For those of you who have experience introducing a kitten into a household with an adult cat, I would appreciate your advice. One of my neighbors' cat had two kittens. The mother cat is extremely sweet. One kitten was adopted. I ended up with the other one because it hisses and runs away and nobody wanted it. I have a four year old cat who loves playing with the neighbor's cat when it comes over for a "play day." I put the kitten up in a bedroom so I could try to tame her. I introduced my cat to her in the bedroom, and the kitten ran up to him and hugged him like he was her long lost mother. My cat seemed to like her, too. He stayed in the room a little longer every day. After two weeks, I let the kitten out of the room so she could run around the house. Suddenly, my cat changed his behavior towards her and growls when she goes near him. He will also nip at her and wrestle her to the ground in a rough way. She still runs up to him and hugs him despite his rough behavior. It really breaks my heart to see her trying to go up to him, just to get slammed to the ground. She sleeps under a rocking chair he likes to sleep in. I am thinking about giving her to friends as a barn kitten. My friends are already taking care of two cats in their barn, and they take very good care of them. I would hate to make this kitten a barn cat, since she seems to love the indoors. She still hisses at me a bit, but is now coming up to me and lets me pet her and pick her up most of the time, so we're making tremendous strides there. My question is this: Tonight, I saw my cat and the kitten curl up together. My cat even licked her head and ears, something I've never seen. She was really loving it, then my cat grabbed her by the ear, which made her cry out and jump back. What the hell is going on? I would love to keep her, but I don't understand why my cat is being so mean to her, then nice, then mean. Will he eventually accept her and stop biting her? (His bites never draw blood, but they obviously hurt her and he growls when he bites her or when she goes up to his food bowl while he is eating). If anyone has any experience introducing a kitten to a household with a cat or has had a similar experience, I would appreciate your input on what might be going on. I don't have much time to introduce her to the barn, since the weather is going to change. I'm just worried about her getting hurt by my cat if I keep her. Thanks! Sorry for the long post.
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im a dog person, so dont know much about cats. but it seems to me they have made great strides already. it takes time. good luck.
Hopefully dralionagogo checks in to read this - she's the one who would be able to give you some good advice.
She rescues cats and kittens and works with them to make them adoptable...I think she even has experience with ferral cats.
If you do a search here for her posts, you might even find some good advice and/or contact information.
There are currently 5 cats in my house. Only 2 of them are "my cats," and they have been tossed in with various other cats when my roommates changed. Suffice to say, I have a bit of experience with kitty personality adjustments.
Cats aren't human. They're animals. This is hard to understand when they're our babies. But really, they're not. Animals have a pecking order. They scratch and claw and do things "mean" when what they're usually trying to do is work out a social structure.
Your first cat is male, older, and owned the territory before the kitten arrived. There is going to be hissing and nipping. If there is ever blood drawn, then you have a problem. But hissing and thumping eachother upside the head is more of a dominance thing. Make sure both cats are fixed! This will cut down on many problems.
Like Ryan said, it takes time. Your male is licking and sleeping with her. There's likely not a problem. The hissing and such often sounds worse than it really is. Look for blood, bite, or scratch marks. Otherwise, no harm, no foul. Keep petting them both to socialize with humans. Let the animals work it out with themselves.
^^^ Amen to that.
Your older cat is asserting his dominance, which is a good thing -- he shouldn't feel second-best in his own home. The kitten is crying out (and probably a little over dramatically, if past experience is any indication) to show her boundaries.
Keep the kitten. Just like siblings, they aren't always going to get along, but it does sound like they are good company for each other.
It takes time...cats are territorial. The kitten is not in your main cats domain, and so there will be a power struggle for a time. Eventually they will calm down. sometimes this process can take up to a year....
Just be patient.
What Mesmerix said. I'd also point out that roles might change as they get used to each other, too. She might put up with the thumping on the head for now, but at some point she might assert herself and become the boss. And it depends on the situation, too. My newer-to-the-household female won't let my 12-year resident tabby into the kitchen at feeding time, until those filled bowls hit the floor. But she knows better than to jump up on the bed when he's sleeping there.
There is an amazing amount of communication going on there. Time will work it all out.
What others have said, plus this - play with her whenever you have time, with a toy that will use up some of her energy so she doesn't pester him as much. The best ones I've found for wearing out energetic kittens are those feathery things on a cord or the long fuzzy ones that are sort of like a tiger tail, both come with a plastic wand so you can flip it around and easily get her attention.
To a cat, everything is smell. When you have the two together pet your older cat from ears to tail, then immediately pet your kitten in the same way, then back to the older cat. By doing this you are getting their scents mixed together; kitten will smell like older cat and vice versa.
If you can't get them into the same room together to do this, try putting older cat in a room alone for a little while and let kitten into the room to play alone. Then, put kitten away and bring older cat back in. Kitten's smell will be around and older cat will have a chance to get used to the smell.
http://cats.about.com/cs/kittencare/a/kitten_intro.htm is a good link about bringing in a new kitten that helped us.
Great idea from Suz about the playing - older cat is more settled, kitten wants to play. (Think of 80 year old grandpa and 4 year old grandson.)
Best of luck to you and congrats on the new "baby".
and those laser lights are fun too, for kitty and you. well, so I hear. :)p
agree with giving time to adjust
as an owner of six rescue cats since kittenhood, two different litters (2 from one and 4 from another), introducing fresh smells can seem to create quite the debacle. It took about a year for the two korats to accept the calicos and shorthairs.
It's now six years later and the alpha cat from the shorthairs still try to dominate the alpha from the korats, but only around feeding time.
otherwise I find them napping together, preening each other and playfully chasing each other around my home, altho it doesn't SOUND like playing with the hissing going on, I have yet to see blood. And moments later I find them sitting in the same recliner together.
and remember, personality plays big into the relationship, and with the older one setting in his ways, the kitten is still learning it's boundaries.
patience, and you will be rewarded.
Thank you for all your comments. They are very helpful! The kitten is very sweet and I think she will come around, as will my adult cat.
"...at some point she might assert herself and become the boss."
Haha. I get that same feeling, Valbee. I look at her and think she might be thinking that it's just a matter of time before she gets as big as he is and she can boss him around. My adult cat is a big baby, for the most part, and is submissive to other adult cats he has played with. He is wrestled to the ground, cries out and flees to another room. He is normally very sweet, though. Just caught me off guard that he suddenly decided to push her around. Thanks again to all.