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Just Brought My Siamese Home....How to Introduce?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Becksie, May 6, 2010.


  1. Becksie

    Becksie PetForums Junior

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    Hello

    I got Alfie (8 weeks old)on Tuesday, he has settled in so well, he is sat on my knee at the minute. Just been to pick up my Siamese Harvey (13 weeks old) as I was originally only having him, but a friend found abandoned Kittens.

    At the minute Harvey is hiding behind the couch so I am just going to let him venture out when he is ready and the only time they have seen each other there was a little bit of hissing and Harvey ran behind the sofa.

    What do I do? let him settle in first, then introduce or just let them see each other and let nature take it's course?
     
  2. dharma66

    dharma66 PetForums Senior

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    If possible, keep them seperately for a few days, confining one of them to s single room if need be.

    Swap scents by stroking one, then immediately stroking the other, and then back to the first. Especially stroke the faces and sides. This is whilst they are seperate.

    Then you can then feed them both near the doorway with the door very slightly ajar. Repeat this a few days wih the gap a little bigger each time, until they are effectively feeding together. You can then let them interact after they eat. Keep. Water pistol handy. It's a lot safer than stickin your hands into a ball of teeth and claws!

    That's one way to do it. Another would be to have one in a carrier, and allow them to sniff each other for a few minutes, a few tomes a day, for a day for a few days. Then open the carrier when all seems ok, and at a point that they are ignoring each other. Again, keep the water pistol handy.

    You might also want to consider a Feliway difuser cor use in the introductions.

    These sound long winded, but unless you are fortunate enough to get an immediate rapport, then spending a few days now on gentle introductions like his skill give you a much better chance of the two cats forming a single social group, and becoming friends, rather than just tolerating each other.

    For anyone undertaking a mulitple cat household, inwouod atrongly recommend Reading some of the more easily accessible books on the subject, such as "Cat Confidential" or "Cat Coinsellor" by Vicky Halls, or "Think Cat" by David Taylor. If you are used to readin things a little more dry and academic, then "Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians" by Bonnie Beaver is very informative.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. dharma66

    dharma66 PetForums Senior

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    Oh, and...

    When you bring them together, have a couple of toys, especially 'feather on a stick' type, and try to get them to play together, but with the toy as the focus of the hunting instinct, rather than each other!

    And have a few special treats handy to give hem both. Bits of ham or a few prawns. Pet them both, but not overbearingly, and don't raise your voice or be tempted to 'smack', even gently (that's more for others who light read this!), use the water pistol if things get serious.
     
  4. Becksie

    Becksie PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for your advice. At the minute they are sat next to each other, the Siamese is just growling and Alfie is just looking at him as if to say what's wrong with you!
     
  5. dharma66

    dharma66 PetForums Senior

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    If you leave them like that, then eventually the growling will probably stop, and things will settle down.

    But the chances are very much that you will end ip with them just tolerating each other, and learning to live round eachjother as two seperate social groups, rather than living together as one social group.

    Quite often this is the case in multiple cat househlds, and the humans believe the cats are friends, because they never actually fight. In reality, cats living with very close core territories will avoid fighting as much as possible, but this dos not necessarily mean they are friends!

    Cat behaviour is very subtle, and there can be an awful lot of tension between individuals that goes completely unoticed because it is very quiet, consisting mostly of posturing, occupying key strategic locations etc. This can lead to one of the cats being quite stressed. But we don't notice this as cats go to great lengths to disguise any weakness.

    It's entirely up to you, but I would make every effort to enact a gradual introduction, with positive reinforcement, and try hard to achieve a single social group.
     
  6. Becksie

    Becksie PetForums Junior

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    I am separating them, I will put Harvey in my spare room so he can settle for the next few days. I have been reading through previous posts and I will use the cat carrier a few times a day so they can have a sniff, gradually longer times and then let them out.

    Hopefully this will work, I am getting stressed about the whole thing at the minute.
     
  7. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Oh no, don't get stressed. They will sort it out. Best do it the long way as described by Dharma66.

