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Q: Help! VERY upset cat with new kitten

July 6, 2010 | By Stephanie | 5 answers | Expired: 1471 days ago

Stephanie

I have to neutered male cats, 2 years old, had them since the were kittens. They are good buddies. I brought a sweet little female kitten home today. I did let the older cats come to her. They sniffed, hissed, and went away. The kitten has a room of its own with litterbox, food, etc.

My husband went and brought the kitten down stairs and sat on the couch with it while my cat Grease was sitting on the couch. Grease got VERY upset, and my husband did not leave the room. I was VERY irritated to say the least. A few hours later he is still walking around growling at the other adult cat, and hissing. I have barely been able to touch him. Help!!

*Update* after a very long night things are not much better, I don't think either of my adult cats have used their litterbox- which is in a separate room. I know introductions should be made gradually, but that is not what happened. I need advice on my current situation please.

Both adults cats stayed in my bedroom and hopped on the bed and purred and got attention last night. Grease is still hissing at the stairway door because he can hear Bella upstairs. And I feel worse because Bella is very social and cries when I leave the room.

My adult cats go outside during the day fairly often. I want to let them out. I'm not worried about Buddy running away, but what about the most upset one, Grease? I live way in the country, very few neighbors or anything. They usually stay very close to the house. As I type I can hear Grease growling and meowing at Buddy. I am so stressed.

Readers' Answers (5)
Gail S.
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Jul 07, 2010

Introducing cats who are strangers to each other should be done in a gradual fashion.
Owners should make sure to associate enjoyable things such as food, attention, or play with
the other cat(s). Patience is extremely important in this process, and it is important to know
that you may be required to repeat steps in the introduction process multiple times.
Cats are naturally territorial in the wild, and will defend their home range and its associated
resources, such as food, resting areas, and litter boxes from other cats. In the case of the
house cat, this territorialism may manifest in your cat becoming apparently aggressive in an
attempt to “defend” his place in the household, as well as his “home range”. While this can
pose quite a challenge, with some time and commitment, most cats can learn to cope with
the new housemate and put major aggression issues aside. A settling in period is generally
recommended before introductions are made, since the initial stress of moving into your
home can cause fear or aggressive behavior to begin with. When the cats are tolerant of each other’s presence, give lots of positive reinforcement in the form of words, toys, and food. It is best not to scold or use harsh tones with the cats while they are in each other’s presence. This may cause them to associate unpleasantness with being near each other. Give special attention to the resident cat(s) to reassure them of your loyalty and love and help minimize jealousy. Give the new cat loving attention only during the resident cat's absence until such time as they become true friends. It was a good idea that you temporarily assign the new cat its own room. The door to this room should be kept closed, and the room should contain a litter box, dry food and water, as well as comforting objects such as a scratching post, comfortable bed, and cat toys. It is also smart to leave the cat’s carrier open on the floor so the cat can retreat there if he/she feels threatened.
Keep the cats in separate areas for as long as it takes to allow them the chance to become
desensitized to the smells and sounds of the cats in the other area. Let them smell each other through the door and spend a few minutes a day of time together as long as it is supervised. Continue these
meetings for several days or until they remain calm in each other's presence. If and when the cats are able to stay calm in each other's presence during these meetings,the length of the visits can be increased gradually each day. Depending on the personalities of the cats involved, this process may take a few days or maybe longer. If it appears that any fighting maybe be close to occurring while you are supervising, put the newcomer back in his/her room and proceed more slowly. If those supervised play times go well, you can begin to allow them to cohabitate in your home. Good luck!

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Jillian
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Jul 07, 2010

grease won't run away, but he would benefit more from having his own separate room. usually a few days in their own room where they can relax away from the stress calms them down. what grease is demonstrating by hissing at buddy is redirected aggression. cats are notorious for this and it has, on occasion, ruined some wonderful feline friendships. anytime you see redirected aggression, it's best to give kitty a vacation in their own room and then slowly reintroduce them to the cat{s} they're upset about.
your husband may have taken bella out of the room prematurely, but it's not the end of the world. keep her in her room {and yeah, she's gonna cry for you} and just go back to what you were doing.
if buddy seems to be more open to a new cat, feel free to start introducing him to bella first. sometimes it helps to have that one cat as common ground.
i didn't read all of what gail suggested, but what i did read sounds like she's on the right track. stay patient and try not to get frustrated. it will all work out in the end.

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Jillian
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Jul 07, 2010

grease won't run away, but he would benefit more from having his own separate room. usually a few days in their own room where they can relax away from the stress calms them down. what grease is demonstrating by hissing at buddy is redirected aggression. cats are notorious for this and it has, on occasion, ruined some wonderful feline friendships. anytime you see redirected aggression, it's best to give kitty a vacation in their own room and then slowly reintroduce them to the cat{s} they're upset about.
your husband may have taken bella out of the room prematurely, but it's not the end of the world. keep her in her room {and yeah, she's gonna cry for you} and just go back to what you were doing.
if buddy seems to be more open to a new cat, feel free to start introducing him to bella first. sometimes it helps to have that one cat as common ground.
i didn't read all of what gail suggested, but what i did read sounds like she's on the right track. stay patient and try not to get frustrated. it will all work out in the end.

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