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Introductions--What is "Normal"?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My 1-year old Simon has been exposed to our 4-month-old female for a week now (only under supervision), after being completely separated for a week.

When they play, Simon pins her down and nips on her 'til she is hissing, growling, and/ or crying. I break up these moments with a towel/ blanket, pillow or a clap of my hands.

No skin is broken, but I can tell that the baby is pissed (her ears go back when she's pinned down) and smarting (hence the cries).

How typical is this behavior between a newly introduced adult and kitten? Should I see a reduction in this form of painful play between them--and when? I am concerned because, eventually, I do want to let the baby out of her "kitten central" room for good; yet I worry that I won't be able to do that if Simon's overly rough behavior continues.
post #2 of 4
My cat Spicey is doing the same exact thing to our new 10wk old kitten, Selena! I mentioned it in my post that says " Spicey is coming around"...haven't heard from anyone yet about this behavior, but I am also concerned. Today, he's been chasing her around, trying to "get her", but she's scared of him now and just hides under the couch.

I would not leave your cats alone at this point. they need small mini-meetings...I usually don't have them together for more than 10 mins at a time, maybe twice a day or so.

I would love to feel safe at this point and be able to have them together, but I they aren't ready for that. I've read that it may take several weeks or even months for the cats to adjust to one another. So, patience is truly key here to making this introductory phase a success.

Hang in there...I'm sure both our cats will eventually be friends...it's just going to take a while longer than we want it to!
post #3 of 4
Do you give the older kitty a chance to get off the younger one? I have a one year old and a 10 week old and when I first got the kitten, I had the same problem. However, I gave the older kitty enough time and whenever the kitten would hiss or cry the older would get off of her. When your older kitty wrestles the younger one, give them a second and see if the older gets off of the baby. Maybe he doesn't mean to hurt her and if you are quick to break them up, it doesn't give him/her a chance to get off on his/her own.

Just for a little bit of comfort, I had the same thing happen with my babies and now they LOVE wrestling each other. They have grown to respect each other. Every now and then someone gets a little hurt and they scream, and the other takes a time out. Be patient. It will be okay!
post #4 of 4
I am from the school of thought that you keep new kittens/cats seperated from resident cats for at least 2-3 weeks. Also when new kittens arrive, I put them in a room, but I don't use a door to shut them off from the house, I use a screened door- custom made from wood and chicken wire. This allows the resident cats to catch the scent of the new one(s) and allows the kittens to do the same, it also really helps when they are finally put together and you have less prey response, which is what you are describing in your posts. If you can't get a screen door, using a baby gate and expanding it vertically in the doorway serves the same purpose.

I would now resort to scent trickery and start putting vanilla extract on your kitten and your cat to make them smell the same. Put a small dab on their chins, between their shoulder blades and at the base of their tails. I would also invest in a Comfort Zone room mister and set it up to see if that helps the aggression factor. Next time the two of them tango, take a wooden chair and carefully place it over them. This startles them out of their behavior and does make them think twice about attacking again. just be sure you don't set it on a tail or a paw.
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