    Though i have to fess up and say that we just took our kittens out of the carrier and let them get on with it. I figured that since they were both kittens who had come from a big litter, they would seek out each other. They were initially wary of each other for a few hours but within a day they were cleaning each other, playing, eating together. I was probably just lucky. :eek:
     
  8. Becksie

    Becksie PetForums Junior

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    Well thats what I thought would happen, Alfie has only been here 2 days so hasn't really found the whole house yet, he came from a litter of 4.
    Harvey came from a litter of 4 and must be at least 10 cats in the breeders house.
    They met a 1pm he still hasn't eaten but has used the litter tray. I have never done this before and finding it very difficult!!
     
  9. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Just keep in mind how nerve-wrecking the whole experience is for them. From surroundings and cats they know to a big scary place with new things and cats and people :)

    Just give them time. Bagpuss hid behind the sofa for a half a day. He sometimes ventured out to explore maybe a metre but then ran back in his hidey hole as soon as something moved. Millie, the other kitten at the time, just sat at a distance trying to figure it all out.

    Tim my husband had enough of his timid behaviour after 8 hours and gave him a tummy tickle. He purred - and that was it. It literally was as though someone had flipped a switch! He started exploring, eating, toileting, checking out the other cats etc.

    It is still early days yet, give them and yourself time and i am sure everything will work out!
     
  10. dharma66

    dharma66 PetForums Senior

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    Please don't be stressed! I apologise if I e contributed to you feeling stressed, truly.

    To put things in prspective, having them both in the room together straight away only rsultnin a few growls and sideways looks is very positive. I could have been flying fur and howls! So things are good so far.

    If you do the slow introduction thing now, then everything should go fabulously, and you'll end up with two happy kitties who are perfctly content to be together.

    Stress is the last thing I want to induce, so again I apologise if my tone was little pompous. It dosnt help hat I'm sending these posts from my phone, and can't be as chatty as I would like, due to frustration with the keyboard :/

    just keep in mind that your first bringing together of these two has been really quite posiive indeed.
     
  11. Becksie

    Becksie PetForums Junior

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    I don't think the Siamese harvey will ever settle here. he has only had a mouthful of food since 11am yesterday, only had a wee on the litter tray.

    I separated them last night, sat with Harvey, played with him and went to bed, I think i have had 3 hours sleep all night, he cried all night, in the end I went and slept in there with him, that did really help either, he still cried.

    This morning, a new start! I introduced Alfie all he wanted to do was play, everytime he went towards Harvey he just got hissed and growelled at. this didn't put him off so he tried again and got another hiss.
    I then put Harvey back upstairs to hear constant crying. I decided to open the door and let him come if he wanted to. He came down alfie was asleep on my knee so he jumped up and hissed then went to sleep. he is loads more confident purring but everytime he sees alfie he just hiss and growls.

    I don't want to have to say this but i think he will end up going back to the breeder. He has been in a bedroom for the last 13 weeks with other cats and hasn't heard normal household noises i.e the tv.

    I feel sick as I just want them both to be happy and get along :(
     
  12. tinytiger

    tinytiger PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    i think you are to impatiant. Harvey is there since 2?3? days. Hissing is very normal between strange cats. And crying - hm, Harvey is in a new house with new noises, new people, and without his wellknown cat-companions, and he is a siamese, they are speaking and babbling all the time, what do you think what he shall do ;) ? My advice is, let them together. Alfie is small, but Harvey is with 13 weeks young enough, he can not ernest do harm to Alfie.
    He will forget his hissing and will play and cuddle with Alfie in a very short time, i'm sure!
     
  13. lemonpie

    lemonpie PetForums Junior

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    Sounds just like my two when I brought them home 3 weeks ago. Indie wanted to play, Leela was having none of it and kept growling/hissing at him... By the third day there was minimal hissing... By the fourth none at all... within the next few days they were playmates and started cuddling up to each other :)
     
  14. dharma66

    dharma66 PetForums Senior

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    Patience is the key here. It might take a few weeks for eberything to fully settle down, and hat is absolutely normal.

