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Sweater for the new kitten?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hubby brought home a new kitten a couple days ago (Peaches, she's 4 months) it's been a bit of a scramble since we weren't expecting a new arrival! We have two other cats:

Miss Kitty - the most loving and sweet cat I have ever met! She adopted hubby as a stray (we believe she was dumped) a couple years ago (followed him around like a dog until we let her in! She still does that to me out in the garden ). M.k. had definitely been outside of a little while when we found her, she's a wicked hunter (2 shrews a day at least) but wary of new cats.

Tasha - our little wild kitten! We got her from the OSPCA last year (she's now just over a year old) we didn't know she hadn't been properly socialized... so we brought her home & she promptly found a spot and hid and hid and hid for MONTHS. She's finally come around to me but is still wary of me and is completely terrified of my husband (she used to poo every time she saw him, at least that has stopped). We're really hoping being friends with the new kitten will bring her around a little more.

Anyway, we're sure Tasha & Peaches are going to get along famously, and I know Miss Kitty will appreciate Tasha having someone else to beat up (the old fart sumo wrestles with her, it's hilarious!!). Right now Tasha is darting in & out of the room Peaches is in to have a quick look at her then scurry off again .

It's Miss Kitty that I'm really worried about. We used to have an old tom come around the house who also happened to be gray tabby & white. Miss Kitty has been snarling & spitting at Peaches every time she sees the little kitten and then runs away (although M.K. has been avoiding Peaches as much as possible). M.k. gave Tasha a VERY different reception and really took her in as her own kitten (in a very m.k. way) so I really think it's Peaches' colour that is throwing her off.

Now I didn't expect this to be a complete love fest for the new cat! She's only been here 3 days, so I'm just happy no one wants to fight. I've tried the rubbing the house-cat scent on the new cats, rubbing the new cat then letting the house-cats smell my hands, and on smell alone m.k. seems to be perfectly willing to accept the new cat.

So sweater for peaches?

Or vegetable-based paint?

Or just wait?

I've had this issue with horses before but I never knew cats could be colour-biased!!
post #2 of 7
Hi, Nes, saw your post on another board along with the pic. Peaches is adorable even if not peachy coloured in the least. If Peaches has any age on her at all, let them work it out, provided nothing really bad starts to happen. I brought in Her Royal Pushiness in to live with His Royal Hairiness, and 18 months later he STILL hisses at her. He has no REAL objection to her, but still hisses at her at least once a day......and I am beginning to think it is on general principles rather than any real dislike. It did take weeks, however, for the worst of it to stop but there were no real fights - he would look at her, hiss, and bugger off until supper time. Pretty much rinse and repeat for a few months, despite them curling into a tight kitty ball on cold nights. Give it time, watch them as best you can, and it will sort itself out.
post #3 of 7
They need a slower introduction. I'm not surprised there is stress if one of your previous kitties had such a difficult time to the point of defecating at the presence of your husband........One trauma at a time
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well Tasha doesn't poop when she sees hubby any more! Now she's just regular ol' scared of him now. He tries to throw chicken too her, and ignore her when she's sneaking past but she just has something about men. And she was the kitten making the biggest racket and the largest goo-goo eyes at him at the OSPCA! Tasha has been inching closer and closer to peaches, I don't foresee any problem with those two.

We actually introduced M.K. & Peaches to each other alone in the bathroom before peaches went out into the house (LONG story but you can't actually keep a cat locked in our bathroom*). M.K. was far more upset about being in the bathroom with the door closed (she's too fat to fit through the gap ) then with the new kitten, so we decided we were stressing her out & let her back out.

*Actually we don't have any rooms in our house you can lock a cat, which is why Peaches is out in the house. It's a long story but the short version is long-term renovations and no doors...

We also introduced each dog individually, but Peaches loves dogs & the dogs LOVE LOVE LOVE cats so there was no issue there.

We're not actually sure how old M.k. is - the best guess is around 4 or 5 but she could be 8 or more, no one knows .

Anyway things seem to be going a little better. M.k. is getting lots of extra pets and attention, and is pretty happy just staying on a different level of the house from the kitten. Plus until we get snow she's outside all day catching her requisite 2 shrews a day (with the occasional sparrow or small-rat-like-thing we haven't i.d.ed yet)

I still find it quite amusing that she doesn't like the kitten just because of her colour. Tasha is tabby like M.k. & it was maternal love at first sniff!
post #5 of 7
You mentioned atleast 3 cats, and said your "dogs" so that means atleast 2.....I suggest no more pets! If you don't even have rooms to seperate them other then a bathroom, you are already over crowded.......
post #6 of 7
Cats don't dislike other cats because of colour. Smell is how they operate. If one cat goes to the vet and comes home smelling different, the other cat that has lived with it every day will probably hiss at it and not recognize it.

The best way to introduce a new cat is to separate it for some time and swap smells (as you say you've been doing). You also should have one litter box per cat plus 1 extra. Some cats do not like to pee and poo in the same box and others are afraid to use a litterbox if it's too close to another cat so spreading them out and having them accessible to all the cats is important as well. That may explain why the little one had poo accidents as well - it might not have had everything to do with your hubby.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Now that miss kitty has realized on her own that peaches is (a) not a tom cat (b) not going to try and hump her; all hostilities has ceased. Regardless of if anyone wants to believe me I know her initial reaction to Peaches was caused by bad association with that tom cat. She has met lots of our extended family's cats and never reacted like that (non of them have looked like Whiskers before Peaches).

We have more litter boxes then cat, one on each level of the house - that is not the problem with Tasha. Tasha's issue stems from her not being socialized properly as a kitten, and emptying her bowls is a fight or flight response. Tasha is starting to accept my husband and actually slept in our bedroom the last two nights, a BIG step forward.

I really don't believe in separating a new cat for a week in a separate room (which I know is the generally accepted practise). It's a personal decision based on YEARS of cat ownership (I believe Peaches' is something crazy like my 17th cat, not including a group of kittens I fostered some years ago). I strongly believe that cats do better finding their own quiet hiding space in the house so they can explore at free-will once everyone goes to bed. That's just the way I've always done it, that is the way I choose to raise my cats.

Peaches is now a happy & well adjusted member of the family. The cats still aren't too sure about her but give them time & I know they'll all be friends.
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