New cat trying to play with resident cat

Bob&Harry

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Hello! I've been lurking here after bringing home a second cat, and was hoping for some advice and guidance on our particular issue.
We have a ~7 month old cat Bob who we adopted at 10 weeks. Prior to that, he was in a foster home with his litter. He's been an absolute angel, loves to hang out with us and be social. We didn't get two kittens at that time as Bob is our first cat and we were very nervous, but with it going so well we thought we would bring home a second kitten for him.
About 5 days ago we took home a 6 month old kitten, Harry. He is very sweet and loves to play and is very friendly. He was in a house with other cats so he has no problem with Bob.
We've been following the guidance in introductions: keeping them separated, letting them peek or smell each other through the door, exchanging scents. There was some hissing from Bob at the door, but no other signs of aggression. We did two quick intros yesterday, again with some hissing but no aggression. Harry would love to just play, and Bob just stared at him and hissed once or twice, and then we separated them.
Today my spouse was leaving Bob's room and I was holding Harry in the hall outside it when Bob came out. We didn't think he would since has been so cautious, but when he came out I took Harry downstairs to separate them and started to play with him. Bob came down too, which was very surprising! Harry tried to approach him to play a few times, very slowly and meowing a little, and Bob hissed and backed up. I was able to distract Harry and get him upstairs with a toy, but then he went back downstairs and approached Bob, who was sitting at the foot of the stairs. They touched noses and then Bob hissed. He turned around to walk away and Harry jumped on him, I think wanting to play. I don't believe there were any claws out, especially given how cautiously Harry had been approaching Bob. It probably scared us more than anything else - Bob threw him off (he is a few pounds heavier!) and we broke it up and I took Harry upstairs.
Both seem fine now, Bob is sleeping next to me in his room and Harry is back playing.

We are so stressed about this, which I know is normal, but we really love Bob, and now Harry, and want them to get along. We would not have introduced them like this today except that Bob did it on his own, and since he is way more of the cautious cat we followed his lead. It was going really well until Harry jumped on him. Did we completely screw up their introductions? Where do we go from here?

Thank you for your help - this forum has been really helpful to us, even as lurkers, and as new cat owners it's very comforting to get advice from people who know such much!
 

Mamanyt1953

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This is extremely normal behavior when cats are first meeting face-to-face. Remember...if there is no blood on the floor, or fur flying, there is no cat fight. This is a discussion. Let them alone until one becomes obviously aggressive...even if there is a swat or two exchanged. That's all part of the "Who are you, and how do you fit into this household" dance that MUST happen. At this point, you're essentially separating them every time they start to talk things out. Just watch, and let them interact. IF one of them "goes low," ears back, eyes dilated and fixed on the other, gently remove them at that time.
 
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Bob&Harry

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Thank you for your reply! I know that is true, but we are having a hard time with it! Maybe my real question is how the humans handle these situations :blush: we are so worried about upsetting them and have to keep reminding ourselves that they are cats (as special as we think they both are) and they know how to handle this. It's causing us a lot of worry, although after yesterday there has been no hissing at the door or smell of each other at all.
 

Anchoress

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As long as there is no serious aggression as Mamany described? And yes they need to do this sorting out place and position
 
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Bob&Harry

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Thank you! I don't believe there was any aggression. We didn't do any more face to face time, just open the door and there is hissing and staring from Bob. Harry just wants to play and will lay down outside the door no matter what Bob does. It's very hard to distract Bob from staring at Harry when he has the opportunity. Bob has no problem with the smell though...he will hiss at Harry through the door but when I come out of Harry's room he is happy to see me and acting normal! I'm not sure if we just need to give them more face to face time to move past this, since the smell has been no issue, or if we should wait until Bob stops hissing. I've read that we should not move on to the "next step" until the hissing stops, but since Bob behaves completely normally otherwise and Harry is fine, it feels like maybe we should just keep trying.
 

ArtNJ

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Odds of a 6 & 7 month old kitten *not* becoming friends within one week of just being put together? Maybe 3% Success is almost guarrantied no matter what you do. Fancy intro processes are needed for older cats, not for kittens. With some kittens, the growling and hesitancy can last a bit, but usually not more than a week. Its just a really really easy introduction and pretty much impossible to mess up.
 
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Anchoress

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Looking at my various cats and how they get on - or not. All acquired at different times etc. Yes there are divisions, likes and dislilkes just like us. And occasional growlie confrontations.
But - and this is one aspect I don't think has been mentioned; We are BOSSCAT. I can halt a potential disagreement by ordering them to stop. Even from another room when I hear the first growl
My missing Boycat was a mediator. IS a mediator
 

Mamanyt1953

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The main thing that you can do is take a DEEP breath, and let them have at it. I really doubt your going to see a major, real fight. Maybe a swat or two, but that's perfectly normal, natural, and to be expected. The calmer the humans remain, the calmer the cats will be.
 

Anchoress

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Agree totally. Still acclimatising the latest refugee who is an entire male and of course challenges and faces off. But a firm calm NO avails and occasionally a calm relocation -with food. CALM These are everyday occurrences in the cat world. The only cats who present a problem here are the 2 local strays and I find that it is all about challenge and NOISE. Blood curdling screams ! And these are entire males
 

Anchoress

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Years ago when I was feeding a feral who would sit on my lap even, another feral came and tried to take over.. POW! EXPLOSION>>> They engaged rolling over and over with fearsome screaming... thus through the fence and over the field... About 15 minutes later, it went quiet and feral having defended HIS patch came home... They are primitive critters. But he was unharmed. All wind and water..
 
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