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  1. #1

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    A little help from the cat owners please?

    Ok as some of you know, I got a new kitten a few days ago. Unfortunately I couldn't do the normal separating of Chandler (the new guy) from JT (my 6 year old kitty) for a few days before attempting a face to face meeting. I don't have a spare room I could use as a "quiet room". There's too many cords/cables here in the computer room so I'd be scared he'd get tangled up & strangle himself.

    So what I've been doing is keeping them as separated as possible. JT pretty much stays in "his" chair here in the computer room and I try to keep Chandler in the livingroom. JT can come and go between rooms as he pleases since he's the "ruler of the roost". But the times JT spots Chandler, he growls & hisses then goes back to his chair... or he growls and hisses from his "throne" if Chandler comes wandering in here. Poor Chandler just sticks his tail between his legs. He's just a baby so he doesn't understand when he only wants to make friends.

    Now I know JT will eventually warm up to Chandler as he lived with 2 other cats for a year. But that was 5-6 years ago and I remember it took him maybe a month to get used to the other cats (he hid under the bed a lot). I'm not pushing things as I know they need to get to know each other on their own terms. And I'm giving JT lots of attention to show I still love him and he's my #1 guy. I think he realizes that but he's still mad about the situation (and not so much mad at me as he was a couple days ago so that's a start). As long as JT grows to tolerate Chandler and quits the growling & hissing, that's all I ask. But I'd love to see them become friends if possible.

    My question.... do any of you have any tips on making the transition less stressful for the 3 of us since I don't have room for the traditional "meeting ritual"?

  2. #2

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    Actually I've never done the whole separation time with any of my cats.... was I supposed too? heh. Anyways...

    I would get a dog kennel and put your new kitty in it for a little bit so they can get used to each other scents and stuff. You could easily fit a litter box, food and water in the kennel. We've had to use one for one of our kitties when they came home from the vets. Then maybe you could let them have some play time.

    Something a bit odder... my sister watches the dog whisperer on National Geographic channel and she said when he has two animals like yours (dominant vs submissive/frightened). He would take the submissive animal while someone held down the dominant one, and rub the submissive animal on the dominant so then they shared scents.. *shrugs* I haven't had a chance to test it, but she tried it on her small dog and one of their cats who the dog would chase and it worked for her.

    Whatever you try, good luck and I hope they become friends soon.
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  3. #3

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    It just takes time. Our cats were 2 and 5 when we got a dog. They were so mad and hid from us for almost a month. But eventually they realized that the dog was not going away and go used to her.
    They (the cats) know that they are in charge.

  4. #4

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    I would say time is the best policy, I think doing anything else might be forcing them into a situation they aren't ready for. Having three cats myself, I understand the whole "this is my space and you will listen" attitude that cats give each other. They will get used to one another, time is all you need. I would say if it's been 3 months or something, then I would worry.

  5. #5

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    I would get a dog kennel and put your new kitty in it for a little bit so they can get used to each other scents and stuff. You could easily fit a litter box, food and water in the kennel. We've had to use one for one of our kitties when they came home from the vets. Then maybe you could let them have some play time.
    I live in a 2 bedroom apartment so I don't have room for a dog kennel. I also can't afford something like that.

  6. #6

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    I think a lot of what offends the older cat is the new odor around the house...the smell tends to set them off. We at one point had 4 cats in the house -- all were brought in in this same, older cat(s) and a kitten situation, and it's always hissing and angry-ness the first few days, and then it gets better. I would let the little one toodle around as he pleases, but you may want to put him in the kitty carrier to sleep at night. Just make sure that you give your older cat attention and let them know that it's ok. If the little one is harassing the older cat, you'll want to divert his attention. In the past with our cats, it's usually been about a week before the older one is ready to tolerate the kitten.

  7. #7

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    We did the dog kennel thing (just a small one, so it fits in a room without taking up much space) and put the kitten in it. They all got to smell each other etc. I would take the kitten out a lot and let her play in the one room while the other two stayed on the outskirts. Yes, there was hissing, but now they all get alone fine (mostly). They even all sleep on our bed together.

    It is stressful, but it will get better.

    If you want to borrow our kennel, let me know (where are you??) Never mind. You are in Florida - I forgot!

  8. #8

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    They're refering, I think, to a dog crate. Either one a dog (or cat) travels in, or is the "abode".

