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Question about my two cats... Animal experts needed!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by BurnEmDown, May 11, 2009.

  1. BurnEmDown

    BurnEmDown Emperor

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    So first, some backstory: (if you don't want to read all this you can skip to the end)

    I have a big, beautiful, loving cat. I've had him for about 4-5 years now. He's not 100% ours, he travels around to the neighbours too, but he spends his sleeps here and eats here too, so you could definetly say he's our cat, or rather, we're his humans :).
    Now, a week and a half ago my friend adopted a female kitten, all of a sudden I wanted one too, so a week ago we found her bothers and sisters (their mother abandoned them at my friend's sister's friend's house) and I took one too, really cute. We took her to the vet, he said she's a few weeks old and that we should soon give her some shots, but not yet, we asked him if there could be trouble between him and her (btw, he's castrated or however its spelled, so that he won't fight with other cats around the neighbourhood). The vet said they should get along fine, but it might take them a week or two.
    It's been a week now, and whenever the kitten tries to get close to the cat, he does that sound cats make when they're angry at other cats, and runs away.
    For the last 3 days he keeps going in other people's houses, (until now it was only their backyard) and they've been really annoyed by this. Whenever I try to pet him, he seems frightened, and sometimes even tries to scratch me, I guess it's because he smells the kitten's smell and is afraid, but also when he "meows", I can hear in his voice he's sad, maybe even jealous. Now my mother wants to give away the kitten, and my sister who doesn't understand the big cat's pain, wants to kick him away and keep the kitten.
    I really can't choose between them, I like both of them, I can't imagine giving one of them away, tho if I had too I bet I'd give away the kitten...

    So basically I'm asking, will my big male (castrated) cat who's been around for 4-5 years get along with my new, few weeks old, 1 week living here, small female kitten?
     
  2. Adrogans

    Adrogans Quiet Laughter...

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    Intorduce them together slowly. have the kitten in a section of the home that the older cat cannot get too and then put them in two different cat crates and let them meet where they cannot hurt one another. That worked for us.

    Just keep increasing the time together and remove the crates and see how they do. Some cats will get pissy and others wont care.
     
  3. Phlegmak

    Phlegmak Deity

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    Neutering cats doesn't prevent fighting. However, fertile toms will pick fights. Neutered cats will still get in the occassional fight.

    Sounds normal to me. Your neutered male will probably always do that, but over time, the distance the new cat has to be to him for him to make that noise will diminish. In other words, the kitten can little by little get closer to the older cat. But not too close, or the older cat will attack. It'll probably be that way forever.

    Can't explain this change in behavior. Perhaps he's starving?

    Possibly he's being mistreated by other humans and is now very wary. You said he's going into people's houses and that annoys the people, so he's probably getting chased out frequently.

    I can't tell for certain, but if your sister is literally kicking him, that'll make him much more wary around humans, you included.

    Keep the kitten. The older cat will slowly adjust.
     
  4. McManus

    McManus Thinkers friend

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    It takes time.

    Hissing is completely normal for cats to do when they don't know each other, it's just their way of telling each other not to get too close or comfortable. We have two cats also, and when one visits the vet, the other one starts hissing at her because she smells funny... It takes a few days for them to adjust to each other again..

    Now, if the cats are growling at each other, thats different. Hissing is the basic spitting "shhht" sound they make, but if they make a yowling, low growl, then you know that if they get too close to each other they might fight for reals. With hissing they might take a slap at each other but growling means they are really not liking each other..

    It usually depends on the cats in question how long they get used to each other. We had a third cat, who unfortunately got sick quite bad and passed away. But when she came as a kitten the other two cats hissed at her a lot, and she was kinda lonely at first. But she was also a very headstrong cat, and as the others hissed less, and stopped slapping her, she just went lying next to them even though they hissed, and eventually our cats got used to her.

