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Cat/Kitten intro ... is this good or bad and what next?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by emmariec, Aug 24, 2013.


  1. emmariec

    emmariec PetForums Newbie

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    Hi guys

    I am a new poster and would please, please welcome any advice on the following:

    We had a new kitten yesterday (Arthur - 8 weeks old) and have tried intros to our older cat (Jeffrey - 1 year 2 months, neutered male). We kept the kitten in a separate room for a day, did scent exchanges (which seemed to go well, with each cat acting curious but calm about the other's scent and so getting treats) and also did a room swap, which again seemed to go ok. We attempted intros for 20 mins today - Initially they just stared at each other, then Jeffers did some slow eye blinks which Arthur returned - Jeffers approached and sniffed Arthur and then hissed at him, Arthur hissed back. This happened a couple more times with a bit of back arching by the kitten but we ended up with both of them lying curled up, facing each other doing slow eye blinks and yawning and so decided to end it there (on a positive) - both of them were treated for the slow eye blinks and generally calm behaviour. Jeffers seemed unsure about approaching Arthur and tentatively reached out a paw to him a couple of times and then withdrew it.

    So my question is does this bode well or badly? Do we need to retrace a few steps or should we attempt a room swap and 20 mins face to face per day until they feel more comfortable around each other? Any advice much appreciated as I really want this to work out for both of them :)
     
  2. oliviarussian

    oliviarussian Meeoow!

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    Sounds pretty good to me, I would just carry on as you are, a few hisses are to be expected so next time I would just leave them to it (supervised of course).... They will be playing and chasing and wrestling in no time! :D
     
  3. emmariec

    emmariec PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for you response ... will try them each day (with treats) and hope they work it out themselves - just worry sometimes as Jeffers is a biggy (over 5kg) and Arthur seems so little next to him ... he's got spirit tho and Jeffers is generally really chilled so fingers crossed! :eek:
     
    #3 emmariec, Aug 24, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  4. moggiemum

    moggiemum PetForums VIP

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    aww sounds like its going really well,welcom to the forum and best wishes for your cats:)
     
  5. emmariec

    emmariec PetForums Newbie

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    Decided to back up and do just smell and room transfer for a couple of days and eating treats either side of a door - that went well with no hissing and relaxed body language all round. Tried them today with little 'un in a cat carrier and Jeffers outside - all positive, relaxed tails, ears and whiskers, no hissing and playing pawsies through the mesh within 5 mins with Jeffers rolling about on his side looking completely relaxed ... looks like they may become mates ... am going to continue with the cat carrier today and tomorrow and then, if all continues to go well, proper face to face the day after :eek: thanks for the moral support guys - i fear I'm a neurotic type and so fret about cat psychology too much! ;)
     
  6. emmariec

    emmariec PetForums Newbie

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    Two steps forward, one step back - the face to face today was mostly calm (didn't observe any aggressive body language) and the kitten just bumbled about happily. Lots of sniffing at the kitten. However, Jeffers kept trying to swipe at him with his paw (claws out) - tentatively at first but then more frequently as time went on and he made a few attempts (not serious ones by the looks of them) to bite the kitten. Kitten continued to bumble about at first but then started to scoot past Jeffers - kitten didn't seem too concerned though as was playing in front of him and turning his back on him but Jeffers continued to swipe at him. No hissing or growling, apart from when we tried to take him out of the room after 20 mins and then he growled at us.

    Any advice as to where to go from here? Can't help feeling worried as Jeffers' paw is as big as Arthur's head! Back track or press on?
     
  7. oliviarussian

    oliviarussian Meeoow!

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    Press on and toughen up a little! :D I know it's scary but they are going to play fight and you are going to have to stand back and let them.... Unless they are tearing chunks out of each other this is completely normal..... The little one will scream blue murder and then seconds later will go back in for some more!!!!!
     
  8. emmariec

    emmariec PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks - you're right - I think the neuroses makes me anthropomorphise a little! :D Am going to try them face to face every day and let them work it out themselves.

    Was wondering whether it's best to let them meet in the kitten's room or in the lounge though - which territory is best?
     
