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Discussion Starter #1
I adopted two kittens exactly 2 months ago, they are 4 months old today. I have a resident cat (Ez) and I have been introducing the kittens slowly to her, I utilized every trick and recommendation I could find online and so far so good. What I am wondering is how do I know when it is safe to leave the kittens unsupervised with Ez for an extended period? Right now I put them in their safe room ( a spare bed room with toys, food, litterbox, bed, window to look out) at night when I go to bed and when I go to work. I feel so guilty putting them in there for 9 hours when I am at work!

Is there any signs I should look for in the behavior between all cats? They still do goofy kitten things too-like crawl up the vacumn climb the curtains? Should I wait until they are a little older?
 

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How well is Ez accepting them? Is she tolerant of their kitten silliness or does she get tired of it all quickly? Unless she's really really into them, I would keep confining them for a good while when you're not home. They have each other--they're just fine. You'll be less likely to tick Ms. Ez off to the point of no return AND you'll be less likely to lose valued objects to kitten antics. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ez is tolerant about 80% of the time, everyone sniffs nose to nose with no problems, she'll play chase and get the kittens chasing her as well, she rolls on her back pawing at them upside down, then she gets bored and wanders away. 20% of the time, she corners them and puffs her chest out, ears pinned back tailing going back and forth-she has not hurt them, but has made "biting" motions towards them, she just doesn't connect. However the kittens start swinging when she does this. This is what makes me nervous.
Good point-they do have each other, I just don't want them to become destructive or anything because I keep them in their room so much during the week.
 

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"....kittens start swinging" Do you mean on the curtains? Ez is just showing the kittens that she's the boss here by cornering them and making "biting" motions with her mouth. Normal behavior for an older cat. She does more than just tolerate them, because she joins their chase games, and encourages a wrestle by rolling on her back and pawing at them. At 4months kitties are very rambunctious and get into all sorts of things as you observe, and the next 4-6 months will be more of the same, so I would just keep on doing what you're doing and confining them when you're not at home to supervise until they settle down a bit.
 

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i think she means the kittens swing on the older cat, as in take a swipe at her in return for her snap.

having introduced two kittens, i'd say you can tell when they've bonded because they groom one another. if it hasn't gotten to that stage yet, i don't think i'd leave them alone unsupervised. they might be fine, you just never know.

i didn't leave the last kitten alone with the big one until houdini started doing the beating up lol. baci runs from him, even though he has a good 4 lbs. on him.

plus it will keep any fragile things away from them, but i've lost all mine while i was here so . . . for what that's worth. at least if you're there you can keep them from climbing the drapes.
 

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I use to keep my foster kittens separate from my adult fosters. My vet told me to stop doing that or theyd become spoiled brats. Older cats teach kittens the rules of the cats world. When the adults have reached their limit they will cuff or hiss at a kitten. Ez sounds like he is boss and teaching them the rules. Unless blood and fur is flying let Ez do his thing. Sounds to me things are moving along just fine.

If you keep them separated too much then when they are older there will be show downs on who rules. Older cats, esp males, are amazingly tolerant of kittens. I wouldnt separate them. Ive fostered over 150 cats and kittens and this has worked fine for me.
 

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It's important that they have time w/ her precisely so she can discipline them! Otherwise they'll be impossible. ;) But she doesn't have to be w/ them ALL the time. I might start leaving them out at night since at least if something bad happens you will wake up. When you're away from the house you can't know what's happening, so I probably wouldn't risk it yet.

Bear in mind that almost certainly EZ will always be the 3rd wheel. The kittens are bonded--she will be unlikely to work her way into that, if she even wants to.
 

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Older cats are wise enough to go off on their own when theyre sick of playing. If kittens come back for more they ususally get a hiss and swat. Kittens are so ADD that they back off and find more to occupy their interests.

Some of the sweetest moments Ive seen is the babies curled up with the adults sleeping. Im sure they find great comfort in that plus if theyre going to be a family, it will start them bonding and all sleeping together in companionship.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks-but still unsure

I appreciate everyone's advice but I feel like I am back to square one-some folks on here say I have to let them out or the kittens will be spoiled and such, others are saying "wait" so I don't ruin the relationship too early? It's a very delicate situation, and I don't want any of the cats to become hostile or mean or screwed up!

Perhaps that is good advice letting them out at night because then at least I am home?

Yes I meant swipe at Ez, the kittens are getting bolder, and when Ez swats them and hisses they "swipe" back at her! Usually they do fall over and lay on their side when they do this which I think is a good sign but they probably have their claws out and I am afraid Ez will take some damage to the eye or something. I would love for them to groom each other but that is a ways off yet-Ez is not fond of the kittens touching her. She'll sniff nose to nose, and sniff their butts but when they try to rub against her, or lay down near her she hisses and raises a paw.

So I bought a book, cat vs. cat by Pam Bennett maybe this will help.
 

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My earlier post didn't show up for some reason.
The point I was making is they will work it out themselves. I have three as well. Two are 1 year old and the other is 6. At first the older one didn't tolerate the kittens antics and swatted them anytime the bugged her. They backed off then played with each other. Now they all play together. The older one loves to play chase but will not wrestle. If they try to tackle her she hisses and swats. The younger ones will swat back and run away. They now learned she does not play that game so they don't bother.

It'll take time but they have to work things out without you interfering . They won't hurt each other, the other one has to establish the rules and put them in their place.
 

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Her books are some of the best out there. Cut the kittens tiny nails. Ez has the weight and smarts to put young little punks in their place. Dont over worry this.


The worst thing you could do is put off them being together. The older the kittens get, more weight, more unchecked attitude the bigger job it will be for Ez to set up the rules and manners.

Are you seeing yowl screaming fur flying with bloody bites? If you arent then let it work it out without interfering. Your not damaging them. Cats have a way of setting up hierarchy.
 

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I would start leaving them out at night and see how that goes. It sounds like they've been fully introduced and it actually sounds like it's going well. This is purely my personal experience so take it with a grain of salt, but I found a kitten last year and kept her mostly separated in a bedroom/bathroom for a few months because my senior cat was having an issue with her. My senior cat has passed now and the kitten, now a year old, has free run but still chooses to stay in that room almost all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That is EXACTLY what my resident cat Ez does! When she gets sick of it she swats and hisses at the kittens, the problem is they don't always back off, instead they get more kitten crazy and start swatting at her, pouncing on her, they don't run away....Ez will NOT tolerate wrestling with them BUT she does initiate "chase" and she'll chase the little balls I throw for the kittens, sort of get in the game with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mitts & Tess-no blood, no fur flying, but some heavy duty yowls and growls and sounds have erupted from all three, once there was a sound that reminded me of the movie the Exorcist!
I guess I need to not worry so much about it-it's hard not to be the mother hen-I had a really horrible experience with two kittens I adopted 2 years ago and I can't help but feel sensitive to the situation, I don't want anyone to get hurt. But it makes sense the bigger they get the more it'll take Ez to put them in their place. I notice that now, as opposed to two weeks ago-when they were smaller they weren't so ready to swat let alone wrestle with Ez.
 

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there will most likely be little scuffles at first but i never had anything serious. out of four cats, i have never seen them groom each other before at least six months.

my youngest cat is two and he and the older cat groom, but the two and five year-old don't. the closest they get is one sniffing the other (usually head, anywhere unobtrusive) while he is eating. they still chase each other and the smaller one can beat up the big one (no blood--just fur hunks flying and baci howling like he's dying) but they're only occasional. i don't know that they'll ever really be best buds but i'm not afraid to leave them alone together.

let the kittens out when you're home and can supervise.
 
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