    My point is this: your cat is feeling uncomfortable for the moment, animals might take even a month to adjust, they smell things are different and they need to get used to the way they are. If your cat is growling and acting really aggressive, the kitten might not make it, but if its just basic hissing and taking a break, I'd say your cat will get used to the new kitty. Just give him time, he'll learn :)

    EDIT: oh yes, and don't try to force them to get to know each other. They will adjust in their own time, so forcing them close to each other will possibly escalate the situation. Really, no need to force them, just let the kitten stay and your cat will get used to her smell eventually.

    And the point about him being wary is probably just the fact that you smell funny, and are probably acting not normally, at least in his perspective, what with the new cat around... Just let him come to you, don't force him to do anything he seems to dislike or be wary of... Cats adjust nicely, just give it a month.
     
  5. RomeoTheCat

    RomeoTheCat Warlord

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    If the cats are fixed they will learn to get along.
    Just let them do their own thing & they will learn to respect the others space.
     
  6. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Narz comes running to the scene!

    *fanfare*
     
  7. BurnEmDown

    BurnEmDown Emperor

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    Thank you guys for all your helpful advices, and very quick responses too :)
    I guess I should stop worrying and ask the vet in about a week or so if they still won't get along, maybe he'll give me some tips on making the older cat more passive towards the new kitten. While I'm at it, what's the best way to teach my kitten to "go to the bathroom" only in our backyard?
     
  8. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    How'd you know? :)

    Anyway, what everyone else says. Cats are territorial so any new addition will take time (probably a couple of years) to be truly accepted into the household. This is why it's always best to get cats/kittens together. It does get easier though, it should every week as they gradually acclimate to each other. Likely the little one will make countless attempts to play with/bond with the older one who will rebuke her each time but gradually become less irritable about it (hopefully).

    I've heard stuff about getting your older cat used to the new kitten's smell, etc. but I don't know about all that, I think it just takes time. Always be nice to the older one when the new one's around & make sure they both have plenty of space (make sure they're never trapped in a small room together or anything).
     
  9. musekick

    musekick Loves a good question

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    Keep an eye on it and when it looks like it's getting ready to go, pick it up and put it in the backyard. It should catch on pretty quickly, especially since it's a female. They just seem to get the bathroom thing faster for some reason.
     
  10. Annex

    Annex Tyranny and Mutation

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    Pretty much what musekick just said. My parents used to have a cat who learned to use a litterbox initially but as he spent more time outside he would use the world as his toilet for the most part. When I was growing up I raised four male kittens and I never had any trouble training them to go to the bathroom in the right places. I guess the key would be start young in getting her used to being outside when she has to go.
     
  11. SlowwHand

    SlowwHand King

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    They'll probably get along.

    You realize the error of letting them roam outdoors? Very life-shortening.
     
  12. Furiey

    Furiey No Longer Just Lurking

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    How about keeping the kitten out of part of the house for a while so that your older cat still has some place to call "his" territory where he doesn't have her smell around all the time and where you can give him individual attention. This may help him feel more secure until they get use to each other.
     
  13. FriendlyFire

    FriendlyFire Codex WMDicanious

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    Dont forget to file / nail clip thelargr cats claws for the moment.
    Carefully retract the plaw and expose the claws and then using a nail cliper just snip off the last 1-2mm (no more))
    Use the nail clip file (some clippers have them) to file if off.

    The Claws will grow back but for your new kitten it should be done.
     
  14. Annex

    Annex Tyranny and Mutation

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    Indoor cats do live longer, and usually its safer for them to be inside (depending on where you live) but I think cats get much more enjoyment in being outside than inside. And of course when they're young you should supervise them outside.
     
  15. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    Get them high on catnip and they will be friends in no time.
     
  16. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Keep the older cat indoors for a while, and the kitten in a seperate room. For a couple of days at least.
     
  17. RomeoTheCat

    RomeoTheCat Warlord

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    Just let them do their own thing. They will work it out.

    My cat Romeo is 15 years old.
    My cat Ender was put down due to cancer about 3 years ago.
    I got Julie from a shelter a few months after Ender passed.
    At first Romeo would hiss & growl & spit. After a while he got used to the idea that Julie was here & was not going to leave.
    Now the are the best of friends.
     

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