Thanks! Ollie was our choice...his full name is Oliver Von Stiglet (needless to say the von stiglet was the OH's choice, long story!).
Samantha came with her name but we've added Von Affe...as she looks like a monkey and Affe means monkey in German and well we didn't want her to feel jealous of Ollie's long name We're calling her Sam or Sammy.
So I was hoping to post this in the behaviour forum but I guess I'm still too new to be able to post there.
We got Ollie back at the beginning of August when he was 13 weeks old, he's absolutely fantastic friendly to everyone who comes in the house he loves to be picked up cuddled, petted played with the more attention the better. He's also really adaptable we regularly take him to my OH's parents for the weekend and he loves it...especially terrorizing their 2 year old blue point siamese Tippet. I sat terrorize but actually they get along really well we've had no issues from their very first introduction they're absolutely fine together even when it's been weeks in between visits.
We noticed that Ollie really seemed to enjoy spending time with Tippet so we thought it over and decided to adopt another cat of a similar age so that he would have a friend to keep him company on a more full time basis (we both work during the day).
The breeders who we got Ollie from were trying to re-home Samantha and after going to meet her and seeing how calm and super friendly she was and with a lot of discussion with the breeder we decided to bring her home. In case you're interested the breeders decided to spay and re-home her and she just didn't grow large enough to breed. She's only 6lbs and they didn't want to risk her health, she's 18 months.
Well the introductions have not gone as planned, we have a safe room for her we limited contact and gradually introduced them and although it seemed to go fairly well...there was some hissing and growling but generally a lot more ignoring and they had no problem eating with their backs to each other. However last night when we let Sam out of her room to roam around and get to know the house more, Ollie was sleeping on my lap and she came into the room. saw him and then went for him hissing, growling, teeth and claws out. Ollie freaked out we did a time out and Sam went back in her room.
I'm concerned that we may have pushed the introductions too fast. Sam is a strange combination of being really timid and really confident, she was so scared the first night that she pooped on the bed and then vomited right after eating the next morning. She's fine now, using the litter box and no sickness but we obviously know she's really affected by change and stressful situations. However we're finding it tought to separate them as Sam really wants out of her safe room, she cries and paces to be let out she really wants to explore.
Today we switched them over and left Ollie in our room for the day and allowed Sam access to the rest of the house so she could start becoming more comfortable. When we got home this evening I cracked a door open and we each fed them on either side of the crack...apart from a teeny growl from Ollie they ate without any fuss practically nose to nose although obviously they couldn't get to each other.
This is a really long post and I know introducing cats has been covered a lot I'm just finding it hard to find experiences where the resident cat is actually younger than the new cat and that they're both still juveniles per say and it's the new cat who's being more aggressive.
I don't know whether to try going completely back to the beginning with the separation but it's so hard because a. Sam wants out of that room and b. she's a siamese/oriental she really needs the human contact. Trouble is there's only so much we can disturb Ollie's routine as he's our resident cat and he's also a siamese who really needs to be around his people!
You don't say how long ago you adopted Sam. If it's been less than a week, then I'd say just take things a little slower. If it's been more than a week, then I agree with Marie. Try to find a way to allow the cats to see and smell each other, without being able to physically get to each other. Baby gates would be one way. Other alternatives would be an interior screen door, or just opening the door a crack with a door stopper (you will need to use a door stopper on both sides of the door).
Try to have "good things" happen on either side of the barrier (baby gate, door, etc.). So, feed them on either side, play with them on either side (that's easier with gates), give them treats, etc. Continue to do that until they seem to be comfortable with one another -- there's no hissing or growling, they're playing footsies under the gate or the door, etc. -- and then let them out together for short, supervised play sessions. Gradually allow them out for longer and longer periods.
You should also put Ollie in the safe room and let Sam out in the rest of the house for an hour or so each evening. That way, they will both be depositing their scent in each other's areas, which will create a "communal" scent, and that's one way that the cats start to feel like they both belong.
You or your OH should try to spend whatever time you can in the safe room, even if you're just reading a book, working on a laptop, etc. I know from experience that it can be frustrating, but in most cases with cats this age, things will work out with a little bit of time.
We've had Sam for exactly a week now, we did the feeding again this morning on either side of the cracked door...Ollie hissed a couple of times and then we did a bit of playing but I guess Sam was surprised by Ollie's paw coming through the door as she went for him again.
