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Introducing the new kitten to our cat

SunnysMum
March 14th, 2007, 06:17 PM
Hi again! I've got another question for you regarding our new kitten and our adult cat.

As you will recall, they started doing the paws under the door thing almost immediately. We never were able to find a baby gate, so we did the door crack thing for a number of days. Salem (the new 5-month old kitten) was always batting at Sunny (our 6 year old cat) through the crack, but Sunny didn't really seem to mind. He just sat there, looking at the new kid through the crack.

Then, we started with a short, supervised visit. Salem was pretty anxious to be Sunny's new pal, and they did a lot of nose to nose - rubbing and even a couple of licks. Sunny did end the first visit with a big hiss - but all in all we thought it went quite well. The visit was about 3 or 4 minutes. The next time was about the same, and no hissing. The third time was again, the same - but with another hiss from our Sunny Boy. We expected some of this and all seemed well.

I'm not so sure about this week's visits though. We've got a debate going on at our house, and I hope you can help us solve it. Salem is usually very excited to see Sunny and they start with some nose to nose and face rubs. Then, Salem starts batting Sunny, he then rolls on to his back, still batting Sunny. Then he gets up and continues batting Sunny. Sunny starts batting back, and the next thing you know they are wrestling. My daughter or I usually end the visit right away by either throwing a toy in their direction, or clapping. My husband thinks they are just playing -- but I'm not comfortable with it and am willing to just let they stay apart for a few days then, start the process over again. My idea of cat playing involves more running and jumping - not wrestling. Sunny is a strong cat and Salem is only 5 months old. I get very nervous.

They guys call for each other through the closed door quite a bit (If I open it a crack for them, Salem (the kitten) starts batting at Sunny -- who usually just sits there). Otherwise, Sunny just carries on his regular routine.

I think we should slow down the introduction process -- even stop letting them get together for a few days. Am I being an over-protective cat mum? I keep telling hubby that you can't go too slow with the introductions, and I'd rather error on the slow side than go to quickly! My husband thinks we should just continue as we are, and just keep stopping the wrestling as soon as it starts. What do you guys think?

Salem is quite a nervous little guy -- When I'm playing and cuddling him in my daughters room and I sneeze or something, he hides! This may be very normal for a kitten (but something I'm not used to -- Sunny is a super-friendly towards humans kind of cat). Salem is so cute! I've nick-named him "Squeak Squeak" -- he doesn't meow..or even mew -- he just squeaks! He starting to answer to Squeak Squeak if I call him. :cloud9: Such a cutie!

TeriM
March 15th, 2007, 02:36 AM
Sounds like pretty normal behavoir to me. If they were really fighting you would know it. Lots of cats wrestle and will need to work out the ground rules and pecking order between themselves. Keep a squirt bottle handy and if things seem a little to nasty then squirt them to break it up (much safer then reaching in your hands :D ). I agree with your hubby to continue on the present course. Be sure to keep them seperated if noone is home until you are fully confident.

SunnysMum
March 15th, 2007, 09:13 AM
I really appreciate your thoughts! Sorry I seem like such a worrywart.... :o I truly just want things to work out between them and for them to enjoy their lives together. I do realize that it takes time and am willing to give it all the time it needs, but because Sunny is such a strong cat (don't let the lack of one back leg fool you -- he's pretty powerful) and the little guy is such a...well, little guy...I get a bit over-protective.

No - we never let them together unless we are watching them.

We'll continue to let them have their supervised visits and hopefully they will work things out sooner than later. In the early, early hours of the AM -- it's hard. That's when Salem (my little squeaker) starts bouncing all over my daughter's bedroom, and gets Sunny (the cat with the loudest meow on the planet) going! My daughter usually sleeps through it (ah...youth....) -- but my husband and I are getting woken up veeeery early each day to the sounds of squeaks and bounces from my daughter's room -- and very loud meows and running up and down the hallway on 'this' side of the door. Hubby says it's like having a baby all over again! :)

rainbow
March 15th, 2007, 08:05 PM
I agree with Teri.....it's just play wrestling. You will know if they are actually fighting as they'd be very vocal. :D

CyberKitten
March 15th, 2007, 09:11 PM
It all sounds pretty normal to me too - even tiny kittens can rough house and it looks like they're fighting sometimes. That is their way of playing. You'll know if it gets out of hand - there will be lots of very loud hissing and arched backs and yowling and they would not be engaging in what you describe. Sounds like they like one another to me. I;ds still watch the little one to make sure he's OK and the older fellow to ensure he does not mind a little one disrupting his life. But from what you say, they seem to be doing quite well!

