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Feeling so emotional. Will my cats ever get on?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
can anybody reassure me that things will be ok with my cat and kittens. i'm feeling so emotional and worried right now.

my story is quite a long one (explained more in my first post a few weeks ago -, but to cut it short, i have a 9-year old neutered male, buster, who has always been my big spoilt baby, and i have 4 kittens that were born in our house 9 weeks ago. their mother kept coming through our cat flap in the last few days of her pregnancy, and then gave birth here.
the mother cat has now gone back home on the next street where she came from.

i always planned to keep one of the girl kittens, as buster is very territorial, so i thought he might accept a girl better.
so i advertised the only little boy, who we called sweep, free to a good home, and he went to his new home yesterday, leaving me with the 3 girl kittens.
i found it absolutely gut-wrenching when his new owners left with him. i have got so attached to these babies, that i just cried when he'd gone.

my best friend who lives round the corner from me, is having gizzmo, one of the girls, in a couple of weeks, so i'm not worried about her going, as i know who she's going to, and i know she will be looked after well.

however, whenever buster even sees any of the kittens from a distance, he does nothing but growl and spit and is so grumpy. even when the kittens are out of sight again, he's horrible to me, still growling etc. it breaks my heart as we have always been so close.

the kittens are confined to one downstairs room most of the time. i only let them out to have a run around the rest of downstairs, a couple of times a day when buster isn't around, then he doesn't get upset.

when the mother cat was still around, she had the run of the house, but buster was spending more and more time out of the house, hours and hours at at time, and i was always worrying that he wouldn't come back.
since she has left, i have allowed buster to use one of the upstairs bedrooms, and he has made that 'his' room, and sleeps there now, rather than spending time with us downstairs. but at least he isn't disappearing for hours on end again.

so, my big worry is, when i keep one of the kittens, she will have to have more run of the house when she's older. will it push buster away completely do you think. i'm worried he will leave home altogether. i know he will probably never be best of friends with her, but do you think he will learn to tolerate her at least. i couldn't bear to lose him.

when i went to the vets yesterday to get the kittens checked over, the nurse told me it was possible that he might leave altogether, and that he probably would never tolerate the kitten. i wish i hadn't asked her about it now.

my other problem is, because i found it so heartbreaking when sweep left yesterday, i just can't decide which of the two girls left to keep.
do you think i would make matters with buster even worse if i kept both the girl kittens.

i would appreciate any reassurance that things might be ok with my big baby, and the kittens, whoever, or however many i decide to keep.
my mind is in such turmoil thinking about it all.

sorry about the long post!
post #2 of 17
Hi, what a dilemma! One thing I'm fairly sure of is that keeping two of the kitties won't make much difference to keeping only one at this point - Buster's upset anyway! I think the vet tech (or receptionist?) was out of line by saying what she did and I might even speak to the vet about that as it was irresponsible, or at least ignorant. Of course Buster is put out now, and he MAY never do more than tolerate the 'girls', but actually things are likely to get better as time goes on, not worse - isn't he at least staying in more now after all? Hopefully he will come downstairs more as time goes on. I still think you'd be better off keeping him inside for good (and the girls) while you have the opportunity.
post #3 of 17
I agree with keeping 2 kittens. They are young and will enjoy each other's company and Buster will learn to accept them. One kitten and one adult cat is a harder situation. The kitten will want to play and Buster will more than likely get all the more agravated. I've been in the same situation and when we added a 2nd kitten they all got along better.
post #4 of 17
Another vote for keeping the 2 girls. Kittens have wonderful ways to keep one another occupied and out of Buster's hair. If he is anything like my "old and cranky's" here, Buster will eventually see the fun in the games they play and may join in. Or, he may just sit up above them, like on a sofa, and watch the antics.
post #5 of 17
with the previous post. I've had multiple cats, kittens before and got them all at different times. Some of them accepted the new ones right away and some of them didn't but they eventually all accepted the others. Some of them take longer and more patience than others but I believe that in time, he will come around. Hang in there and show him you still care about him as well.
post #6 of 17
Hi, I am a new member here and I had a very similar situation. My advise is long winded so why don't you send me PM if you are interested in talking and you can give me a call if you want. I think I can give you some good advise.
post #7 of 17
I think everything will work out fine with Buster and the kitties. I had a similar situation when I adopted my 2nd cat. My cat, Princess, was an only kitty and the center of attention for a year and a half when I adopted Patsy. Princess HATED having another cat in HER house!!! It took some time and patience but it all worked out. Princess still acts like she doesn't really like Patsy but she looks for her when she's not around and watches out for her. Actually Patsy is the boss around the house now. They've lived together for over 11 years.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks to everybody for your kind replies.
it makes me feel a whole lot better being told by so many people that there is hope that they all will get along together.

