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Cat is having trouble adjusting to kitten

adammo
April 9th, 2009, 09:03 PM
Hi all,

We just bought a kitten today and were quite excited. Our older cat of 3 years has done worse than expected. At first it was normal hissing and I introduced them slowely. The last little while she's been hiding under the bed and behind the bathtub. I coaxed her out and she ate a bit but not much. Will she eventually get better? We didn't think it would be this bad as she's lived with another cat before. Any ideas/suggestions/reassurances would be great.

I want to let nature run it's course, but am a bit worried that I made a mistake.

Thank you!

Adam

14+kitties
April 9th, 2009, 09:29 PM
Welcome to the forum. When you get the kits playing together or even before...... we like pics. :D

A slow introduction means a week or more to introduce cats properly. You need to do the whole separation, smell, exchanging sleeping beds, etc..
The best advice I can give you is to start over and separate the cats. This is a great site to read for information. The woman has a housefull of kitties and has learned over the years how to do it right.

http://www.squidoo.com/multi-cat-management

Good luck and again, welcome!

adammo
April 10th, 2009, 08:04 AM
Thanks for the link. It looks like I should have taken the process slot slower. We've seperated them for now but I hope this doesn't last long. It's hard to see my cat so mad and hiss at us. It breaks our hearts. I just fund it weird that she was completly normal (played games, ran for new food) with a different cat, but feels sad with this new kitten. On the bright side she came out of hiding and did cuddle with us for a bit last night.

sugarcatmom
April 10th, 2009, 10:11 AM
It's hard to see my cat so mad and hiss at us. It breaks our hearts.

Make sure to spend extra time with your resident cat, giving her treats, encouraging her to play with toys (wand or fishing pole toys are great for this), brushing her if she likes it. Ignore the kitten and only give attention to her when they are in the same room together (although it's a good idea to separate them for a while and re-do the introduction). She isn't really mad AT you, she's re-directing the stress she feels about the kitten.

I just fund it weird that she was completly normal (played games, ran for new food) with a different cat, but feels sad with this new kitten.

It's isn't weird at all. Most adult cats that haven't been around kittens are "offended" by their existence. Kittens are strange, hyper and ill-mannered little beings, and if this was out "in the wild", their very protective mother might be nearby and quite hostile to the other cat's presence. It will likely take some time for your older cat to feel completely comfortable, so have lots of patience and give her lots of lovin. Does she have any vertical space she can hang out in where the kitten can't go, like a cat condo or up on a bookshelf? You can really expand her comfort zone by giving her some vertical territory to claim as her own, where she can watch the "peons" down below.

Some more info for you: http://www.wvcats.com/integrating_kittens_with_cats.htm

Good luck! Let us know how they get along.

adammo
April 10th, 2009, 10:26 AM
Thanks, that helps as well!

I know that she is stressed and I feel bad for her. I just wish I could explain that things will be ok. I have been paying lots of attention to her and have been trying to play with her. She seems to be content just looking outside on top of the couch. I've tried throwing her balls around and playing the string games that she likes, but she seems to have no interest. Will her interest in these games come back?

The other problem is that she is quite irritated. Sometimes when I pet her and pay lots of attention she growls alot and tries to bite. I'm assuming it's becuase I smell like the new addition, but it's hard to pay lots of attention when she just growls at me :).

adammo
April 10th, 2009, 10:36 AM
I'm a little bit disappointed that the article states that it is unlikely that the cat will ever be too fond of the kitten as they are different ages (cat is 3). How unlikely is it? When I lived in my previous residence my cat got along with the other cat in the house after a while. I'm hoping for the same thing but am getting worried. It's only been a day so my fingers are crossed that my cat will at least return to its playful self.

sugarcatmom
April 10th, 2009, 10:51 AM
I'm a little bit disappointed that the article states that it is unlikely that the cat will ever be too fond of the kitten as they are different ages (cat is 3). How unlikely is it?

Every cat is different, so I would never say never. It might take a little longer, but I'll bet they'll at least get to a stage of mutual toleration, perhaps they'll even become best buds. You can never predict what sort of relationship cats will have, which is why doing a gradual introduction can help sway things in your favour. Try not to be too stressed yourself. Maybe just calmly hanging out with your older cat, talking to her soothingly without too much physical contact, would be her preference. Like you said, it's only been a day. Friendships, even those between humans, can take months to form.

