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Hi everyone, am new here, although have been reading the forums for a few weeks here looking for tips on introducing new cats, as we recently got a new kitten, and were worried our existing cat would not like her.

We have tried feeding them together through doors, and also a pen (or cat carrier), with the response being a little hissing if i move the kitten too close.

We have also been getting the kittens smell around the place too, which the existing cat has picked up on. She reacted ok with this, although on occasions has growled a little and seemed a bit upset.

Finally we have also tried the 'let them get on with it' approach (as of today). The kitten wants to make friends and play, but the cat is very wary and hisses/growls when she gets too close. The kitten reacts by just holding back a safe distance and watching her.

This has been going on for almost a week now. I realise introductions can take time, but am i doing the right thing so far? Should i stop the 'letting them get on with it' approach?
 

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As long as you're there supervising, almost any approach is fine. Just make sure you're not forcing either of them on each other or that might lead to a fight. If you have an adult cat and are introducing a kitten, make sure you let the adult cat think he's in charge. I let Toby think he was the boss of the house still when I introduced Charlie by making sure Charlie wasn't eating his food, sleeping in his favorite spots, or playing with his toys. Of course a week after they met, Charlie took the reins and has since been the little boss of the house.

Since your cat is aggressive, make sure you give them plenty of time to get to know each other but do it very slowly and always supervise until you know they're ready. When the older one stops being more aggressive, move on to feeding them closer to each other and move the bowls closer each day if you see nobody's getting mad at one another. Then after that start using the "play together" method by playing with a toy together (do not use a toy that your older one loves already or it might get jealous, it's best to either buy a new toy or just use a sock, string, etc.). Do not let them sleep together anytime soon and make sure that when your older one is cleaning itself or is doing anything else that leaves her vulnerable that you do not let the kitten go to it just yet. Before you know it they'll be playing and cuddling like my little guys. :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

We have let them have extended supervised meetings. The older cat is still growling when the kitten gets too close, and I have noticed the kitten being submissive (by rolling over) if she feels scared. (whether or not that is good i dont know)

The older cat doesnt seem too bothered by the new cats smell around the place now so am hopeful things will be even better in another weeks time! :D
 

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It is normal for the kitten to be submissive. Imagine if you were introduced to your new room mate; a 15ft tall, 300lb, muscular guy (I'm thinking proportionate to your kitten vs. your cat). I bet you would be submissive too. It's also normal for the kitten to turn the tables around a couple of weeks later and boss the older cat around. :lol:

This is Charlie (white) in his new basket after he won the Take-Over-Toby's-Bed battle about a month after I got him. And that's Toby on the bed feeling sorry for himself. Little did Toby know, that was only the first loss in a series of battles to come Charlie eventually came to ow 2 of the 3 couches we have (only because I decided to help Toby defend one so he could have somewhere to sleep), 24/7 access to the window sill, the bean bag bed which he stole from me, and the printer table. Don't worry, after they started to get along, Charlie began sharing all the stuff.



When they start to get a long, make sure to have your camera ready so you can share their cuddle pictures with us! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They just managed to eat a meal together with only one bit of hissing.. this is progress :mrgreen:

Will get that pic real soon at this rate!
 

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Meowth said:
They just managed to eat a meal together with only one bit of hissing.. this is progress :mrgreen:

Will get that pic real soon at this rate!
Eating together without anyone being bitten or scratched is definite progress! Cats never eat next to someone who they see as a threat so you older cat is definitely getting used to the fact that your new kitty is not there to take over (yet).
 

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Hope you don't mind if I piggy-back on your thread. :) If no one turns up to adopt my 4 week old foster kitten Jonah by the time he's eating on his own and through his quarantine, I'll be trying to intro him to my 2 adults, Calvin and Lincoln. In the past I've done the babygate method (3 gates stacked in the doorway of the new cat's room so they can interact and get used to the idea w/out risk), but Jonah is too little to be allowed to be free in a big room right now and will be for a bit.

Has anyone tried leaving the kitten in a large crate so they can all sort of interact but w/out risk? Jonah is using a large Vari-Kennel (currently in the spare bedroom, with door kept closed), so it's solid on 3 sides (no way for the other cats to get a paw in and swipe him). Would putting this out into the living room and stepping back be a good idea? It seems similar to the babygate method but more appropriate for the Very Tiny.

I will, of course, also stock up on Feliway. ;) I have found that throwing catnip parties at the "border" point, and giving treats there also helps. Any suggestions welcome -- I'm sure both Meowth and I can make use of them!
 

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Elizabeth, that's a good idea, but I would consider it the last step. First, let them get used to each other's odors by exchanging bedding, then exchanging rooms (a total of a week or more), then allowing them to see each other, and finally meeting face to face under your supervision. Good luck! :)

PS A drop of vanilla on the back of each cat's neck will give them the same odor, and help with the intro. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My two cats are getting better with each other day by day now. We are now even at the point where we can go out and leave them together. I think they will become great friends :D

The kitten has pooped outside of the litter tray a couple of times, but apart from that both cats seem very settled together :)

I also tried a pen for the introductions, but our kitten hated it so much that we gave up on that idea.
 
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