Simon and our current kittens, Xanthippe, Iroh, and Cassian, who were 6-8- weeks old when we got them. It has been a month, and Simon still occasionally hisses or swats at one of the kittens if they are in his space when he does not want them to be. They have pretty much been adopted by our almost 7-year-old Fennimore. Even though they are closest with Fennimore, he will even swat occasionally--never a hiss--if they are being "bad." Earlier today, all three of them were climbing all over him trying to get him to pay attention. He swatted two away (gently for a swat) and licked the other one's head. He then found the other two in turn.

Tara, the stalker, would go after Astrid until we did click training and redirection. She has not stalked Astrid in years now. They are not exactly friendly with each other for whatever reason, but, after click training and redirection, they will sit near each other without any issue.

As I said, though, Chester and Sookie seem to be on a good track to establishing a friendly relationship. If there are any major setbacks, you could take things back a step or two and do some reestablishing, but it does not seem as if reintroductions are needed at the moment. Keep taking things slow and let the cats set their own pace. You are doing great!
 
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Lontara

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Congrats on your new Coonie! I am a proud Maine Coon owner myself! When I introduced my new kitten to my tabby I kept her in the cage, and let my tabby come smell her for a while. Also, I put them in adjacent rooms and let them smell each other through the little opening under the door, that seemed to help put tabby at ease, she's very territorial.
Our maine coon kitten has been around 8 year old for a week or so now, there is still hissing and swatting but sometimes they sit 2 feet apart with occasional hiss and the odd swat. This maine coon kitten is very bold and gets close to her but doesnt try to jump or play even though you can see he wants too he seema very respectful most of the time. Im unsure if getting a crate will help at this point? but its worth a try.
 
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Lontara

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I agree that it seems to be going pretty well.

How old is Chester? Sookie just seems to be trying to teach Chester manners and establish boundaries, which is all rather normal based on my experience. I have never seen it as dominance, per se, unless it becomes actually violent. It is when there is violence that there is an actual cause for alarm. Thankfully, the most violent thing any of my cats have done is stalking with a mild "attack" that was not playful.

I have 12 cats in my home at the moment and have fostered in the past. The greatest age difference we had in introductions would be our 16 1/2-year-old Simon and our current kittens, Xanthippe, Iroh, and Cassian, who were 6-8- weeks old when we got them. It has been a month, and Simon still occasionally hisses or swats at one of the kittens if they are in his space when he does not want them to be. They have pretty much been adopted by our almost 7-year-old Fennimore. Even though they are closest with Fennimore, he will even swat occasionally--never a hiss--if they are being "bad." Earlier today, all three of them were climbing all over him trying to get him to pay attention. He swatted two away (gently for a swat) and licked the other one's head. He then found the other two in turn.

Tara, the stalker, would go after Astrid until we did click training and redirection. She has not stalked Astrid in years now. They are not exactly friendly with each other for whatever reason, but, after click training and redirection, they will sit near each other without any issue.

As I said, though, Chester and Sookie seem to be on a good track to establishing a friendly relationship. If there are any major setbacks, you could take things back a step or two and do some reestablishing, but it does not seem as if reintroductions are needed at the moment. Keep taking things slow and let the cats set their own pace. You are doing great!
Sookie is 8 years old and had the rule of the roost and Chester the maine coon is 15 weeks.

We still put him in his safe room at night. I know the hiss and swat episodes will die down as she gets used to him but Chester is such a lovely cat that yoh hate to see it.
 

FlabbyTabby

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Our maine coon kitten has been around 8 year old for a week or so now, there is still hissing and swatting but sometimes they sit 2 feet apart with occasional hiss and the odd swat. This maine coon kitten is very bold and gets close to her but doesnt try to jump or play even though you can see he wants too he seema very respectful most of the time. Im unsure if getting a crate will help at this point? but its worth a try.
It sounds like they are well on their way to getting along! Your kitten is respecting your 8 year old's boundaries, good sign. I'm sure they will become best buddies.
 

ArtNJ

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Definitely dont fuss with a crate. The 8 year old needs time around the kitten to get it out of the system. The kitten may start jumping on the 8 year old at some point soon, but for now all time together sounds like productive time.
 

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An interesting piece of advice I've seen on TCS is be sure to show your resident cat preference with petting, playing and lap siting. This will help assure him that he is still the top cat. Good luck!
 
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Lontara

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Definitely dont fuss with a crate. The 8 year old needs time around the kitten to get it out of the system. The kitten may start jumping on the 8 year old at some point soon, but for now all time together sounds like productive time.
I know it can take a while for the hissing growling and swatting to stop but they have the odd occasions when they are a couple of feet apart juat staring at one another.

