How can I get a two year old cat and a six month old kitten to get along? (See details)
Imagine a family member bringing a woman/child to your home and saying, she's going to live here with us, get used to it! Cats are territorial creatures and creatures of habit. For your older cat to accept this newcomer, this interloper, a period of introduction is needed in order to avoid fighting, hissing and bullying. Lock your older cat in a room where she has food, water, fresh air, toys, litter boxes and places to sleep. Allow the kitten to explore the house, so that he gains a bit of confidence and gets used to his new home. Play with him, feed him, pet him, make a fuss of him...basically he needs to know that he can trust you, you love him and good things happen with you around. Then, switch them around! Lock the kitten in the room where the older cat was, and let him get used to the additional home space. This is called site swapping and is very important, because if you don't, both cats will make their respective area, their own territory, making the other cat a permanent intruder. You can try bring them both out at mealtimes so that they start to realise that good things happen even when they're both in the same room. Play with them equally, make a fuss of them equally, then they will start to believe it. Lock them into separate areas while you're out of the house and at night, site swapping every time, so that they know that they both own the whole house equally. When mealtimes and playtimes are hiss-free, then you can try letting them roam the house freely, while you're there to supervise, for the first day. If all goes well, then you can trust them alone. It could take days, weeks or months; don't rush it! They have to accept each other on their own terms and in their own time. You don't want to push them into become friends too quickly, because any progress made could be undone in one quick step. You'll know that all is ok when they snuggle up together, play together and eat together. And let me tell you, that feeling is amazing! It feels like having brought two enemies together and helped them to become friends. I hope it goes well for you, good luck.
After bringing a new male kitten into our home, our older female cat stays outside almost all the time. How should I work this out?
I appreciate the answers of “don’t let the older cat think you’ve forgotten her,” but cats don’t think this way, really. Cats are very territorial, and like routine, so imagine having a new cat take over your turf. This will stress out a cat to no end. And cats generally try to avoid conflict, so my guess is that’s what your other cat is doing by staying outside.Here’s how I would handle it. Don’t let the older cat out of the house any more (it’s very bad for the cat, and you don’t know what diseases the outdoor cat could be bringing in to the new kitten). Confine the new kitten to one room, and introduce them slowly. Because cats are very territorial, the new kitten is probably stressed out by all the new space. So, keep him confined to one room, which is much more manageable (obviously, with food and water and litter box). Then, they’re not a threat to each other and you can slowly introduce them through sound and smell, and then sight. When you have them together eventually, try feeding them at the same time and playing with them, so they have positive associations together.I will also say, here is a great article on introducing a new cat to a home from one of the cat experts I really trust: Cat Behavior | Introducing New Cats.Just note that you can start from scratch with this, so don’t worry. Doing this now will help both cats adjust and be happy in the long run, so it’s important. Read the article and follow the tips that I’ve outlined, and you should be okay. :-)I hope that this helps!
Why do I have a hard time introducing my resident cat to our new kitten?
People typically try to rush the introduction of a cat and kitten. You should allow weeks, not days or hours.STEP 1: Have someone else carry the kitten in. Probably too late in your case, but a good tip for others reading. This makes it a surprising thing that has happened to both you and your cat.STEP 2: Put the kitten in a room. Keep it there. Pay lots and lots and lots of attention to your resident cat. (Easier if you have a friend or roommate to occupy kitten, but it is a critical step. Resident cat has to know they have not lost you to kitten. Kitten needs time to get used to smell of house.)STEP 3: Wipe kitten down with towel, let resident cat smell. Rub towel resident cat. Repeat.STEP 4: Feed kitten and cat on opposite sides of closed door.STEP 5: Forget kitten for a while. Play with your cat’s favorite toy.STEP 6: Still day 1? Too soon to introduce them. Repeat Steps 3–5 for a few days.STEP 7: Day 3? OK, play with a toy under door with both kitties (not resident cat’s favorite toy). If it goes well, repeat step 3–5 for another day. Doesn’t go well? Repeat for 3 days.STEP 8: OK. Kitties are eating on either side of the door. You’ve introduced scent to each. They play through door. Time for SHORT introduction. Sit with your resident cat. Have someone else open kitten’s door. Watch for 30 minutes. Do not interfere UNLESS violence is imminent. Return kitten to room.It takes time to do it this way, but it gives you best chance of ending up with friendly cats. Biggest mistake people make is fawning over kitten while ignoring resident cat. (How would you react if your S.O. brought in younger model and ignored you?) Kittens are resilient. They do need attention, but it doesn’t have to be at cost of your resident cat… get a neighbor or friend to help you with process.
What is the best way to introduce two male kittens into a smaller home that's predominantly one male, adult (neutered) cat's territory?
