GO!

Brought home two new kittens to a two year old cat.

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Gizmo

9 lives baby!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 7:42am PST 
Hi! I just brought home two eight weeks old male kittens to a two year old male cat. I know it's in their nature to hiss at each other when they first meet, but I am scared to take the little ones out so the older one can sniff them and get used to them. I leave the kittens in a comfy cage and leave them in a seperate room when I'm not home. How should I get my older cat used to the kittens and is it ok to leave the cats unattended?
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Horus

Wild Hunter -- in my- immagination
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 8:28am PST 
big "no" to leaving them unattended. Most cats woudl be fine in that situation, but one never knows when a male cat desides to go all Lion on you, and harm kittens that are not his own.

"slow goes it" is the best answer to how to get them used to eachother.

1) let the kittens out to have one room all to themselves, if possible, with food and a box.
2) after a day or so, get some help to take the kittens out into a 3rd room (maybe your bedroom, or a bath room) and let teh adult male go into the room they've stayed in, and "sniff". he'll want to know about this new smell, so he'll look around. be with him and comfort him. leave him there for an hour or so, unless he gets bored and leaves on his own. then return the kittens to "thier room".
3) after a few days (or sooner if the adult doesn't seem irritated), take the kittens out into "his" space, and keep them in your lap, while he first sees them. let him sniff the babies while they are in your lap.
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Gracie

I'm the baby,- gotta love me!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 8:40am PST 
Mom here:

Lots of patience, and lots of reassurance that the kittens are not a replacement for him. That means no cuddling the kittens in front of him, no matter how tempting it is. But if you keep the kittens in a separate room, you can pet your main kitty, then go the kitten room, and spend a little time with the kittens (who will be ok keeping each other company). You can sneak in pets in that way.

Then, if Gizmo lets you, pet him afterward, and treat him to something special (food, more pets, brushing, playing with you, whatever he's really into). This will help him investigate the scent of the kittens on your hands. That's how I convinced my 21 month old cat that Storm smelled like me, and viceversa. Since my 21 month old loves me, he was a little more ready to eventually accept the kitten (he stopped hissing and acting as if she was the devil incarnate).

Above all, I learned very recently (this week, in fact) don't stress about him accepting the kittens. It's only going to confuse Gizmo, who's only doing what a proper cat would (hiss at them until they stop being a threat to him).He will pick up on your stress and might become more upset rather than less. Just keep reassuring him he's not going to get less love and attention just because the kittens are there, and he'll relax too.

And maybe I am being a worrywart mom, but even if supervised visits go well (my two cats are playing right now), I would wait until the kittens are a little older and bigger to let them be together unsupervised. Right now the kitten is actually holding her own with my cat and is winning some at their "chase and pin" game, but it's because he's being a lot more gentle than I've ever seen him play with anything else (i.e., he's letting her "win"). I'm also there to remind him to "go easy on our baby" in an even tone of voice (as per a lot of Catsters who gave helpful suggestions of staying calm during interactions, but also being authoritative if you need it). Who knows what they might get up to if I were gone (i.e., not within hearshot). That includes good and bad (good=wrecking the place; bad=someone gets hurt).

Now if someone could suggest how I can make them both take a nap at the same time without having to be put in separate rooms, I'd love to hear those suggestions (they both look pretty sleepy right now, but no one is willing to stop playing).

Edited by author Fri Jun 27, '08 8:49am PST

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Sophia Marie

I be a princess.- No touch! Just- admire
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 9:46am PST 
waves to storm.