i have had another complication added to my problems today, however.
we got up this morning to find one of the kittens (one of the two that i might be keeping), has injured her back leg. probably jumping somewhere where she shouldn't i guess! (so more tears from me. i'm a right cry baby with worrying about these furbabies!).

i took her to the vets, and it's possible that she could have either fractured or dislocated her leg. i've been given painkillers to give her over the weekend, and she has to go back on monday morning for an x-ray.

i've also been told to keep her seperate from her sisters as she must rest her leg as much as possible (almost impossible for a 9-week old kitten!).
so she is now in our living room with us, (and i'll be sleeping on the sofa to be with her tonight!), and her sisters are already in their kitten room, the other living room at the back of the house, so buster most likely won't come in our living room with us at all at the moment, and will probably just spend more time in 'his' bedroom. but i will give him loads of love and try and make him feel better.

so i think i will most definately have to keep this kitten now, but i just have to decide now if my finances will allow me to keep the other.

the costs at the vet were incredible. it cost me £50.00 just to look at her and give her medicines this morning, and the x-ray will cost between £140.00-£200.00 depending how many they will have to take, plus whatever treatment she will need.

we were going on holiday in two weeks, and luckily i had £400.00 saved for spending money, otherwise i don't know what i would have done.
but i'm using that money for her now and i'm cancelling the holiday. i'm really not bothered as long as i get her mended.

just to add... larke.. i live in england where most cats are outdoor cats. don't get me wrong, i think it is a much safer idea to keep cats permanantly indoors, if it possible.
but we got buster from the rspca when he was a 2 year old, and he was already an outdoor cat. we were advised to keep him for about 3 weeks before letting him out when we first got him, but even that was impossible, as he cried and cried to go out, and we eventually gave up after two weeks!
he loves going out, especially when it is sunny weather, he doesn't go far, just sits in the garden in the sun mainly.

anyway, thanks everybody so much. i will post again and let you know how the kitten gets on with her leg. i really hope she will be ok.
sorry.. long post again. i can never keep things short!
post #9 of 17
You didn't mention if whether or not Buster is neutered. I'm assuming he is, but if not, maybe that's part of why he's having a difficult time adjusting. Cats that aren't altered can be extremely territorial...

I also think you should keep both kittens, so they have each other to play with, and they'll most likely leave Buster alone if they have each other for company. We just adopted a stray cat who was pregnant: she had her kittens, and at first some of the other furbies weren't very pleased about it. But there aren't too many problems now, unless one of the kittens gets "out of hand". For the most part though, they all get along, and sleep, eat and play together. I think you'll be all right..

Give Buster a little extra attention to "comfort" him, and let him know he's still "number one". As long as he has his own space to wonder off to when he's feels "threatened", I think he'll eventually come around and at least tolerate the kittens.

I hope the poor furbie who hurt her leg will mend quickly!

Good luck!

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks so much for the good luck vibes, kk. that's the good thing about this site... just knowing people care

buster is neutered, but he was only neutered by the rspca before they released him to us, and he was already 2 years old by then.
i often wonder if he is so terratorial because he was 'done' later in his life, rather than when he was a kitten.
we always had male cats when i was growing up, but i can't ever remember them being as terratorial as him, but they were always neutered when they were kittens.
it would be interesting to know for certain if this actually does effect cats that are fixed later on.
perhaps they develop an 'un-neutered behaviour pattern', rather than it being just down to hormones, if you know what i mean!
post #11 of 17
I think I'd also vote for keeping 2 kittens so they can play with each other and leave poor, old, grumpy-at-being-invaded Buster in peace.

I do have one other suggestion that you may want to try: A Feliway Comfort Zone Diffuser. It is a device that is plugged into an electrical outlet that occasionally spritzes a bit of feline facial pheromone (the kind that gives them a sense of comfort & security) into the air. It is marketed for behavioral problems like inappropriate peeing, but I tried it when my 2 newly adopted girls had a huge and lasting set-back in their adjusting to one another. One (hepped up on steriods for a colon problem and perhaps through that made more aggressive) fairly visciously attacked the other one right after she hurt her leg slightly in a bad jump. The one who was attacked seemed to have suffered more psychological than physical distress from the attack -- she staked out her spot on the dining table (not my first choice, but I didn't have the heart to protest under the circumstances) and she barely moved for weeks -- she wouldn't play, she wouldn't sleep with me anymore, she basically got off the table to eat, use the litter box, and then right back up to the table. This lasted for weeks to the point where I was wondering if I should not have adopted her. Finally after about 6 weeks of this, I decided to try the Feliway Comfort Zone and within a couple of days things were better and they have improved steadily since. She is back to herself and even better. They still occasionally have their little spats, but we now have a largely peaceful household and I can't think of what would have done it other than the pheromones.