  9. SmittenKitten

    SmittenKitten PetForums Member

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    Hi, I'm sorry I don't have any useful advice as I've only been a cat slave for two weeks and very new to the forum, but wanted to add my voice of support as I'm also quite neurotic when it comes to my kittens! I'm forever worrying about them and if I'm doing things the right way :/

    I bought three kittens from three different breeders over the space of two weeks. The first two took about three to four days to become used to each other. I didn't do scent swapping because both breeders told me that they would be fine within half an hour of meeting and I was clearly naive. They are fine together now.

    I got the third kitten yesterday and initially everything seemed to go well but the newest kitten seemed to go a bit crazy tonight and in my inexperience I was unsure if the kittens were playing or fighting. I think they were playing though (I hope).

    Oscar, my boy kitten is so laid back, he seems to have gelled really quickly with both kittens straight away but poppy (the first) and honey (the last) seem very unsure of one another. I can see one of them becoming the dominant cat and poor Oscar being bottom of the pecking order :D He's such a soppy boy!

    I'm sure things will settle done given time and I wish you luck with both your cats :)
     
  10. emmariec

    emmariec PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the moral support - Sounds like they're all doing ok and working out their natural hierarchy - Jeffers and Arthur both started having proper crazy kitten play when they'd been in the house for a few days and got their confidence - it does look fierce though doesn't it? :)

    Gonna persevere with the intros and set aside my fear that I'm making one or the other of them unhappy - it's Jeffers I worry about as he's so important to me and it's a big change for him. But I guess cats are adaptable creatures and he gets so much good stuff in all the other parts of his life that he can put up with a little discomfort re: the kitten. Everyone tells me they will work it out themselves and I guess I just need to trust in their experience and only intervene if I have to.

    Hope it continues to go well going forward and hope I get to put one of those 'they hated each other and now they love each other' updates that I am so jealous of on here some time soon ;)
     
  11. emmariec

    emmariec PetForums Newbie

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    Lots of chirping/prrping when they meet and Jeffers generally following the little one around trying to bite and swat at him (though seemingly gently) and also tried to straddle him and hold him by biting the back of his neck - little 'un seemed ok at first but then seemed to not like it very much and began swatting back - any interpretations of this behaviour? I have read up on cat behaviour but am struggling to apply it to the context.
     
  12. Jesthar

    Jesthar PetForums VIP

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    I'm not entirely sure, as this isn't my specialist subject, but I *think* I remember a reference to that being a male dominance thing - it's the position a male cat uses to mate a female, but used male on male to assert dominance and establish status. If that's correct, I don't think neutering would make a difference to that behaviour, as it's territorial, not sexual.
     
  13. oliviarussian

    oliviarussian Meeoow!

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    just trying to show the little 'un who's boss, nothing to worry about! :)
     
  14. sarahecp

    sarahecp Crazy Cat Lady of Bucks

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    It all sounds like its going really well :thumbup:

    We got Seb when he was 11 weeks, I introduced him to Frank who was 7 years old, they hit it off from day one :) I was so scared when they played and wrestled because of the age and size difference, Frank would bunny kick Seb in the head :eek: but there was never any fur flying or blood, after reassurance from the members on here I let them get on with it :) nearly 2 years have gone by and I would say they get on really well :)

    Now I have got Roman, today is day 6 and Seb is still hissing and growling, the closest he's been to Roman was to sniff his ear this morning, he actually seems scared of him, silly boy, there's been no swiping or real physical contact, Roman isn't fazed just looks inquisitive :) Frank is being his normal self, will have a sniff, he hissed at Roman when he jumped on his tail, but that's it.

    I think I was very lucky with Frank and Seb, but knew it wouldn't be the same with Seb and Roman.

    I still think we have a long way to go with Seb, I think the issue is the big boys go outside, and where the weather is nice and warm they haven't wanted to come in so it's taking longer with the interactions. We'll get there soon I'm sure :)
     
  15. emmariec

    emmariec PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks guys - I suspected it may be a dominance thing but just wanted the confirmation from those who have loads more experience than me :)

    Will let them get on with it as Jeffers has been really good actually (no hissing or growling since day one) and the dominance thing was expected.
     
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