|Purred: Fri Jun 27, '08 8:40am PST |
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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