Need help cat introduction. Introducing kitten to cat.

ricue611

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It is pretty difficult introducing a new kitten to my resident cat. I have tried introducing them, but my resident cat is not even going near the new kitten. I have tried feeding them on each side of the door, but my resident cat keeps on running away. He will approach his food, but only if he is very hungry. In the end, the kitten eats on the other side, and the resident cat doesn't eat on the opposite side. I tried letting the kitten out to explore the house, and have the resident cat smell the room of the kitten, but he doesn't want to be in the room, he completely avoids the room.

I introduced the kitten to the resident cat by smell first. He smelled my hands, and he smelled a towel with kitten's scent. When I started off with scent first, I then put the kitten in a cat carrier, and put it in the room of the resident cat. When I put the kitten in the room, the resident cat smelled kitten in the carrier, and he did show some aggression. He mostly growls, and hisses. I try to give him treats while he is with the kitten in the carrier, so that he can associate the kitten with something positive. It has been a couple of days now, and I think he has gotten a bit better, but he is still being a little aggressive. He still avoids the kitten, and when he sees her, he still growls silently, and hisses. Can someone offer me some advice?
 

ArtNJ

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Here is this site's guide: How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide

A kitten should be in a safe room for a couple of days minimum before you even try an introduction. That way, if the kitten gets scared, it doesn't hide somewhere terrible and will merely head back to the saferoom. Assuming the kitten is adjusting fast as most do, how long of a process is prudent really depends on how stressed the older cat seems and its age and personality. If the resident cat is young and active, you don't need much process, the older cat will get over the discomfort and they will likely do well together. If the resident cat is older and not so active, its prudent to do at least a week, and some will do a couple of weeks.

A little light growling and hissing is not necessarily anything, and they might be friends if you just let them do their own thing. Adult cats do not attack true kittens, and they can get over the growling and hissing. Even a defensive get away swat is fine. However, a couple of days is not long at all. Even if the kitten is comfortable and the resident cat is under two and active, I'd likely do a little longer. This is especially true if the resident is older. Sometimes problems can linger with an older resident for months, and you don't want to be three months down the road and still wondering if a longer process would have made things better.
 

Jcatbird

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Slow and steady. Every cat adjusts at a different pace but the nice thing about kittens is that they are hard to resist, even for a cat. I agree with everything that A ArtNJ posted to you. Great advice! Take it slow. Keep us updated too please!
 

Amyd73

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A lot of it's going to depend on the age of your resident cat and how long he has been an only cat. Our resident cat is 13 and has been an only cat for the majority of that time. Plus she's a calico lol so that's a whole other story!! I started fostering kittens about a year and a half ago and I just have to pretty much keep them in my master bedroom/bathroom. Our calico would literally make herself sick (for real...hyperventilate and throw up) so it just wasn't fair to her. But the kittens were so small that it wasn't an issue. My last foster was here for almost 6 months because of covid and do there was no way to keep him in my room. I would say I probably started slowly introducing them when he was about 3 months and by the time he left at almost 6 months they were sitting next to each other to eat. It just took A LOT of patience and bribing with canned food. Now I have a new foster and he's about 9 weeks and he's been having the run of the house since he was about 6 weeks old. The calico doesn't like him but she tolerates him. Good luck!
 

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When doing the feeding on each side of the door I put the food for the resident where the resident will eat without fear and start there, do that for a bit (days, weeks- whatever it takes) then start moving the resident's food closer to the kitten door by inches each day, moving back if the resident is uncomfortable with the food closer. Gradual is the key.
And all of the above advice and articles!
 

danteshuman

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About the feeding on other side of the door ...... move his plate however far away it needs to be for him to eat comfortably. Mark the spot with tape. Then move it closer to the door by an inch or two every few days or week. ⭐Slow and steady wins the race!⭐ Eventually you will get him eating on the other side of the door & one day a baby gate.

How old is the kitten?
 
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ricue611

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About the feeding on other side of the door ...... move his plate however far away it needs to be for him to eat comfortably. Mark the spot with tape. Then move it closer to the door by an inch or two every few days or week. ⭐Slow and steady wins the race!⭐ Eventually you will get him eating on the other side of the door & one day a baby gate.

How old is the kitten?
The kitten is one month old. The resident cat is almost six years old. I notice that when the resident cat sees the kitten he still growls silently, and hisses, but he also turns his back, or his face on the kitten. It is like he doesn't want to see her.
 

