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Hello! I'm new here and also new to cat-owning! Help!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello! This is my first post here, and I'm asking for a little bit of advice. With my girlfriend I rescued a beautiful little 6 month old kitten 3 months ago. His name is sooty and he is jet black save for a little vicar-like white patch under his head.

Both my partner and I work during the day and we live in a 2nd floor apartment which is very large for London. We adopted Sooty from a woman nearby and he has always been an indoor cat. Though we've both lived with cats through out our lives this is the first time we've owned one ourselves, and are enjoying the experience immensely. He is neutered and very healthy, and can be playful and also very cuddly. Often he will play-fight after too much petting and can get rowdy every now and then and attack us as we go up the stairs. This I've attributed to being fairly young and there is never any malice. We follow the advice of stopping play when he gets 'play aggressive.' Either way he ends every evening on the sofa with us curled up and purring

Aaaanyway... so we thought he was a little bit lonely and we decided to get him a wee playmate. Her name is Courgette and she's a 8 week old spayed female kitten... also very cuddly and adventurous. We have read conflicting reports about introducing them so we have tried to find a middle way. The first 36 hours or so they were kept in seclusion, with some scent mixing. We had a few goes at playing under doors and at two days we had a supervised meeting. I realise this is quite fast in reference to the guidelines but I didn't want to leave Courgette in the 'safe room' for 9 hours when we are away. So after one or two hisses they began sizing eachother out. After some minor batting sessions Courgette played the 'submissive' role. However, when the two are together now, Sooty (who is about 3 times her size) chases her and paws her which occasionally makes her yelp and/or hiss. She is never frightened for long and forgets he's there and runs around. Neither is particularly frightened of the other, and they are able to eat fairly close to eachother. We have been careful to keep giving Sooty loads of affection and when Courgette is in her safe room everything is normal.

What to do? Do you think things have progressed well so far and we should continue or should we go back to the original guidelines and seperate them for a week? This is still fairly new to me and I'd appreciate some feedback! Thank you soooooo much in advance! oh... and thanks for reading this looooong post!

post #2 of 14
Sounds like you are doing a great job, I'd just continue to supervise without leaving them unattended whilst realising that this will be a long slow process

Now, where are the pictures of little Courgette?

Welcome to tcs btw
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Haha, I thought you'd ask... Thanks so much for your response! I'll post photos of both tomorrow! Thank you again!

post #4 of 14
Looks to me there's nothing to worry about. They're buddies and young at that so expect quite a lot of mischief.
post #5 of 14
Sounds quite normal from what I've read of introduction experiences! Alot of people have plenty of trouble... You did a good job with your "compromising" introduction. It will take a couple weeks, sometimes over a month, for the wariness to completely stop. They still may never be completely in love with each other, or they may become inseperable, there's no telling. Sounds like they have fun together! Congratulations on your two new "kids"!
post #6 of 14
Its normal, but I wouldnt leave them alone unsupervised just yet! But it sounds as if all is normal so far !! It can take time though, remember that! My Stormie who was 6 months at the time when we got Blue HATED Blue for at least a month, then u fast forward to now and the are inseperatable. With 6 cats total in my house Stormie and Blue seem to have the bestest friendship !!! But as long as no hissing or growling I dont think there is much to worry about !!! But remember they are kittens and well they play very mischevious And well mine love to chase each other and knock each other down and paw each other And well Stormie also cleans Blue ! So I see urs being friends in no time Please keep us updated, and waiting for those photos

