Cat and kitten - introductions

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ivanwi11iams, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    Does anyone here have experience with introducing kittens to cats?

    We had two 8 year old cats. Sophie was put to sleep last week; cancer, lymphoma.

    My missus adopted two kittens, 12 weeks old.
    So far we've tried:
    - the cat and kittens eating on opposite sides of the door
    - placing the kittens in carriers and hoping Bogart (the 8year old) would sniff them. Not a chance
    - allowing the kittens to roam and hoping Bogart would slowly approach
    - allowing everyone to eat within close quarters

    Bogart hisses, but always seems to run away.

    Ideas, thoughts...?
     
  2. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #2
    I would keep them separate for a week or so, to start with. I would also place a blanket with their scent in an area that your older cat frequents, so that he can get used to the new scent of the kittens without feeling any pressure.

    After that, I would start with having the kittens out for 10 minutes at a time (holding them). And over the course of the next several weeks, slowly increase the supervised time.

    As far as Bogart is concerned, your brought two animals into his home and territory. It will take a while for him to not feel threatened by this. And sometimes, older cats (for whatever reason) don't take to kittens in the same house.

    Make sure to take this process very slow and deliberate, lest you find yourselves with injured kittens, Bogart spraying outside the litterbox, or any other of a number of problems.

    For right now, make sure the kittens use their own litterbox and use their own toys, not Bogarts.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Orangediva, Jul 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016

    Orangediva macrumors member

    Orangediva

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    #3
    I started with one cat, then two, then three, then.....erm....six! So yes, I've done the introduction thing several times and we now have 6 felines living in relative harmony.

    My main recommendation is to go really, really slowly i.e. don't even have them in the same room to start with. Set the kittens up in their own base room with everything they need (beds, litter trays, water, food etc etc) and they should stay in here 24/7 for at least 2 weeks, with you handling them and scent swapping (the scent on yourselves and blankets etc) so that Bogart gets used to their scent and vice versa. We also brush all our cats with the same brush which is a great way to get a group scent going. You can gradually let Bogart maybe see them through the door - only when he does this without hissing start feeding them either side of the closed door, gradually opening it bit by bit. If there's hissing or aggression go back a step. Always have lots of food and treats around when going a step further so that they all start to associate each other with something good.

    It's worth being patient, all you want is for them to be friends but they generally need to do it in their own time.

    While you are waiting for them to get along you could take a look at the cat whisperer, Jackson Galaxy's site which has some stuff on intro's:

    http://jacksongalaxy.com/learn/

    Good luck!

    ETA - I bought a very skinny mum cat and her two five week old kittens home in February (they were being given away on a free ad site as their owner was going abroad - sigh) which complicated the introductions greatly - mum cat (Lily) was fiercely protective of the kittens and my other three just didn't know what to make of it. To cut a long story short we are all ok now - here they all are (well five of them anyway) sort of relaxing "together" the days after we finally got them all in a room together:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    #4
    I can not see bringing another cat into my home, my Millie thinks the world only revolves around her!
     
  5. ivanwi11iams thread starter Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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    #5
    LOL

    After having to put Sophie to sleep (happened very quickly; vet on 18th June and then sleep on 21st June) I was not going to get another cat/kitten. My missus on the other hand felt that Bogart wouldn't be okay on his own. He's known Sophie his whole life, 8 years from 21st June 2008.
     
  6. joec1101 macrumors 6502

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    So Cal, USA
    #6
    Like others said, keep them separated, but able to hear/smell each other under a door. Whenever we need to introduce a new kitten, we have a guest bathroom that we put the kitten in. Cats on the other side can smell and hear the kitten in there. Also put a floor mat halfway under the door. This allows the cats to get their scent on the mat so they can get used to it. Then after a few days, turn the mat around so the scent of the other cats and kitten are on the other side. It takes time, be patient. A week, maybe two for the kitten to be separated has usually worked for me. Sometimes, cats don't ever get used to each other. I have a few females that just don't like other cats too much. They won't fight, but they will hiss a little and tend to be away from others. They're all different - just like people. You just have to try it and give it some time.
     
  7. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #7
    Best not to have any cats :D

    Sorry for the waste of a post. My GF occasionally brings her friends exceptionally merely cat into our apartment when her friend is away... It drives me crazy.
     
  8. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #8
    Mine just tolerate each other six months in. The little one like the older one but the older one isn't her biggest fan
     
  9. Absrnd macrumors regular

    Absrnd

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    #9
    No need to keep them separate, it will only delay them getting to know each other,
    you kittens are naturally inquisitive, and keep their tails straight up to be non threatening to older cats,
    Bogart will keep hissing for a few weeks, and probably hits one or both when they come too close.