ArtNJ

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rubysmama rubysmama - I didn't initially reply when I saw the age of the kitten because I assumed the 4 weeks was a typo, but good on you for checking. I think 4 weeks is just wayyy too young to be worrying about face to face interactions. The only horrifying play video I've seen was a 1 year old and a 5 or 6 week old kitten; he was just flinging it around. No malice, just play, but scary as *&^! because the size difference is too big to allow play. Even a "get away" swat on a kitten that young could accidentally cause serious injury. A six year old cat is not likely to play in that same crazy hyper way, heck maybe they won't play with the kitten at all, but nonetheless, there is no rush here, and the kitten should be allowed to get some size before you try introductions. Not sure what the right age is. Trying at 8 weeks or even younger if needed might be reasonable, but you'll have to keep an eye on things, since the rough play that might be fine at 12 weeks might not be ok at 8.
 

Amyd73

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The only thing I would do to introduce a kitten that young to the older cat is let the older cat smell it if interested while you were holding the baby while watching tv or something. You could also introduce the kittens smells by having the kitten sleep on a little blanket for a few nights and then move that closer to where the adult cat sleeps. I would give it another 3 or 4 weeks before I'd worry too much but just have lots of toys for the kitten and make sure to play with it a lot so that it doesn't annoy the adult cat with it's kitten mischief
 

danteshuman

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When we got the 3 minions at 4 weeks old, I fostered them in the livingroom to not displace my 2 cats from my/their room. So I stuck them in a bunny cage (While I slept) or a pet pen while I slept on the couch. The cats were allowed to observe from a distance but they mainly just avoided them. I wound up having to chip clip a quilt on top of the playpen to keep the kittens in when they started climbing. It worked. 2 of the senior cats avoided them until they were around 6 months old & 1 cat that was super attached to me made friends with the hyper punk of the litter starting when he was around 2 months old (? Drawn to a similar personality as himself?) He just got closer and closer until they were snuggling together when the kittens were almost 3 months old. But none of the adult cats were growling and hissing; they were all calm.

sounds like they need to be kept apart until the kitten is at least 3 months old or better yet 4 months so the kitten is bigger. Keep giving your cat extra TLC and treats for being in the same room as the little intruder. If you are not awake and present I would keep a door between your adult cat and the kitten.
 

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Does the older cat have a special treat he likes? A mutual treat time might be one way
 
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ricue611

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Here is this site's guide: How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide

A kitten should be in a safe room for a couple of days minimum before you even try an introduction. That way, if the kitten gets scared, it doesn't hide somewhere terrible and will merely head back to the saferoom. Assuming the kitten is adjusting fast as most do, how long of a process is prudent really depends on how stressed the older cat seems and its age and personality. If the resident cat is young and active, you don't need much process, the older cat will get over the discomfort and they will likely do well together. If the resident cat is older and not so active, its prudent to do at least a week, and some will do a couple of weeks.

A little light growling and hissing is not necessarily anything, and they might be friends if you just let them do their own thing. Adult cats do not attack true kittens, and they can get over the growling and hissing. Even a defensive get away swat is fine. However, a couple of days is not long at all. Even if the kitten is comfortable and the resident cat is under two and active, I'd likely do a little longer. This is especially true if the resident is older. Sometimes problems can linger with an older resident for months, and you don't want to be three months down the road and still wondering if a longer process would have made things better.
Update.

Everything seems fine so far. The kitten, and the resident cat sniffed noses a couple of times. The kitten is around the resident cat, and the resident cat for the most part seems to ignore her, and he yawns, and looks out of the window. Whenever the kitten gets too close to the resident cat though, he hisses, and starts growling. The kitten has approached the resident cat, and it seems like he doesn't want her to be near him. Sometimes when the kitten gets too close the resident cat hisses, and swats at her. The kitten has tried playing with the resident cat's tail, and the resident cat doesn't attack her, or anything, but he turns around, and hisses at her.

There are times when I feel like the resident cat is a little more aggressive than other times. There are times where she approaches him, and he just turns around, hisses at the kitten, and then just ignores her, but there are other times where she approaches him, and he becomes pretty aggressive. He hisses, and growls. The resident cat has been seeing her every day for over a week, but he still shows signs of aggression.
 

ArtNJ

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Sounds ok. It can take more than a week sometimes. Indeed, sometimes it takes months, as the older cat inches towards toleration, not friendship. But a little hissing, growling and a getaway swat or two is ok. A true kitten will not actually be attacked by an adult with intent to injure so you can let them try and work it out.

Friendship is still possible, if perhaps not that likely. This might be one of the inch towards toleration ones, but we don't know for sure at this point. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
 

danteshuman

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We found & raised 2 kittens (in a home with 3 adult male cats.). One cat HATED the kittens when they were babies. Then Sarah hit 3 months and he started tolerating her but would bop her on her head with his paw allllllll the time. We nicknamed him the ‘godfather’! 🤣 He wound up mentoring the kitten to to be the next top cat. After he died, she ruled the house.

So the hissing, growling & (Clawless) head bopping is all normal!
 
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