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-   -   Introducing new kitten to adult cat -- advice? (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=88824)

mwhyte November 26th, 2019 10:19 AM

Introducing new kitten to adult cat -- advice?
 
Hi there -- We have a 3 year old Devon Rex (neutered male) who is really the sweetest, most gentle and affectionate creature we've ever known. He doesn't like being alone, so we decided to get him what we hoped would be a friend: A spayed female Devon Rex kitten.

We've followed the instructions on a number of different sites; we've kept her in a seperate room with the door closed, fed them together through the door, and introduced them a couple of times with her in her carrier. The last 3 days we've been letting them interact, careful to feed them together, give them treats together, and introduce play when things got a little intense.

The situation at 3 days is this: The older cat is being extremely gentle with her (no hissing, attacking, growling, anything like that), but he does seem compelled to bite the nape of her neck, like her mother might have to carry her around. We understand this to be him asserting his dominance in the hierarchy of the house (it is his turf, after all).

She hasn't been frightened of him really, and will come up and touch noses, but she's mostly not interested and seems to get quite annoyed after this has gone on for a while. She just runs off, or will occasionally smack at him and growl (not always). He follows her everywhere and tries to give her a bath often, but she seems pretty uninterested. In other words, if she's submitting to her role in the hierarchy, I'm not seeing it!

Is it possible that SHE will become the alpha, or that they'll just never be able to be normal? I have nevr had 2 cats before so I don't really know what normal is. But we really love our older guy and we don't want him to be stressed or upset. Any advice to help this along? Will he ever return to normal so long as she's here? Thanks!

Winston November 26th, 2019 03:14 PM

Welcome to the site!! May I suggest you try this just to see if it helps for now....

If you have some baby powder rub it in your hands and then wipe down both cats with your hands putting it on them. It will not hurt them.
The point of this exercise is to make them smell the same. :)

I had a brother and sister cats and the boy always wanted to groom his sister. Someone suggested this and it worked like a charm. It also worked when one or the other went to the vet and came home smelling like the vets office and not like normal.

I am hoping this will make your one cat not always want to groom the other. :thumbs up

If you do not have baby powder you can place a dab of vanilla under each of their chins. This way they smell the vanilla vs each other.

How about some pics :thumbs up

Cindy

hazelrunpack November 26th, 2019 05:13 PM

Oh boy, this sounds familiar--only our male cat, who was 3 and here first, tends to get a lot rougher with his new sister than it sounds like yours is doing. She showed up just a few month ago and we're still supervising them closely. When they first see each other, they touch noses and, after 2 months, she started to rub his face and along his side in that initial greeting. And then the chasing starts... :rolleyes:

He is more interested in playing than she is, so he usually initiates interaction. When he plays, he often gets very rough and pins her by the back of the neck. She gets mad and caterwauls and just sounds ticked, at which point, I separate them for a few seconds. Frankly, after 3 months, I [I]still[/I] can't tell if they really like each other. :laughing:

So I talked to the vets at our clinic and they all said the best thing to do is supervise and watch for behavior that one or the other cat is getting stressed--inappropriate elimination outside of the litter box, excessive grooming, excessive hiding...things like that. Also, just making sure that neither cat is being hurt. So far, we've not seen anything like that.

Slowly but surely, they're establishing their relationship and coming up with their new 'normal'--and that will likely be the case with your two. It sounds like it's going pretty well so far :thumbs up

hazelrunpack November 26th, 2019 05:14 PM

Oh, and I'll second that request for pictures! :D

Barkingdog November 26th, 2019 08:18 PM

I third seeing photos !😹 do you have
a cat tree for cats so a cat can escape
if things get too rough?

mwhyte November 27th, 2019 07:28 AM

[QUOTE=hazelrunpack;1080877]Oh boy, this sounds familiar--only our male cat, who was 3 and here first, tends to get a lot rougher with his new sister than it sounds like yours is doing. She showed up just a few month ago and we're still supervising them closely. When they first see each other, they touch noses and, after 2 months, she started to rub his face and along his side in that initial greeting. And then the chasing starts... :rolleyes:
[/QUOTE]

Hi! This sounds pretty much exactly like our situation -- he appears to be trying to establish dominance and is now trying to pin her down and nip at her haunches. I don't think he's trying to hurt her (no claws etc) but it's really frustrating -- for us and for the cats! 2 months -- yikes!

I would say there isn't any behaviour issue (elimination etc) though our older guy, who is usually so sweet and affectionate, is laser-focused on the new girl and isn't really his usual self. We are keepign them mostly apart (her in a safe room) and letting them meet for a couple of hours a day. Baby steps ...

PS. Thanks for EVERYONE'S reply -- I will post some photos soon!

hazelrunpack November 27th, 2019 08:12 AM

That sounds like a good schedule of introduction. We very slowly increased the amount of time they were together and they seem to have worked it out mostly to their own satisfaction, despite the caterwauling. We just started putting them downstairs together in what we refer to the "Kitty Palace" (a more-or-less kitty-proofed room with lots of windows looking out over bird feeders) and they seem to do pretty well without a lot of supervision. Mostly they pick separate spots to nap or watch birds and there's very little tackling and pinning. :D So they've come pretty far, and we have the time (we're both retired and home most of the time), so we'll take it as slow as we need to. I still can't envision them spending the night together, though. JD seems to enjoy his alone time at night too much, and Dusty is content to sleep upstairs in her comfy bed. And I still have never seen them cuddling together, which would go a long way to setting my heart at ease about their relationship...

Our next goal: getting puppy Lili grown up enough that we can have dogs and cats all free in the same room together... :eek: :laughing:

marko November 28th, 2019 08:17 AM

Welcome :highfive:


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