In the meantime, maybe you could track down some Feliway (http://www.feliway.com/gb) diffusers. It's a synthetic pheromone that helps some cats to feel relaxed. My vet (feline only practice) has them in all of her exam rooms and I noticed a difference with my cat since she started using them.

adammo
April 10th, 2009, 12:12 PM
Thanks again for all the advice, it really is helping. I just hope my cat will eventually play with me again. One thing I just thought of was that last time she was with another cat, we brought her into the other cars house. Could my cat be acting extra territorial with our new kitten?

My next question deals with the links posted earlier. We decided that our bedroom would be the best comfort room for our kitten. My cat spends most of the day in the living room, except at night she likes to sleep in our room. Should we switch them at night so my cat doesn't feel left out?

14+kitties
April 10th, 2009, 12:20 PM
You could switch them at night. This way your resident cat can also smell the newbie and explore a little more. Don't expect her to settle right away though. She will spend some time looking for the intruder in "her" space. And yes, she is being territorial.
Give her time. I am sure there will be a day soon where everything will fall into place. Kitten may have to be a bit older before that happens though.

adammo
April 10th, 2009, 01:57 PM
That sounds good, and we will try it. But what happens if my current cat needs to go the bathroom? Should I switch all of the litter boxes and food dishes from the new kitten to the cat? Or can I safely leave the door open a bit to allow her out. I can see positives and negatives to both.

Thanks again for the help. This forum is a nice stress reliever. One of the greatest characteristics of my cat is her willingness to meow and play for endless hours. After we moved out of our previous residence that had another cat, she would still play but seemed so sad at night times without the other cat to chase around. We thought it would be a good idea to get another cat for her and thought it would be easier to adapt to a kitten. It looks like we may have made the wrong decision, but I am hoping for a nice resolution. I really don't want to get rid of the new kitten, but I hope my cats spirit comes back over the next few weeks.

Adam

14+kitties
April 10th, 2009, 04:22 PM
You may want to trade the litter boxes at the very least. I wouldn't suggest leaving the door open. You could wake up to a very nasty fight. The kitten wouldn't have much of a chance. Just make sure the new one knows where the box is and have a nice comfy bed ready as well.

14+kitties
April 10th, 2009, 09:42 PM
Went looking for the thread that showed a baby gate set up at a door to separate cats. This may work well for you. :thumbs up

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=61626&highlight=introducing+cats

adammo
April 11th, 2009, 09:33 PM
Well we've managed to keep the cats seperate, but it's been a hard process. The kitten cries when it's alone and I don't want to shut out my cat. The biggest concern I have is the growling my cat does at me. This is strange for me as I would rarely see it from her. Is this still just part of the stress aspect? Can it be permenant? I kind of feel like I'm losing a friend if she continues to growl at me for a long time. She has cuddled on top of me but only when I catch her in deep sleep. Still not much playing, and seems to only want to go outside (we take her on a leash).

Anyways, please let me know if this is normal.

Thanks

Adam

adammo
April 14th, 2009, 06:51 AM
Hello,

I just wanted to update how things were going and was wondering if it seems that the cat is on it's way to accepting the kitten.

We finally allowed the cat and kitten to meet face to face and it went as expected. My cat did a lot of hissing and was quite taken back. She’d hide in the bathroom, and always end up on top of the couch. She wouldn’t play at all and didn’t eat a whole lot.

Over the last couple of days though, it seems like she’s been getting more used to the kitten. They have slept in the same room, and have even slept on top of he couch together (at opposite ends mind you). This was initiated by the kitten, but my cat did leave and come back to the same spot. My cat has been eating more (not full amount), and has even played a bit when the kitten does not follow. There is still quite a bit of hissing and growing when the kitten enters my cats “bubble”. My cat does attempt to sniff the kittens tail, but then walks away and growls/hisses.

The one thing that I’ve wanted my cat to do is to still come back into my bed in the middle of the night. She used to wake me up when the alarm would go off and lick me until I woke up. This hasn’t happened since we brought our kitten home. In fact she would barely come into the room until yesterday she took a nap on top of the bed. The last two nights she has tried to come up. The first night, she growled and didn’t jump up at all. Last night she hoped up (probably did not see the kitten), growled and went away. She then came back later and scratched at the bed. I wanted to go get her and bring her into bed, but I’m guessing that should be worked out between the cat and kitten?

Anyways, if anyone has any experience, it would be nice to know if they are progressing in a good way. At times, I’m very relieved and happy as they seem like they are tolerating each other. At other times, I worry that my cat will never return to our bed, or be as playful as before. The hissing and growling makes me believe that she will never be comfortable with the kitten. The kitten tries to play with her, but she doesn’t follow. When we lived at another house with a cat, they eventually played with each other and slept close together with no hissing.

