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Cat and Kitten not getting along

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Domy, Jul 13, 2009.


  1. Domy

    Domy PetForums Junior

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    Hi all,

    Sorry for my first post being a long one, but my boyfriend and I are a little unhappy about the progress our cat and kitten have made in getting along. We just wanted to check if there was anything else we could do to help the process, or if things seem normal. The first thing I need to mention is that we didn't introduce them properly (or as how most suggest). We've tried re-introductions, but nothing has really seemed to work. I wish I looked on the internet before about how to introduce them properly :(.

    Here are some of the bad things:
    - My cat still growls/hisses and swats at the kitten. No blood is ever drawn, and no loud meows. The kitten is even starting to defend itself a bit.
    - She doesn't seem to want to play as much anymore. It also doesn't help that she enjoys going outside when the weather is nice.
    - She will still swat and growl at my boyfriend and I when we try petting her.
    - She'll growl when the kitten runs by and makes it's little noises.

    Some of the good things:
    - They eat beside each other in the mornings and at supper time.
    - They both eat treats and cheese near each other. My cat seems to growl more when they eat treats together, but is ok with cheese.
    - Our cat still comes out and visit and has come back to our bed at nights every once in a while.

    It's not all doom and gloom here. We have seen a bit of progress as our cat used to be scared and wouldn't come out form under the bed. Every once in a while they will both end up on our bed as well. Pepper will growl, but she'll stay for a bit of time. We lived in my Mom's house about a year ago and she had a cat as well. Our cat and her cat used to play together at night time by chasing each other around. WE kind of expected these 2 to do the same, but no luck.

    We've also tried products like Feliway and drops for the water. They've been together now for about 3 months. We're willing to stick this out, but it does get a little sad at times as you feel bad for both animals.

    Anyways, we're just wondering if things seem normal, or if by 3 months they should have gotten along. Some people have suggested that we have to wait until the kitten is older, and some believe it will just take more time. The other good thing we have going for us is that we are moving from out apartment into a new home in 2 months. It may help on neutral territory? Anyways, thanks for any info/help that can be provided :).
     
  2. FREE SPIRIT

    FREE SPIRIT PetForums VIP

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    Hiya and welcome :D
    To be honest im surprised that after 3 months they are still not getting along but as you say you may find it easier when you move into your new house with it being neutral territory. Im sorry i cant be of any help but hopefully someone will come along soon who may be able to offer you some advice. :D
     
  3. Domy

    Domy PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the welcome. The 3 month thing does really worry me as well. I'm just wondering if we need to prepare for the possibility of dealing with the unhappy household for the rest of their lives :(
     
  4. FREE SPIRIT

    FREE SPIRIT PetForums VIP

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    In all honesty i really dont believe it would be a permanent thing. Granted it's taking longer than i would have expected but i do believe it can and will be sorted out. ;) :)
     
  5. Taylorbaby

    Taylorbaby PetForums VIP

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    They might be like it at 6 months, you cant put a date on this type of thing.

    They might just be like this and tolerate each other, never expect them to be best mates, but if it happens then great!

    Id give them a bit more space each, make sure they both have high places to run & hide.

    Always praise them with the treats & good behavior.

    I always let my cats see the kittens playing for some reason they know they are kittens and by seeing them playing mine tend to just back off a bit!

    Tia has been here 2 or 3?! weeks now and I introduced her slowly after a week of being in the same room Her & Taylor play with each other now where as before they all hated her!

    Elvis still smacks her around the chops if he gets the chance!! :D
     
  6. Domy

    Domy PetForums Junior

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    That makes me feel better that it could take 6 months. When we left my Moms house, we felt terrible for our cat as we felt like we were taking her from a friend. They never cuddled together, and my cat would growl at my moms cat when it would enter the room. But they got along and even slept on the same couch together. We thought that getting a new kitten would be good for. Being so uneducated, it looks as though we should have gotten a cat closer to my cats age (3). All we want now is for them to tolerate each other!

    By the way, what is considered as "tolerated"?

    Thanks again!
     
  7. buckyd

    buckyd PetForums Junior

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    I hope things go better. I am in exactly the same situation only mine just began yesterday.
     
