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Neurotic cat mom... worried about new kitten

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, This is a long post and I apologize for that, but I just want to make sure you have the complete picture...

So, I decided that Bodhi, the 8 yo kitty I adopted 3 months ago, might be happier with a friend to keep him company during the day while I'm at work. I went to the shelter last weekend and found what I thought was the perfect kitty. He is 8 months old and is very loving and sweet (much like Bodhi). I didn't plan on getting a kitten since Bodhi is 8 years old, but I really felt drawn to this little guy. I brought him home and tried the proper introduction techniques I read about on this site. The only issues I had were that the new kitten is SOOO sociable and curious. He meowed for hours when I kept him in the spare bedroom. I would go in and play with him and sit with him and he'd purr and be fine, but as soon as I left the room, he would cry and cry. On Monday, he escaped the room when I went in to check on him. He and Bodhi met and sniffed each other. The kitten hissed at Bodhi and went about exploring the house. Bodhi just went about his own business. I let Siddha (new kitten) explore for a few more minutes then I put him back in the bedroom for the night. Bodhi and I went about our usual routine... snuggling on the couch and him sleeping in my bed.

Tuesday and Wednesday evening, I let the kitten out for a little bit longer each time. They sniffed and Siddha hissed a bit more and then started trying to play with Bodhi by pouncing on his tail. Bodhi did NOT appear happy or amused by this. He swatted at Siddha and moved to another part of the apartment. Siddha is relentless though... he kept going to Bodhi and chasing him. Last night, I fed both of them some canned food that I knew Bodhi loves. Siddha ate a good amount and even tried to get at Bodhi's plate... Bodhi didn't do anything but keep eating. It seemed like things were progressing with them...

The problem I'm having is that Siddha seems to be adjusting just great, but Bodhi is NOT himself at all. He isn't eating his dry food and he has refused to sleep on my bed with me the past two nights. I know it's silly, but I LOVE that he sleeps on the bed with me. Now, he sits in the living room or under the kitchen table and won't even come to me when I call him. I feel like he hates me. Gosh, even typing this brings tears to my eyes. This breaks my heart. I know he's just a cat, but we were so bonded and he was always so affectionate towards me in just the right way that I needed and I really tried to be what he needed (or so I hope), but now everything has changed and I'm not sure I'm okay with that.

Maybe things will go back to the way they were, but like last night, the kitten wanted to lay in my lap and Bodhi just sat in the floor staring at me. He ALWAYS wants to sit in my lap in the evenings while I watch TV or whatever. I dunno, I guess I sound ridiculous, but I was just thinking that if I take the kitten back, he will get adopted soon, he's adorable and very loving. I'm afraid that maybe Bodhi does NOT want a little kitten that runs and plays all the time... I think the kitten might just need a home with another young rambunctious kitten to play back with him. I wonder if Bodhi would be just as happy with a bird feeder outside my bedroom window so he could see the birds during the day.

Am I a bad cat mom?? Neurotic, yes... but bad?

Thank you for any input...

post #2 of 8
Not bad at all. In fact, it sounds like things are progressing fairly normally. It can take as much as 3 months for two cats to get completely adjusted to each other. It's possible the original cat will have some behavior changes, but the odds are good they won't be long term. I would make an effor to put Boddhi in your lap and leave the kitten down, at times. Other than that, maybe others have more suggestions.

I wasn't sure Punkin was ever going to accept Ella, but they have gotten more and more sociable. It's taken most of 4 months, and the whole interaction is still not worked out.
post #3 of 8
You are neither a bad cat mom or neurotic. I had the very same thing except my oldest boy was 9 years old when I brought in a stray little boy that was about 8 months old. Mo was always spitting and hissing at the newcomer, and Toby (the newcomer) was very wild and wanted to run around and play and Mo was always my baby. He'd sleep by me and want me to hug and pet him, it stopped when Toby came into the picture. Then after awhile they got to be very close, wrestle each other all the time, always together and Mo comes up and sleeps with me again. It took a good few months, but we are pretty much back to normal. Give it time, Bodhi will be once again your lap baby. Good luck.
post #4 of 8
I agree with the others. It takes time. The only other suggestion is maybe a
3rd..... another young one if you have room and can afford it. It takes the heat off the older one who can join in when he feels like it but sit back when he 'd rather lol.
post #5 of 8
Originally Posted by lilyluvscats View Post
I agree with the others. It takes time. The only other suggestion is maybe a
3rd..... another young one if you have room and can afford it. It takes the heat off the older one who can join in when he feels like it but sit back when he 'd rather lol.
i'll share my experience...
i acquired Cable when she was around 8 weeks old [found in front of my school in the road ]. anyway, i took her home, isolated her in the bathroom until a health check [& flea bath!] then let her out to interact w/my 2 adults [7 year old littermates]. they were NOT happy w/her - she was annoying, to say the least.
Mouse & Cable

Pixel & Cable

but Mouse passed about 3-4 months later, & i was glad Cable was there, as annoying as she was. about 3 months after that, i found this:

& about a month later, Java came home - a 3.5 month old kitten. this was the best of everything - Cable would play w/Java & snuggle w/Pixel.
post #6 of 8
I recently read that when introducing a new cat, to keep telling the resident cat that the new kitty is his kitten - and basically make a huge deal of the resident cat, reinforcing over and over that he's your first love and spending more time with him, than with the cute little newcomer. Keep offering your love and making sure your boy knows he hasn't been displaced from your lap, bed, or heart.

When I brought my boy home, my girl was not very happy and spent a fair amount of time chasing the boy (who turned out to be a cuddler and lap cat) off the bed (they were approximately the same age). Within a few weeks things had settled down and they'll spend time together looking out the window and both sleeping with me.

Also, keep in mind that your adult cat is now faced with a rowdy pre-teen - imagine how much fun it would be welcoming a human pre-teen home with all of their Jonas Brothers posters, at least at first, if you were in your 40's or 50's.
post #7 of 8
A long time ago, we had an adult female that we rescued from the shelter. After a time, I brought a kitten home - knew nothing about the whole introduction thing...

The older cat hissed a lot, and would positively sulk - sitting in the middle of the room with her back toward us. Then looking over her shoulder to make sure we KNEW she was ignorning us.

Anyway, probably within 3 weeks or so the older cat forgave us, and not long after that they ended up sleeping with each other constantly, grooming, etc.!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your input on the matter... I think maybe things are going to be okay. Bodhi is being a little more friendly to me and both kitties slept on the bed with me last night. I was really happy about that!
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