Thanks again, and sorry for the long posts. I’m just worried :).

14+kitties
April 14th, 2009, 11:40 AM
Ooops, sorry. Answering in PM. :o
So far, so good! :thumbs up

adammo
April 22nd, 2009, 02:02 PM
Wanted to show a picture of our kitties hanging out together. They are still not best of friends but they sniff face to face and chase a very little bit. Hopefully it's working out!

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z174/adamcm21/DSCF1113.jpg

Jim Hall
April 22nd, 2009, 02:08 PM
yup it seems to be working it takes a while though eh?

14+kitties
April 22nd, 2009, 05:20 PM
Awe, look at the strides they have made toward friendship! They may never be really close but it sure looks like they are starting to accept each other! Good job!!!:thumbs up Cute kitties btw!! :cloud9:

adammo
April 23rd, 2009, 06:37 AM
yup it seems to be working it takes a while though eh?

It is one of the hardest things to watch! I was getting very sad that we made a huge mistake and felt that my cat would never forgive me. She still has a tough time playing though. One reason for that is because my kitten keeps wanting to play the games as well!

Jim Hall
April 23rd, 2009, 07:57 AM
yah i know du was like that when we brought amanda home they have learned to take turns

adammo
April 28th, 2009, 06:31 AM
Hi all,

So no real progress over the last little while but my cat was acting really bad this morning. We went outside like normal, and came back in to try and play with both the cat and kitten. My cat was in a really foul mood and i'm not sure why. She started off ok and played with the laser pointer but after a while became really growly. She was making alot of those whiney growls and did not want to be pet or anything. This is quite strange for her as normally before I leave for work she seems to enjoy being pet. Is this still considered part of the process? I know some have mentioned it could take months, but I was a bit worried about this little set back.

Thank you.

14+kitties
April 28th, 2009, 06:37 AM
Mornin' adammo. I would think if it's something out of the ordinary that she hasn't done before she needs to go to the vet. She hasn't done it since the kitten came to the house so I would be thinking it's a call to attention.
How are her litter habits? Have you noticed anything else lately that may not be related to the kitten? Does she growl when you pet a certain part of her?
Cats are really good at hiding their illness'. Please have her checked. Even if it's only for your piece of mind.
Good luck and let us know. :fingerscr

adammo
April 28th, 2009, 06:59 AM
Well I wouldn't say that it has never happened, but she hasn't acted like this since the first week with the kitten. She just seems annoyed, and i'm not sure if that is normal? They chased each other around last night and she went outside with me this morning just like normal. Do you still think I should check her out? I was hoping this was more of them adapting and her just taking a step back. I hope she's not sick :(

Iggette
April 28th, 2009, 07:25 AM
In regards to your whiny growls......My cat Jerk does that....he is very temper-mental ....lol :D

Jerk was dropped at my home when he was about 5 years old. He was a mad cat for a long time. He has learned to trust and love me....and mostly only me....when he gets mad he growls alot.....and that is at least once a day.:rolleyes:

Lets face it your 3 year old has had your undivided attention for 3 years like humans some cats have jelousy issues or just plain dont want to share their domain. They may never be bossom buddies and will eventually mutually agree to dissagree and just plain tolerate each other or hopefully learn that he really does like the new kitty after all and was just given him "Tude" to make sure he was still boss. It took Jerk about 2 years before he truely trusted me...he was a much different situation but still.....shows that even cats can be stubborn:rolleyes:

I hope things calm down soon for you but hang n there these things sometimes take more time than we expect:thumbs up

Iggette
April 28th, 2009, 07:33 AM
Well I wouldn't say that it has never happened, but she hasn't acted like this since the first week with the kitten. She just seems annoyed, and i'm not sure if that is normal? They chased each other around last night and she went outside with me this morning just like normal. Do you still think I should check her out? I was hoping this was more of them adapting and her just taking a step back. I hope she's not sick :(

Opps he is a she :o
Sounds like they are actually doin great.....could just be that the new tude came with the new cat ....She's just makin sure kittie knows who the boss is :plol just keep an eye on her maybe she's just havin a bad day is all

adammo
April 28th, 2009, 08:26 AM
I hope it is just a bad day and she is not sick! She seems great when we go outside and will play a bit at night as well. She has a really tough time playing when she sees the kitten running like a maniac through the house. The kitten will even jump over her which really gets her mad! I'm assuming that the cat will get better when the kitten becomes a bit less "crazy"?

adammo
April 28th, 2009, 11:11 AM
Well I went home at lunch and my cat seemed fine. She cuddled a bit (until the kitten jumped up) and was sleeping in the same room as her.

