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Confused & Concerned

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all, new to the boards here and a smidge distressed.

We just got a new female kitten yesterday and she is about 6wks old. I did not know how to properly introduce her to our 7mth old male cat (he's neutered) so unfortunately I went about it the wrong way and didn't sequester her away for a few days like I was supposed to. (I've now put her in a separate room, only allowing her out under strict supervision)

In the beginning the male cat just simply hissed at her; she had tried to sniff him and be more friendly but he was not interested. Then he started becoming quite aggressive, and batting her around the head with his paws, and then started biting the back of her neck, and her hind end down near her tail.

Through the night, he progressed to pinning her down completely and biting her neck very hard (the back and/or sides) and by the time we finally separated them, he had gotten to the point where he was flipping her onto her back, and biting at her chest and belly; sometimes kicking her with his back paws as well (so far he has not scratched her belly that I can see).

He is very rough with her, and any time I let the kitten out from her designated room, she gets about 5mins to herself before he comes over and starts attacking her. It's not always aggressive straight away, but always progresses to that and she ends up screaming/hissing/yowling.

Is this normal behavior and should I just let them have at it? A few sites I read say to remove the kitten when the resident becomes too violent, though I'm not sure what is "violent" in cat terms versus human terms. I know they need to work themselves out, and dominance needs to be established, I'm just not sure if this is the normal pattern of going about it.

The kitten will only sometimes start to fight back with hissing and spitting of her own, and has once or twice, tried swiping him back with an open paw, claws splayed.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
post #2 of 12
IMO, you should keep them separated - especially since she's really too young to have left her mom.
a large dog crate would protect her - you could put her litterbox, bedding & food inside. that way, your male could get to know her easily, but not harm her in any way.
post #3 of 12
I have had several experiences with introducing new cats/kittens to my existing cats-both at my parent's house and now in my apartment with my own cats..thus far I have not had any problems, and my two cats Little and Tucker get along very well. I think the most crucial part is having them separated when the kitten first arrives. This allows the kitten to start smelling like the house, so your cat has an easier time recognizing the new one as part of your household. I would keep her isolated for a few days and then try again...and this time, supervise them closely when the first come in contact with each other. Try to play with them both, feed them together, ect. so they associate each other with a positive stimulus. Be sure to reassure your cat and make sure to pay enough attention to him so he doesn't feel as threatened by the new kitty. Here's a good link on introducing new cats:

Hope this helps!

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for your replies!

I will keep her in her safe room for a few days, even though she meows pretty consistently. She loves being around people and hates to be left alone for any length of time, though I am trying to spend equal amounts of time with both of them. (I am currently 7mths preg and have a 2.5yr old daughter, so splitting my time is somewhat of a feat )

I did sit with them both for an hour this morning, trying to distract Diesel (the boy kitty) with his Grover plushy that he normally plays with, while reassuring him he was a good boy for behaving, etc.

Again thanks so much for your replies, and I will let you know in a couple of days how things have progressed.
post #5 of 12
It's also important to keep the male behind doors for some time during the day (a couple of times, half hour each maybe) so the kitten can get a feel for the rest of the place, or at least the 'neutral' territory (? living room, kitchen, etc) and the male come to realize (from her scent) that the place will not longer be his alone.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok Larke, thank you! I did think about doing that, but I wasn't sure if I should as I didn't know if Diesel would distress and think I was locking him away for punishment or anything. Will definitely do this tomorrow, and will be moving Desi (female kitten) into our room this evening to sleep as was suggested in the above link.
post #7 of 12
You already have your hands full with your daughter and your pregnancy. But if you could take some time to trim the nails of both cats, that would really be beneficial. They will likely continue to roughhouse as the kitten gets older, and keeping their claws blunt will help to minimize the damage that they might inflict on each other. Or you. Or your furniture. Even if you are only able to clip the front claws of the kitten, that's better than nothing. She will likely be easier to do because of her age, and starting now will get her used to the procedure so that she will be more accommodating when you continue to trim the claws in the future.