  8. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    Okay, here's my regular advice,

    As I regualarily say on here - my parents had 2 that fought like mad for 6 months !!!! And are now best buddies. And when I say fought I mean fur flying, teeth and blood.

    Keep trying with the feliway diffuser too.

    Give it time and patience - it will get there. These things always take time. 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, their 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. 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 '

    Just imagine how you would feel if a stranger invaded your house and you were expected to immediately be best friends - it is very unlikley to happen! The cats need time to work out who is boss etc. A bit of hissing and bashing with a paw is all very normal and will ease off. It's just a warning and putting the kitten in it's place. I'd leave them to get on with it personaly, every time you remove the kitten from the situation the elder cat believes she has chased the intruder away and therefore 'won', but the darned thing keeps coming back and so needs chasing off again! SHe is just protecting you. Get them to play together too. They may just tolerate each oter as TB says (never be best friends but will accept each others company)

    Hope this helps
     
  9. Missymoo

    Missymoo PetForums Senior

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    Sorry i havent anything to add but i hope they sort themselves out soon!! xx
     
  10. Domy

    Domy PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone :).

    We tried the scent exchange briefly but haven't done that for a long time. We'll try anything at this point. I think my boyfriend takes it harder than I do. He constantly leaves for work pretty unhappy as not much progress has been made. After the first month, there was one night that they both chased each other around the house in a nice way. We were thrilled, but it hasn't happened since.

    Here is an example of our frustrations. This morning our cat came into our room and cuddled with us. After about 1/2 hour, the kitten came into the room and hoped up onto the bed. Our cat did not notice, but when it did, she was so angry. We tried to calm her down, but she just growls and whines and just hoped off the bed and went out. When I woke up and put her collar on (to go outside) she would just growl at me. This would last about 3 minutes as we walked outside.

    Anyways it's quite frustrating, but we are not considering splitting them up. We've already both grown attached to our kitten as well. We just worry that we are causing too much stress on our cat and don't want her to live an unhappy life.

    Hope that makes sense, sorry for the babble!! Thanks for the help.
     
  11. Taylorbaby

    Taylorbaby PetForums VIP

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    I dont think that a cat closer to his age would have been any better, might have been worse as a older cat is set in its ways etc

    tolerated just means basically ignoring each other and getting on with things!

    Id give them a bit more space for now as introductions should be done slowly, well Ive always Done them slowly and its worked so far.

    At least he leaves the bed when his angry and doesnt go for the kit when she comes into his territory.

    when the kit gets on the bed have some really high priority treats ready and quickly give him some so he thinks 'kitten on bed = me yummy food...'!! :D
     
  12. Domy

    Domy PetForums Junior

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    See i'm not sure if they are tolerated right now or not? They sleep during the day fine and go about their business as well. It's only when our kitten gets too close to our cat that our cat gets really angry. She also gets angry when she walks into the room and sees the kitten playing. I guess they would be officially considered as "tolerated" if our cat stops growling every time the kitten goes by?

    The problem with the space issue is we don't have much. We live in an apartment so space is a bit limited. 2 more months and we move into a house which has much more space. Should I still try keeping them seperated in the apartment? We've tried before, but both end up whining when they are shut off from certain parts of the house.
     
  13. Tiggertots

    Tiggertots PetForums Senior

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    I feel for you Domy, i'm in exactly the same situation at the moment but fortunately mine has only been 4days, but I understand how frustrating it can be! At the moment i'm feeling really guilty as we've obviously caused Tigger's unhappiness, but the same as you he's only ever really annoyed when Simba gets too close to him, but as everyone says things should sort themselves out pretty soon!
     
  14. Ammy

    Ammy PetForums Member

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    We were in a really bad place with our new kitten and cat in early June. I promise, we were thinking of sacking one off cos it was so stressful!! :D BUT things are great now- they play beautifully, sleep together and clean eachother. And I know exactly how you feel- it always seems like its everyone elses cats that get on and not yours BUT if you work hard it can happen- you have to be consistent. Its tiring but you can do it. Here are some things we did-

    Evie constantly attacked Meg- it was awful. Biting scratching and kicking- I thought she would kill Meg. We got a cage/wire pen so Meg could chill out in the evening with no worries and Evie could sniff at her and see her without Meg being a threat. Evie had a really good sniff of Meg while she was in there and really sussed her out.

