Introducing older cat to kitten - help needed

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Alexbrod, Jun 19, 2017 at 7:32 PM.


  1. Alexbrod

    Alexbrod PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    I'm hoping you would be able to help.

    3 weeks ago, I managed to rescue 4 kittens (about 4-5 weeks old) after her owner wanted to drown them so I managed to get them off her and then they were taken in by Blue Cross. I took in a female tortie kitten ( known as P) after the rest of the kittens found homes (I took her in earlier than 8 weeks which means she'll be alone)

    However I have a 9 years old female BSH cat known as M (I've read some articles that it's not really a good mix with regards to older cat to kitten which I'm little worried), and we used to have another cat who was sadly put to sleep last year after sudden undiagnosed illness so M has been used in other cat company. Also M used to be a mother of two litters (I've no intention of making her mother the kitten cos the kitten is very independent)

    I've kept the kitten in a separate room way away from the cat for approx two weeks, have tried to scent swap (not very well), let the cat approach the kitten few times. On few occasions she has spat and smacked the kitten which is obviously a normal behaviour, I gather. However I have a big dog cage that I put the kitten in with food/drink and litter tray in the kitchen so that she can stay over night. I think I am going about it in the wrong way about it because we only have two bedrooms and no spare rooms, which means P is in the kitchen and M uses upstairs.

    P is now about 7 weeks old, and I do not want to keep her in the dog cage for too long (because my mum isn't keen on having her house wrecked!) My mum and I shower M lots of affection to let her know she's the top cat in the house. When is the best time to let P to roam the house as I'm nervous about putting M off or am we right to use the dog cage?

    I've looked at lots of articles to find out the best approach but I'd like to have some reassurance or advice that whether I'm doing the right thing or not.

    Hope you can help.
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @Alexbrod -

    Well done for saving the 4 little mites.

    I am disgusted that anyone would think of drowning 4 week old kittens! :Arghh . I hope you have reported that dreadful woman to the RSPCA as she would have been breaking the law (Animal Welfare Act) if she had gone ahead with her plan. 50 or more years ago unwanted litters of kittens were sometimes drowned by heartless owners, but the whole point was they were drowned at birth!! Not once they had started running around!

    In those days cats were often not neutered which is why people felt they had to kill the frequent litters of kittens. It was regarded as cruel by good people even in those days though. :(

    These days of course there is no excuse not to neuter your pet cat. So many charities offer free neutering vouchers.

    Your kitten (P) is tiny still and has a lot of growing to do. She needs a safe room for the next month or so, but it does not need to be a room she has all to herself. She can share your mum's or your bedroom. After all a human only needs their bedroom at night. In the daytime it is unused.

    At night the kitten can be put in her dog crate with her litter tray, food, water, bed etc. I would not keep her in a dog cage all the time. And certainly she should not be within the same room as your older cat (M). It is not fair for M to have the kitten constantly in his space, even if contained in a cage.

    Set P up in one of the bedrooms with her litter tray, water bowl, bed, toys, scratch post and cat tree. Feed her a wet food diet, at least 5 meals a day. To prevent food odours in the bedroom buy the kitten a Sureflap feeder. It is movement-operated and is air tight when closed. Cheapest is from Fetch :

    https://fetch.co.uk/surefeed-sealed-pet-bowl-305174011

    Then I strongly advise buying an inexpensive screen door to fit to the doorway of P's safe room. It should be fitted to open outwards, the opposite way to how the wooden door opens. This is very much the kindest, safest and most successful way to introduce cats to each other. They can see each other through the door, smell each other's scent but cannot get at each other. It will give M time to get to know P at his own pace. Far better than P being plonked into M's territory and M having to cope with the intrusion whether he likes it or not. :(.

    https://www.buzzstop.co.uk/products...vb7CcYAYM4WXlEuaajfNaeevvaXEYY5LvBRoCRxrw_wcB

    Being separate, out of reach of M also protects P from being swiped or chased by M. P is so small at this stage that she could trigger M's prey instinct (causing M to treat P as though she is prey.) You need to avoid any risk of this happening.

    If M usually sleeps on your bed at night this must be respected and allowed to continue. P must never be allowed to sleep on the bed. P will have to share the other bedroom.

    Basically M must have the run of the house and P is to be restricted to one room for the next month.

    When P is bigger and stronger and the two cats are OK with each other through the screen door you can allow P out of her safe room for short periods, always under your supervision. Never leave the two cats alone until you are 100% certain they have accepted each other.
     
    #2 chillminx, Jun 19, 2017 at 8:50 PM
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017 at 8:58 PM
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  3. Alexbrod

    Alexbrod PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your comprehensive advice, this is really helpful as its given me food for thought. Will have to think about the door issue (cos my bedroom door doesn't shut properly but will think of something)
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    You could prop your bedroom door shut with a heavy door stop until you have fitted a screen door to the doorway.
     
  5. Alexbrod

    Alexbrod PetForums Newbie

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    Yeah, got some heavy door stoppers that I can use.

    Thanks for your help :)
     
    chillminx likes this.