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Kitties not playing nice...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just have a few questions regarding introducing a new cat. My two seem to be having some issues and I don't know if I'm being paranoid and it's fine or if there are problems.

Catsby, who is 8 months old, has been living with us since she was 8 weeks old. She was adopted from the county animal shelter and has been a wonderful kitty. My husband and I decided that maybe she needed a friend. We've not had any luck finding a suitable kitty, but yesterday found a beautiful little male, 8 weeks old, who was playful but not insane. We adopted him and picked him up today from the vet after his checkup. He was given a clean bill of health, and we took him home to introduce to Catsby.

We tried just having him in the cage and there was no hissing or angry looking ears, so we let him out. They sniffed and played a bit, and we were really excited that they were getting along. About an hour later things changed... the kitten was invading Catsby's space and she swatted at him, no claws (I know this is fine, and normal) but the kitten attacked back! We had to pull them apart as the kitten had all of his claws out and was biting- thankfully Catsby has longer hair and didn't get smacked in the eyes or anything.

The problem is this keeps happening. Catsby doesn't seem to especially like the kitten, but isn't hissing, keeps her ears up, and is actually more cuddly with us than before. I'm just concerned about the kitten. He doesn't seem to get that he's smaller and not the alpha kitty here. He is part bengal (his mom was what looked to be a first gen. cross) and she bred with a non-bengal- we were concerned the bengal part of him might just be a little feisty and unwilling to back down. Any suggestions? I know this little guy is going to be a handful (he likes to climb on everything and jump off everything, and screams-not meows but screams- when you move him off of tables and stuff). We're just worried he won't learn to backdown and one of them will get hurt!
post #2 of 6
Sounds to me like the new fellow is a normal hyperactive kitten.
If Catsby does not mind, I would not worry.
post #3 of 6
Originally Posted by WWorsley View Post
We had to pull them apart as the kitten had all of his claws out
Kittens can't retract their claws until they are several months old --- older than your kitten currently is.

You might want to try getting him used to having his nails clipped on a regular basis. First of all, that would help to blunt any attacks on Catsby (whose nails ideally should also be clipped regularly). And the earlier you introduce the clipping to the kitten, the more likely he will be to accept it.

I would also recommend that you read this article from the Cat Behavior section of this site. It might help make the introductions go a bit more smoothly. Though as yayi mentioned, things haven't gotten off to a bad start at all. They just have to work their relationship out themselves.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info It definitely puts my mind at ease, I think I was just being paranoid mommy. They did manage to both sleep on the bed last night with minimal disagreements which is nice. I didn't know that kittens couldn't retract their claws, but it makes a lot of sense thinking about all the scratches I've received from little ones. I did trim Catsby's nails before the kitten arrived, and Twisp (the new one) was trimmed yesterday after I posted. I'll be sure to keep updates on how they progress. Thanks again!
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Glad to say that the kitties are doing much better. They have their issues but are adjusting well to sharing living space. In fact, they are cuddling together in the sun right now. Thanks for the help!
post #6 of 6
Considering you introduced them probably too quickly they are doing fine, I wouldn't worry, its all normal. Eventually the male might decide he wants to be alpha, there is no way you can control this and you will have to let him show HER who is boss. She will also probably be a little rough on him if she has any motherly instincts at all and will try to teach him how to behave since he was taken from his mother way too early.
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