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Yesterday we picked up two adorable kittens from our local Humane Society. A girl and a boy. The cats shared a room, and were familiar with each other, and seemed to get along.

Once home, they would explore, run around kitchen at first. In the kitchen, we had their litter box and food/water on opposite sides of the room. Then after several hours, we let them explore another section of the house in addition to the kitchen. I started to noticed one hissing at the other when they both were in the kitchen. It started with the boy hissing at the girl when she would get close, but the girl wouldn't respond. After a while, the girl would hiss back, and both started growling. It's not constant, just randomly when they were closer. They didn't seek each other out for confrontation.

Over the night, we didn't have any issues, as we let them roam through our bedrooms.

This morning while they are in the living room with my children, the hissing and growling began again. This time the girl is the main one hissing, and the boy is responding. Again, they are not seeking each other out for confrontation, just hissing and growling randomly when they are close as they explore. One instance the girl swatted at the boy, when he explored in her area. There has not been an actual fight, nor is hissing or growling constant or overly aggressive. A simple clap or shooing one away ends it quickly.

I've never adopted two kittens at the same time, so I have some questions:

Is this common?
Is this a problem?
Is this just play?
If it is a problem, what is the best approach to helping calm and acclimate the kittens?
(I thought since they shared a room, they would be acclimated)

Thank you in advance for any guidance.

Ryan
 

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You didn't mention whether the two kittens were together in the same cage or room when they were the Humane Society. If they were separated, then this is normal behavior as they are "strangers". You can make them feel more attached if you take a cloth and rub it all around the muzzle area and the back end of kitten under the tail of the girl kitty and then rub the cloth on the top of the head of the male kitty and do a rub on the male in the same places and rub it on the girl's head. The mixing of the scents usually makes them friendlier as they are smelling their own scent on the other kitty. Also get a wand toy with feathers on the end(sometimes called "DaBird"), and flick it like a bird flying between the kitties---let them catch it from time to tie, and/or get a long piece of cord and drag around the room on the floor in a snakelike motion with the kittens and see if you can get them to follow it. When they start to tire of playing.....give them some treats and lots of praise and petting. Have at least a couple of play sessions like this a day, and they'll soon look forward to coming together for fun and treats. All the best!
 
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