Jean’s answer about keeping the kittens in a separate room for a few days is good, but there's one step I would recommend to add:Before letting them into older cat’s territory, bring him into the room just outside the bathroom, and propr the bathroom door open by no more than 1 inch, with something sturdy so it can't be moved beyond this.Then stand back and let older cat and kittens sniff at each other, and yes, even bat at each other through the gap. It's not large enough for either to do any real damage that the other party cannot back away from, but gives all three cats the space to work out the pecking order.Do this step for as long as it takes for older cat to not seem hostile. He may always be annoyed, but if he's downright hostile you need to repeat this door gap step before going any further.Once older cat seems resigned to his fate, take him away and let kittens out into his space. Let them explore every inch without him there to complain.Then add older cat into the equation once the kittens are calming down in the new space.100% supervision while all are together for the first time!!The important thing to remember is that cats are funky about space. The three of them may bond right away, or they may take years to fully bond and only be tolerant of each other until then. Or he may bond with only one of the kittens and not the other.It takes a loooong time sometimes, so if everyone isn't thrilled for a bit, don't panic. You will know they're bonded when you see them sleeping in a big ball.
How can I get my 2-year-old cat and new kitten to acclimate? It’s been a week and Bella is still hiding and hissing when she sees the new kitty. Her behavior has thrown the dogs off too.
A week is not a very long time in cat acclimation. Hiding and hissing are not actually that big of a deal and do eventually pass, especially if you help.A few things you can do to speed the process - let each of the cats have a space for themselves, with food, water, and a separate cat box (for two cats, you should have at least three at boxes). Monitor their interactions and progress.Play with them, separately and together, using a feather or other toy on a string. This can help them work out their play aggression without annoying each other as much.If you don’t have shelves or cat trees where the cats can hang out, get some. Cats feel safer if they have a high place from which to survey their territory, including annoying kittens and dogs who are being jerks about the whole thing.Get some calming stuff like Feliway/Comfort Zone, which is a wall plug-in that diffuses mama cat hormones. Takes about a week to kick in, but I’ve had good luck with it. It mellows fighting kitties out.You might also try something from Jackson Galaxy’s site like “Bully.” And his book or show is definitely work checking out for further advice.Good luck!
My adult cat is stalking my new kitten, is this ok?
This is just cat stuff. Let them work it out. Unless fur starts flying, resist the urge to intervene. This is exactly what my 1 year old tabby did to my new little kitten. Within 7 days they were best buds. Try to keep their interactions positive--feed them around each other, play with them around each other, but remember that they're going to play and bounce and snarl and growl and hiss for a little while. It's much better than they be in contact with each other, rolling around and wrestling, than staring at each other from across the room hissing at each other. The little kitten will get used to the playing, and the big cat will get used to the little one, and they'll work it out. Good luck!
Declawing declaw a 3 year old cat... Advice please?
Hello, I have a 3 year old female domestic long hair cat. She is very sweet, loving, and affectionate. I am contemplating having her declawed in the coming weeks. Before the PETA crowd gets their panties in a bunch and makes me out to be some Nazi I want to say this is not something I particularly want to do but I feel it is necessary. My fiance and I have another cat she got as a kitten before we even met (declawed). He is not very social with other cats and the two often fight with each other . He is 18 lbs and she's only 10 lbs. Recently after a particularly bad fight he had several scratches on his face some very close to his eyes. We keep him in line when we are home but we are both gone 7-8 hours of the day and cant always watch them. We worry he will lose an eye because of her claws. I'm thinking of having it done on a Thursday, Picking her up Friday afternoon (vet requires overnight stay), sending the other cat to my fiance's parents house for the weekend and just watching her the whole time. My cat is a very loving and sweet and clearly identifies me as her owner. She spends about 1-2 hours per night in my lap and sleeps on me in the bed. I'm worried about changes in temperament or her identifying me with the procedure. Any advice on the matter would be appreciated from those who deal with cats. Spare me the soap box speeches too. I'm not doing this to save my furniture.
How can I get my male cat to accept my new female kitten?
SLOWLY. Keep them separate for several weeks so your cat can first get used to the new scent of the kitten before they meet. Keep your kitten in a room by herself and let the male have the rest of the space he's used to so there's no change in his routine. Go in and play with her a lot and pet him afterward with the kitten’s scent on your hands.A good way to introduce new cats is to have them eat on opposite sides of a closed door. Set your kitten’s food up on one side (if it's a bedroom where the door opens inward, tie a string around the bowl and pull it so it is touching the door after you close it) and move your cat's food directly in front of it (cover the string with the bowl). When he eats, he will associate the good feelings with the kitten’s scent.The whole introduction process should take months. Don't just put them in a room together and expect them to be best friends right away. Don’t let the kitten take over the male's territory until the male is used to the kitten's scent and noises. You should be very cautious, good luck.