I did want to ask another question to everyone. I've mentioned this before, but my cat seems to lose the joy of playing when the kitten comes around. I can get her a couple of times each night, but when the kitten goes crazy, she likes to go elsewhere. Should I be bringing my cat out when she is unconfortable in these situations? I think that I should just let "nature be nature" and let them figure things out themselves, but I feel bad for my cat when she goes away. I kind of feel like she feels sad. Hopefully this gets better when the kitten gets older.

Thanks!

Jim Hall
April 28th, 2009, 11:37 AM
diva du did the same thong when we brought amanda home eventually she got used to her and played at the same time as her

DougG
April 28th, 2009, 11:41 AM
If they're getting along better, I wouldn't worry about your cat becoming inhibited at playtime. I think you'll see things improve over time.

Sometimes any of my three Himalayans can seem suddenly inhibited or disinterested if one of the other two tries to join in their playtime. But in general they all get along wonderfully and most of the time they play together just fine.

sugarcatmom
April 28th, 2009, 02:31 PM
I've mentioned this before, but my cat seems to lose the joy of playing when the kitten comes around.

Can you have some one-on-one play sessions with just your older cat, without the kitten around? Maybe your spouse can take the kitten into another room for some grooming or whatever while you give the other one (what's her name, by the way?) some uninterrupted attention.

adammo
April 29th, 2009, 09:30 AM
Can you have some one-on-one play sessions with just your older cat, without the kitten around? Maybe your spouse can take the kitten into another room for some grooming or whatever while you give the other one (what's her name, by the way?) some uninterrupted attention.

I will have to try this more. The problem is that my girlfriend leaves for 2 weeks this weekend. I have a tough time shutting the door of a room to the kitten as well.

The cat's name is Pepper, and the kitten is Clover :).

Thanks for the help!

adammo
May 2nd, 2009, 08:23 PM
I just wanted to ask another question to see if anyone has experienced this before.

On Thursday night I was thrilled as the cat and kitten chased each other around quite a bit. But last night and tonight they have hardly chased each other at all. It looks like they will start but then my cat will go hide under a chair. Although hiding under the chair sounds bad, this is alot better than what she used to do when we got the kitten. The chair is actually in the main room and the kitten is constantly playing near here in the room.

Anyways, i'm just trying to figure out why they stopped playing with each other. The only thing I could think of is that I took my cat outside longer last night and tonight because it rained Thursday.

Anyways, let me know. I'm hoping they will still play eventually!

Adam

adammo
May 5th, 2009, 08:49 AM
Sorry to bump this, but I was just wondering if anyone had any advice :).

Still no chasing, but they still do things like sniff at each other. Pepper (the cat) likes to go under the table alot. I think she feels safer.

It's been almost a month, so i'm getting a bit worried that this will not work out at all. I'm not sure how long this process can take...

Thanks!

Magicwildwolf69
May 6th, 2009, 12:38 AM
It all sounds normal so far. It will come and go like that i think normally. i have three cats two are litter mates and we added a kitten when the other two were about three. The kitten is now two and gets along well with the male of my other two. Sadly my other female is often left out of play time and didn't like me for awhile cause the "baby" of the cats has picked me as her human. They have gotten along better but my older female will still hide under the table or stay away from the younger cat. Cats can just be like humans and have their off days. One day my two will be playing the next day the younger one will try to play again and the older one will hiss hit the baby and go sulk somewhere. As to her not playing yet i agree try to give your older one some one on one. She's use to having all your attention and is probably still jealous and unsure she might feel like she's being replaced. just two cents.

adammo
May 6th, 2009, 06:48 AM
Thank you for your help. I'm glad that it sounds normal so far.

It's hard for me as we came from a household that had another cat in it. They used to chase each other almost every night. I admit I can't remember how long it took for them to reach this point, but i'm quite sure it was around a month.

Last week when my cat and kitten played, it was like getting a monkey off my back. Now the monkey is back and is bigger than ever! I've started to pay more and more attention to my cat and I think she's making progress. I don't know what's going on with her. It's almost like she is getting worse with the kitten when I had hoped they'd make progress. I'm hoping that they will begin to get along when the kitten gets older.

As for the one-on-one time, do you think that going outside with my cat counts? It's not really play time as she likes to just go out (on the leash), sniff around and watch the birds and squirrels. She'll also try to sneak up on them as well. Again, it's not really play time, but it is alone time where it is just her and I. I've tried going into a seperate room, but the kitten starts whining outside the door making it even mroe strssful on my cat.

Oh, cats :laughing:

Thanks again!