RolandsMom
March 15th, 2007, 09:31 PM
I agree. my cats (back home) used to do that a lot when they were playing and just a few days ago there was a post from Chico (i think it was Chico2) with pics of her cats having a little wrestle. it does sound like they like each other. for sure keep them apart for a while when you are not there but i think the more they get together the easier it will be.

heidiho
March 15th, 2007, 09:33 PM
:sorry: Quick question will it be easier if your kitten is only 6 months old and you bring in a kitten that is about 5 weeks??

rainbow
March 15th, 2007, 11:39 PM
:offtopic: Quick Answer: Yes. :D

clm
March 16th, 2007, 12:17 AM
I've had to introduce numerous kittens to cats over the years, and sometimes it goes on spledidly and with no problems and other times it's a long drawn out process. I don't feel comfortable with the kitten with the cats until the kitten is big enough to get away from a bad situation if it has to. Usually around 16 or 20 weeks old before I like to leave them all alone together. Once they start playing, things can get rough and a 4 or 5 month old kitten can move quick enough if things get out of hand. I have one big male stray (I've had him neutered), who I will not leave alone with my other 3 period. He only tolerates (barely), 1 of my other cats and he's huge. He kills full grown rabbits with no effort and I've seen him take birds away from the hawks that hunt in the backyard in the winter, so I don't take the chance. When he's in the house, he either goes to his own apartment in the basement, it's a finished basement with a couch and his favorite down comforter, or I put the other 3 in another room and let him have the run of the house. Been over 4 years now and try and try again, he's not to be trusted with them. He actually goes right after them. He was feral for a good portion of his life, and considering that, he's actually come a long way with people, he's become a loving and friendly cat that even loves the neighbors grand kids, but other cats are out, he claimed the house and yard as his territory and nothing is going to change it. He greets me at the car every day when I get home, he's a magnificent cat and it's worth jumping through all the hoops to keep him and the other 3 separated when he comes in.

Cindy

SunnysMum
March 19th, 2007, 10:50 AM
I do appreciate your input very, very much. I think things are going better.... They still wrestle a lot (picture a blurry ball of black fur rolling round) but they are actually starting to really play as well. I bought them a tunnel with three doors and a top entrance and they seem to be having quite a lot of fun with it. :thumbs up

I made a mistake last night though... A few times a week, my husband and I like to watch some TV before turning in and Sunny always LOVES this -- (on the nights we don't do this, he'll go to the family room and yowl away telling us to get in there....:laughing: ) When we first got Sunny a few years back, I put a small blanket on the couch in the family room and told him it was "his spot". He immediately accepted my inviation, claimed this spot as his and has been known to even bat my daughter if she takes "his spot". (such a clever (and bossy) cat! I always say that I'm sure he understands English -- just does not always choose to...) Soooooo, last night, the wee lads were playing OK, and my husband and I decided to watch a little TV before turning in (much to Sunny's delight -- you got to picture this cat - he drops everything for TV time!) I knew that Sunny would not want to share "his spot", so I put a small blanket on the floor and told Salem - "this is your spot" (I know, I know...like a 5-1/2 old kitten would understand...you have to humour me....:o ) Anyway, Sunny was quite annoyed and would not let Salem near this blanket, gave him a great big hiss for even trying. So, I put Salem up into my daughters room, while Sunny claimed the "New spot" for himself ... and then went to his 'old spot' as usual. My husband laughed at me and said "Sunny will tell the little guy where he goes, you have to keep out of it!".

The Cats are in charge! I have a plaque on the wall downstairs -- "It's a cats world. Adjust." I better start following my own rules!