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Is this ever going to work?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm new to the whole introducing cats thing. We've had jack for 3 weeks. He and Asher have been interacting for almost 2 weeks now. I keep the kitten in the spare room with his bed, food, litter box, and toys. He sleeps in there at night and stays in there during the day until we let him out. We let him out several times a day and we go in and play with him when he's not out.

I'm not sure how things are going. Asher chases the kitten around almost constantly. Today he ran him so much that the kitten was panting (I know this is not good for cats to do). I put the kitten up immediately when I saw this and let him calm down. His poor little heart was racing away.

It goes both ways however. The kitten will also chase Asher or attack him when he turns his back. When Asher catches up with the kitten he pins him to the ground and bites his belly, feet, neck, whatever he can get a hold of. I usually keep an eye on them and let them be but a few times the kitten meowed or cried as if he was hurt so I tried to separate them. When they finally separate the kitten runs off with Asher tailing him. The kitten hides under the bed while Asher guards it from the outside just waiting for the kitten to make his escape.

Asher seems to be getting a little rough with the kitten and he doesn't let up even when the kitten cries. I have to make him stop. I don't know if he's really hurting the kitten or not. I don't know if I should interfere while this is going on or not. I don't know if this is normal or if they are playing. I don't want the kitten to get hurt and instinctively when I hear him cry I want to break it up. Basically I don't know what to do! Asher is so much bigger than the kitten (we're talking 15lbs compared to 2.5). I don't know if he's intentionally trying to hurt the kitten (I would hope not!) or if he's just playing? I'm so stressed and don't know what to do!
post #2 of 6
Well, again, hopefully some of the TCS experts will have the definitive answer on this; I don't claim to be an expert. The last kitten I brought into the family, Suha, was found wandering around on our land, barely weaned; she may have been a feral kitten. I will never know what she was doing wandering around in the Mojave Desert. Anyway, she stayed by herself in our little cabin for a couple of months as my angel Moti was in the end stages of CRF and I couldn't see bringing a rambunctious kitten into her space. After my Moti passed, I brought Suha in. She came in swinging, even though she was the kitten. All the big cats were intimidated by her and disliked her intensely. That persists to some degree to this day; several of them chase HER now, and she is cowed by them. There were some pretty nasty confrontations, which I'd break up with sharp, "No NO!"'s and sprays from a water bottle if necessary. But things have quieted down considerably -- Suha is now 3 years old, and big enough to hold her own, but quite shy of the cats who have been known to take out after her.

Personally, I would say keep on being patient, use "no NO!" to let them know they're not supposed to fight, and use a water bottle if necessary. (Now, others on TCS may contradict this, and if so, I'd defer to their expertise. This is only the way I have always dealt with altercations between cats OR people.)
post #3 of 6
If he's causing pain, it's more than play. However, it sounds to me like it's just a case of the kitten being taught who's boss. And I'm not sure that the kitten is actually crying because he's being hurt. It wouldn't be "going both ways" in that case. Maybe he's just a loud cat.

I think you're doing just fine. You can divert their attention with an empty soda can that has some coins inside or put some jingle bells in a sock and tie it off. Throw that to land nearby when their fighting gets too intense for your comfort.
post #4 of 6
I wish all introductions went this smoothly! They are just playing! Panting after a hard play is normal, hearts racing is normal too. They are fine. I wouldn't be worrying, even the occasional hiss or yelp is just the kittens way of letting the older cat know to back off.
post #5 of 6
This all sounds normal to me. Your adult cat is showing your kitten who is in charge and trying to exert his dominance by pinning him to the ground, and your kitten is wanting to play all the time! So long as neither are getting physially hurt or being overly stressed by the situation (as in showing signs of fear or avoidance towards the other when not actually playing/play fighting) I wouldn't worry too much. It's early days yet and as your kitten grows up the relationship between them may evolve. Things might not settle down for some time but as long is it doesn't turn nasty it's just them sorting things out between themselves. I introduced a kitten to my then 8 year old cat nearly 18 months ago and things are only really settling down now! It was always just play on Mosi's part (with a bit of challenging for dominance as he got older) and Jaffa asserting his dominance, but they have never hurt each other and get on fine with each other most of the time. I was worried, too, that Jaffa might hurt Mosi when there was a big difference in size but he never did. Just keep a close eye on them and separate them when you're out if you feel it's necessary while your kitten is still small.
post #6 of 6
All sounds normal to me too, I would carry on as you are, and intervene if the kitten needs a break from the rough and tumble. Keep claws trimmed so that they can't accidentally scratch each other.

When cats play it's a mixture of fun, hunting practise, and showing dominance, and it can be quite rough. I give mine a time out from each other when they are getting too rowdy, this usually helps to calm things down. They do 'fight' over who owns the computer chair and it looks rough but they never actually hurt one another, and they will chase around until they are out of breath!

Just carry on as you are with supervised time together and with somewhere the kitten can escape to for a rest if he needs it.
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