Maine coon Kitten and Established 8 year old cat

Lontara

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
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

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
2,836
Reaction score
3,145
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.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

Lontara

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
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

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
2,836
Reaction score
3,145
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).
 
Last edited:

FlabbyTabby

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
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.
 

Elphaba09

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 6, 2018
Messages
1,276
Reaction score
2,699
Location
NE Ohio
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!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

Lontara

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
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.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

Lontara

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
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

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
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

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
2,836
Reaction score
3,145
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.
 

ArchyCat

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
1,740
Location
Texas
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!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

Lontara

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
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
 
Top