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Introducing new kitten/cats to current cat

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Morticia

Brilliant_Rock
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Sep 27, 2004
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Hi all,

I just adopted a new baby almost a week a go. I posted her pic on the "No Dogs Allowed" thread but also was wondering if maybe some of you can help me out. The introduction process has been a little stressful for me and my older cat too, I''m sure. Meadow is 3 yo and my new baby, "Wednesday", is 4 months old.

I am following some things I''ve read online, about keeping them separated, letting Wednesdays scent get on a blanket and laying that blanket down near Meadow, etc. Meadow goes to the the door to Wednesday''s room sometimes but not that often. When I bring Wednesday out, for small amounts of time, Meadow hisses and growls.
I expected that but what do I do eventually? When can I just let Wednesday run freely and what happens if Meadow attacks her! I feel scared about that b/c Wednesday is so little and she clearly has a lot of interest in Meadow. She looks so happy to see her, only to have grumpy Meadow hiss at her. It''s making me nuts.


Can some of the other multiple cat owners share their stores or secrets of success with me? I really don''t want to give Wednesday back to her foster mom.

Anyway, here''s the new baby. She''s such a sweetie. She instantly starts purring the minute you touch her and she nuzzles her little face in my neck when I''m holding her. She''s also very spunky and has endless amounts of energy. I just love her.

WednesdayWillow.jpg
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 25, 2005
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Here''s a good article....
http://www.catchannel.com/ready/article_18432.aspx

My parents recently introduced a kitten into the house and they already had a cat that''s about 5 or 6 years old. They kept the 2 separated, though each could clearly smell the other. It''s good to let them smell a blanket or something from the other one to familiarize the scent. After awhile they let them together and the old one would hiss and growl but never make a move to attack the little one. The little one would even run and ''tag'' the older cat or pounce on it and the older cat never did anything back, though man would it growl!!! Now they coexist just fine. The older cat tolerates the little one, and the little one tries to play with it.
 

Catmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Awwwww, I love that kitty pic!! It sometimes takes a while before they get used to each other. Right now you seem to be doing everything right. Let your older cat go into the little one''s room after a while so that they can go nose to nose just be there in case things get rough. Don''t worry so much about the little one. You would be surprised at the small spaces a little cat can fit into when being chased by a bigger cat. Just make sure that once your little one is totally out in the house that she has places where she can go that the other cat can''t reach into. We have some great hiding places in our master closet and had to leave the door open all the time so that our last cat could seek refuge in there when being chased.
 

Gypsy

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When Duncan was 2 we brought Frodo into the house (he was in our backyard). Frodo LOVED Duncan on sight. He was this little 7 week old fuzzball and his little white tipped tail would fly up like a happy surrender flag the minute he saw Duncan and run toward him with his heart in his eyes. It was painful to watch b/c Duncan HATED Frodo. On our first intro it too Duncan .5 seconds to have Frodo pinned against a pillow (on our bed) as he pounded away. Yelled at Duncan, he gave me a surly look and stopped. Next couple of times he tolerated Frodo barely... and we kept a close watch. After about 3 more times, we looked away for ONE second and Duncan had Frodo pinned at the back of a bookshelf cubby beating the daylights out of him. "DUNCAN YOU LEAVE THAT CAT ALONE YOU HEAR ME!" He stopped. Looked at me, pulled his paws in, tucked them under him while I stared him down. He looked away first... and Frodo ran straight to me. He never tried to even hiss at Frodo again. We got Hally right about then, and Duncan did even care. Next thing we know... Dunca and Frodo are the best of buds, sleeping together cleaning each other.... Frodo loves Hally like a litter mate... but Duncan is his first and forever love.



From volunteering at the shelter I can tell you that getting opposite sexes is a good idea. Especially with Females, some just never will like another female in the household. Hally is like that... she bullied badgered and stalked Noel terribly... fortunately Noel was FMIL's cat (even though she stayed with us for long periods of time) and she had her own home to go to. We can't get another female with Hally, and we know it though.

 

JCJD

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Here''s my advice, speaking as a cat lover and as a PhD student in biology with an emphasis on animal behavior.

