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tabby trouble

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by alfiemartha, Feb 5, 2012.


  1. alfiemartha

    alfiemartha PetForums Newbie

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    Hello,

    We have a 13 week old male tabby, Alfie. About ten days ago, we brought my sister's cat, Martha, who is a female indoor cat and around 2.5 years old, to live with us. Martha has always been very timid, and isn't very sociable. Alfie, on the other hand, is extremely sociable and outgoing.

    We kept Martha in one bedroom for around a week, with a few short introductions to Alfie, which generally involved Alfie trying to play with Martha, and Martha hissing and growling. Martha is comfortable in her new bedroom now, and is keen to explore the rest of the house, and also seems keen to meet Alfie when she sees him through the glass door. However, this weekend we have tried to let them spend more time together, with the following results...

    As soon as Alfie sees Martha, he chases her, generally into Martha's bedroom and under the bed. Martha is still growling and hissing, and lashes out but not in a particularly vicious way. I have read that the existing cat will chase the new cat away from 'their territory', but I'm not sure that Alfie is doing this. Rather, I think he just wants to play with Martha. Alfie doesn't hiss or growl, and when Martha is closed away in her bedroom Alfie meows and looks around for her. Also, Martha does seem to want to say hello to Alfie, but just gets put off when Alfie sets off after her!

    So I'm not sure that Alfie is particularly 'bullying' Martha (he is about a third of her size!), he is more just over excited about the prospect of a friend. But Martha is not so enthusiastic about constantly being chased and pounced upon, and it seems that the growling and hissing will never end.

    So is there any advice about how to introduce an older more timid cat to an excitable kitten? And does it sound as if this friendship might work out, or is a lost cause? I would love for it to work out, because Martha has been moved from place to place her entire life, and it would be nice for her to settle for a while.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jenfunfur

    jenfunfur PetForums Member

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    Have you tried doing introductions whilst one of them is in a carrier? This is what we did when introducing our kitten to a 4yo dominant make cat. One day we did the intro with kitten in carrier, the next day vice versa. It helps them get used to how the other behaves/moves whilst still keeping a degree of seperation. At the same time we introduced treats when not growling/hissing & lots of fuss for both. Slowly is the best for introductions, when you do have both loose try to distract the kitten with chasing games so that he is'nt immediately trying to chase the older cat. It does take time, but seeing them washing each other & curling up to sleep together is worth it. Good luck x
     
  3. broccoli

    broccoli PetForums VIP

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    have you got lots of interactive toys for him? i have a 1 year age gap with mine & he wants to play - ball & track toy, laser, anything to keep him occupied while she gets used to the sight & smell :)
     
  4. purrr

    purrr PetForums Senior

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    im having the same problem but theres only a few wk age gap and Loki ( the older ) is doing the chasing and wanting to play but is getting to ruff with her but cause she is timed with people esp iv had to move Loki into another room so she gets peace will the cat basket thing be a good idea in the case of just let the get on with it? Loki is about 13/14 weeks and Lilly 9weeks
     
  5. The Minkey

    The Minkey PetForums Member

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    Seeing as Alfie is still such a young kitten, he'll be far more interested in play than in territory, so I'd treat her as if she were the resident cat and I'd make sure she's got a place she can get away from him and enjoy some peaceful time, e.g. is there a nice high place that she can get to but he can't? If so, make up a bed for her there so she can get away from his attentions when she needs to. I'm no expert, I'm just going by my experience of introducing a 14 week old male kitten into the house a couple of weeks ago, he doesn't seem to notice the preferential treatment my older resident girl gets.

    It's only 10 days so she's probably still adjusting to being in new surroundings, let alone coping with the attentions of a rambunctious kitten. It sounds like it's going OK all things considered, just make sure she has some place she can escape to.

    Edited to say: It may be worth investing in a Feliway diffuser or two for the rooms they usually hang out in. Buy online though as they are quite expensive and you should be able to get them at 2/3rds the price you'd pay from a vet's. Also, it is recommended you have a litter tray for each cat. She might also benefit if he were to be put in a separate room when it comes time to feeding so she can eat in peace just for a while until he learns his boundaries with her.
     
    #5 The Minkey, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
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