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Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Paigeelizabeth, Jul 23, 2020.
@Paigeelizabeth - I don't agree it's something you have to "tough out" as that is not going to help your 3 yr old cat cope. He is already unhappy and not wanting to be in the house. The worse case scenario is that he might move out altogether and find himself a new home (it is not unknown for that to happen).
It may be that he will never accept the kitten; I know personally of a few cases where this happened and the new arrival had to be re-homed to prevent the original cat from moving out. Luckily in most cases an adult cat will usually accept a kitten eventually, with sympathetic support from the owner.
While you are trying to integrate the two cats, the kitten needs a good sized room for herself, so the older cat can have the rest of the house.
I always use a full height screen door in the doorway of the newcomer's safe room so the cats can see each other, learn each other's body language and smell each other's scent. The screen provides a safe, non threatening way for them to become desensitised to each other's presence. (Hinged screen doors can be bought for about £30 from amazon or you can make your own screen from a simple wood frame and chicken wire stapled on)
You would need to make sure the kitten gets plenty of human companionship while confined to one room, so she doesn't feel abandoned.
Once the girl is safely in her own room, you can start persuading the boy to come back indoors. I wouldn't force him to stay in, but would offer bribes in the way of treats, tasty food, games and attention to get him to want to stay in the house.
I would keep them apart until both are comfortable seeing each other through the screen and then start giving them short periods of supervised contact. Gradually build up the amount of time they are allowed to be together. Once they are sharing the whole house make sure there are plenty of high up resting places (e.g tall cat trees) for the older cat to go, to get peace and quiet from the kitten.
Maybe things have already turned a corner if the older one is prepared to sleep in the same room as the kitten. You may not need the mesh door in that case.
I am very pleased to hear the older cat is standing his ground and is not going to give up his territory to the kitten. He was there first after all.