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My cat is a wuss...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I recently brought home an abandoned kitten 4-5 days ago (don't worry, he got to the vet ) and things are starting off not too bad between the little guy and resident cat, Roscoe.

Over the past few days I've been playing with the kitten on one of my towels and today I decided to present it to Roscoe. He gave it a sniff and went on his way, it was like he didn't even care. I took this as a good sign and decided to introduce the two.

Roscoe is, quite literally, terrified of the new kitten. He curls up in the fetal position with his tail in his face and starts making these odd, scared-sounding chirps and cries. He hisses if the kitten gets a little too close for comfort, but has made no attempt at swatting or biting or anything like that.

Any advice? I think I'll let Roscoe have some alone time for awhile after that...
post #2 of 7
Originally Posted by HRP View Post
I think I'll let Roscoe have some alone time for awhile after that...
It looks like Roscoe was warning the kitten to stay away. I do not think he was scared at all. Hissing was the next step. If the kitten ignores that warning too, you can bet Roscoe will start swatting. He is telling the kitten who is boss.
It's been only a few days. Keep watching both but prioritize Roscoe so he won't feel he is being replaced. Soon they will be friends.
post #3 of 7
You went too fast. Instead of winging it, why not google "new cat introductions" or "introducing new cat" and you'll find lots of good articles on how to introduce a new cat into the household. I believe there's an article in the TCS Cat Behavior library (click on link top of page.) Keep them separated until you're set up with a plan. You got off on a bad start. First impressions are everything with cats. You have a chance now to undo that bad start and make things work between these two. Don't rush it, or you'll regret it. Meanwhile give Roscoe ALL your attention. He's not even to see the new kitten, much less see you giving it any attention.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I can't even get Roscoe to sniff the new guy through the door, even after placing their food bowls right by the door in their respective areas. If he hears the kitten at the door, he'll get super scared and start crying and then run away.

What gives? Why is he so terrified of this little, harmless kitten who hasn't done a single thing to him?
post #5 of 7
Well, the kitten invaded his comfortable, secure, little world and turned it upside down, for starters.

If a step in the intro process isn't working, then you back up a step and stay there until it starts working. We can't do this on our schedule; we have to do it on the cats' schedule.

Be sure to give Roscoe as much attention as possible, making it clear to him that he's still #1 with you. Don't let him see you doing anything with the new kitten, and don't let him see the kitten at all. He's telling you he's not ready, yet.
post #6 of 7
You have to let them get to the curiosity stage. This is when the cat's curiosity overcomes their negative emotions.

Obviously Roscoe is not there yet. It's not accurate to say "the kitten hasn't done anything to you." Or older brothers and sisters would not react the way they do to new brothers and sisters. Sure, the baby hasn't done anything yet, except be there.

But that's enough.

Did Roscoe have a troubled past? I've found that cats with troubled kittenhoods react badly to kittens because the kitten scent gives them flashbacks to when they were a kitten, and they had a hard time.

Give Roscoe lots of room and attention. Tell him you got the kitten for him! It's HIS kitten. Get him interested, such as giving him a treat when you come out of visiting the kitten in their room, or leaving the towel with the kitten scent on it just lying around, for Roscoe to explore at his own pace. Thrusting it upon him is like curing someone of their fear of heights by throwing them out of an airplane.

If it takes two months, it takes two months. But that way, at the end of it, you'll have cats who get along, instead of the years of nightmare of having two cats who hate the sight of each other.

Believe me, that's worth avoiding.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Roscoe hasn't had a troubled past, but the past month has been a nightmare for him. I have two cats besides the new kitten, and the other one, Penny, has been a terror ever since I moved her into this new apartment. Penny and Roscoe grew up together and got along great until I moved to Cambridge, MA and had to separate them for a couple weeks.

I brought Penny to Cambridge and let them slowly get introduced to eachother again, but they won't have it. They literally HATE eachother. Whenever they see eachother, Roscoe curls up into a little ball and cries and Penny goes on the attack. Penny isn't my cat, and she's being adopted by a friend of mine, so hopefully Roscoe will be in a better state of mind once she's gone.
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