Sorry, long post, but since I'm naturally sceptical of such products (especially since it isn't that cheap), but I'm a true believer now and I thought the context/back story might help. Good luck!
post #12 of 17
i know your in UK same as i am
have you tried keeping buster indoors only then you can feel safer knowing he wont run off he will batter th kittens a little its just him putting them in a pecking order hes your baby and hes just wanting too make sure it stays that way feel free too message me on my profile im not yet eligable for PM
post #13 of 17
I agree about keeping 2 -- kittens love to play and one will just annoy poor Buster. Buster will probably get used to them but in the short term, why not keep him inside or only let him out when you can check on him so he doesn't run off? I can't say that he will run off, just that this would be a solution or you since you are worried about it.

Bless you for taking care of the hurt kitty and foregoing your vacation.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks pixie and lee and everyone else for your kind replies and opinions. they gave me loads of reassurance that things might work out ok, and that's all i think i needed to hear really, that it might not be a lost cause expecting them all to get along.

my mind is finally made up now anyway.
i'm definately keeping both the kittens now. they've been renamed tillie and trixie. i just couldn't bear to choose between them. and they've both been insured and booked in for their first vaccinations, so there's definately no going back now and changing my mind again!
the third kitten, gizzmo is going to my best friend around the corner after she's had her jabs at the same time as my two.

tillie had an x-ray at the vets yesterday, and she had fractured her leg, on her hock.
she came home with her leg bandaged, but we hadn't been home very long when she pulled the bandage completely off!
so she's now under strict instruction from the vet to have complete cage rest, (the cage i had to loan from the vets) and she hates being stuck in that!
she's having a check up in two weeks to see if it has mended ok.

buster is still not showing any improvement towards the kittens. i actually think that he acts as though he is frightened of them.
but i'm still giving him loads of love and fuss, and i'm making sure the kittens don't go in 'his' room upstairs. i think that as long as he feels that he has that room to himself with no smells of the kittens, he may still feel like he belongs here, and he won't run away.

anyway, i'm ranting on as usual!
just thanks again to everyone, i do feel happier that i've had all your reassurance.
tracy x
post #15 of 17
Try rubbing a little of Busters urine onto the kittens and let him smell, sounds horrible, but its cheap and it worked when I introduced a kitten into the house many years ago.
Best Wishes
post #16 of 17
I just want to say Don't give up on Buster!!

My cat, Roxy, has never liked other cats, or dogs (or any animal!). She is very mean toward them and us when she sees or smells them. In April I found 4 orphaned 1 week old kittens. I took them in and raised them. They were in our house for about 11 weeks, but were confined to one room, unless Roxy was on the porch, then they could run around the house. Well we decided to keep one of the kittens, Stitch. So of course we started formal introductions...but Roxy wanted nothing of it!! Not only would she growl, hiss, swat and hide at just the sight of Stitch, but if they were in the same room together she would go out of her way to attack Stitch! She also would constantly hiss and growl at me when I touched her. This made me sad as we were very close
I came to accept the fact the her and Stitch would never be friends but just tolerate each other, but just wanted my lovey cat back! Well now here we are just shy of 2 months since we decided to keep Stitch...2 days ago I caught them playing! Also in the past few days I will catch Roxy licking Stitch, only for a brief few seconds though! She still occasionally growls or hisses at Stitch but she is prob only reminding Stitch that she is the boss and was there first (like when Stitch was laying in Roxy's "spot" the other night), but for the most part they are becoming friends!! It is so heartwarming to see them playing and licking each other!!

So, give Buster time...he will get better
post #17 of 17
i think you should keep both girls because with an older cat, 2 kittens cat entertain eachother. if you had 1, it would keep looking to old grumpy boy for entertainment & he would probably find it irritating. he may end up watching them have fun & enjoy watching too. i would strongly advise you get a book called 'Cat vs. Cat' by Pam Johnson Bennett - it is amazing. you can get it on amazon - it really helped me when i introduced a new cat. i'd also recommend a Feliway diffuser - they really calm the atmosphere down & keep everyone placid. nothing is impossible. you need to create positive associations with the kittens, so when they are about instead of watching with baited breath, stroke mr. man or give him a treat - he'll soon like them if he associates them with good things!!!!
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