If you want your cats to get along swimmingly, not just tolerate each others'' presence, you need to understand some things about cats: Adults are very set in their ways and very protective of their families, but also very intolerant of anything that takes your attention away from them, like planning a trip or getting a new pet - this is why cats become nervous/agitated/aggressive when they perceive a change in your daily routine. Because of this, we humans need to do something that is very much against human nature because we naturally adore and lavish attention on cute cuddly things: You NEED to ignore Wednesday in Meadow''s presence. I don''t just mean don''t pat and play with W. I mean full on ignore the kitten - no baby talk, no eye contact, no nothing - and lavish extra attention on your "first" cat. Some advice I''ve read suggested that when you do pay attention to the kitten, you actively refer to the older cat as well: "Meadow is so lucky to have such a pretty kitten as her new buddy!". Doing this will force W. to get her socialization from the older cat instead of only from you, which will make the kitten "work" at getting on M''s good side. And just as we find kittens and puppies endearing, when kittens want attention, cats find them endearing too, especially if the kitten is not seen as a competitor for a very precious commodity - your affection. Of course, close supervision is necessary, and keep a spray bottle on hand and/or a can/jar with some pennies inside that you can toss as a distraction.

All the other stuff you''re doing sounds good, but I would leave the W scented blanket just outside W''s room rather than placing it near Meadow (M may associate the invading scent as coming from you and displace aggression towards you as a result). Also, don''t take W out of the room until M is completely used to W''s scent (on the blanket) or is no longer growling/hissing at the door. You should try to restrict W''s playtime to within her room. You could also try locking M up somewhere (bathroom??) and letting W roam freely for a couple hours per week to get W''s scent on things so M gets used to it more.

This process will take patience and a lot of self-restraint on your part. But kittens are extremely resilient! W will quickly learn to go to M for attention, M will soon learn that W isn''t taking her beloved humans away from her, and once M and W have a solid relationship together, you can again enjoy the kitten''s energy and curiosity first-hand. If the two really bond, then you''ll have years and years of fun watching them chase and play with each other!

HTH!!!
 

Morticia

Brilliant_Rock
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Sep 27, 2004
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848
Thanks for the tips! I appreciate it.


Gypsy - both Wednesday and Meadow are girls. I know I should have adopted a boy but I met her and caved. Keep your fingers crossed.

JCJD - Last night, my FI brought Wednesday out so Meadow could get a brief look at her, I ignored the kitten and just continued to pet Meadow, complimenting her and giving her belly and ear rubs. She didn''t really growl or hiss, she just stared at W. Later on, I brought out W. again and then Meadow got mad, but that''s probably b/c I was holding W. Meadow is VERY attached to me. More so than my FI so I will definitely take the advice you''ve given me. Thank you!
 

Aloros

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2006
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947
It sounds like it''s going pretty well! I had my cat Zorro for three years before I introduced Amazu (who was 12 weeks at the time) to him. It took about a week and a half of keeping them in separate rooms before I started introducing them face to face. Zorro HATED him. Hissing, growling, all that if Amazu even got near him. It''s tough sometimes for a cat to put up with a kitten''s energetic antics. As Amazu got older, they started to get along better.

After a year, they were best buddies! Now they play with one another, groom each other, and cuddle up to sleep. It''s adorable.

Just hang in there!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
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12,450
Congrats on getting the new kitty! Soooo cute! We have two cats -- we got the first from our local animal rescue league in Sept. when she was 9 weeks old. Then, right after Verteran's Day we got another kitten from an acquaintance, and the vet said that he was about 6 weeks old. When we brought home the male, our female hissed and she kept sniffing him and basically was not happy at all. We kept them separated for a little bit. We made sure that when we weren't home, we kept them in different rooms and when we were home, we watched both like hawks. After 5 days of being kept apart, we went out for a couple hours and let them be together. We were happy when we returned and both were still alive.
A couple days later we left them home alone together when we went back to work. In total, it took 7 days for them to warm up to each other. My sister was much more careful than we were. I guess I just got a little impatient and thought, well, they have to get used to each other at some point, ya kow? Now they're friends and they play and snuggle together all the time.

ETA: While we were careful to watch them at first, we didn't immediately put a stop to our female going after our male. Of course we stepped in and scooped up our male if the female was too aggressive, but we also were curious to see how the male would defend himself. We made sure he wasn't in any danger, don't worry. We learned pretty quickly that the new kitten could definitely hold his own. Now he's the one who is the aggressor at times.
 

moremoremore

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Messages
6,825
Tee hee! How adorable!!!! Congrats on the new baby Morti!!! :)

You got great advice above....It's so funny though, when I brought scotty and vinny home to gracie, I just let them all out...SO NOT what one is told to do...it probably worked out b/c gracie is so submissive... Proper introductions can take weeks...Also, I good purchase is 2 baby gates to stack at the doorway...So they can see eachother but not get into trouble...

Hang in there!
 
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