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Thread: Introducing new kitten to my older cats

  1. #1

    Introducing new kitten to my older cats

    I have two 13 year old spayed females who have never been really close, but have tolerated each other. Two months ago I adopted a kitten. One of my older cats will attack her and chase her...the other older cat ignores her. The kitten is pretty fearful of the older cat. Things have not gotten better in the past two months. I have been keeping the kittten in my spare bedroom when I'm at work. I only have her "out" when I can supervise.
    My vet refered me to an animal behaviorist who basically said it's pretty hopeless. I'm trying Feliway and it seem to have calmed the more aggressive cat.
    Any suggestions? Has anyone solved this kind of situation? I really don't want to get rid of the kitten. Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    First of all, introducing a new kitten into the household can take alot longer than 2 months. Especially when you have two older, established cats in the house. You're doing the right thing by keeping the kitten isolated in your room, only allowing her out when you can supervise. That's the proper way to introduce a new kitten. If you can get your hands on two baby gates, stack them one on top of the other in the doorway of your room. This will give them a chance to see and smell each other without hurting each other.

    Define "attacking". If it's just hissing, growling and swatting with no bloodshed, that's normal. Another suggestion is to wipe down the kitten with a towel and allow the two established cats to smell her scent and vice versa, rub down the two older cats and allow the kitten to smell their scent. It's not going to happen overnight, but the love patience, treats and possibly catnip, harmony may happen.

    Please give it a chance. And keep us posted.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
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    16,492
    Glad you are using the Feliway, I just started using that for a different issue and it is helping.

    And I agree with Moosmom, patience, treats, etc.

    Now let's turn this around. What is the kitten doing before the older cat attacks? Something typically kittenish, like playing with the older cat's tail?? Or jumping on it? Does the older cat have a place to go to escape all the commotion which defines kittenhood? My 15 year old goes and sits in the back of the closet to get away from the antics of my 2 one year old cats. Sometimes she observes for 5 minutes and you can almost hear her sigh, "kids!" as she ambles off.

    You say the older 2 are spayed females. What is the younger one? I am guessing also a female. The dynamics suggest you have 3 females in your home; I doubt it is the AGE of the new kitten, I really think it is the gender. Cats naturally live in a matriarchy, there is a queen who rules the colony. Maybe this older cat is a queen. My Vita is a queen, and she insists everyone, human AND feline, show proper respect or they get a swat!

    Keep a water squirt bottle handy when you are home and the kitten is "out." Hook in onto your slacks. As soon as you see the older cat slinking, on alert, airplane ears, don't wait for her to move. Squirt her, and loudly say her name and "NO!" Right now, you don't care if they are best buddys, you just want them to learn to live and let live.

    Good luck, let us know how things develop!

  4. #4
    Thanks to both of you who replied.

    Freedom.....my kitten is afraid of the older cat, she won't initiate any contact (ie no attempts to play)...she will growl if the older cat comes too close. I sometimes bring her down in the evening and watch TV with her (just to get her out of her room) and the older cat (this is the older cat's territory) will come and sniff and sometime touch noses...this is while the kitten is on my lap. If I leave the kitten on the sofa to go in the kitchen or bathroom, they will fight....and I by that, I mean rolling around on the floor fighting.....no bloodshed, but it looks and sounds pretty ugly. Not just a hiss or swat. If that happens, there is a place the kitten can go to that the older cat can't....and she'll stay there until the older cat leaves or I come and get her out. Sometimes the kitten will urinate during the fight...I'm not sure if that's from fear or if she's trying to show submission.

    Thanks for all of your suggestions....I'll give them a try.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
    Posts
    16,492
    I thought about this all night long, and I have a few other ideas which you may want to consider.

    Before kitten arrived, where did the older 2 sleep at night? With you? And who sleeps with you now? kitten? Maybe kitten should spend a few nights in another room and let the older ones snuggle with mom again. Make sure the kitten has a toy or 2, litter box and water, and the room is "kitten proofed!

    Who gets food in their dish first? Kitten? Feed Grouchy first! (I am finding this very hard not knowing the cats' names, ha ha!)

    Always pet the grouchy one first, then the kitten. Always say grouchy's name first, then kitten's. Always welcome grouchy first when you get home from work, then kitten.

    Having them touch noses is good, I am surprised you added that, it means they are making friends I believe! So why the fuss later on I wonder?

    Also try this, but make sure you clip nails on grouchy first. Hold and cuddle grouchy, telling her what a good girl she is. Walk over to kitten and let them nuzzle. Be prepared to move back the minute anyone looks agressive, and to grip the neck as follows: The best way to get the attention of a cat you are holding is to take a firm grasp of the fur and skin on the back of the neck and pull up. You know how mom cats lift babies to move them? Well, you don't want to actually lift, adult cats can no longer support themselves like kits and you will injure the cat, perhaps needing to rush to the vet. But if you lift slightly, just so some of the weight is off the front legs, THE CAT IS IMMOBILIZED, and you have her undivided attention! I use this often during bath times, to immobilize the cat. I also do this when I want to "lecture" a mischief maker! It reminds the cat that YOU are the dominant one, YOU set the rules, YOU decide who gets what treatment. It puts you as the alpha cat in charge of the colony.

    I hope these thoughts give you some more ideas how to help calm the chaos in your home. Best wishes!

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