How can I get my 11 year old cat to accept the 9 month old kitten?

Almost two months ago we adopted a 7 month old kitten to keep our 11 year old cat company. They are both female and neutered. The kitten (Sophie) is very sweet and obviously wants to be friends with the 11 year old (Gracie). But Gracie wants nothing to do with her and will hiss and swat at her whenever she sees her. We thought we introduced them correctly, after extensively reading up about it. We adopted Gracie along with her male companion 8 years ago, but he sadly passed away in June. So, she's used to having another cat around and was always more interested in him than he was with her.
Gracie has become increasingly withdrawn and is becoming somewhat hostile towards us, which she never was before. I realize this is normal behavior for a resident cat to display, and we try to show Gracie extra attention, but it's hard to do this when she is now becoming mean. I've read everything I can find about what to do, most say to "reintroduce" the cats, which seems unrealistic at this point.

Asked by Member 960949 on Feb 8th 2010 in Bringing Your Pet Home
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Izadore (Izzie)

Since Gracie is what's considered a senior feline citizen, if she hasn't been to the vet's lately, it might not be a bad idea to take her in and tell them she's not acting like herself. Mention the kitten, but first make sure she has no health issues or even dementia (yes, elderly cats can suffer just like elderly humans do from dementia-like conditions) Gracie may not be done mourning her brother yet. 8 years is a long time and they were probably very much in sync with each other. You may benefit from getting the youngster out of Gracie's sight for a while. And, take into consideration that she may also be teaching the "interloper" that the house is her's and Sophie will need to follow her rules. Swatting and hissing is normal behavior for the lead cat in a household. Unless she outright attacks Gracie, your vet may tell you to just let them work it out. I would not let Sophie harrass Gracie, however. You may have to take over the playtimes with Sophie for a while.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 2/8/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer