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Looking for advice on taking better care of our older cat after introducing new kitten home

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by clorefi, Feb 7, 2020.


  1. clorefi

    clorefi PetForums Newbie

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    Hello,

    Asking for some advice here from those having experience with having multiple cats :)

    We have a female Scottish Fold cat (2.5 y.o.), and we introduced a new kitten home 3 weeks ago. It's a male Ragdoll (4 month old now). The introduction was done progressively and they now both have access to the full house.

    It's difficult for the older cat who used to be alone and liked to just sleep around without anyone bothering her. The Scottish tolerates the baby Ragdoll and monitors his every moves from afar. The baby loves to follow the Scottish around, and always wants to play with her and solicit her. The Scottish is patient but she likes to be left alone, so she gets annoyed when the Ragdoll comes to close (though she never tried to hurt the baby, she just makes a small grunt so that he understands to back off- which he does, but tries again later).

    - is it part of the overall introduction/adaptation process, and can it be seen as a good sign for future friendship ? or do you think that this means no friendship never and just acceptation?

    - the older cat -looooves- the kitten kibbles and only eats the kitten kibbles secretly now... She was never overweight so for now it's ok, but she gained a little bit of weight already. Should we force her to eat the adult kitten (not that easy..), or is it ok for her to eat kitten kibbles as long as we monitor that she doesn't become overweight ? we want her to stay super healthy.

    - do you have any advice on taking a better care of the older cat ? we're worried that she might have a hard time adjusting with this new environment and less attention than before, and that she becomes sad/unhappy.



    Thanks a lot for reading me and looking forward to hearing your advice and past experiences!
     
  2. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Distract and play with the kitten when the older cat wants to be left alone. This will help her by letting her have some peace, and by showing her that you aren't going to let the kitten harass her. Play with him numerous times a day, keep it as routine as possible. he wil soon learn to expect his regular play times.

    Kittens require a ton of interactive play time. Though I find it concerning that a 2 1/2 year old cat is not a lot more active than you describe? Or maybe I misunderstood.

    I would advise you to plan to transition both cats to an all wet diet. Get rid of the kibble. Not good for either of them.
     
    chillminx likes this.
  3. teddylion

    teddylion PetForums Junior

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    This reflects our situation - male ragdoll kitten Ted - but with us it's with a twelve year old male (Henry).

    We've now had the kitten for three months and he still hankers after Henry, down to staring lovingly at him from afar. Henry wants no part of it...I imagine being female your fold will be even less desirous of a relationship, as a vet told us generally female cats prefer to be alone unless already part of a litter.

    Perhaps your raggie is like ours and tries to groom the older cat. It's sad to watch as the older cat runs away as he thinks it's going to be another playfight attempt, so I feel sorry for them both.

    Yesterday the kitten got neutered - we're hoping this will help the situation. Henry was ecstatic when he realized Ted had gone and purred/cuddled me non-stop for three hours. When Ted returned Henry seemed less than impressed! Today he's bad-tempered and has been hissing at the kitten, which almost never does.

    If it's any consolation, other than this set-back, the older cat seems to just make do with the situation eventually. They will even lie together on the windowsill now and then. I don't think they'll ever be best friends, but the situation will almost certainly improve, especially as the kitty grows older and calms down. We're sure the neutering will help too.

    And the older cat, like yours, keeps eating the kitten biscuits (Royal Canin) whilst the kitten eats the adult food! They are high in carbs for growing kittens and Henry has put a bit of weight on with it ... we'll let him finish the bag and then no more as I don't want him getting diabetes.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. teddylion

    teddylion PetForums Junior

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    Some photos of the two
     

    Attached Files:

  5. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    That's probably just because of the strange vet smells. Sounds like you are doing all you can to keep Henry happy and feeling loved and protected.

    Yes RC and all kibble is high in carbs, very bad for your kitten and adult cat. Growing kittens don't need carbs, they need protein and fat from meat sources and moisture. As I said to the OP, I hope you will begin now to transition both your cats to a better, wet, diet. You may find they get along better as well, when they are better fed.
     
  6. clorefi

    clorefi PetForums Newbie

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    Hi to both of you,
    Thank you for your advices and very interesting share of experience ! you cats are cute. I really hope this gets better for you now that the kitten is neutered.

    I'll follow your advice thanks ! the older cat will indeed appreciate that.

    The 2.5 yo cat is more active than I described, she likes to play as well, with us with toys, and loves to run in the house (she loves to run away from us as a game also when we want to catch her!)

    As for the food, we have a very good brand and we would like to keep kibbles as the kibbles helps with dental hygiene. If this continue and she keeps gaining weight, you are right we should probably consider wet food switch... They both eat the veterinary recommended Hill's science diet for indoor cat (the adult version for adult - though now he eats the kitten's food ; and the kitten version for kitten). In addition to the kibbles we give to the kitten 1 wet food can (prescription diet) a day, and 1 wet treat for the older cat.

    We thought that since our cat is "only 2.5 yo", she will adapt and can eventually accept the change and even become friends. What do you think ?

    Thanks again!
     