    When you have a litter box, Bogart will get to know their smells pretty fast, and he probably visit the litter box after the kittens do their thing.
    it is important to not interfere when everybody gets into a hissing fit, it is part of the process :)

    After a few weeks Bogart will come to realize that they are here to stay, and will accept that fact, and only will protest when they sit or sleep on his favorite place.

    one thing of importance is, to not have Bogart or the kittens a permanent place to hide, close doors if you have to, and prevent them from hiding behind a sofa or closet, this will only prolong it, and chances the kittens will not eat properly, and maybe do their thing in their hiding place rather then the litter box :)
    and make sure Bogart does not block access tho the litter box, sometimes they show dominance by sitting in a door opening preventing the kittens to walk through without getting hit :)

    and just have fun :)
     
  10. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #10
    Just give them time, the old one will come around, unless he is too old, then he'll just get to an acceptance state.

    In any way, chances of total war is almost zero.
     
  11. deany, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016

    deany macrumors 68020

    deany

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    #11
    Do make sure you tell Bogart and the kittens what is happening, they do understand what you are saying.
    Also I would be inclined to keep Bogart indoors if possible, due to the upset of Sophie's passing.
     
  12. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #12
    The last new cat introduction my family had was 14 years ago. At the time we had 2 and were getting a 3rd. I don't recall any staged introduction, though it may have happened. I do recall that the male we had at the time became VERY accepting of the new kitten and the 2 of them became best buddies, the female was a little more wary of the kitten but eventually warmed to her. The cats WERE allowed to roughhouse with each other, they're playing and acting on their nature.

    In the OP's case, Bogart may still be "grieving" the loss of Sophie and now 2 new animals were brought in within a week or 2 of that loss. He probably feels threatened and is just trying to protect his space.
     
  13. Orangediva macrumors member

    Orangediva

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  14. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #14
    Well, try to see it from their point of view. Let's all gather together and give you a new roommate of our choosing and see what we can do to MAKE the two of you like each other. Maybe it will work and maybe it won't.
     
  15. ivanwi11iams thread starter Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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    #15
    Oddly enough, not too bad. Yesterday, I simply let the kittens out, while Bogart was on the sofa relaxing with the missus. He didn't go running off, as he usually does. He hissed a few times.

    The real trial will be when Hazel wants to play. She's the playful one, and Phoebe is the relax and take it all in one ;)

    Thanks for checking.

     
  16. ivanwi11iams thread starter Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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    #16
    Much less hissing yesterday\today. However Bogart hasn't willingly walked up to them to sniff them yet. Hazel on the other hand just wants to jump on him and play with him, as she does with Phoebe.

    Interesting times ahead...
     
  17. Orangediva macrumors member

    Orangediva

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    #17
    Absolutely. I suspect most cats are happy to accept that compromise though in view of the fact they get fed on demand and get a warm snugly place to sleep. As well as the knowledge that, however many of them there are, each cat is still more important than any of the humans in the house :p

    Sounds pretty positive and normal. We have an old boy (he's 14 this year) and the kittens have learned he'll give them a swipe if they get too rough. Occasionally I have seen him play like a kitten with them though, which is very cute.
     
  18. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #18
    I've had quite a few cats (15+) over the years. Adult cats always hate when kittens are introduced in their environment (whereas dogs love them and sometimes will even compete to determine who will get to take them under their wing).

    Usually it goes like this: adult cats will hiss and run away, and the kittens will run after them for a few days, looking for company. After a week or so, comes the acceptance.

    If I had to sum up the best approach, it would be to let them live their life. Cats don't like change, but eventually they'll accept and love each other (and even conspire together to overthrow you).

    We always fed them separately (same room, different place) under supervision for a few days, to ensure that no-one would get robbed of their food and then, after the acceptance phase, put the plates side by side, no issues.
     
  19. ivanwi11iams thread starter Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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    #19
    Update: all kittens (Hazel & Phoebe) and the cat (Bogart) are kissing and getting along...

    [​IMG]

    Phoebe
     
  20. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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  21. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #22
    Agreed, very good news. It can't have been easy for the older cat to have accepted them initially, but great to see that it has finally happened.
     
  22. Orangediva macrumors member

    Orangediva

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    #23
    Wonderful! I was thinking about you and your cats today whilst watching my lot play in the garden and marvelling that they all get on so well now. Love the bed shot - I've got one somewhere with my six on my bed together, not much room for me! Great news.
     
  23. ivanwi11iams thread starter Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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  24. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

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    #25
    Great news!
    We had a ginger cat called Dean (Deany) who lived till he was nearly 20 years.

    Thanks for sharing the photos. Would be nice to see a portrait of Bogart.
     

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