Introducing a Kitten to a cat!

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by shearer140577, May 4, 2009.

  1. shearer140577

    shearer140577 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all
    It is nice to meet so many other cat lovers!

    We need advice and help really as we are a little stressed!
    On Saturday we picked up a 13 week old male kitten to introduce to our 5 year old female cat Missy! We got in on the basis of company for Missy as she used to have an older cat to play with in her previous home 4 years ago when she was a kitten.
    Missy is a rescue cat but very confident, she sees other cats of her patch and is 99% of the time well behaved and loving although can at times swipe. She has free movement around our house and has about 10 different sleeping spaces that she changes all the time depending on mood! She is not a lap cat but at night will sleep on our bed but does not have a blanket!

    We have brought the kitten home and set up his space in the kitchen with new litter tray, bed, toy, bowls and food. Misy has to go through the kitchen to go outside but it is not her space where she sleeps. She eats in a side room of the kitchen where her cat flap is.

    We have made a huge fuss of Missy when she is in and outside, tried to mix the scents with the kittens blanket and made sure that when Missy is in she is the centre of attention. The kitten has mainly played in the lounge but on advice we have spread his scent around the house and let him look in each room.

    Missy has been ok, she will walk around the house and not run off, sniffing loads and has slept in the bedroom as usual. But on face to face meetings she is hissing and growling still after 2 days.

    They have met a few times either with the kitten in a cat basket and Missy watching or through a closed glass door. The kitten seems fine with Missy's scent but Missy is hissing and growling. She will sit in the room with the kitten there in the cat box but only to watch him!

    She has never been a lap cat that will sit with you. She will sit on the window ledge or poof in the lounge but never on you or with you. It always has to be on her terms.

    We are just worried that the hissing will not stop? The last thing we want to do is upset her but we think we have done the process right? The next plan is to have the kitten in the kitchen while we are at work and Missy in her room at the back of the kitchen with access to outside as usual when we are out, no change in routine. The glass door between the two may help them size each other up?

    Help have we done this right, any advice?

    Help?
     
  2. Janee

    Janee PetForums VIP

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    You have done right! Welcome :)

    Mixing scents, letting each cat see the other - all good.

    It is early days. It may take several weeks before they are cuddling up together, or that may never happen but they will be OK with each other.

    Missy sees the kitten as an intruder and is establishing that she is boss. Hissing and paw swatting is part of that - even now after 12 months my 3 do a bit of paw waving at each other (but no hissing).

    Although I haven't done it, rubbing talc on to each makes each cat smell the same and might help.
     
  3. shearer140577

    shearer140577 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the quick reply!

    I think we will just have to keep trying to encourage Missy. The new arrival seems totally happy all around the house!! Well and tryely settled in!

    Fingers crossed.
     
  4. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    2 days is very early days - give it at least a couple of weeks before you see improvement. As I regualarily say on here - my parents had 2 that fought like mad for 6 months :eek:!!!! ANd are now best buddies. And when I say fought I mean fur flying, teeth and blood.

    Try a feliway diffuser too.

    EDIT: copied form a previous post of mine

    Give it time and patience - it will get there. These things always take time, at least a few days and the rescue should have told you that! Cats that just get on with a new stranger coming into their territory are very very few and very very weird!

    Try scent transferal (i'm going to copy and paste now from another thread I answered, so forgive me . .

    'I would invest in a feliway diffuser and set that going (it takes a few days to begin to work) it releases happy pheromones into the atmosphere and chills cats out, also try Bachs rescue remedy in their water. Then start scent sharing, rub all the cats with a towel - under their chins, base of the tail, thier pads and rub this scent all over the house, on the walls, on the furniture etc, overlay the scents so they can all smell each other. Do this again but transfer the scent on to the other cats so they smell of each other, swap blankets over so they effectively sleep on each others scent. Then gradually supervise introductions - there is a good page on this website Welcome to the UKRCC too long to type out again but really worth a read about introducing cats to each other. Keep all this going for a while and they should eventually settle, also show your (gentle) disapproval of any aggression so it isn't acceptable in the house '

    I'd walk away when Lilly hisses and growls, with a short 'stop it silly' or 'shht'. Once she is quiet come back. Bad behaviour equals no attention. Also I'd make sure that it is Lilly who is introduced into the house as Milly was there first - so keep Lilly in the smaller area and allow Millie to roam around. If this can be done where Lilly can see that Millie is the priviledged one she will assume she is the alpha female and should act accordingly.

    My mum and dad once rescued a cat and the fights that ensued where horrific (mum and dad didn't introduce properly)! It took 6 months but they eventually got there and now are inseparable - so it will get better.

