How long before our adult cats accept our kittens? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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How long before our adult cats accept our kittens?

We have had 5 kittens with us for 5 weeks now. They love to play with each other and seem to love each other and want to be around us all the time. However, our 2 adult cats are NOT fans of them! Our one who is about 15 just doesn't really like any other cats in general. She tolerates our other adult one, but they aren't friends. She prefers her humans and that's about it. Our other one, who is 8, is more apt to take to other cats, but has not really taken to the kittens yet.

In the first week we thought we had a breakthrough because he was sharing the window seat with one of the kittens and they were fine. Now however he has resorted to growling at them and wouldn't dream of sharing his window seat. Our other one swats and growls at the kittens if they get anywhere near her. Yet there are some days when a kitten can be right beside them and they will sniff each other and no hissing or growling and go their own way.

I am getting really tired of the growling anytime the older one is on our lap and a kitten gets anywhere in her vicinity. Or even if a kitten is in our lap and she decides she wants to hop up and be next to us, she will then growl at them even though they were there first.

I realize this is very stressful for the adults and their routine has been shaken up. Is there anything that can be done to bring harmony amongst everyone?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 04:41 PM
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5 kittens is a LOT of kittens, and your older girl is not enjoying the kindergarten that's invaded her retirement home.

I'd set aside a room for the kittens to be put in when you aren't home and for a bit in the evening, that way she will feel less like her home has been invaded and her patience won't be so sorely tested.

I'd also make a point of keeping some yummy treats nearby and giving your older girl a few - along with whatever kitten is closest - to encourage some happier feelings.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 04:48 PM
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^ very much all that.

You can't trap a senior citizen in with a bunch of crazy kittens and expect them to be happy. There's bouncing and running and pouncing and josseling.

THis poor older cat (and its younger counter part) need some time away from those kittens.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 05:08 PM
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Agreed with above.

Did you do a slow introduction? I would give the kittens a room to themselves away from the older kitties. They can romp and play this way without over stressing the older ones. (Any foster kittens I had were confined and all socialized well, so it doesn't hurt them) then redo the slow introductions again starting at the beginning. Scent swapping, feeding on opposite sides of the door .. ect.

keep treats handy at all times. for when someone does what you like. Give the kittens thier own litter trays also. sometimes older cats don't what to share. Esp if they feel like there is an invasion of toddlers taking over.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 06:36 PM
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Agreed with everything already said! I'd be pretty grumpy if someone brought 5 toddlers into my home without warning. Some alone time, and treats when kittens are around should help a little bit. But honestly, I wouldn't expect anything more than tolerance from the older cats.

And with 5 rude, hyper kittens around there will be inevitable growling as your older cats draw boundaries on what they will and won't except from the kittens.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 06:43 PM
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Yep I'm with the concensus! My 5 grumpy old folks here did not take too kindly to the youngster, Polly, now 7 months old. There is still hissing if she gets too close to Maddie and Lacey and it's been over 5 months now since she has become part of the family. Most of them will tolerate her antics from a distance, but none are friends in the true sense of the cat word with her. Hissing and growling don't bother me - it teaches Polly to keep her distance. If you are bent on keeping this litter of trouble makers then you are going to have to learn to accept that the old folks are intolerant. And I don't blame them.

This is exactly why I like to keep my foster kittens in a separate room. It's not fair to the adults.

BTW, YOU'RE getting tired of it???? Imagine how they feel?!! This is their home too.

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Last edited by Marcia; 12-16-2014 at 06:46 PM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 06:54 PM
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MowMow is a grumpy old man. He sits on his bed and when Neelix does anything REMOTELY near him he starts grumbling out loud.

I swear it's like he's shaking a fist and yelling, "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!"

Neelix is out almost 100% of the time now but I still give MowMow and Book a few hours each night of quiet time. Neelix in his room between 'lunch' and dinner (from 6:00 -8:00) so they can roam without being bothered. They really look forward to that quiet time.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mapper View Post
Or even if a kitten is in our lap and she decides she wants to hop up and be next to us, she will then growl at them even though they were there first.
Cats do not get the concept of who was there first. They just know that they want on or near you, and there is that pesky little monster again. Let me just say that 5 weeks is nothing when you are talking about the kind of disruption that has been unleashed on your house in the form of FIVE kittens, at least from the viewpoint of your older cats. Be prepared for the growling, swatting, hissing and avoiding to continue for a lot longer - and be prepared that it might just lessen in time and not completely go away. It's a lot to ask of your older cats.

That being said, the best chance you have of success is to make sure you don't do or say anything negative to your older cats when they express their displeasure of the kittens - that will only reinforce their viewpoint that those kittens are nothing but bad because bad things happen when they are around. If, on the other hand, as soon as a kitten appears near them and hopefully before they have a chance to react negatively, a yummy treat appears and they hear lots of praise and get lots of pets (or whatever is pleasing to them) they just might start thinking those little interlopers aren't so bad after all.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 10:20 PM
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Personally I don't see growling and swatting as a big deal. Remember that cats don't communicate verbally the way we do. Your cat can't turn to the kitten and say in words, "Hey, please give me some space." The way your cat is going to express that is by swatting or making a warning noise, because that's how cats communicate.

It's also important to remember that cats are rougher with kittens than humans are with human babies. Even a mother cat who is very fond of her kittens will discipline them with a swat from time to time. It's how kittens learn to be good citizens and figure out how to interact with other cats.

Basically, it all sounds pretty natural. This wouldn't worry me unless your older cats seem genuinely miserable or your kittens are actually getting injured. It's a big transition for everyone, and it sounds like your cats are just communicating like cats, rather than like humans.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowMow View Post
MowMow is a grumpy old man. He sits on his bed and when Neelix does anything REMOTELY near him he starts grumbling out loud.

I swear it's like he's shaking a fist and yelling, "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!"

Neelix is out almost 100% of the time now but I still give MowMow and Book a few hours each night of quiet time. Neelix in his room between 'lunch' and dinner (from 6:00 -8:00) so they can roam without being bothered. They really look forward to that quiet time.

I don't know why but that makes me love MowMow LOL
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