Hi, you're Boris's new interloper, aren't you! I'm Horus's Interloper, Sophia Marie.

good points on cat integration!
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Gizmo

9 lives baby!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 10:25am PST 
Thank you all for your advice! Don't worry, I won't dare leave the kittens unattended with the other cat! I switched the kittens to the bathroom with them in the carrier and with their food, water, and toys (which is big and roomy). Hopefully, Gizmo will accept them soon. I know it's only a matter of time. He's meowing at the bathroom now. *sigh*

Edited by author Fri Jun 27, '08 10:30am PST

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Gracie

I'm the baby,- gotta love me!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 10:41am PST 
Ignore that behavior. I betcha the kittens are (and if they aren't, maybe they're just exchanging vitals, or arranging a play date wink). It will pass, and it's probably more of a "hey, why is the door closed? I demand to have the door opened". Act as if the closed door is perfectly normal. If he meows mostly while you are in there, take your time to be in there, but once you get out, walk back with him to one of his favorite areas and spend time talking to him and paying attention to him.

I go back and forth on whether cats understand language, or tone, or what have you, but once I started talking about the new kitten to our resident orange furball as "our baby" (another cat pawmailed me and suggested this tactic), and telling him things about her ("She's so silly!! she gets into everything and never sits still for pets. Not like my Boris, who's my best cuddler!") he started mellowing out considerably.
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Gizmo

9 lives baby!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 7:17pm PST 
Thank you so much, Storm! Gizmo is actually behaving better now that they are in a seperate room. He doesn't hiss at me when I go near him after I touch the kittens. (Well, he rarely hissed at me personally). I'm just waiting things out so one day I can see if they will play with each other. I always tell him he's my baby and I love him, although, of course, he doesn't understand that, but it calms him down when I talk to him. When should be a good time to let them meet face-to-face? I'm mostly worried when they do meet face-to-face of how Gizmo will react to them, and since the kittens are really young, I don't want to traumatize them. I don't think Gizmo will hurt them, but he's never been around other cats or animals, so I'm wary (did I spell that right?) about that.
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Boris

I'm cute and I- know how to use- that :)
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 7:43pm PST 
Let him take the lead. Other catsters made some suggestions to mommy on a thread I stared on this same forum called "Hissing at kitten". We're already getting along fine, Storm and I, I let meowmy let her out all day because she was being whiny, and we took a nap together. But mom had to do extra babying of me because I was sick, so that sped things up.

Try the towel trick that someone mentioned there. When he does not hiss at the towel, you can probably put the kittens in a carrier and let him sniff that. Storm felt safe being hissed at by me while in the carrier, she could tell there was a barrier, but she got to see me. She still retreats there when she wants to tell me she needs some space from me. wink

Mom was worried about me not knowing how to act with kittens, since the last time I was around another (adult) cat we hissed at each other, and before that I was a kitten. But she was surprised to see that I did ok. I pinned Storm down a few times the past couple of days (with my claws retracted), but she wasn't too upset. She thinks it's a game we're playing, and I let her chase me to be a good sport.

I think the main thing is that I had to realize that (a) she's a cat, just like me but she's just a little jumpy because she's new around here and does not know the rules (#1: Boris rules; #2: Mom has to pet Boris first, and most; #3: Boris gets to groom you, you do not groom Boris; #4: every toy belongs to me, but I will let you use them), and (b) mom will always love me more. Once I realized that, I was ok with her.
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♥- Dante- ♥

630375
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 8:34pm PST 
Every cat reacts differently to newcomers but kittens are often pretty easy to integrate. I was out and about with everyone else (3 adults) in just a couple of days. I actually got to meet Marlowe the next day. Of course, I was always supervised and Mom kept me separated at night for an extra couple of days. But then we were all fine. It was actually the older boys who were nicer to me than the girl. I think the big cats understand that babies are just babies -maybe annoying but no threat. Now I'm a big boy and I chase them all around.
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BeBe

I'm just a- lover!
 
 
Purred: Sat Jun 28, '08 6:11am PST 
I've actually only came across one male cat that actually wanted to harm kittens. Most don't want anything to do with them for a while. I think it's a fear of the momma cat lol
BeBe's always been pretty good with kittens though. The first three or four days he'd be all cranky with them but in less than a week he'd start grooming them and playing.
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