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Introducing a young stray male...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
About two weeks ago, my family and I took in a stray black kitten (it's about four months old, is that even still a "kitten" per se?) off of the street we live on. I was walking by and saw him, collarless, and I sat down and extended my hand. He came right over, and I managed to convince my mother to take him in for the time being. We've named him Truffles recently.

We took him to the vet, everything checked out negative, which is great . However, we already have a resident female cat, Ginger, who is about five or six years old. We took in Truffles at a rather inopportune time, because we're going on a vacation for about three weeks straight. We actually just got back yesterday from a five-day trip, too; we just haven't had the time we'd like to have to properly introduce Truffles and Ginger.

We kept Truffles in our second garage until we had the vet check him out. The next two days we kept him in a rather small guest bathroom and left the door closed, gave him his own litter box in there, et cetera. He seems litter-box trained, and he likes people (he readily came to me when I found him), but we haven't been able to find his previous owners, so we're keeping him. The problem is, we began to let Truffles roam the house a little bit, with Ginger around too.

At first, he couldn't get close to Ginger, and she always hissed at him (and growled, too). But then we left for our short five-day trip - we had the neighbors coming over to feed them and play with them - and when we came back, Ginger wasn't putting him very much resistance, and he was jumping all over her, "attacking" and "biting" at the neck and such. She quite obviously doesn't like it, and she growls and occasionally hisses, but Truffles doesn't pay much attention.

We're leaving on Wednesday for the three-week vacation, and we'll have someone living in the house while we're gone, but I'm seriously worried about the two cats. As my mother puts it, Truffles is "terrorising" Ginger. I think he might be trying to release some pent-up energy, and I -think- he's teething too, although that's purely a guess. I know we haven't gone through the whole safe-room and one-sense-at-a-time introduction, but like I said, we took him in at a very inopportune time, and there's not much we can do to start over at this point.

Is there anything anyone here can recommend for this situation? Ginger's a rather laid-back cat, and when she plays with her toys with us she doesn't run after it, just lets it come to her in a sense. I think Truffles' energy is overwhelming her a bit too.

Please help...
post #2 of 13
Have you made any effort to find out if someone nearby is missing him?
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yep, like I said:

Originally Posted by Twisol View Post
[...] He seems litter-box trained, and he likes people (he readily came to me when I found him), but we haven't been able to find his previous owners, so we're keeping him. [...]
post #4 of 13
I had the same thing with a 7 month old I found outside. I got him neutered and brought him into the house. He was so wired up he would chase all my cats, every time he saw one he would run around on 3 paws and leave the fourth paw up so he could poke them as he went by. My other cats would jump up on something to get out of his reach, and look at him like he had a screw loose, he was that wild tearing all over the house. They just kind of tolerated him. They somehow worked it out between them all. He did settle down in time. I left a lot of toys around for him. I also tried to play with him to tire him out. Ginger knows he's not a threat to her just a very big annoyance. I think in time it will definitely settle down.
post #5 of 13
I went through the same issue with my two that you are dealing with now.

Forrest was 3.5 months old when we adopted him and Lilly was 4 years old. Lilly hated that Forrest would jump all over her and constantly want to play. She would always hiss and get really annoyed with him - but never hurt him. She's just a laid back, lay around all day type of girl and Forrest is a very active oriental type of cat.

As Forrest has gotten older (he's now just over a year old) they are getting along - not best of friends, but will sleep close to one another and play together. It really took about 6 months before I noticed that Lilly was tolerating him.

Over time your two will learn to get along.
post #6 of 13
Kittens and puppies are so cute that not only humans let them get away with murder for a bit, but so do the adults of their species. The adults let them do things that they would never let another adult do to them.

At some point, Ginger will decide the cuteness is over and it is time to learn some manners. It may be gradually or suddenly - hard to predict. At that point, unless blood is drawn, Ginger can do no wrong and Truffles can do no right. Don't interfere, no matter how pitiful Truffles sounds. Truffles will quickly learn the appropriate boundaries.

You may want to give Ginger a break during the day and separate them for a bit until Truffles learns the rules.
post #7 of 13
Kittens do that its normal. Sasha jumped all over Coco when we got her at 3 months. I caught her nursing on her also. Oreo did the same thing and was 3 months when I got her last Nov. Coco is 16 now and Oreo acts like Coco is her mom. When they got to hyper to Coco she would swat them and cry. Meeko would get mad sooner. He will grow out of the hyper stage.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the help, I'm glad this is "normal". Also, my father is worried that our catnip toys are riling Truffles up, because he definitely does not need more energy than he already has!

I put him in his bathroom last night because he was pestering Ginger so much, she was always moving from one spot to the other. He whined so much I had to relent but he came up and slept on my bed after that, so at least Ginger got a break.
post #9 of 13
If you are having someone living at your house, just tell them to keep the cats separate when they are gone and let them out when they are home. If the kitten is terrorizing the cat when she is trying to sleep or something, close off the door to the room she is sleeping in and let the kitten play. If you are up to it, get a second kitten when you get back to this one can get all his energy out of his system with the other cat.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was actually thinking about that, getting another kitten, but my parents took a lot to even let this one stay in our garage at first, so I -really- don't think another kitten would work out very well. We'll definitely make sure the cat sitter knows what's going on though.
post #11 of 13
Definitely a normal behavior pattern between a young kitten and a mature cat. The kitten is going to annoy the heck out of the older cat, and the kitten will also be frustrated because he wants a playmate and the older cat won't play with him. A companion kitten would be best, but since you can't do that, then the humans should play with him a lot.

Make sure you have long play sessions with him every day, with a variety of toys. If you get a cat dancer or fishing pole toy, and also throw toys for him to chase, you should be able to help tire him out and satisfy his need for play.

Also, see if you can arrange a place for the older cat to hide when she wants to get away from the kitten. This will help a lot.
post #12 of 13
I have a 1 yr old cat and new 13 wk old kitten I just introduced 6 days ago.

They do the same thing- the kitten jumps all over the older cat. Yesterday the older cat is laying down and the kitten is straddling her back and smacking her head.

Eventually the older cat will hiss or growl and the kitten will back off.

The kitten will walk away and guess what? The older cat follows him!

Lol... I figure she'd be hiding if she was really distressed and not looking for him.
post #13 of 13
I love how kittens have no fear about what they perceive to be their property. lol It also sounds like he has a crush on your cat and wants her undivided attention. It's kind of like human siblings, the younger one is always pestering the older one for attention. As earlier said, the older cat will eventually grow tired of the sneak attacks and train the new baby. My older cats have the kittens completely manner trained lol. It takes time and be sure to give the older cat some downtime with you so she understands that your affection for her has not changed. I also rarely allow kittens to have catnip available all the time. I let them have it during the day when it is playtime, but I put it up in the evening so they don't get that little high and they will settle down.
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