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  1. #1

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    New kitten, older cat is having trouble adjusting

    My older cat (almost 5) is having trouble adjusting to my new kitten. She's 6 months old, and very affectionate; I'm already in love with her. However, my older cat is hissing and trying to bite me whenever she's near.

    I'm keeping her in a cage at night (while I sleep), and letting her out for a few hours at a time. Initially, my older cat was avoiding her and not approaching her, but lately he's gotten more aggressive...and I'm really worried about her, because he's 3 times the size of her!

    What can I do to keep the peace? She arrived yesterday, and today has been a big long fight (between me and him.) I haven't yelled at him, but I've been trying to give him affection whenever I can, and he keeps trying to bite me.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Sanesoul's Avatar
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    Honestly, I would give it more time. One day isn't enough. He's just got to adjust. I've got an old boy myself who despises new cats coming into the house, but he always adjusts, even if it takes a week or two.
    The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents--H.P. Lovecraft

    If I got rid of my demons, I'd lose my angels--Tennessee Williams

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member d24's Avatar
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    wow.... seriously this is not an over-night thing. Cats are extremely territorial and you've basically plonked a huge threat into his/her tiny world. Keep them apart for maybe a weeks or two, make sure they both sleep with the scent of the other cat (switch blankets/bedding regularly). Let them see eachother but always supervised/held.

    Gradually over time the older one will get used to the younger one, and the younger one is so tiny it doesn't know anything anyway

    It took my cats almost 3 months to stop hissing at eachother.
    "You act as though you haven't seen trees bow to an unborn child before?"

  4. #4

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    I know it's not an overnight thing, but I'd really like to be able to have them both out at once.

    I haven't left them unsupervised, and don't plan to. Whenever I'm not there, my kitten will have to stay in her cage. It's big enough that she doesn't seem in distress, and she likes it there too. She just prefers being out of her cage.

    I know it'll take at least a week, but a month? Geez, I hope not. I am not going to give up, and my older cat will have to adjust to her (not giving her back to the adoption agency for anything), but I just wish that they could be friends.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Aww. Yeah, putting her in her cage at night is a good thing. You don't want to turn old guy's territory overnight into a free-cat zone.

    Cats gets stressed out pretty easily. Mostly, it's going to be your older cat, who has to do the adjusting. Poor guy. It sucks for them. But with time and with your understanding, more often than not they will come to a cat-agreement of some sort.

    They might not be friends, though they might, but even peaceful co-existence would be good. I know sometimes, just based on personalities, some cats never do get really comfortable with each other. And some cats just prefer being one cat shows.

    I had a kitten for a while who I had to introduce to my older cat, my girl. She is not only very much a mammas girl, for a cat, but she did the whole hissing and aggression thing to let me know she didn't like kitten taken her space and role. What worked there was that each of them were given their own "spaces" that were only theirs. The other cat was not allowed, not at the beginning. It was a big fight for my bed in the beginning, bc I had allowed my older cat to sleep there with me for years, and I was dumb in that I allowed kitten to come in there too for a while. Bad move!

    Older cats too, I think a lot of times, just get annoyed with kitten energy sometimes, especially when they aren't used to being around it. Like some older people start to get annoyed at little kids when they aren't used to that chaos. lol. He'll need to set his boundaries for her, which is what he is doing, since kittens don't know any cat etiquette.

    My older cat ended up being like a teacher to the kitten, teaching her manners, and your old cat might do that with your kitten.

    Make sure before you pet older guy that he isn't in a stressed out state. If he's biting, dude is stressed. Make sure he has somewhere that he can safely go to without being bugged, kitten, or petted.

    kay, enough rambling, good times. Good luck.

  7. #6

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    That was really helpful, itsallgrand.

  8. #7

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    I just realized that I'm taking things way too fast. The kitten spent most of the day out of her cage, and my older cat spend most of the day in a deep depression.

    I need to:

    - Keep my kitten contained in the large kennel, and let her out for only a few mins at a time, to give my older cat some breathing room
    - I need to give it at least a week like this
    - And I need to be patient.

    I think I jumped into this, expecting things to go perfectly, and for them to love each other. I should know by now that cats aren't like that. The kitten is innocent, she doesn't know what's wrong, but my older cat was so used to being the only cat that this is really hard on him.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightbulbSun View Post
    I just realized that I'm taking things way too fast. The kitten spent most of the day out of her cage, and my older cat spend most of the day in a deep depression.

    I need to:

    - Keep my kitten contained in the large kennel, and let her out for only a few mins at a time, to give my older cat some breathing room
    - I need to give it at least a week like this
    - And I need to be patient.

    I think I jumped into this, expecting things to go perfectly, and for them to love each other. I should know by now that cats aren't like that. The kitten is innocent, she doesn't know what's wrong, but my older cat was so used to being the only cat that this is really hard on him.
    Old cats do better when you get an adult cat who is past the kitten stage. I think people forget to pick the best match for their current pet. But the kitten is here now. You are wise to give the arrangement more time, esp if your cat has had your undivided attention for years. And I might give it even more than a week.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by abitbroken View Post
    Old cats do better when you get an adult cat who is past the kitten stage. I think people forget to pick the best match for their current pet. But the kitten is here now. You are wise to give the arrangement more time, esp if your cat has had your undivided attention for years. And I might give it even more than a week.
    Well, I adopted her. If I hadn't, she would probably have been poisoned, since the mobile home she was living at before was overrun by feral cats...and teenagers were going around poisoning cats.

    Plus, I fell in love with her, and she with me. I couldn't not take her home. She probably would have been euthanized, and I would have THAT on my conscience.

  11. #10

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    But I understand what you mean by getting an older cat. It's just that I wouldn't have forgiven myself if I hadn't adopted this kitten.

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