Also welcome to TCS
post #7 of 14
Honestly, I think you are doing fine, and unless they begin to attack each other and not get along at all, I doubt that you need to separate them for a week. It sounds like Sooty is just playing with Courgette, because she’d probably do her best to avoid Sooty if she was afraid of him. I live alone in a small apartment and when I adopted Possum I only had him and Loki separated for a day and a half, and on and off during that time. I had adopted my first cat ever, Loki, only 3 months before, so I was pretty worried and stressed since I really didn‘t know what I was doing. Also, Possum is incredibly shy. When I went to work on Sunday (he was adopted on a Saturday) I had Possum in my bedroom with the door closed with some food and water, but since my apartment was so small, and I only had one catbox I left the door open. Possum was hiding underneath my bed, anyway. I’d close the door and try to get to know him on my own, but other times I’d bring Loki in so I could supervise their meeting. Loki only hissed and batted at Possum once, and after that he was just curious and seemed like he wanted to get to know Possum better. Unfortunately, Possum didn’t like that idea and kept hissing at Loki. Poor Loki, he seemed so upset. Anyway, ultimately I just decided to ignore Possum and let him get comfortable in his own time, but I did keep an eye on him and Loki. Everything worked out in the end, and now Loki and Possum are best friends and great brothers. They roughhouse and play fight which freaked me out at first being so new to cats, and Loki is quite a bit bigger than Possum, who’s just a small adult cat. It did take a awhile for Possum to get used to everything, completely, so don’t be concerned if it does take awhile, even a month or so for her to get fully settled.
post #8 of 14
He's big and strong enough to do some damage to a kitten her size and until she's somewhat larger, I personally would at least want to know she had some safe places to run (even if only under furniture that's he's now too large to fit under himself) to when you're gone. I know the idea was to get him a friend for during the days, but someone his size and/or gender might have been better as my first instinct would be to keep them separated for months when you're not around though other people here seem to feel differently. Can you get them a cat tree so he at least will have something to bounce off when he's feeling frisky?
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Wow! You guys are great, thanks for all the encouragement!

At the moment Courgette is very interested in my hands typing so expect some cat typos.

Yeah, so Sooty the resident cat is still a bit rough... when he catches her he tends to bear hug her and bite her... not too hard but it still startles her. I'll keep them seperated for now.

Courgette in uncharacteristic sleep mode:

post #10 of 14
HOW CUTE! Cuteness overload! She is so precious, you are lucky to have her, and vice-versa. Good luck with the little monkey!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey all, thanks for all the lovely messages and advice. Thought I'd give you all a little update.

Well, our fast introduction seems to have worked, kind of. We were initially upset because the larger resident cat (who is 9 months) was chasing the littler one (9 weeks) around and forcing her to hide. We panicked, being fairly new to the process, and also worried we hadn't waited long enough.

It's now one week on. The younger cat, Courgette, has turned into a total tomboy. She jumps, stalks, runs, leaps fantastic distances and climbs up people. Sooty's behaviour has changed a little. Whereas before he was very excitable and energetic (with random playful attacking of people a commonplace) he is now more sedate and cuddly. He still chases Courgette but less frequently and with less zeal. If Courgette is caught by the Sooty she usually lies submissively and eventually squeals in annoyance. To be honest, I don't think she really gives a s**t! Sooty is definitely quieter and doesn't seem to display the usual territorial pissings, as it were Sooty seems to enjoy affection more and goes out of his way to get it. Courgette, being so young and boistrous is happy either way.

It is still very early. If Sooty continues to be quiet and a little mopey I might consider action. I'm still putting this down to the trauma of having another mog in the house... it's also possible that she's tiring the old man (9 MONTHS!!) out! Has anyone else had these subtle changes in behaviour when introducing cats?

Here's a photo of Soot in one of his favourite places:

Thanks again!
post #12 of 14
Oh my gosh. You have two of the prettiest kittens ever! And it sounds like you're making a very happy home for them. Congratulations!
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by ProudKittieMom View Post
My Stormie who was 6 months at the time when we got Blue HATED Blue for at least a month, then u fast forward to now and the are inseperatable. Please keep us updated, and waiting for those photos
Pixel & Mouse were 7 years old when i got Cable - Cable was 8 weeks. Mouse went to the bridge 2 months later, and Cable was being her kitten self & driving Pixel crazy! but Pixel still snuggled with her & washed her, etc. about 4 months later, i acquired Java, who's about 3 months younger than Cable, & that took care of the kitten-play problem. Java & Cable are playmates [still] but Pixel & Cable are my snugglers. Pixel is almost 10 now, Cable is almost 3, Java is 2, & Chip is 4. he's not friends with anyone in particular except me - maybe he'll take a shine to little Firefox [4 weeks!]
welcome to TCS!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, you certainly have experience in the field! I'd also like to point out that your black cat in your avatar is the spitting (sic) image of our Soot
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