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Is this okay?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

We have our new girl kitten (a little over a year old) in my bathroom adjoining my bedroom. I posted about her before, she is very timid and has had so many homes before ours. I've never introduced cats before, so can someone tell me if this is normal and what I might expect?

Javier, our resident cat about 7 months old, has been doing this little gurgling meow outside the bathroom. And she does it sometimes too. Javier does this questioning meow too. It's pretty cute. So far, no hissing or growling. It's been 5 days. Today, my daughter got inside the bathroom and using her foot for a brake, opened the door a crack. They could look at each other a little. Javier tried to hit her with his paw through the crack in the door. And she had her claws out trying to stick her paw through the door. (I trimmed Javier's claws today, so he doesn't have any weapons. She is way too scared to do anything like that to her, so it seems somewhat unfair.)

I have this garden netting that is longer and wider than the door. It is really strong and I thought I would duck tape it to the walls and hold the bottom down with books, so we could open the door, and they could see each other without being able to touch. What do you think of the swiping with the paws, and is the gurgling meow a good thing? Also, what do you think of the idea of the netting and how long should we wait to do it? Also, should we wait until we can trim her claws too so she doesn't hurt our baby? We have let the new one into my bedroom when Javier is downstairs so they are familiar with each other's scent. Are we doing this right?
Thank you so much.
post #2 of 14
I'm not sure of the situation - are they both "fixed"? Because I would think gurgling could be a mating call.

But aside from that, something else you could do would be to take a towel and place its two sides on either side of the door, and put their food dishes on the towel. Then switch the towel so the other's scent is on the other side. So they can associate something pleasurable with the other's scent.

Frankly in my house, it really depends on the cat. There's so much chaos here that we have a space for kitties to get away from doggies, but otherwise they make their own way, LOL.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Yes, they both are fixed. It sounds almost like a pigeon.
post #4 of 14
I would be very cautious about using the netting because one could get very tangled up in it (you wouldn't believe what tiny spaces they can get their heads into, never mind the rest of them!) and really be in trouble very fast.) I'm not sure whether the gurgling means anything special, but I'd find some extract of vanilla at the grocery, and put one drop only at the base of each of their tails and one under each of their chins, so they will smell alike. It's not guaranteed to make a big difference, but may help. And you just may have to wait longer, but you should get Javier into another room for an hour or so a couple of times a day and bring Kiva into the house so both their smells will be all over and Kiva gets a chance to explore safely.
post #5 of 14
Just a thought but do you think you could actually let them meet 'nose-to-nose' the sooner you start this the better
You can monitor the situation and easily pick one up if things get a bit fraught.
Be ready to expect some scuffles & hissing, they will do this so one of them can establish who is the alpha cat.
Along with the other tips, sharing of towels/blankets, vanilla extract, feeding near each other etc.... they will soon understand that they are not a threat to each other and will settle into a routine.
post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by Kiva13 View Post
Thanks. Yes, they both are fixed. It sounds almost like a pigeon.
Those pigeon sounds are "friendly" sounds. I think the paw swiping means they want to meet each other! If there has been no hissing and growling,I'd bring her out for a while for a little "playtime" while I stood by keeping watch. But that's just my opinion.
post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by Kiva13 View Post
Thanks. Yes, they both are fixed. It sounds almost like a pigeon.
I know the EXACT sound you mean, because Radar makes that same noise when he is separated from Sonic and wants desperately to play with him! I knew Radar was feeling better from his recent illness (during which they were quarantined in separate areas of the house) when he was camped out by the bedroom door making pigeon noises at Sonic.
post #8 of 14
If I were you I'd nix the netting idea. If they get stuck it could frighten them more and delay their bonding. Since they're both young and are showing some interest in each other I'd let them meet. I'd contain them to the bedroom and bathroom just in case. Do be aware but don't be jumpy yourself when you let them meet. They're going to hiss and growl they may even try a swat. Let them sort it out unless someone really attacks the other. Keep a blanket on hand to fling over them so you don't get scratched if there is an attack. Keep the first session relatively short and then separate them again. Keep this up for a couple of days until you feel that they can be left together unsupervised. My guess is that they'll get along pretty quickly but that is only a guess! Sometimes I suspect that introducing new cats is rougher on us than it is on them! Let us know what you decide and what happens!
post #9 of 14
That's good advice.

Since both cats are so young, they may not need a long introduction period... kittens are more likely to accept each other quickly and just want to play.

If it is a chirpy type of sound, it means they're being friendly and curious.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much! I'm feeling more brave and will nix the netting idea. I'm really nervous because I tried to introduce Javier to another kitten twice before and it didn't work. But then, maybe it would have if I had given it enough time. I just thought the ears back, hissing, etc. meant that they wouldn't get along. I am definitely a novice when it comes to more than one cat living together.

We will introduce them tonight in my room, and I'll be sure to block any places Sookie (our new one) can hide because I don't want them fighting underneath something or in a drawer where we can't get to them. We'll just try it for a few minutes. I'll try not to be nervous. One more question though - how do I know when it is serious and I need to separate them as opposed to just being normal getting to know who is the alpha cat interactions? That has been my problem in the past I think. Thanks again!
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by Kiva13 View Post
One more question though - how do I know when it is serious and I need to separate them as opposed to just being normal getting to know who is the alpha cat interactions? That has been my problem in the past I think. Thanks again!
most cat spats are just sessions of testing the water with each other, this is so they can establish who is the Alpha cat.

Signs of aggression are ears flat back, low posture, tail thrashing from side to side, low growls and hiss warnings - at any sign of these one cat will normally back off - sometimes it will come to a full on contact, it will sound bad and you will probably be frightened yourself. Normally this will break as the weaker one will decide to back off and run away, this is usually less than say 1 minute.
When this happens I would suggest that this is your chance to separate the cats - put one in a room and close the door - so they can both calm down.
If the battle carries on with a continued and more frenzied attack, then this is a sign that you must interject - BUT NOT by picking a cat up, they are not bothered about you and will attack you in the process - throw a blanket or large towel over them , this will startle them and it should stop the fight.

Just because they have spats, dont automatically think they will never be friends - they might not snuggle up to each other every night, but they will be able to get along normal in time
post #12 of 14
If they are just hissing at eachother- it's not that big of deal. They are trying to claim territory. But when they actually start fighting-you will have to let them duke it out themselves. UNLESS it seems that one is going to get hurt... then you can step in.. But cats sense how your feeling. So remain calm and act like everythings ok. Also, if they start getting along right away- with no huge fights- I would let the kitten stay out there for a little while, then put her back in.
post #13 of 14
Sounds like they would be ok to meet face to face, but if you are still unsure - then put one of the cats in a large carrier and let them touch noses
post #14 of 14
The carrier is a great idea.

Swats and spits are part of a natural dance that they are going to do. I wouldn't interject unless one cat leaps on the other and wraps his paws around. Then absolutely don't stick your hand down there. Fling that blanket or towel over the aggressor. The other cat will run.

The more you can sit calmly near by and the less you interject the better. Cats are surprisingly good and figuring these things out and typically they sort it out quickly. You probably won't have to do anything at all. However, talking in a low, comforting voice can be a good idea. Then again, they may ignore you entirely; either way, it won't hurt!
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