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Hi,

Our old cat died just under two months ago on the 9th May. We had at the time already arranged to get two kittens as we knew our boy was getting old and didn't want our other cat left on her own. The kittens came home two days after we lost our old cat, which I know was bad timing but had already been arranged and the breeder wouldn't let us postpone it.

The problem we have is our cat HATES the kittens (who are both girls) she hisses at them and swipes at them if they get too close but the worse thing is she won't come home!! We are lucky if we see her home once a day for a meal. When she is in if we have locked the cat flap so the kittens don't get out then she walks around yowling and crying making a horrible noise which goes right through you, constantly testing all the doors and windows to get out. If the cat flap is open she goes out after two minutes of coming in and we won't see her again for hours.

I knew it would take a while for her to get used to them but it is getting beyond a joke now. I don't understand why she won't accept them. Her behaviour is upsetting us and the dogs, the only one it doesn't bother is the kittens!! We are now on the verge of having to get rid of the kittens having just spent over 200 quid on their vaccinations because we can't stand living with the older cats behaviour any more!!! (she has been to the vet and is perfectly healthy with no medical reason for her behaviour)

What can I do to get her to accept them??? I am soooooo sick of hearing her growling!!!!! :evil:

On another note is it normal after 7 weeks or so for the kittens to still shy away when we try to stroke them or pick them up? They are fine if they come to us and will purr and accept fusses but if we try to pick them up or stroke them they just run away. We don't want to let them out yet because we're worried they'll just run away (plus if kittens are in the garden too the older cat is even less likely to come home)
 

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First, it depends on how you started the introductions. I got a new kitten about 3 weeks ago, he is 5 and a half months old, and I have my older cat and she is 4 and a half years old. You have to take introductions slow, for atleast the first 3 days, dont even let the cats see eachother. Keep the new kittens locked in a room that the older cat doesn't use as often as other rooms. Another good thing would have been to rub your older cat down with a damp towel atleast three times a day to get her scent caught it in, then when you want to get the kittens face to face with the older cat, thoroughly rub the kittens down with the damp towel to get the older cats scent on them, it can usually trick the older one into thinking it has kittens. Also, bring the older cat into the room of the kittens, and let the kittens explore the rest of the house, so they get used to eachothers smell. You can't just force the older cat to right away like the younger ones, because they feel threatened and dont like sharing their territory. In the beginning you want to show more affection to the older cat so she doesnt feel the kittens are a competition to her, and if the older cat doesnt hiss or bristle his fur when seeing the kittens, give her one of her favorite treats. Introductions between cats could take just a few days, to a few months, however, in some cases you will need to always keep them seperated or give away the kittens. You also don't want to put the older cat in too much stress because it could lead to health problems, and be prone to UTI's. The older cat may also develop behavioral issues like urinating and deficating outside of the litter box. Another thing, if the kittens or the cat attack, hiss, growl, or bristle their fur, seperate them immedietly, you want to start off with a positive and calm environment, and the second you see anything negative, seperate them for a break. After 3 weeks of having my new kitten, I still have to seperate him when I am not able to supervise, just to make sure they don't get into a fight or anything negative happens.
Personally I don't agree with cats being outdoor for health and safety reasons, but if you want the kittens to be outdoor, you need the older cat and the kittens to get along first. About them being shy, even after 7 weeks, some cats are very timid around their owners, and may take up to a few months to finally come around. It really depends on how much they were handled before you got them too. They may just not be too comfortable with human contact yet.
Hope this answers your questions and good luck! I'll come back to this post if you have further questions :p
 

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Good advice.
Your poor cat has been through a lot. Lost her friend and then these two invaders are dumped in her territory. No wonder she's upset! It's absolutely understandable and normal.
First thing I would do is get them separated. Google or search here for "Cat Introductions" and follow the protocol. Be patient as it can take several weeks to get them all living together, especially with such a bumpy start.
 

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Exactly, because they were just propped infront of eachother, the stress was immediate for the older cat, which will probably make it a bit more difficult to start over. But it takes time and patience.
 

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You may have to lock the cat flap for a while so the older cat has to deal with the new smells and presences in her territory. If she keeps escaping to her refuge outside, she'll never be forced to get used to them, and her attitude will continue! Believe me- Fella does the same thing ever since my sister brought her kitten home. He refuses to come in- sits outside the window glaring, and acts just foul around the house. Lately it has started to calm (especially now that Keanu kitten is neutered) though Fella still acts foul when the kittens get too close.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,

thanks for your replies. We have previously tried all the things you have suggested. We didn't just bring the kittens home and expect them to be friends. It was about a week before they met and even now we keep them apart most of the time purely because of the older cat's foul attitude. I have looked on the net for advice on how to introduce them and nothing has helped. i've done the suggestion of feeding her treats for good behaviour and we've tried giving her more attention/fusses than the kittens but she's not interested and just growls and walks off, even when the kittens aren't there!!

I've not even seen her in the past 24 hours so I need to do something before i loose her completely.
 
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