The only concern I have about baby gates is that they're both really good jumpers they'd have absolutely no issue getting over one. The breeder suggested that we try going back to the beginning, separate them for a bit keep switching areas and then when we introduce put sam back in her carrier and then let Ollie sniff around, the only thing is when he's hissing and growling are we supposed to let him/them get on with it as they're obviously both safe or should we try and distract?
I have no issue going more slowly it's just that neither of them wants to be cooped up, we are spending time with them both in either room...we took turns staying with Sam through the night the first couple of nights so she would be alone as little as possible and we're trying to make sure they both get a lot of positive attention.
Thanks for the tips, we're definitely trying to take it slow...she's just so vocal about being let out all the time that we feel guilty about keeping her cooped up and then we switch them boy is Ollie annoyed with us for the same thing lol
I guess we just want to make sure that we're not doing anything horribly wrong.
I hear your point on the baby gate, and we should have been more specific. Most members here, who have used baby gates, have used two (one stacked on top of the other) to avoid the business of jumping over.
A door open a crack or a carrier can serve the same purpose, although I would tend to react differently in the case of hissing or growling in each of those two situations. For example, if they were separated by a door that was open just a crack, then I wouldn't worry about hissing/growling by one cat, because the other cat would be free to leave the door area if he or she were bothered by the other cat's hissing/growling. However, if one were inside a carrier and the cat outside were hissing/growling, I would tend to distract because the cat inside the carrier has no way to avoid the hissing/growling, which could add to the inside cat's stress.
I understand how you feel about the one cat being locked up. That said, provided she has everything she needs (litter box, food, water, toys), it's not the end of the world. My introduction took three months (relax, that's not the norm!) and Abby was locked up in her safe room for that time. She got used to it after a while. I too felt guilty, but there wasn't much I could do about it, other than spend whatever time I could with her.
On the plus side, you're not doing anything horribly wrong.
We've created a 'door block' that has large holes in it so they can smell and see each other rather that just through the crack, it's just strange though as they don't react to each other's smell in fact it seems like Sam couldn't care less until Ollie pokes his paw through and then she lunges...like slams into it. It's definitely not playful, then she walks away and ignores him. Meantime Ollie's just sitting on the other side waiting for something to happen and then walks away in boredom when it doesn't lol. There's not even much hissing or growling, I think we've had two hisses today.
It just sorta seems to me like maybe Sam would be happier in a one cat household (strange as she was living with 4 previously).
I also know it's only been a week, these things take time but I can't help but be anxious and think maybe trying to integrate another cat wasn't the right decision, or maybe we should have gotten a kitten instead of one older than Ollie.
Are you able to play with them on either side of your door block? (I don't have a mental image of what that looks like, so it's hard to me to figure out how easy/difficult playing would be.) In any event, if you are able to play with them on either side of the door, I'd give that a try for perhaps 5 or 10 minutes at a time a few times a day and see their reaction.
lol it's an mdf board we've drilled holes in so they can see and sniff but not kill each other!
We've tried eating, treats and playing Ollie's pretty scared it seems at the moment (he hides behind me from a safe distance) so won't really get close unless there's food out (and they've had way too much already!) Sam isn't really interested in playing at all...she's super cuddly so she just cries to be petted and then curls up next to you. She shows zero interest in going near the door unless there's food, she just lunged at Ollie again when he did get the courage to move closer, he was sticking his paws through the little holes and she doesn't hiss or growl before hand she just strikes and it's definintely not batting. He takes off like a rocket and she just sits there and then pads away and goes to sleep. She really just doesn't seem to want to interact with him, she's not scared of him at all it's just weird as obviously Ollie is the resident cat AND he's bigger, I mean she's pint-sized in comparison but she's defo the Alpha at the moment.
Given her age, Sam likely will be the alpha, at least for the first year or so until Ollie reaches social maturity (which happens between the ages of 1 and 3, most typically at or around 2). Ollie is still a kitten, so his territorial instincts are not yet fully developed.
Sam's overt aggression is unusual, since cats usually posture (hiss/growl/etc.) rather than engage in immediate confrontation...although perhaps she's a bit braver because she knows she's protected by the door. You might ask the breeder if Sam often displays this type of aggressive behavior. If not, then about the only thing you can do is to give her a bit more time to see if she'll settle down. Also, try switching their places for a while each night (although I suspect you're already doing that).