New Kitten Trouble please help!

Gingertom5

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Hi everyone I would really appreciate some advice re the situation re my new kitten and resident cats. I have a 6 year old female and a 4 year old male both neutered who get on well together and are generally confident playful and affectionate cats. Two weeks ago we brought a new kitten home. We followed the advice re setting kitten up with everything in his own room and scent swapping. The two older cats spend a lot of time outside in our secure garden with the nice weather that's been and whilst they are out the kitten has been exploring the rest of the house. The kitten seems very confident, he is a Burmese which are a confident and curious breed and my older male cat is also a Burmese and has the typical friendly outgoing nature of the breed. As my two older cats are normally so easy going I thought they would adapt well to a new addition but it's not working out that way at all. As it's been two weeks we are at the point where we are trying short meetings between the cats and the kitten. This is not going well. My female cat will hiss at the kitten and then run off into the garden (we have a microchip cat flap so baby can't get out) My male cat started off hissing and growling at him and now just stares at him like he's had the shock of his life when they encounter each other and then starts growling. We have supervised these encounters and tried to keep them short and just put Kitten back in his room so the older cats can carry on their routine. All the kitten wants to do is play with the big cats but they don't like him. I wonder if they are actually scared of him? I don't know if he's producing any scary Tomcat hormone smells that scare them at such a young age? I have three Felliway diffusers going in different parts of the house but don't seem to be helping much. The only kind of positive is that the male cat doesn't stay angry for long and once kitten been taken away calms down very quickly and goes back to playing etc, but he isn't happy. Have spoken to vet re neutering kitten IMG-20200812-WA0001.jpg but they can't do it till he's bigger so we are looking at October at earliest. Would really appreciate advice as to how to move forward from here. Thank you so much.
 

di and bob

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What you are describing is perfectly normal. Growling, hissing, and running off are warning the newcomer to not come closer. This just takes time and a lot of it. It may help to put the kitten in a dog cage or something similar and let the older cats examine him without actual contact. Kittens ARE scary to older cats, they move much too quickly and are fearless. They also are annoying because they want to play all the time. Your older cats will enjoy watching him cavort in a few weeks and may even join in. Your female may not, they are the rule upholders and she will more than likely discipline the kitten because that is what they do. She will hiss, growl, and even pin the kitten to the ground, all normal and needed by the kitten to learn how to play nice. As long as your cats can escape when they want and there are no outright attacks that draw blood, everything is normal. There may be swatting and the occasional tussle but that will happen in every cat family, mine still scream and have fur flying at times and they are mother and sons!
 

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I agree that it takes time, this is normal. As they age, cats get more likely to act hostile or afraid of new cats. How your cats did introduced to another cat years ago is no longer relevant, they are older now. For whatever reason, weird as it sounds tiny kittens are "new cats" for fear purposes. The good news is that although tiny kittens are "new cats" for fear purposes, they are still "kittens" for getting attacked purposes -- i.e. older cats do not hurt kittens. So the hissing, growling and a "get away" swat is the worst you will likely see from your cats.

With time and nothing bad happening, they get the growling out of their system. Can you double stack baby gates so they can see each other constantly? That will really speed things up. Alternatively, giving them much more supervised time together might help too, although if your kitten is already wanting to play so bad that she is jumping on the big cats, the baby gates stage might help a lot, making your big cats less stressed when they meet and the jumping starts.
 
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Gingertom5

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Thank you very much for the replies and advice. I should add that what the kitten has been doing during the meetings with the big cats is rushing up to them and rubbing his nose against theirs. The older cats let him do this but then will hiss at him afterwards. Not sure if the nose rubbing is good?
 

cookiedough03

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It's normal. had to introduce my resident cat to new kitten. First meeting she was so so so angry like why did you bring this here. kept them in separate areas. small kitten in a room, resident in rest of the house. short supervised meetings turned into aggressive fights each time. small one got her nose/lip scratched. so kept kitten in her own room for a few days, no supervised meetings anymore. resident got curious because the small one will meow all the time when I'm not there until she falls asleep with the heartbeat toy. Finally, situation got very stressful, kitten doesn't want to stay in one room and will cry all the time and the toy doesn't do the trick anymore. So I gave up and let them meet. They fought/played, and I gave them some wet food to break it. they ate together from same plate and carried on with their life. they're friends now.
 

ArtNJ

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If that is all the kitten is doing, and all the big cats are doing, the situation sounds pretty mild and it might be reasonable to allow lots of supervised time today and see how they do.

All of that said, do understand the potential difficulty with the situation - its possible that the big cats stay unhappy about the kitten for months and things only slowly proceed to toleration. They might spend more time outside to avoid the kitten. A longer intro doesn't necessarily help, but at least you won't wonder if you could have done something different.

So I'm of two minds here as to whether to extend the introduction process or jump into more supervised time together. Either way, you should make a decision and not continue in the half way place of a little supervised time together. Either you back up, and do say the baby gates thing, or you go forward and do lots of supervised time together. Does that make sense?
 
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Gingertom5

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Yes I'm thinking we need to move the situation on somehow I think they need more supervised time together. The kitten was just running up the stairs and he bumps into my boy cat who was running down! First there is a nose rub so initially looks good, then big cat starts growling at the kitten. I thought perhaps they needed to have a standoff at this point to clear the air but big cat just carried on growling and then ran hell for leather outside. He was really angry. I thought he might have given the kitten a swat but has never done this. It's all making me so anxious.
 
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Gingertom5

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Sorry to keep asking questions but the kitten is 15 weeks old now. Is that old enough to defend himself if one of the big cats makes a go for him? Thanks very much
 

ArtNJ

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They don't. Biological hard wiring prevents attacks on a kitten with intent to injure. Until some unknown size & age, probably around 6 months. A get away swat is possible, and sometimes big cats even do this sort of get away charge which seems very scary. But for the most part, its a lot of growling and hissing that they will get over in time.
 
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