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Some experienced advice needed

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My SO found a cat at work, little teeny thing, and they were attached all day so I told her to bring it home. I have him (I think) confined to the bathroom right now, and Seamus has run of the rest of the house, he's a little curious about what's behind the door, but I need to make sure this kitten is healthy before I let them near each other.

Once I get the ok from the vet that the cat is FIV negative and has no other issues, how do I go about introducing them?? What are some things I should watch out for? The kitten is tiny, all I know is less than 4 months really going on the size Seamus was when I got him 3 years ago...

Any help/advice would be appreciated... and I'll take a pic and post soon to get help with age
post #2 of 13
I'll move this to Behavior for you.
post #3 of 13
Once the vet ok's her/him, I would let him out with you sitting on the floor, or near by. Let the kitten come out of the area it is in on it's own. Kittens will. As for the older cat... just watch them, you might find out your older cat will "teach" the younger one how to groom and do other things. Most males are protective of younger ones. Some queens get nasty, but even my 5 are protective of each other...even they fight like siblings!


good luck
post #4 of 13
I went through the same exact thing about a year ago when I found Seti. He was about the size of a four week old but was malnourished and older than he appeared. Since he was so small I gave him his own room for about a month to allow him to put on some weight and start feeling well before I really introduced him to my adult cats (3 cats, 2 male 1 female) and our dog.

One of my adult males, Friday, is very good with kittens so I let him meet Seti first. Read the humane society guide on introducing cats and the guides on these forums. They're excellent. What you need to know in addition with such a small cat is give him his own room to be in when you can't supervise he and Seamus and give him plenty of time to grow before you let them in on a permanent basis together. Since Seamus is still young you can expect him to adapt faster than an older cat would. It's just my personal opinion that males are better with this than females!
post #5 of 13
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links and the advice so far

We took Freddy to the vet, he cleared, except for some fleas, which I think my SO brought in from her parents house, so we're dealing with that from the two cats... he is estimated at 5 weeks old... Since Seamus had the run of the house except the bathroom, and since Freddy is so tiny, we are leaving Freddy in the bathroom.

Seamus was very stressed for the first couple days and pretty much went into hiding, he caught a couple glimpses of Freddy when we were holding him and such and he would hide for hours, but he's back to normal now. They're used to each other's scents already... Freddy inherited one of Seamus's less used beds and Seamus has had towels and stuff laid out for him to sniff. We let Freddy have the run of the house for a couple hours, I slept in and Seamus stayed with me. Seamus knows there's another cat in the house and seems indifferent to the new scents.

We've bought a child gate and we let Freddy out in the kitchen for a little while, again Seamus seems indifferent. The only signs of hissing are when Freddy gets tempermental and I hold him and walk through the house with him. Seamus has hissed a few times but doesn't get too wound up. I don't want to let them at each other just yet, Seamus hisses a lot and Freddy is so tiny. It's wearing at my patience a little bit because I just want them both to be 100% so I don't have to go back and forth checking on Freddy and playing with Freddy in small spaces, but otherwise, so far, ok.

I know most sites I've read say wait a week for this, two weeks for that, but it seems like they may be ready to meet by the weekend.
post #7 of 13
He is just a baby and at five weeks has not had the benefit of getting all the needs from his feline mama. I wold do it very slowly - as those links prob suggest and explain better than I can in a msg. There are tricks like placing some vanilla on each one so they cannot tell they are territorial by the smells or try the towel "trick" - rub towel on one kitty and then repeat it with the other fellow. While not a foolproof way, it will help them think they are in the same territory. Cats rely greatly on smells and this should help.

Do NOT introduce them all at once. Give the baby kitten some time for himself and remember he is a baby and needs as much attention as if you had brought a newborn home esp sans a feline mother. Is he eating well? Drinking? Playing? As log as he is healthy and you can take time to socialize him and gradually allow him to meet the other kitty- who hopefully will show him some feline behavior, he should be fine.
post #8 of 13
Congrats on Freddy's clean bill of health! He's really young at five weeks. There's a good chance he wasn't completely weaned from his mother so you might experience some different behaviors than you are used to in a cat. That's ok, he won't be bad or anything like that. I just wanted to give you a head's up so that if you see some stuff like sucking on your arm or extreme cuddling you'll know that that's partly to blame. It's too bad that any animal is away from mama too young but there are some cute behaviors you'll enjoy.

Good luck with your introduction process. I suspect it will go very well!
post #9 of 13
I'm not an expert and I certainly don't mean to advise not to follow the long, slow introduction process described in the linked threads.

However, in the real world, I have let them see each other threw a cracked open door after a few days. If that's gone OK, I've moved right to the next step and just let them work it out. Of course, that's with kitties that are 10 to 12 weeks old.