  7. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Kibble does not clean teeth or benefit dental health in cats. That's like saying you eat chips to clean your teeth. Kibble is high in carbs, which means sugar. Cats have sharp pointy carnivore teeth. If they bite into a kibble at all it shatters into crumbs. High carb crumbs that turn to sugar and stick to their teeth and get between their teeth and under their gums. Dental health is largely genetic in cats but you can help by feeding them a low carb wet diet to keep them over all healthy. Some people do brush their cats' teeth with special made for pets pastes, or rub them on the cat's teeth.

    The only diet that actually benefits dental health is a raw diet with chunks of meat and raw bone.

    I think in time all will be well. I've always had multiple cats. The key is to ensure there are enough resources in the house for both cats. Enough litter boxes (at least 3) enough elevated spaces, enough beds, and forts and scratchers and so on.

    Cats should each have their own meal spot, when you feed on a schedule they soon learn the routine and will wait in their chosen spots to be fed. Feeding routines are wonderful bonding times (for you/cat not cat/cat).

    :)
     
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @clorefi - as I expect you know, all Scottish Fold cats have a serious genetic condition called osteochondrodysplasia which affects the cartilage all over their bodies, not just in their ears. Even Scottish Fold cats without the bent ears have this genetically inherited disease.

    I agree with lorilu, your adult cat should be running around, jumping, playing a lot. I would expect her to make a good playmate for your kitten a lot of the time. If you think she is sleeping more than usual/normal I would have her examined by the vet. Osteochondrodysplasia can start affecting these cats as soon as they reach adulthood.

    A useful article from Icat Care :

    https://icatcare.org/advice/scottish-fold-disease-osteochondrodysplasia/
     
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  9. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    That was my concern as well.
     
  10. clorefi

    clorefi PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks to both of you for this useful concern, we are indeed aware of this decease, and our cat for now shows no sign of it, she does not sleep more than normal, and does like to play (we get exhausted before her), run, and jump. She's less active than the kitten of course, and we hope that in time he can become a good playmate ( because she loves it when someone runs after her and she escapes, and we don't always play with her as much as she would like).

    She is picky about food and doesn't eat wet can food, so it will be difficult to make her switch, but we'll consider it. In case of a full wet diet, how often a day should we give a can to the cat ? like two times ?
    and you said we shouldn't feed them at the same time ? we thought it could help them bonding/get used to one another if they share a nice moment/good meal at the same time, that's what we read and breeder advice.

    Thanks :)
     
  11. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Cats are territorial creatures and many feel competitive when forced to share food. Even if they seem "fine", there is most likely some stress over it.Stress may not be noticed at the time, but it can come out in other ways, including health issues.

    Any cat can be transitioned to a wet diet, it just takes time and effort. I recommend 3 meals a day when feeding a wet (or raw) diet.

    It can take some work but so worth it. Here's a vet's website on why a wet diet is so important. Dr Pierson, who specializes in feline nutrition, is a bit wordy, but taken in small doses, there is a wealth of information to access.

    www.cat info.org
     
  12. clorefi

    clorefi PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks a lot, will look !
    Sorry for the misunderstanding, they dont "share" food, they have their own bowls ! we only tried to make them share a wet meal once a day
     
  13. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Give them the wet meal each in his or her own spot. Pick up the free feed dishes and start feeding on a schedule with a little wet food in a separate dish next to the kibble. Pick up the dishes after a period of time, don't leave the kibble out. If the wet is ignored, you might leave it after picking up the kibble. Also, try garnishing it with something really tasty, like a freeze dried pure protein treat crushed to dust. Sprinkle the incentive on both dishes of food so they smell the same. As the wet food gets eaten more, gradually reduce the kibble and increase the wet. Soon they will be eating all wet. Throw away any kibble left.
     
  14. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I agree with lorilu - each cat should have their own individual feeding spot. They should not be expected to eat next to each other. I am afraid the breeder is anthropomorphising, i.e. applying human values to cats, LOL!

    Humans live in societies which have a complex social structure. Humans are interdependent. A meal shared between humans has social significance e.g. friendship, or celebration of a social event such as a wedding etc. Adult cats are solitary hunters and independent, they do not live in societies. It is not natural for an adult cat to eat their food alongside another cat. All my cats have their own individual feeding places from the start.
     
    clorefi likes this.
  15. scatatonic

    scatatonic PetForums Junior

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    Again similar situation with my cats. 12 yr old female, Noodle, who tolerates but by no means loves our 7 month kitten, Pablo. He on the other hand utterly adores her and wants to play constantly. We just make sure she gets quiet space when he is getting too much. As time has gone on she has started to occasionally play with him but he is very boisterous! I wish I could afford another kitten because he is very sociable and would love a playmate - unfortunately finances won't allow. I don't think you can force a friendship and some cats will only ever tolerate another.
     
  16. clorefi

    clorefi PetForums Newbie

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    I was so wrong about the feeding next to each other ! thanks :)

    Thanks for sharing your experience ! your Pablo seems just like our kitten indeed. We started following everyone advices, I hope it gets better !
     
    scatatonic likes this.
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