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New kittens and resident cat

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Rairai18, Sep 30, 2020.


  1. Rairai18

    Rairai18 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all, completely new here but I hope you’re all well.

    We have recently (1 week ago) adopted two new kittens (13 week female and 18 week male) and have a 2.5 year old resident cat who has been with us for about a year and half.

    Our resident cat is handling it ok but I also want to check that all behaviour is normal as we’ve never gone through this before.

    Our resident cat was (and still is) the biggest scaredy-cat known to man. We always knew this was going to shake things up a bit but he’s a very gentle and timid natured cat but he’s curious as well.

    He is allowed outside and is generally spending all of his time outside, he will come home for a quick snack and then run away again.

    We’ve been able to do a couple of face to face meetings, some through glass, some with use of a play pen (kittens in the pen) and some actually face to face.

    The kittens have “their room” for food, litter tray and where they sleep at night but we do let them put for soon play time and so the house starts to smell like them.

    Is it normal for a resident cat to runaway and barely come in considering the circumstances? He will stay outside even it’s raining and windy! He’s come in to sleep during the day twice in the last week when normally it would be everyday.

    Any comments greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @Rairai18 and welcome :)

    Running away and not coming home is normal behaviour for a cat who is a timid, solitary cat who is not used to sharing his home with other cats or kittens. It is the "fight or flight" response. In the case of your adult cat, it is "flight". It is his way of dealing with [what for him] is a scary situation.

    I am sorry that his 'flight' behaviour does not bode too well for him accepting the kittens as his housemates. What he is doing is giving up his territory to the newcomers without a fight and in my experience there is a risk he may start coming home less and less often, and might even eventually stop coming home at all. (it can happen unfortunately). Sorry, but I feel it is only fair to warn you of the possibility.

    I think steps need to be taken right now to get your adult cat back in his home, holding onto his territory, so he stops feeling the newcomers have taken over. The way to do this is to put the kittens in their safe room and keep them there for now (with your company as much as possible ) . Do not let them out to play in the rest of the house or try to introduce them to your resident cat with use of a playpen. it is spreading the kittens' scent around the home and that is what is making your resident cat feel the kittens have taken over his home (his territory).

    As he is such a timid cat, who is unaccustomed to other cats, it is best to go much more slowly with the introductions - think a couple of months rather than a couple of weeks. Your cat needs as much time as he wants to adjust to the kittens' presence. Use a mesh screen in the doorway of the kittens safe room, (the type of screen that you can stick on with velcro to the door frame). So the kittens are kept safely in their room but the adult cat can see them and smell their scent. The rest of the house should be your adult cat's territory for the time being.

    Once the scent of the kittens is not everywhere in the house I am hoping your cat will decide to spend more time indoors again. The weather will soon be too cold (in the Uk) for him to be outdoors for hours at a time. He may need a lot of bribing with treats to get him to come back and check the house out for himself.
     
    Callidora likes this.
  3. Rairai18

    Rairai18 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Chillminx, thank you for your great response. We followed your advice and have popped the kittens back in their room for the majority of the day along with any toys, towers, blankets that may have carried their scent. Our resident cat is now curled up in my lap on the couch in a room he has barely stepped foot in for a week! There were treats involved but nowhere near as many as I thought. He seems a lot happier now and hopefully as the weeks progress he will start to get used to them being in the house more. Many thanks Rairai18
     
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  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Aww, I am so pleased to hear this news! What a good boy he is to come back indoors and cuddle up wth you! :)

    I am glad he seems happier and hopefully as times goes by he will be willing to accept the kitties as his housemates. Let him decide when he is ready - he will tell you by his behaviour.

    Well done! :)
     
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