    EDIT: Remember poor Lilly has probably been through the mill a bit - she been in a rescue centre, been spayed, now is in a new house - she will be scared (not sure if you are going to move her on again) and nervous. She has been kept in a small room for a while and now has a whole house to explore - scary! I'd keep her confined to just the conservatory for a while - keep her out of your bedroom as that is a place for high status cats and could put Millie's nose out of joint. Give her time to settle in herself. The calmer you are the calmer she will be too - if you worry at every hiss she will feel it and hiss more because she won't feel safe - your tension tells her there is something to worry about. Try to get a routine going. It will happen - and soon you will wonder why you were worried.
    __________________
     
    #4 spid, May 4, 2009
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  5. Victorio

    Victorio PetForums Member

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    It all sounds like normal cat behaviour and hissing is just a cat expressing itself, afterall cats who are best mates hiss at each other from time to time.

    And time is all it will take, you've dome it all right so they should be fine. I was just saying to my husband that it's taken 6 months for one of our cats to fully accept the puppy and they were cuddled up today - we took some photos. So give it time I'm sure they will sort it out :)

    Feeding is great to do together get the treats out and feed them together if you can. They really bond that way. Tuna or something when you think they are ready.
     
  6. shearer140577

    shearer140577 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you all for the advice! Glad we are doing something right!

    We are now letting the kitten (who is now typing with me!) roam when Missy is out and when she is in put the kitten in the spare room where he is happy. The spare room is the smaller room and this will allow Missy to raom the house as usual and make sure she knows she is No 1. We will also keep going with the calm reprimands when there is a hiss!

    This will hopefully let Missy the older cat move around the house and allow the scents to mix! Missy is not touchy feely and hates towels etc, she has never slept on a blanket?

    She seems reluctant to come in today but loves being outside so no difference I suppose and now using the spare room means she can have the whole house as usual!

    We are going to continue with the introductions in the cat box and Missy having a look until next weekend and then start a formal introduction. We will keep trying!

    James and Clare (still stressed!) :confused:
     
    #6 shearer140577, May 4, 2009
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  7. Leena

    Leena PetForums Member

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    I am sure everything will go fine. When Missy met other cats ourdoors they weren´t in her home. But now this newbie is right in the middle of her space. So of course she makes sure she is the boss - the hissing is normal.

    Give it a little time.

    Oh, and I´ve used the Feliway spray when our cats have had issues. Calms the situation rather quickly :)

    Leena
     
  8. Kirst & Leon

    Kirst & Leon PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all!

    Yesterday we rescued a 12 week old kitten and tried to introduce him to our 4 year old cat - lets just say it didnt go too well and we only had 3 hours sleep last night!!

    After reading various tips today on the internet it seems we did the introduction all wrong...

    We bought the kitten into the house in his carrier, Phoebe was there straight away hissing around the carrier and growling. We left them like this for 15 minutes or so and then we let him out. Phoebe's growling got worse and then she kept running away and then running back to him, hissing panting and growling! (The kitten wasnt really bothered by her, he was just running around and playing with us)

    We left them like this for an hour or so and then it was time for bed! We just went about our routine as usual and didnt lock them in seperate rooms - this meant that the kitten followed us straight to bed and jumped up for a cuddle. Phoebe went mad - she always jumps up with us and has a cuddle before we go to sleep, you could tell she was so put out and was sat just outside our bedroom growling.

    We let the kitten stay on the bed for about half an hour, then Phoebe came up to the bed and starting really hissing at him and wouldnt stop. We then took the kitten into the living room and left him there (with his litter tray and seperate food bowls) to which he responded by crying his head off and jumping all around the room, making a lot of noise at about midnight!

    We then tried to encourage Phoebe to get on our bed and have a love, she responded by hissing at Leon and running off. The kitten carried on crying so Leon decided to sleep on the sofa in the living room with him. He was then fine for the rest of the night, but Phoebe was on the landing outside the bedroom all night and from what i can gather she didnt sleep.

    When we woke up we tried to introduce them again but Phoebe was still being very hostile.

    We are both at work today and we have locked the kitten in the bedroom and let Phoebe roam the house as usual.

    Very worried about whats going to happen when we get home and where we should go from here?

    PLEASE HELP! We dont want another sleepless night!! :(
     
  9. saxa21

    saxa21 PetForums Member

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    I had exactly the same problem as you did.
    I brought Bolek in his carrier and just left him like that, heniu was like a halloween cat, hissing, growling etc.
    Then we kept Bolek in the bathroom for a day. Heniu was very interested. When we let him out, he was chasing the hell out of the poor new arrival! It took them 2 days to settle. At the end of day one they slept together, even tho Heniu was still chasing him round the house all day, night you name it. They need time. You will see they will settle eventually.
     
  10. draddict74

    draddict74 PetForums Newbie

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    I'm interested to read the replies here as we got a new male kitten yesterday.

    So far the dog is fine with him and if anything the kitten is having great fun chasing the dog ratehr than the other way around!

    We also have an adult male and female but the female doesn't really come into the house anymore, I'm opening another thread on this subject, but our male is in the house all the time, he did come and have a nose at the cat carrier yesterday when I bought Ianto in, but that was it, he's steered well clear since then, hasn't even showed his face in the lounge where we have Ianto living for the time being (we have an open plan house and the kitchen just isn't suitable).

    Anyway, any ideas on what I can do with my big and little fellow???
     

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