With a tiny kitty, I would probably let them be togother for a while, but then separate for eating and sleeping, etc.

A lot depends on how the two react. Is the kitty hiding under the bed? Is the older kitty showing any real aggression after the initial hiss or two?

The flip side of the long slow process is that your kitty will benefit a lot from a playmate. If the older cat reacts well, then I'd speed the process up.

I guess what I'm suggesting is that if the whole quarantine thing is driving you crazy, then I wouldn't feel too much pressure to stick to the book.

I opened the door on our two kitties (they are both the same age, but one came a few weeks later) after four days. The aggressive kitty pinned the scaredy cat behind a toilet for a few hours, but the end of the day, they had started to work things out. With a kitty that you can hold, you should be able to prevent even that.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I haven't stuck to the program exactly... I've rearranged things so Freddy has the spare room and I can more closely monitor both of them as it is off the living room. I let them interact through a child gate... they both are capable of getting over it so I rigged it with a piece of cardboard to discourage either from jumping/climbing the gate. Seamus watches little Freddy like a hawk... he's very interested in what Freddy is doing and will not leave the gate if Freddy is visible. They stick their paws in the gaps and play with one another that way. It turns out that when Seamus sees Freddy's paw pop out, he runs like a big baby! I take Freddy out for some Mommy time and Seamus sits on the opposite arm of the couch while I cuddle Freddy. Seamus seems unaffected, he doesn't hiss anymore and has even come fairly close to sniff him out. I just went back to work yesterday, and a summer off has me tired after work so I'm not prepared to let Freddy go and see what happens just yet because I don't have the energy to break up a battle, but it'll be a week Freddy's home tomorrow and I'm ready to test the waters, I think the cats are too.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by erinca7821 View Post
I haven't stuck to the program exactly... I've rearranged things so Freddy has the spare room and I can more closely monitor both of them as it is off the living room. I let them interact through a child gate... they both are capable of getting over it so I rigged it with a piece of cardboard to discourage either from jumping/climbing the gate. Seamus watches little Freddy like a hawk... he's very interested in what Freddy is doing and will not leave the gate if Freddy is visible. They stick their paws in the gaps and play with one another that way. It turns out that when Seamus sees Freddy's paw pop out, he runs like a big baby! I take Freddy out for some Mommy time and Seamus sits on the opposite arm of the couch while I cuddle Freddy. Seamus seems unaffected, he doesn't hiss anymore and has even come fairly close to sniff him out. I just went back to work yesterday, and a summer off has me tired after work so I'm not prepared to let Freddy go and see what happens just yet because I don't have the energy to break up a battle, but it'll be a week Freddy's home tomorrow and I'm ready to test the waters, I think the cats are too.
Those threads are guidelines. Each interaction will vary depending on individual cats and since you are the one that is physically there, only you can determine how slow or fast the process is going. We kept Bijou and Mika separated when we were not at home for 1 full month. We did that because Bijou at that time was 16+ lbs and Mika was around 7 lbs. If he had decided to hurt her he could have. We allowed them together in the evenings and on weekends when we could supervise their interaction and were there to put a halt to any hurting behaviour.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the advice and well wishes. Today the two were playing very nicely through the gate when I got home, so I decided to let them interact, and the opposite of what I had originally anticipated happened! Little Freddy is the one chasing big boy Seamus around! Freddy is a little intimidated by Seamus and arches up a bit at times, but Seamus is very calm and docile. Seamus has enough and just lays down and watches Freddy, gives Freddy a little bop on the head when he gets too close and gives chase when he feels like playing again. Freddy is totally the aggressor and Seamus is totally playing big brother and quietly and calmly showing him whose boss.

I was very concerned they wouldn't get along and that Seamus wouldn't adjust and that I'd get attached to Freddy and have to get him adopted. I'm so happy Seamus is being totally cool with this! Thanks again for helping me ease my fears and sharing your advice!
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by erinca7821 View Post
Thank you for all the advice and well wishes. Today the two were playing very nicely through the gate when I got home, so I decided to let them interact, and the opposite of what I had originally anticipated happened! Little Freddy is the one chasing big boy Seamus around! Freddy is a little intimidated by Seamus and arches up a bit at times, but Seamus is very calm and docile. Seamus has enough and just lays down and watches Freddy, gives Freddy a little bop on the head when he gets too close and gives chase when he feels like playing again. Freddy is totally the aggressor and Seamus is totally playing big brother and quietly and calmly showing him whose boss.

I was very concerned they wouldn't get along and that Seamus wouldn't adjust and that I'd get attached to Freddy and have to get him adopted. I'm so happy Seamus is being totally cool with this! Thanks again for helping me ease my fears and sharing your advice!
That great that your introduction didn't take a long time! Sounds like they are going to be great pals and playmates.
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