    A few hisses and growls at this stage is good.

    The breeder should have introduced the kitten to normal household activity. It may be that when you visited they were in the bedroom, but at other times they will probably have been introduced to the living room and kitchen.

    Don't loose heart, honestly honestly it's going well. Stay calm, and let them work it out and I'm sure everything will be great.

    If you still have ructions n a few months, hats when it's ike to wonder about hem ever getting on, and certainlynot after just a few days :)
     
  15. Becksie

    Becksie PetForums Junior

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    It's not so much the growling etc it's the fact he isn't settling. I am concerned about him not eating, now 24 hours just tempted him with some tuna which he just sniffed.
    I have spoken to the breeder this morning. she says just to let them see each other, leave them together when I go to bed.

    He still hasn't poo'd on the tray yet and is now sat on the landing, no matter how much I try to sit/tempt/play he just runs away. All he seems to like is quiet and no background noise.

    Perhaps I am comparing him to the other for how quick he has settled, I know all cats are different.
     
  16. thenaughtyfairy

    thenaughtyfairy PetForums Junior

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    My took two a few days to eat properly when they first came as the person I got them from had only fed them tuna and I wanted to feed them cat food. Honestly, don't worry and don't give up so easily. As long he has plenty of water he'll be fine, or you could try tempting him with some treats like fish. I ended up mixing the tuna with cat food and gradually reducing the amount, but this was after a few days of them turning down anything apart from milk.

    I was lucky with my two as they came from the same litter and have always been friendly, inquisitive things but my OH at the time already had two brothers who were about 3 and were house cats so had never saw other cats. Oh my god, how scared were they of these two tiny wee things. We kept the kittens in the kitchen and introduced them slowly. First two times the older two jumped straight onto the top of the cupboards and just stayed there. After a few days we started letting the kittens explore the rest of the flat when we were there and eventually it all settled down.

    Honestly don't give up on your kitten so easily.
     
    #16 thenaughtyfairy, May 7, 2010
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  17. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    I agree - don't throw the towel in just yet. Give that little man a chance to live in your lovely home :thumbup:

    I presume he now has found a spot where he feels save and can retreat to when things become a bit overwhelming. Could you just leave some food there for him?

    I personally would just stop fussing over him for a while and let him explore his new place in his own time. Let them get to know each other. As someone said, they are actually not fighting, only hissing. So that is good.

    Once he feels a little more secure then perhaps start playing with something that could involve the two of them - such as a da bird. Let them do something fun together!

    But all in their own time. It is early days yet!
     
  18. Becksie

    Becksie PetForums Junior

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    Had a bit of a break through this afternoon, after spending hours tempting Harvey from the landing, down the stairs, he has eaten some tuna, drunk and been to his bowl of his own accord and also had a wee on the litter.

    This had made me relax a bit!

    We are now all sat in the lounge, playing with toys, alfie keeps running up to him and he growls haven't heard any hissing for a while, they have had the odd swipe.
    Neither of them have arched backs or their ears pinned back, and look like they have no stress just slightly weary of each other. I keep stroking one and then the other to pass scents. he is sat here asleep

    Harvey seems to be a bit of a growler. all new things to him he growls out, toys, furniture etc

    Hopefully this is a small turning point.
     
  19. dharma66

    dharma66 PetForums Senior

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    Definately sounds like steps in the right direction :D

    you are doing a food jon with them by the sounds of it. It's the Siamese that's growling, yes? If so then that's not such a bad thing, as they are a very vocal breed. My friends Siamese's normal meow sounds almost like a growl, so I wouldn't worr over much about that.

    If you've managed to get them playing together with toys, then that's a great step forwards!
    And the fact that Alfie has taken food is really good too.
    Keep it up! It's gong well and you're doing great!
     
  20. Becksie

    Becksie PetForums Junior

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    Think I spoke a bit too soon!!

    They have now chased each other around my house for the last 20 mins fighting, not actually getting each other but having a good go!

    Urgh I hope this is the start of a good friendship!
     
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