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Discussion Starter #1
I recently got a new kitten(~2.5 months) and the change is not going smooth for my 12yr old cat. I think my older cat is feeling threatened by Taco, or something. She spends all the time she can outside and has stopped using the litter boxes(goes outside). I kept Taco in her own room for the first two-ish weeks but now she basically has the run of the house.

The older cat will hiss, growl and swat at Taco when ever she gets close enough. Taco just wants to play, but has learnt that there is no playing with her. She tries to be submissive and will lay down, but I don't know if my older cat knows 'cat language' because she was orphaned at about a month and all other cats she met try to beat her up.

My mother says Taco has to go since the older cat is adjusting so poorly, but I don't want to give her away. Any way I can help them tolerate each other?
 

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Honestly, what's happening is entirely normal and to be expected. I always caution people w/ older cats against adopting kittens--it's just not appreciated by the older kitty! If you MUST have a kitten, 2 is better b/c they will play w/ each other and are therefore more likely to leave the oldster at home.

You also probably rushed the intro a bit. Using 3 babygates stacked in the doorway to the new cat's room (for up to sevearl weeks) to allow them to get used to the idea w/out actual contact eases the transition.

All this said, you can make it work. They are unlikely to ever love each other, but the older cat (name???) may eventually get used to the idea. Many years ago, I adopted a kitten (Loki) when my cat Lenny was 13--Lenny detested Loki (and he was a TOTAL PITA so I can't blame her!), but I felt that even hating him gave Lenny something to do w/ her days (indoor cats). It was not a great situation but we made it work.

You will need to be the other kitten. I.e., you will need to play with Taco A LOT. Get several different interactive cat toys (Da Bird, Catdancer, etc.) and spend 15-20 min. several times a day (at least 3--more if you can) wearing him out. He should be TIRED when you finish. Also provide plenty of good toys he can play w/ when you aren't there (TurboTrack is a popular one).

One caution: I see that you let your cats go outside. It is possible that if this situation is annoying enough for your older kitty, she will leave. I recommend for this and many other reasons that you make your cats indoor only cats.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I brought Taco home because she was abandoned by her mother and skin and bones. For the first week or two after Taco was let out of her room, they didn't really have much to do with each other, as Taco was still afraid of everything and not feeling well so she just hid. They were introduced at far that way I guess. I wanted to keep them separate until she got her booster shots but my dad brought her out and she jumped out of his arms.

I doubt our old cat will take off, she is pretty dependant on us. She doesn't even like to leave the yard anymore and mostly just sits on the deck sunning. I'm undecided if I will let Taco outside once she is older.

And the poor older cat doesn't have a name... We never could get around to deciding one!

I've thought about bringing Taco to my riding stable (where I found her) to play with the other cats there, sort of a day trip thing. There are 3 cats who are all ~a year old there, but then there would be introductions all over again...
 
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