Cat and kitten interaction - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-29-2017, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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Cat and kitten interaction

I've pretty much always had cats, but until recently, just one at a time. Now, for the first time, I am mom to two cats at once, and have a few questions. On September 22, I adopted Allie, a 6-year-old long-haired cat who came from a home where I suspect she may have been mistreated. I say this because she was brought into my vet's office in a sealed (i.e. airless) container to be put to sleep because her owner was "tired of her" and tired of her peeing outside her litter box. As it turns out, she had crystals in her urine. She was also terribly matted. On September 30, I adopted Samantha, a 12-week-old kitten, who had been found under an overturned flower pot at Home Depot with a sibling at 2 days old. She was bottle fed by a vet tech who fostered her until I adopted her. She is now 16 weeks old.

When I introduced the two cats, Allie glared at Samantha and gave a low growl every time she approached her. She also hissed some, but it was mostly growling. Within a few days, the growling had stopped, but Allie was still pretty guarded around Samantha. Samantha, on the other hand, is a typical kitten, extremely curious and extremely playful. Now and then, she clearly gets on Allie's nerves, as is understandable. Until about a week ago, Allie had been pretty standoffish with all of us (my husband, Samantha and our dog, Friederik). She'd almost cringe if you tried to pet her and didn't seem to want to have anything at all to do with the family. About a week ago, I bought a calming collar for her and she is a totally different cat. I've got to admit, though, that for a six-year-old, she is nowhere near as active or energetic as other cats I've had at that age. She has very little interest in toys, etc. and is mostly content to just sit around.

She is now wanting to be around the rest of us, and when we're watching TV, she's right there by me, still a little uncomfortable being petted (so I'm not pushing her to warm up to me), but at least interacting with all of us to some degree. The other night, she and Samantha were laying side by side on a cushion, not actually curled up together, but close enough to each other that I felt encouraged. Just a little while ago, though, I noticed the two of them in the hall together. Allie seemed to be almost patting Samantha on the head with her paw, but her claws were not extended. Then, she suddenly leaped onto Samantha and put her in kind of a choke-hold for just a couple of seconds, before releasing her. Neither cat made a sound, but Allie's tail was moving all over the place. Then she stopped. The two of them looked at each other again for a minute and then the whole series of events was repeated. Afterwards, they both just walked off.

Since Samantha was taken from her mother before her eyes were even open, I had hoped she might learn a few cat-acceptable behaviors from Allie. I understand that cats are not pack animals like dogs, but I have been hoping that the two of them would eventually become friends, even if they never totally bonded. So, right now, I'm trying to figure out what this little interaction between them was all about. Should I see it as a positive thing or a negative thing? As long as the two of them aren't actually fighting, I'm tempted to just let them work things out between them. But I can't help but wonder how I should expect a 6-year-old and a 16-week old to get along, particularly when the older cat is not the mother of the kitten. Any comments would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-29-2017, 06:37 PM
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Location: Springfield, Missouri
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This certainly is a unique dynamic- a probably mistreated adult cat and a kitten who has no socialization. I'd look at it from Allie's point-of-view:

I'm trying my best to fit in and now here's this 'other' cat. So I will dominate her to have some stability in my life.

I mean you have no idea what she went through other than the last human who was her caretaker was callous. I can understand why you brought a kitten in the home given Allie's reserved nature but maybe she would be better off with her own space. It sounds like she was just starting to come out of her shell and another cat got foisted into her space. AND there''s a dog already in the home. Just because she was indifferent doesn't mean she would stay that way, I have a 6-month old who wasn't very socialized but in almost a month he is making great strides in an only-cat environment.

Unless someone has had this same unique situation-unless you get input from an animal behaviorist you can only wait and see what this develops into. I think you may have jumped the gun with the kitten though. Hope for the best.

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June 2003- August 26 2017
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-29-2017, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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I may have jumped the gun, but it is what is is. They are both sweet cats and I am optimistic about their future together in my home. I'm just looking for some insights into this little interaction I witnessed earlier today.

Last edited by marie73; 10-29-2017 at 08:22 PM.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-29-2017, 08:02 PM
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We recently added kitty #2 two to our home (have never had two cats at the same time). Han is a super mello boy kitty and Kali had always enjoyed my daughter's two cats visiting. I therefore assumed it was going to be easy-peasy. Wrong! I have never seen Kali so nasty. Anyhow, we switched to the "slow" introduction after that initial introduction. We did continue with that though we were not great in the patience department. I did play with those same collars and I currently do use the rescue remedy drops (which I am getting more and more convinced actually works though I am confused on how).

I am curious how you introduced the two cats. Was it slow, could it have been too fast? You could also consider trying the rescue remedy. I am going to order my next batch on Amazon prime.

Hoping it all works out for you. You two new kitties are very lucky.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-29-2017, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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For me, it's probably going as well as I had expected. I have heard some wonderful things about Rescue Remedy, not only from you, but from someone on another forum. I think I'm going to have to try it.

Well, it was faster than I'd intended. Sometimes things don't quite go how you planned, if you know what I mean. At this point, as I said, they are learning about each other. Nobody's growing, hissing or fighting. Sometimes they even lay side by side, just not curled up together, but hey, even people take a while to get to know one another.

Likewise, smoda!
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