We have been feeding them close together in the evening say 2 to 3 feet and get the best results when feeding fish as sookie the older cat loves fish! would you reccomend continuing this way
 
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Lontara

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Hello All,

I wanted to follow this up for some advice, please.

So as explained previously after a week we introduced Sookie our 8-year-old cat to our Maine Coon Kitten Chester. I think it was too soon as we didn't follow the process exactly and there was hissing growling swatting etc nothing vicious (this went on for a week) but we felt that we needed to take a backward step, Chester is inquisitive and not afraid of her in spite of all the noise and swatting, Sookie would after a while just look to go outside away from the intruder. They did eat visually roughly 3 feet apart but there was a growl and swat afterward (Sookie)

The kitten has a lovely temperament and provides no visual threat from what I can see he is just inquisitive of Sookie.

So we started again kitten in safe room, Sookie already knows the scent of Chester as it's all over the place, he's been all around the house. But we still got his scent on some socks and put in her favorite places. We did the food bowl inching closer together which appeared to be going great then eventually got to the door and Sookie started to eat, looked at the bottom of the door, Chester may have moved, Sookie hissed and ran off.

Sookie wouldn't come back to the food even though we moved it back away from the kitten's door.

I did take Sookie in the Kittens safe room and closed the door but she hated that growling and scratching to get out, that was my fault.

Now Sookie won't eat anywhere near that door. Just growls and runs off.

I've obviously changed the dynamic here.##What would you advise?

Thanks in advance.
 

ArtNJ

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I probably wouldn't have gone backwards, a week is nothing, and hissing and swatting is nothing. My last kitten intro went as easy as possible and there was still 4 days of hissing before gradually getting to friendship. Seven days of hissing and swatting is a lot less likely to be a friendship track, but i don't think a reintroduction is going to change that. There is always some small hope, but realistically your Maine Coon is most likely on the gradual approach to toleration track, and they need lots of time together for progress down that track. Its less than ideal, but not remotely uncommon for an eight year old cat to react to a kitten this way.

I guess the counter-argument is that if you are going to have tension and stress for a while, only gradually improving, you want to know you did everything you could. And that makes sense, I've told people as much, its just that here you had already gotten a week into face-to-face time and it was going ok (ish). I wouldn't expect the reintroduction process to change the outcome much, if at all. It would be nice if it does, but its not likely. Sometimes its a slow stress filled crawl towards toleration.
 
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Lontara

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I probably wouldn't have gone backwards, a week is nothing, and hissing and swatting is nothing. My last kitten intro went as easy as possible and there was still 4 days of hissing before gradually getting to friendship. Seven days of hissing and swatting is a lot less likely to be a friendship track, but i don't think a reintroduction is going to change that. There is always some small hope, but realistically your Maine Coon is most likely on the gradual approach to toleration track, and they need lots of time together for progress down that track. Its less than ideal, but not remotely uncommon for an eight year old cat to react to a kitten this way.

I guess the counter-argument is that if you are going to have tension and stress for a while, only gradually improving, you want to know you did everything you could. And that makes sense, I've told people as much, its just that here you had already gotten a week into face-to-face time and it was going ok (ish). I wouldn't expect the reintroduction process to change the outcome much, if at all. It would be nice if it does, but its not likely. Sometimes its a slow stress filled crawl towards toleration.
thankyou for this advice, juat let them see each other again just now, will keep you updates
 
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Lontara

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So as an update its been a week and the older cat is still hissing growling and swatting at the maine coon kitten who is 18 weeks old, he is getting quite big and the the older established cat is quite active with the rushing at him and swatting, even though it looks agressive she has never hurt him is this to be expected? as im thinking its increased as he has got bigger, the eatabliahed cat is a female and reasonably small. Ordered some feliway friends to see if that helps.
 
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Lontara

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How is the kitten reacting?
The kitten is fearless, when the older cat lunges or swats the older cat will often walk away and the kitten will follow, it doesnt pounce on the older cat its more a case of i would like ro play but im going to sit here and watch and occasionaly get a bit closer, thats when the older cat will swat growl etc. But the kitten does consistently follow the older cat.
(the kitten has been neutered fyi)

The kitten will sit back and defend himself on occasions with the odd timid swat himself but none of them are harming each other currently.

The older cat does tend to go into the spare room to get some rest.
 
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Lontara

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I for
The kitten is fearless, when the older cat lunges or swats the older cat will often walk away and the kitten will follow, it doesnt pounce on the older cat its more a case of i would like ro play but im going to sit here and watch and occasionaly get a bit closer, thats when the older cat will swat growl etc. But the kitten does consistently follow the older cat.
(the kitten has been neutered fyi)

The kitten will sit back and defend himself on occasions with the odd timid swat himself but none of them are harming each other currently.

The older cat does tend to go into the spare room to get some rest.
i forgot to add the older cat does growl when it sees the kitten
 
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