By the way --- her claws were splayed when she was fighting back not necessarily because she wanted to harm Diesel (though I wouldn't blame her!) but because kittens that young are unable to retract their claws.
post #8 of 12
Now I don't want to say don't be careful, but IMO the behavior exhibited by the older cat is very similar to that of a mother cat teaching her kittens how to behave. Of course, you need to be careful with the male vs. female thing, but just something to keep in mind. From what I have experienced it's really scary to watch, but natural...

Feel free to jump in here if I'm wrong.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi guys!

Well this weekend has been eventful, for sure. Saturday didn't go so well, my daughter let Desi out of her safe room before I had woken up, though I am happy to report it took Diesel a solid 10mins of solely watching her before he went in to start the whole biting/wrestling routine. He was much better than he was previously, and didn't start biting at her tummy straight away, mostly around her scruff and sometimes on the legs.

I started getting their breakfasts ready, in the hopes that I might have been able to feed them together, but that plan didn't work out at all! Desi was all over the food (separate dishes of course) but Diesel was more interested in attacking her than eating his breakfast, so she went back into her safe room. I didn't let her out again for the remainder of the day/evening unless Diesel was in another room (of his own volition).

Then today, I decided to put Desi into the cat carrier and let her out into the house figuring since she was behind bars, it might have been a good way to let Diesel sniff at her, and vice versa. I kept her out of her safe room in the carrier for a good half an hour (they were both trying to play through the cage door) before putting her back into her room, and then physically let her out about an hour later.

The change was remarkable!! Again it took Deez several minutes before trying to "attack" but today was sooooo much different than yesterday. He was still pouncing on her, but almost immediately would spring off and let her chase him until he'd spin around, bite her neck and pin her to the ground. It was definitely more playful today than ever before, and only a few times did I have to intervene when he started pinning her on her back and snapping on her belly. (If I shouldn't do that, please let me know but she sounds like she's in so much pain when he does it and ends up hissing fiercely at him)

They chased one another around the kitchen, dining room and loungeroom, and would "hide" and spring out at the other one for a good hour this morning. He left her alone when she had to use her litter, and when she was eating though his tail was swishing almost as though he was annoyed she had to do these things because it interrupted their play time.

They are back in separate rooms now, needing some quiet time (and for Deez to go eat and litter himself, since he will do neither when she's around) and some time for Desi to get some rest; she'd had a big morning!

Thank you guys for all your thoughts and suggestions - hopefully we're now on the right track and things will just continue to get better and better.
post #10 of 12
I'm glad it's looking better. That's quite an age difference, so it may be a while before you feel completely safe with them together.

By the way, I hope someone mentioned to you that you shouldn't be changing or cleaning the litter box if you're pregnant.
post #11 of 12
Can anyone tell me how long kitten will be in heat (or in season or whatever you call it) - her first time - wondering how long we need to keep her indoors? Also, how often is this likely to repeat - we want her to have kittens, but not till she is full grown (mission impossible maybe). Ta heaps, JJ
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by Jane Johnston View Post
Can anyone tell me how long kitten will be in heat (or in season or whatever you call it) - her first time - wondering how long we need to keep her indoors? Also, how often is this likely to repeat - we want her to have kittens, but not till she is full grown (mission impossible maybe). Ta heaps, JJ
most cats will go into/out of heat on a somewhat regular basis until spayed or pregnant. sometimes as frequently as ever couple of weeks. also [found this out just last fall] just because the calling & behavior disappear doesn't mean she's out of heat. Firefox had stopped her calling, etc. & i took her for spaying - & she was still in heat.

btw - unless your cat is a purebred, & your breeding her to another purebred, you should have her spayed. if you want kittens, they're everywhere - no need to add to the overpopulation problem. TCS is a pro spay/neuter site, which was in the info you received when you registered.
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