    We have two cats: Plika (3 years) and Kiybu (4 years). Kiybu was NOT pleased when we brought Plika onto the scene, but I think it made things easier that Plika was 2 weeks old and basically was in a kennel if not in our hands for his protection.

    Kiybu was pretty POed for about a month until the scent of Plika so permeated the apartment that he just kind of dealt with it. Plus, I think Plika didn't really resemble a cat until then. Kiybu was probably thinking, "What the heck is that rat?"

    All it takes is time. You don't need to worry about the whole acclimation thing so much because the scents and everything are already all over your apartment. Just give JT some time to get over his bad self. His ego is hurt ("But I thought we had a good thing going!") and he'll act like it for a while. Continue to show him the love you feel for him without neglecting Chandler's needs and everything will work out.

    For the record: Kiybu and Plika are pretty much inseparable, like brothers. But don't tell them I told you.
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  9. #9

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    Thanks for the advice. JT lets Chandler get close sometimes but hisses as if to say "Don't get too close, pipsqueak." I know he'll eventually get over it. Just takes time. JT seems to understand I still love him though as I give him extra attention. I'm going to buy him a pack of Red Vines later as a "peace offering" (he loves Red Vines).

    Last night though, JT came into the livingroom and Chandler went to pounce at JT's twitching tail (because it was something that was moving). JT didn't lash out at him, but turned and hissed as if to say, "Cut it out!" Chandler seemed to basically get the message but I can tell he just wants to be friends with JT and play.

    I actually have to shut my bedroom door at night so I can sleep in peace, otherwise Chandler keeps trying to jump on the bed (not to sleep... he wants to play). This morning I opened the door to find both my boys waiting for me. JT was on the floor and Chandler was on the kitty barrel thingy.

  10. #10

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    I had a cat (Joxer the Mighty Kitty - Joxer for short) for about 6 months to a year before I rescued my second cat (Virgil - you have to have seen Xena Warrior Princess almost to the end to get that) and he was only 2 or 3 weeks old when I got him. We had a similar situation. There was no room to be common, there was Joxers room, at the time, we had the space.... there was our bedroom and the front room. We stuck Virgil in the bathroom for 2 weeks and visited him frequently. If you don't feel like shoving your cat into the bathroom, maybe just clean it up of the curtain, the stuff that usually resides on the counter and find a way of securing the cabinet doors (trust me they find ways of getting in even the medicine cabinet... also, make sure there are no small holes for the kitten to slip into - they may do it, if they are scared or bored. Then, throw them in, let them deal with some of their issues and let them out when they kill eachother. Course, my cats are ok with eachother, they will bitch slap one another sometimes, but I think that is just a general cat thing.

    We got two other since then, they came with someone we are with now. So, in order they arrived and pretty much their ages - Joxer, Virgil (both boys), Ivy and Violet (both girls - sisters... same litter). Joxer is about 8 years old... he's an old man.


  11. #11

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    I'd do the bathroom thing, but my bathroom is very tiny so there's no room. I wish my place had walk-in closets so I could use one of those. I remember when I moved out of my old place, the closet in my bedroom was a walk-in and was big enough to fit the litterbox and food/water bowls for JT so he was out of the way while we moved all the furniture out.

    Once JT realizes Chandler isn't going away despite his "hissy fits", he'll finally get over himself. I'm just going to have to be patient. It usually takes him a couple days to get over being pissed off at me for taking him to the vet so I'm used to his brattiness. Heh!

  12. #12

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    Yep- it just takes time. You're giving both kitties loves so neither will feel neglected. It took 3 weeks or so for my basset hounds to get used to the new cat but now kitty sleeps on the bed with one of my hounds. I've never seen such a cat-friendly hound as this dog... it's weird.
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  13. #13

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    Quote Originally Posted by alphabassetgrrl View Post
    I've never seen such a cat-friendly hound as this dog... it's weird.
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  14. #14

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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    Awwww, how cute!
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    Re: A little help from the cat owners please?

    Well, Chandler is being more bold around JT and JT isn't liking it right now. Chandler keeps going after JT's tail (he twitches it a lot) because he just sees it as something that's moving. JT hasn't swatted at him or chased him but he quickly turns around, gives Chandler a dirty look and growls/hisses as if to say "Back off pipsqueak!"

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