    Increase resources- more food bowls and more litter trays. Reduces territorial behaviour and stops any 'guarding'.

    Do not stare at the older cat or watch her when she is with the kitten- this is threatening behaviour and you may not realise you are doing it but it will make her very stressed.

    It sounds like your older cat may have lost some confidence now you have added another cat. You almost need to ignore the kitten while she is there and make a really big fuss of her and play with her. Do you have fishing rod games? Try to encourage her to relax and be a kitten again rather than being uptight.

    Stroke the kitten down with a towel- especially under her chin and rub the older cat down with it and vice versa.

    Ignore them- do not look at them when they are togther, almost blank them. If they are fighting over you as the resource, you are better off ignoring both of them and letting them get on with it. Only fuss and play with them when they are alone until they accept eachother more.


    Can you tell I have just read 'Cat Confidential'??!!!!!

    Hope these help

    x:D
     
  15. Chicabelle

    Chicabelle PetForums Newbie

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    Hi

    My cats have been together for nearly three years and they still fight! It's a case of heirachy and who is in charge. As the kitten gets older she/he will start to fight back and sooner or later they will sort out who is in charge by themselves. Kittens generally want to play as well so some of the fighting may be the kitten wanting to play but the older cat dismissing her/him.

    I wouldn't worry too much unless injuries start occuring or one of them seems really unhappy. Try having a room or an area where the older cat can get to but the kitten can't so the older cat can get some time by itself if it needs it. I know from experience that settled cats don't appreciate new arrivals so be patient with them both. Hopefully your kitten will grow out of the fighting mode and they'll learn to at least tolerate each other!

    Hope this helps a bit and goof luck x
     
  16. Domy

    Domy PetForums Junior

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    Thanks these are very good tips! We've really tried hard to play with our cat while the kitten is in the house. But she just doesn't seem to want to. We have 'Da Bird' and she'll look at it, acknowledge it, but if the kitten is anywhere near us, then no way. We still give our cat lots of love but she spends most of that time growling at us. I think i'll bring the kitten in the room when I bring Pepper inside at night, allow our cat to settle, and then let them see each other. Right now I take my cat outside supervised on the leash and she gets quite frustrated when she is not out. That could be the problem.

    I'm also going to keep trying the scent exchange. We tried it before, but gave up on it.

    Thank you!
     
  17. Domy

    Domy PetForums Junior

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    I think this sums up our issues completely. I know the kitten is not trying to fight the cat. But she will come really close to it and then get swatted some good. After that my cat just seems angry at the world. So far, no blood or no loud meows of pain. We are worried that our cat is really unhappy. WE built a cat house for them and our cat normally likes to sit on top of it. We thought that would make them do better, but so far more of the same. I guess it really just takes time!
     
  18. buckyd

    buckyd PetForums Junior

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    I am experiencing the early part of this situation. We have an adult cat who is 5 and new kitten who just arrived 2 days ago. The cat has been out of sorts since the baby has arrived and we have tried scent exchange as well as introductions with one of the cats in a crate- taken turns with who was in the crate. The kitten has been very courageous and trying to sniff and engage the older cat but the big guy is alternating between crying and hissing. It is absolutely heartbreaking to hear when he cries and as much of a sap as this makes me sound- I got teary eyed from this. I honestly have my doubts that my cat is going to come to terms with this and I think I may have to get rid of the kitten. HELP
     
  19. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    Buckyd - 2 days just isn't long enough for a cat to get used to an intruder in your house. Go back through this thread and read the advice given to the OP and try it with your cats. They will eventually learn to get on either at best friends or toleratling each other but you need to give it lots of time, patience and love and then some.
     
  20. Domy

    Domy PetForums Junior

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    yup wait longer than 3 days :). I heard that in most situation it takes about a month. I posted as it has been 3 months, which is causing some stress with the humans in the house. Best of luck, you will be fine!
     
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