New Kitten - need advice
I brought home a new kitten tonight that had been found abandoned at a nearby university. She's the first cat I've gotten since my cat Mirrya died four years ago from kidney disease. I expected there to be trouble adjusting since my twin has a 3 year old cat (the one pictured in my profile) but did not expect WWIII to brake out between them. All they do is hiss and growl at each other so I have a question to all cat owners. How do you peacefully merge a new cat with an old one? Or is this something they will decide on their own in a few days? I hope it happens sooner rather than later because not only do they hiss at each other but so far both have taken to hissing and growling at us too. Especially my twin's cat because she's spoiled and I think she feels we betrayed her. Any advice is appreciated.
I wish I had some solid advice for you, but I'm going through the exact same thing right now. I took home an abandoned kitten last Monday and my mother and son pair at home are not happy about it. There has been a lot of hissing and fighting, but over the last 2 days I've noticed it slowing down some. You might try using Feliway to try and calm them some, that is what I'm going to do. I used it before with my old fat man (who is no longer with me :'() and my current male and it helped some. It isn't cheap, the diffuser is around $42.00 and the refills are around $25.00, but it put an end to my males "marking their territory" and saved my carpet! When I had talked about cat integration with my vet previously, he recommended having someone besides the owner introduce the cat to the household, but it sounds like it's too late for that. He also recommended extra attention to the established cats and "just give it time".
I had this problem (the hissing and growling) when I adopted my last cat. It took about 2 stressful weeks, but the girls finally worked it out. They are best friends now. Since one was a small kitten and my established cat was an adult, I put the kitten in the bathroom (with food, water and a litterbox) when I was going to be out of the house.
I've heard anywhere from 6 hours to 6 months it takes for them to "get used" to each other.
I'm sure much like people and dogs, some cats never get a long with each other..but unlike people and dogs, most cats can co-exist fairly well even w/ a cat they don't like..they just avoid each other.
Also, since this kitten is of unknown origin, you might want to keep it away from your other cat until you get it to a vet. You don't want your kitty picking up unknown diseases and parasites.
My parents are constantly getting new additions (they just got 2 more kittens - we're up to 5 now :) ), and they've found that introducing them gradually works the best. They keep the kittens in a smaller room most of the time, and hold them up to show the older cats every once in a while. With the last one, the older ones got used to seeing her before they actually had to interact. It still took a while for them to actually like each other, but this seemed to keep them from being aggressive.
I have two cats that had to work this out. One good thing I have read: if you can get them calm enough to brush, you can use the same brush on both. It's supposed to mingle their scents and help them relax around each other.
Congratulations on your new little one!!!! :)
Now what I would suggest, is if hey are really hurting one another, put them both into cat carries and then put the carriers in close proximity to one another...so they get used to one another but cannot hurt one another...
If they are not hurting one another...just give it more time...maybe establish their own, septate territories...Your cat has your room your twins cat has her room, etc...
I began with one cat and yearly brought a new one home (I stopped at 4 cats) and I found that the cats realy took care of it themselves. There was initially alot of hissing and unhappy kitties, but they eventually got used to each other, especially when it came time to feed them (mine shared 2 bowls).
Majicka's right - when they get tired of hissing at each other, they'll find their own place to go and "hide". I also found that giving a bit more attention to the older cat helps them not feel as neglected.
Hang in there - it will get better! :)
Everyone has great advice.
Congrats on the new addition!
most of the literature i've read on introducing says to keep them apart and swap out their bedding/combs/ect so that they can smell each other but not be threatened/scared of the other. you can also feed them on opposite sides of the door, so that they associate the other's smell with good things (the food). i'm not a believer in the "let them have at each other method" because it is stressful for them. sure, the slow smells then introduction takes some time but the cats probably appreciate it more in the end. i did this with my cats for a week and when they met they were okay, just a couple swats. the food sharing really helped them "get along".