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Hi all,
We have a 13 year old cat called Herring, and we have just got a new kitten, Helena.
I think things are going OK between them - Helena has been with us since the start of June (when she was 8 weeks old). But, totally naturally, Helena wants to play, play, play, and Herring, being and old lady, is having none of it. Herring doesn't mind Helena being around at all, as long as she doesn't try to engage her in playing... but Helena's main aim is to jump on Herring's back and try to get her to wrestle with her.
When that happens Herring growls and / or hisses. Helena doesn't take no for an answer (she was rolling on her back and showing her tummy, but I haven't seen that for a week or two)... and finally Herring gives up and darts out of the cat flap. (Helena doesn't use the catflap yet).
I think when Helena gets a little bigger and becomes less playful, they will get on OK. But I find myself wishing that Herring would be a bit more assertive (she has always been a scaredy cat) rather than just scarper. I know that Herring loves being in the garden in the summer though.
Any ideas how to get Herring to be a bit more assertive, and see Helena off, rather than the other way around? Helena is an incredibly confident kitten (her mother is a Bengal) who likes the hoover, the bath, is an amazing climber, etc etc.
Helena is shut in one room at night so Herring has the run of the house then, and when Helena is getting a bit too boisterous, I tend to take her away and shut her somewhere else, particularly if Herring is trying to eat. If we are going out, I make sure they're separated, too.
We are going on holiday for a fortnight at the end of the month and Herring will stay here, and Helena will go and stay with a friend. I hope that'll remind Herring that she's boss, too... but I would welcome any other ideas really just to make sure Herring is as happy as possible with the new arrangement.
Thanks for any wisdom!
Kedi
 

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They will decide whose the boss. Adult cats are super patient with kittens. Once Helena is a bit older Herring will not put up with the kitten antics as much.

My vet told me to let my foster kittens in with my adult fosters because the adults teach kittens the rules of the cat world. I wouldn't worry to much about their relationship. It will work out on its own. Sounds like it is right on track.
 

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But, totally naturally, Helena wants to play, play, play, and Herring, being and old lady, is having none of it. Herring doesn't mind Helena being around at all, as long as she doesn't try to engage her in playing... but Helena's main aim is to jump on Herring's back and try to get her to wrestle with her.
When that happens Herring growls and / or hisses. Helena doesn't take no for an answer
To be honest, I think that would make for an amusing video! :D
 

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On the bottom of the advanced reply, under the submit button (in a box marked "Miscellaneous option", uncheck the box that says "Automatically embed media (requires automatic parsing of links in text to be on)."

I've done it to your quote to show you it works. :)
 

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If Herring's nature is "always been a scaredy cat", at 13 yrs. this isn't going to change. Helena a part Bengal is only going to get bigger, stronger, bolder and more rambunctious rather than backing off....imo. How you're managing Herring now is fine by keeping them separated when you go out or not there to supervise. I would let them be to work things out most of the time, but I would continue keeping them separate when you aren't there until you see Herring really assert herself and won't be harrassed if she doesn't want to be. As I said before this may not happen with her. The fact that she's running away out the cat flap indicates to me that she rather flee than fight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If Herring's nature is "always been a scaredy cat", at 13 yrs. this isn't going to change. Helena a part Bengal is only going to get bigger, stronger, bolder and more rambunctious rather than backing off....imo. How you're managing Herring now is fine by keeping them separated when you go out or not there to supervise. I would let them be to work things out most of the time, but I would continue keeping them separate when you aren't there until you see Herring really assert herself and won't be harrassed if she doesn't want to be. As I said before this may not happen with her. The fact that she's running away out the cat flap indicates to me that she rather flee than fight.
Yes, that's kind of what I feared. I'm interested to watch that when they're in the garden together, Helena is a lot less rambunctious - perhaps because there's so much else interesting to look at. Also that Herring, who has always buried her poo, has started leaving her poo right on the lawn (no more poo in the veggie patch! yay!) - I guess that's Herring's way of saying that this is her garden and she is being assertive like that.

The issue might arise in due course that we will want Helena to have free access to the garden as well, and get rid of her inside litter tray. That means that unless we can install another catflap in a different room (complicated, the way our windows work), at that point they will no longer be able to be separated. Hmmm, thinking aloud now - but I think that won't be an issue until probably mid September - and perhaps we might even wait until she's been spayed as she'd have to spend some time indoors again when that happens.

Will attempt to video, anyway. I can tell there's no malice in Helena - she just wants to have fun. I did suggest to my husband we got two kittens but he wasn't having any of it!
 
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