Should my two cats be together now?

DreamiesProvider

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Hello, I posted on this forum before and received some great advice on another issue with my two kitties but I want to gain some advice on another step of the process of introducing two cats! For context: Stitch is 7 months old, Toby is 12 years old, Stitch was an unexpected rescue from the streets, we can't afford another kitten for Stitch I know this is often the advice, both space wise and financially it isn't possible.

I used Jackson Galaxy's guide for introducing two cats, we went really slowly and now have two kitties which can eat right next to each other with no problems. No hissing, no growling, nothing. They can also sleep in the same room together just not close by.

However, whenever my new cat (Stitch) comes up to the resident cat (Toby), Toby will hiss and growl. Toby doesn't show signs of aggression such as a puffed up tail, his ears are normal, everything seems calm apart from the hissing and growling when they are very close by, like right next to each other. They have also never fought. There are also moments where Stitch walks past Toby and there is no growling/hissing at all, but it's rare.

We bought a Felliway friends diffuser but only a day ago so it definitely won't kick in for a while.

We struggled to really find an answer in Jackson Galaxy's guide or online, is this normal? Should they be separated longer? Should they be together now? All we can find is that the guide ends with two cats eating calmly next to each other which they can do with no issues. We are a bit lost on the next steps.
 

susanm9006

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I think your two are doing well together, especially considering the age difference. The hissing and growling is simply Toby’s way of telling the kitten they aren’t friends and to stay away. Since they can eat near one another and sleep in the same room, the message is being understood and they have worked out their relationship. Toby may always give the kitten a growl or over time he may stop, but I wouldnt worry about it.
 

Mamanyt1953

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You, and they, are fine. Toby is just telling Stitch that he is an old man, and in no mood to play. I'd suggest making sure that Stitch has plenty of exercise/play time. A good wand toy, such as Da Bird, is excellent for this. I'd try for three or four good sessions a day until Stitch gets over the "kitten jitters," then two or three after that.
 

Alldara

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Nobel does the same to Calcifer everytime he walks passed. It's fine. Stitch is listening so there's no concerns.

Nobel also cleans and play with Calcifer at other points. There's no guarantee that this will happen.

I would continue to give Toby some closed-door time daily away from stitch. Preferably you would play with Toby (he might just watch or he might roll and bat at it. I wouldn't expect him to necessarily run around. That is not what play looks like for senior cats most of the time). Then, perhaps Toby would have a nap and/or a cuddle in full peace. This was super helpful for Nobel and helped to stop what I call the 'jealousy hissing'. Where Nobel was perfectly fine all day with Cal while I wasn't home (wife was home) and then would begin hissing and growling at Cal the moment I walked in.
 
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DreamiesProvider

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Apologies for my late reply! Lots of work lately and we just got Stitch neutered!

They have been doing fine lately but Stitch has been trying to play with Toby more and more. We have plenty of toys for Stitch,cat wands, play circuits, interactive and moving toys.. we spent around £150 in new toys by now! We play with him lots throughout the day to the point he gets tired.. but he always finds a moment to try to play with Toby. I am not sure if they have to restart introductions now?
Toby hisses and growls, at one point he lowered his ears right back so he is taking the playing as aggressive. I am a bit concerned that their relationship is too strained and the whole thing needs a restart? Stitch doesn't seem to be learning the boundaries unfortunately.
 
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DreamiesProvider

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Forgot to mention, we keep them apart for a lot of the day to make sure Toby can sleep in peace! They aren't together 24/7 as we are worried about Stitch just never leaving Toby alone.. he is older so we really don't want to add too much stress into his life. When Stitch really tries to play with Toby (this started happening in the last few days), Toby stands up on his back packs just swatting the kitten - at this point we separate them as we aren't too sure if it's too much especially with Toby hissing, growling and once even putting his ears back.
 

susanm9006

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Still all good. A seven month old kitten is never good at boundaries. When he gets to be too much and as he gets older Toby may go from simply growling or swatting to a good hard claws out whack. This is also normal and how the kitten learns acceptable behavior.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Yes, what susanm9006 susanm9006 said! Toby is almost certainly trying to teach this little upstart his manners. And that's actually a good thing. He is setting boundaries for the kitten, who will learn. This is pretty normal, and actually a good sign. Toby is not running and hiding from the kitten, nor is Stitch running and hiding from Toby. As scary as it might look to you, I think that most of this is simply Toby teaching Stitch how to cat properly.
 
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