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New kitten being attacked by older cat

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Mayameow, Sep 2, 2018.


  1. Mayameow

    Mayameow PetForums Newbie

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    My family and I have rescued 6 cats and recently rescued a little kitten, we had her in her own room for a while and tried to slowly introduce her to the other cats, we tried scent swapping and seeing each other through the crack door and we wanted to introduce them to each other only to have one of the cats attack her. Since then she has stayed in her own room and the cat that attacked her has been waiting outside the room scratching at the door, she would hide and try and run into the room if we went near it.

    She once ran from her hiding place and then between my legs to get into the room, she immediately attacked the kitten and gave her a cut on her stomach.

    The other cats seem to not mind her and don’t act anything like this cat, one of them went into her room and he just sat with her no problem. Even our oldest cat that tends to attack new cats, has left her alone. They do not hiss at her like this one cat does.

    We really want to let her out of this room and let her be a normal cat in the house, I hate having to keep her there but it’s the only place she feels safe and relaxed because of this other cat.

    Any suggestions on how we can get them to be friends would be much appreciated, we really need the help.
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @Mayameow and welcome :)

    How old is the new kitten? Very young or small kittens can be viewed by some cats as potential prey animals and that may be a possible reason why your adult cat is attacking her. Is the adult female spayed?

    On the other hand the adult cat's attacks could be a straightforward territorial response because she does not want another cat in the home, taking her resources. Is the attacker the last cat you adopted before the kitten arrived? If so then she is being protective of her resources.

    The thing to bear in mind about multi cat households is that every time a new cat or kitten is brought into the home the dynamics between the cats change. There's often an optimum number of cats that can share a home together in harmony. The actual number depends on the various different circumstances as well as the differing temperaments of the individual cats who are sharing the home. It may be the case in your circumstances your 6 cats can share together OK but adding one more cat to the mix changes the status quo to the point where the balance is tipped and everything falls apart. I do not exaggerate. Having 7 unrelated rescued cats sharing a home together is asking a lot of them, unless your house is large and they have access to a big garden.

    The best thing to do is to keep the kitten in her safe room and fit a hinged mesh screen in the doorway so it opens outward, the opposite way to the wooden door. The screen must be cat proof, so the adult cat can't break in and so the kitten can't escape from her room. And it must be the height of the doorway so neither cat can climb over it (which is why pet gates don't work when introducing cats). The screen gives the cats the opportunity to get to know each other in "safe mode". They can see each other and smell each other's scent but can't have any direct contact. This is much less threatening for them both.

    This is the kind of thing I mean :

    it is a fly screen but fairly sturdy:

    https://www.streme.co.uk/product/valoro-hinged-fly-screen-for-single-doors-regular/

    Keep the kitten safely in her room until all hissing, anger, etc from the adult cat has stopped. This may take weeks or it may take months. Don;t rush things, let the cats do things at their own pace.

    When there are no more signs of negativity you can allow the kitten out of her room for short periods under your supervision. Do not allow any chasing or any aggressive behaviour. Put the kitten back in her safe room if the adult cat acts negatively towards her. (a bit of hissing is OK).

    Don't ever leave the kitten alone with the adult cats until you are sure all the adult cats can be trusted with her.

    Once you have them all in the same space, increase all the resources by a considerable number, e.g. more water bowls, more litter trays, more cat beds, more high up places to sleep, more cat scratch posts and pads etc.

    Also give every cat their own feeding station at least 10 ft away from each other and do not allow sharing of bowls or food theft.

    Good luck. :)
     
    #2 chillminx, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    Mayameow likes this.
  3. Mayameow

    Mayameow PetForums Newbie

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    Hi thanks for your reply!

    The six cats we have now are a mother cat and her five children, which are a year old. We were originally just taking care of the mother cat in our garden but she gave birth to the kittens shortly after and brought them inside the house herself. After that we kept all of them. The country my family lives in has a massive stray cat problem so we decided to keep them all rather than have them live as strays.

    The new kitten is only around 4 or 5 months old I’d say. Also the adult female cat is indeed spayed and so are all the other cats including the mother. They have plenty of space and get along really well never had any problems.


    I really appreciate your reply it was very informative, I’ll make sure to pass on the information to my parents and see that they get the screen and try that method out.

    Thank you for the help!
     
    chillminx likes this.
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Aha, well the fact all 6 cats are related explains a lot why the adult female is objecting to the new kitten. The mum and kittens are all part of the same social group they have always belonged to, but the new kitten is not.

    I would get the new kitten spayed very soon, as it won't help the integration with the others if she becomes hormonal. As you will know cats can become pregnant from the age of 4 mths old.

    I am glad your family has been able to rescue these cats rather than leave them as strays. :)
     
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