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Old 08-05-2011, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cat not accepting new kitten in the house-HELP!

I have had Sophie for a year. She is an indoor cat -- not especially outgoing or friendly...just rather mellow for the most part. I found a new kitten (probably 6-8 weeks old) in a parking lot about 2 weeks ago and brought her home. I've kept her in a bathroom by herself until I can get her to the vet.

I have been trying to slowly introduce Sophie to the new kitten and she has stopped growling and hissing at her as she initially did (I think the new kitten is a her). They even had a couple of supervised "play sessions" that went quite well. However, the last two or three times I've put them in a room together, Sophie has batted at her head and has twice now grabbed her and tried raking her back feet on the kitten's tummy. What Sophie tried to do to the kitten actually looked fairly violent. Keep in mind I NEVER leave them alone together without my 100% attention on them.

Today the kitten was playing with a toy with me, and Sophie sneaked up on her and bit her back. She didn't hurt the kitten, but that's only because I was right there to break it up. I would never trust these two together and feel that Sophie may never accept this little one.

Is this behavior normal and will it eventually pass, or do I have a situation where Sophie will never accept her?? I have tried finding a home for the kitten, but have had no luck. Honestly I didn't want another cat, but she could stay a while if only Sophie would not beat up on her. I just couldn't bear to leave her in that parking lot in her terrible condition the day I found her. She was very malnourished, hot (it's been consistently over 100 degrees for the past month), and so thirsty.

Sorry this has been so long, but I really could use some advice.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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One thing I forgot to mention is that the baby cat is very outgoing, playful, and interested in everything. I am also wondering if the differences in Sophie's personality as compared to the kittens is making Sophie so uncomfortable.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have no experience introducing a larger cat and a kitten, but I know a lot of people who keep them separate until the kitten grows big enough to handle themselves around the larger cat. What you're talking about where the older cat tried to kick the younger cat with her back legs is called bunny kicking - both my cats do it when they're really excited about playing, so I don't think it's necessarily a violent behavior. A kitten is really about the size of a 'toy' for an older cat, so I could see how they might get carried away and hurt the kitten with out really understanding what they're doing. To me it sounds like they're playing... just playing a little too rough for a little kitten I'd keep going with the CLOSELY SUPERVISED playdates, just so they stay used to each other, but wait until the kitten is a little older and bigger before leaving them alone unsupervised..
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi there

Well, introductions went too fast. That's what happened. Playing sesions are closer to the last stages.

It would be wise to separate them again, and start a slow introduction. It could be something like this:

First week, kitten confined in a room, lots of treats and playing with your cat. Feed him outside the kitten's room.
Week two, put a mesh or something similar on the door so the cats can see each other but can't actually touch. Expect some hissing and growling. Continue feeding them each one in its side.
Swap them (cat inside kitten's room, kitten in another room, not the entire house yet if the kitten is too small or too scared) so they can smell each other's "belongings". If cat decides to use kitten's litter box, just let her (it is her way to say I'm the boss here. Scoop right away.)

See how all that goes, and eventually you can reunite them again. Anyway I wouldn't let them alone in the house together for two or three more weeks, just in case.

Introducing two cats -- you can search that sentence here in the forum or just google it, you'll find a lotta info.

Good luck!

Last edited by Lenkolas; 08-06-2011 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I forgot to say that I found my first cat Mr. Gatito in a parking lot. He was miserable. So I'm very happy you rescued this little one, and with the proper introductions I'm sure they will become best friends. It is a pity you didn't know that introducing cats is a slow process, but it is fine: It will take some more time but it can be done.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree 100%. Introductions went way too fast. Plus, they shouldn't have ANY contact until the kitten has been seen by a vet.

Start over following these guidelines by my future husband, Jackson Galaxy:

Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Little Big Cat
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi!

First off, I love Jackson Galaxy. He is wonderful and has great information on how to handle intro's.

How old is Sophie? I know you said you had her for a year but did you adopt her as a kitten or an adult?

Have you ever observed the 2 cats grooming each other?

Do you have 2 litter boxes and 2 food dishes? What about sleeping areas?


Have you ever seriously observed two cats rough house playing? I am asking only because they can get very rough in play. There have been times I wasn't sure if my two kittens were playing or killing each other and they are bonded litter mates.

If Sophie is a young cat, you may be observing inappropriate play rather then attacks. In most animals (human's too) the bigger more dominating one will take cheap shots at the weaker one, even in play.

The raking with the claws is something my kittens do daily. They grab on to each other and start doing the "kangaroo" LOL

If Sophie is older then it might be more of an attack type thing. We have a 15 year old cat who is not happy with the kittens. She was REALLY bad when we first got them. Now its more of a token hiss while she lays down or a dirty look if they are getting on her nerves. She is doing tons better but the kittens aren't her favorite things in the world lolol

What your describing to me sounds more like taking a cheap shot in rough play but I could be wrong. Would you be able to video them "performing" that way we can watch both cats' body language and be able to give better advice. I am not saying it is play but it could be if you dont know what to look for.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with everyone else that your intro went too fast... and that your kitten should not be in contact with your cat at ALL until it's been seen by a vet and tested for the big diseases. What if the kitten has FIV (feline HIV)? You're potentially exposing your resident cat to serious illness.

Once your kitten is cleared health-wise, you can start introducing them again. As you're going through the intro stages, pay close attention to your resident cat. If he shows sign of distress and aggression, go back to the previous step. He may hiss a little or even hit the kitten, without other signs of aggression, this is just your cat expressing himself and asserting his position as top cat. Lola and my new kitten get along well, but every once in awhile Lola comes up and thonks Fievel on the head, just to affirm that she is the boss and he is the baby.
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the wonderful information! Sophie is my first indoor cat, so I really had no idea what to expect in terms of aggression, etc. The FIV is a VERY big concern for me, which is why I have only had them in the same room a few times under my very close supervision. (no eating, drinking, sharing litter boxes, etc.) I have no intentions of letting them around each other until the new kitten gets the all clear from my vet.

I suppose I did introduce them rather quickly. I simply didn't realize it took so long to acclimate them to one another. The baby kitten isn't going to be a problem (I don't think).....she seems to like everyone so far. It's going to be Sophie who has the problem.

I've had Sophie for a little over a year and got her when she was about 7 weeks old, so she's been here almost from Day One. I will keep y'all posted on my progress with the two and will try to get a video on here once I've had the baby vetted.

Thank you, Marie73, for the link. I will take a look and see what I can learn from there as well.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the extra info. It helps problem solve what is going on.

I am sure there is a bit of jealousy and fear concerning the new kitten. At the same time 7 weeks is really young to take from the mother cat. They are still learning a lot of the social graces. It could be just that Sophie is a clutz when it comes to social grace and she doesn't know how to socialize mannerly.

In this case, it is just something that is going to need time.

Since this is your first indoor cat and now you are a multi cat household, take some time reviewing videos on You tube of cats playing. You would be surprised on how rough cats can be while in play. It really shocked me the first time I saw our 2 kittens rough house. I thought they were trying to kill each other lolol
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