Issues during confrontations between new kitten and resident cat - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Issues during confrontations between new kitten and resident cat

Hello, I got a kitten (4 months old), Marshie, about a week ago to give company to my resident cat, Fufu (1.5 years old). I kept Marshie in a room for 6 days to get her used to the new house and start the introduction process.

Over the past 3 days, I periodically open Marshie's side of the apartment for Fufu to enter. During these meetings, Marshie is usually in a playful mood and is running around her room. As soon as Fufu enters, Fufu sits next to the door for a couple minutes before slowly following Marshie until she eventually hisses and attempts to corner Marshie. Then, Fufu usually continually hisses or makes a weird throaty sound. Today, Marshie has started to retaliate by swatting at Fufu's face when she is cornered. Fufu will then sit quietly while Marshie continues playing. But once Marshie gets too close to Fufu, Fufu runs towards her again and corners her. So far Fufu has not even raised her paw on Marshie even once but she sometimes chases her around the room, but I'm afraid that their confrontations could get violent if Marshie continues to swat at her.

I'm curious if anybody has encountered something similar and if you have any advice for what I should do. Should I continue letting them meet like this? Should I get between Fufu and Marshie if Fufu looks like she is about to initiate a confrontation? I have ordered Feliway so hopefully that will cool Fufu's nerves. I sense that Marshie is going to be an alpha cat when she grows up. While I would probably consider Fufu beta in most situations, I'm afraid if their issues aren't solved before Marshie grows up their confrontations could get much more ugly.

Last edited by surjman; 03-18-2013 at 11:20 AM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 01:50 AM
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Any new cat, adult or kitten, that has come into our house has been greeted by hissing and growling by my older cat Clark. He growled at our adult female cat for almost 6 months and would not go on our bed if she were already there. They now tolerate one another, even share the couch, sometimes close enough to touch fur and give each other an occassional head lick, but are not best of friends. We added a kitten a few months ago. Clark growled for about a month and that was it. I don't know if he is getting used to new cats in the house or if he decided this one was okay. The kitten and my adult female have developed a playful fighting relationship. Sometimes it looks like all out war, quite violent in fact, but I think they are having fun and not really angry fighting. Your cats have to get used to each others' smell and the older cat has to comes to terms that he needs to share the space. It may take awhile. I wouldn't leave them alone together yet. I'd sit yourself in the middle and pet them both, so Fufu sees you accept the kitten. If the kitten actually swipes at the older cat and Fufu doesn't want her to do that, be assured your older cat will pin her down to put her in her place. They could scratch each other, but kittens like to play hard. In time they'll figure it out.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reassurance!
During the month that Clark growled at the kitten, did you keep them separate the whole time or did you eventually let the kitten deal with Clark by his/herself?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 07:27 AM
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Hissing and growling is a fact of life at my home when a newbie is brought in. In every case, it has been temporary - meaning weeks or months not days - before they agree to co-exist. That's not to say that when one gets too close there isn't hissing - happened just this AM over breakfast. I would keep the barriers down now and let them both free roam throughout the house. They will find their happy places and settle down in time.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 09:54 AM
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Your kitten is much older than mine was when she came into the home. If you've already checked that she is clear of any shareable diseases, it's probably fine to let her roam free. We kept her more contained until we knew she knew where the litter boxes were...

Again, I'd do a lot of petting with both cats to affirm equal footing in the house. I probably would not feed them right next to each other, maybe other side of the room. My kitten was voracious, still is, and I have to keep watch she doesn't eat everyone else's food. It also gives your older cat a little space. Add a second litter box as well, mine are all together right now, but sometimes i've had one in another room. Bring out the toys, your kitten will be looking for things to throw around and chase after.

They will eventually figure out what type of relationship they want with eachother. As mentioned, Clark is more aloof with the two newer cats, but cuddles with his brother. His brother is the concerned one and makes sure everyone is okay. The kitten just wants to play with anyone, but has gravitated to the female. The female is now at peace because someone likes her. Our family is complete. Hope it works for you!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if I'm comfortable opening up Marshie's side of the apartment yet. I tried it yesterday for about 5 hours and Fufu refused to leave Marshie alone untill she drove Marshie under the bed. They also had their first two fights during that time period. Fufu would sneak up on Marshie while she was playing and jump on her. I'm not sure if the fighting is serious though, because it lasted about 10 seconds and resulted in Fufu looking more scared than Marshie.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:40 AM
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Re: Issues during confrontations between new kitten and resident cat

i tried getting a new kitten to accompany my 3 months kitten. but they kept fighting all day and i couldnt sleep at night. they made strange voices that really creeped me out. eventually i had to give the new kitten to a cousin coz i was worried the 2 kittens would hurt each other. i couldnt wait for more than a couple of days. people told me though that i should let them handle things on their own and eventually they will find a way to live together.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 01:03 AM
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Re: Issues during confrontations between new kitten and resident cat

When we got Tony at 3 months old, Pepper was a year and a half. We didn't let them loose together until a few days. We got lucky and they were integrated within a week or two.

We followed online suggestions and such hopping that they would get along. For the first few days, we kept them separate (Tony in the small room), and swapping rooms once or twice a day for 15 min, playing and feeding in the rooms. We focused mainly on Pepper with treats and praises since it is her home first. The first time they met each other was inTony's room cause it was smaller. Tony stayed in the travel crate and Pepper was free to explore and investigate. Then slowly putting them together for short period of time supervised and playing with toys, feeding them next to each other. For the first week, Pepper would growl and hiss at Tony, swat at him and such. We didn't let them together unsupervised until all the growling and hissing completely stopped.

Everything we read online said to take it slow and be patient. I also decided to make sure Pepper understood that she wasn't being replaced; gave her lots of loving. I guess we got lucky and they got along quickly, hopefully yours won't take months.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 08:25 AM
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You are just going to have to evaluate if this kitten is a good match for your family. Some are not and bully the resident cats into fearful hiding. Personally, I can't tolerate that. My one condition on adopting is that they cannot be cat agressive. Some cats are meant to be one cat families, period. Only you can judge this, but you do need to give this time. It's only been a couple weeks max so give it more time. Try and relax, because you are emitting stress into the situation. They do need to interact in order to learn to socialize together. They won't kill each other so let it be and don't jump everytime you hear a confrontation. The more they interact the more they will learn what is acceptable and what is not. Consider getting some Fel-I-Way diffusers - one for each room if you can afford it. They help calm the cats down. If after a month or two the situation is unbearable for you then consider returning the kitten - it is the right thing to do for your resident cat and you AND the kitten.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 03:36 AM
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Looking back, I think my two cats were fine almost as soon as they met. I misinterpreted their playing roughly for fighting. Timmy would start by grabbing Wink and pinning her to the floor, and Wink would make a lot of noise. They would eventually start rolling all over the floor, with Wink screaming. Wink is almost totally silent, except when she's wrestling with Timmy, then she growls, hisses, and yells, a lot. Timmy "talks" constantly, but when he's wrestling with Wink, he's totally silent unless it's gone on a long time, then he grunts and meows. What should have been the tip off that the "fights" weren't fights at all, was there was no blood or signs of injury, except when Timmy got bitten hard enough on the foot to draw blood. Another sign was that Wink would often run away, then come back and start it all up again. Other times she would run about 3 feet and sit down and just wait for Timmy to come over and get it going again. When I caught them necking on the couch, I finally understood.

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