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Old 12-12-2012, 07:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello

I have decided to join this cat forum because I am having some troubles introducing my new kitten to my resident cat. I am female, in my 20's, and I am married.

My resident cat is 10 years old, female, orange and white, named Marmalade.
My kitten is 5 months, 2 weeks old, male, silver tabby with some white patches, named Odo.

Before getting the new kitten, about 10 days ago, we knew that we'd be in for a rough introduction because Marmalade is a bit aggressive with me, but we went for it anyways.

The only available kitten at the shelter, when we went, was labelled as fearful, because he used to be feral. We knew that this would make it extra difficult, but we had fallen in love with him.

We have kept them apart, Odo in a separate room with all the essentials. In the first week, Marmalade was hissing through the door at him. We moved her bowls of food and water to just outside the door, so she would get used to him. I cracked open the door and put a weight behind it so that neither cat could get through, but just see each other. Marmalade was outside, hissing, and then lunged at the door. We decided to go back a step, and just have the door closed. We started swapping them, so that they could experience each others scent and territory without seeing each other. They were both freaked out at first, but after a few days of this, they both seem to have relaxed a bit.

So, today, I decided to have the door open a bit, so they could see but not access each other. I sat with Marmalade, giving them both treats that they could only access by being close to the door. There was no hissing or growling, they ate all the treats, and then stared at eachother for about 30 mins through the door. I thought "Awesome, I'm making progress!", so I opened the door to let Odo out, when Marmalade was just down the hall. He came out, looked at her, and froze. She stared at him, crouched down, and then chased him down, where she attacked him, and drew blood. I'm taking Odo to the vet now, but I'm just feeling really stupid about going too fast, and worrying about possibly having ruined their relationship.

I would appreciate advice, or stories about your difficult cats and how it worked out in the end. Thank you
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome!

Yup, you did what lots of us have done - got excited and rushed it.

I probably wouldn't have gotten a kitten (or another cat) with Marmalade's age and temperment. Odo may be extra fearful now, too.

I would suggest starting completely over and taking it very, very slowly.

I've had things worked out, and I've also rehomed cats when it didn't.

Here are some great guidelines, and also just an all-around good website

Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Little Big Cat
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Go back a few steps and I suggest swapping bedding between then regularly without washing it in between.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have gone back to just having the door closed now, with feeding them wet food at the same time on both sides of the door. I've written myself a timeline so that I can't feel optimistic and jump forward a step.

Thank you for the link, marie73, I've read it before, but I'll certainly read it again.

I have done a little bit of switching their bedding. Marmalade smells it all over and doesn't mind sleeping on whatever i put in her favorite spot, but Odo will not touch any new bedding of hers that I give him. Instead, he sleeps on a chair, or the floor. Even if I drag a string across the new bedding, he'll run around it rather than over it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Try feeding tidbits on the bedding to encourage Odo to at least step on it and maybe stay a while.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would use a few Feliway plug in dispensers for your kitties. I hate to keep mentioning Feliway plug in dispensers in posts but it has really helped me with stressed, fearful, cats and kittens. It helps settle them down a few notches. Esp with restarting your intros again.

Spending time with your kitten and playing with it will help it bond with you and gain confidence.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I hate to be a pessimist, but a 10 y.o. red tabby aggressive female and a fearful silver tabby?.....I doubt this will work out. She's too old and set in her ways, and red tabbies can be aggressive for sure towards other cats, and often silvers can be lacking in confidence. And why was it you decided your girl needed a young kitten? You can try again slowly, but I'm not optimistic with this combination.....sorry!
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I guess we didn't really do a ton of cat homework before deciding to get another cat. We didn't consider that maybe Marmalade would be so difficult, we were just thinking about that we wanted a second cat. We felt the call of the SPCA, because they put an add in the newspaper saying they had too many cats and needed homes for them.

I'll look into feliway. I've seen a lot of progress in Odo since we adopted him, at first he wouldn't let us near him, but now he follows us around and is ok with being held for short periods of time
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Most cats you can bring around. Some it will be a truce. A few just arent going to and you would have to rehome them. But I wouldnt give up until youve tried all our suggestions that have worked for us. Plus you should read thru all of Pamela Bennett Johnson books on behavior and her solutions esp Cat vs Cat. You followed your heart and wanted to make a difference in a cats life. I wouldnt fault you for that.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm going through something similar now (introducing a silver tabby kitten to my 8yo spayed female only cat). I don't have as many challenges as you. Kitten is not fearful and Bean (adult) is not aggressive in general, but even so, I'm at over 7 weeks and still not at the free interaction phase of things. It just takes cats time to adjust. There are ways to make things easier, but you can't force them to adapt faster.

I second the advice to step back and take things slowly. You may be juggling cats for some time yet, but I wouldn't give up. And don't get too attached to your schedule. Cats have their own ideas about things.

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