Play Issues with cat introduction

TardisDance

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I have been going through the cat introduction and now have had the new cat, Kirby (1.5 year old male) out for several hours with my resident cat, Sango (4 year old female). I’m finding play time troubling with them. Here are some examples:

1. If I try to engage in play time with a wand toy with Kirby, Sango becomes interested and she’ll try to go after the toy. What happens is that Kirby instantly redirects his attention to her and then smacks her. She doesn’t take this well and will hide.

2. Sango tries to engage Kirby in play by zooming around and making a cooing type noises. The problem is, he winds up chasing her. I think she’s okay with it? Her tail is mostly up high, but I don’t know why she doesn’t chase him back? Is it an age thing and she’s trying to teach him how to play? I try not to separate them and let it play out and follow them to supervise.

3. As a response to #1, when Sango is in another room, I have been trying to play with him with a toy he likes, but she doesn’t like. Towards the end of the play session, I give him a Yeoowww banana toy to kick at since he loves kickers. He seems to become a ”mean drunk” on the catnip. I give him treats and he will get the munchies and eat all his dry food (he gets around a 1/4 cup a day as I‘m transitioning him from Purina One to Dr. Elsey, he’s mostly on a wet diet). Even after eating, he’s still very hyped up and on a couple occasions, he will find Sango, and bat at her and cause her to hide. I‘ve had to separate him from Sango and put him in his safe room. Has anyone seen a cat react like this to catnip? He seems okay on other catnip toys. I’ve decided not to give him the banana toy anymore and have another kicker that has almost no catnip smell left.

Am I doing okay with Kirby and Sango? Is there anything else I should try to help avoid these issues?
 

maggie101

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Peaches is queen over my 2 cats. Maggie likes to chase her around. It works out if peaches starts the playing. If Maggie does peaches will hiss at her and stand on her haunches. As kittens they were close but now thier personality has shown. Now they are 8&9. After 2 yrs old they start to show thier
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true colors Maggie still does this except she can't hide any more. Peaches tail would poof out big whenever Maggie startled her Lots of hissing and growling whenever Maggie gets close. 2nd pic they were younger
P1000079.JPG
 

Flybynight

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TardisDance TardisDance
My two cats (males) both play chase each other. I think it is probably ok what you are seeing.

For wand toys, I try to engage both at the same time (swinging towards one and then the other, after awhile they learned they each get turns and now are patient) this works for us.
It can be tricky, playing with two at once. Do you have someone else who can play at the same time as you and use another wand toy for simultaneous play?

Cat nip can make cats hyper but mine tend to attack the toy and then zonk out.
Carbs in dry food can also cause hyper behavior so maybe limit dry food to times of the day when he does not have catnip.
 

ArtNJ

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Sounds fine to me. 1.5 y.o.s are especially likely to still be a huge PITA because of play crazyness and bug other cats at times. I'm guessing he is also likely bigger, as most males are, which doesn't help. So what often happens is that the older calmer smaller cat doesn't dislike the younger cat, but its just too much at times, so you can get occassional hissing, growling or running and hiding. As long as the other cat doesn't act generally afraid at all times, comes out soon enough when things are calm, and maybe even initiates at times, that is a very strong message that everything is fine. Basically, you can let how the older cat acts when the younger one is not riled up as your guide post. If there was a true problem, it would carry over even to these quiet times.
 
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TardisDance

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A ArtNJ that's exactly what's happening. She keeps initiating play and he goes a bit too far by smacking her and then she hisses and hides. She does come out though within a few minutes, so I think it's okay. It's a bit unsettling because she's a shy cat and my husband constantly worries that Kirby is bullying his "little girl" (we don't have kids and she's totally his princess lol). I never know when to separate him but do want to be gradual on this introduction - he's not allowed out unsupervised yet and sleeps in his room at night.

They are actually similar in weight, both around 10 lbs. The vet thinks he's an ideal weight, but personally I think he's not quite done growing yet. He looks like a lanky teenager and eats like one lol

He's a big ball of energy, but they are great when things are calm. He often grooms her face and they sleep near each other - he went a little far over the weekend by grooming her back and caused a hiss but they still slept next to each other.
 

ArtNJ

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Sounds normal. 1 to about 1 1/2 seems to be the worst, on average, hopefully things will go more smoothly soon, although of course no particular amount of slowing down (or any!) is guarrantied
 
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TardisDance

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Update: I had to quarantine Kirby after the vet said that his fecal sample contain some giardia. I’ve had gates up and thought things were going okay. I started releasing him last night once after I finished his round of meds (his stool looks normal, he had diarrhea all the time before) and he’s being an absolute jerk to Sango. Every chance he gets he will lick Sango then smack her or just pounce on her. I’ve been trying to play with him as much as possible, but it’s not helping. It’s scaring her and she keeps hiding under the couch. They were at least somewhat ok together before, and I’m so frustrated.
 
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TardisDance

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One thing my husband suggested is making his world a little smaller by restricting his access around the house. Maybe his world is overwhelmed by being quarantined and he’s taking it out on Sango? He does keep on aimlessly wandering when he’s not bothering Sango. Before all this this, he would at least take a nap on one of the window perches we have setup or even sleep next to Sango on the couch. We have 2 floors and we can put a few baby gates up to stop him going to the 2nd floor. He would have access to the 1st floor which is a bathroom (his safe room), 2 home offices and a living room. The 2nd floor is our great room (large dining room and kitchen), 1 half bath, and our master bedroom.

Does this sound like this is the issue and could be a potential way to alleviate his stress? We do want this to work out - We are so mad at the foster at this point. We found out she never had a fecal test done and he only got 1 dose of revolution (which doesn’t treat giardia). He potentially infected a bunch of kittens at PetSmart where we adopted him and the rescue called and kept apologizing saying they would call up the adopters of the kittens to notify them (I doubt they did tbh). There’s no way that I want him to go back to the rescue if they can’t even vet their fosters appropriately.
 
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