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Jealous Little Tonk!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have just introduced a new kitten into our household. Sootie is a black smoke female British Shorthair (12 weeks old). I have two other cats: Noo Noo the fluffy grey neutered male moggy (5 years old) and Frida the seal spotted speyed Tonkinese (5 months old).

Noo (who has no territorial instinct whatsoever) is nonplussed, as he spends most of his time outside and as long as the foodbowl is attended is generally happy. I got Frida as a companion for Noo, who had a bad upbringing (until I adopted him at 4 months of age). He has become a lot happier since Frida arrived - coming inside more and being more relaxed - but he doesn't provide Frida with the close and youthful companionship that she needs. Hence the kitten.

But Frida thinks that she is my baby and has been aggressive from the word go. I made the initial mistake of placing Sootie in a room that has a chair in it that Frida likes to sit on. Frida is no fool and I had to introduce them sooner than I would have liked. Sootie has since been moved to the downstairs bedroom which is neutral territory. I sleep with her downstairs so that Frida can retain her kingpin position in our bed with my partner, but this is not suitable long-term.

Frida hisses and growls at Sootie. I tried the tactic of putting Sootie in a cage so that Frida and Noo could adjust to her presence. I also rubbed their scents all over one another before I did this, and continue to do it. I feed all of them together, talk soothingly and blink and smile reassuringly. I pay extra attention to Frida. Sootie can now come out of the cage (which is better because she was vocally unhappy about being in it, which just stressed everyone out more) but I wouldn't leave her alone with Frida, who prowls and growls and will lash out if she feels the need.

What else can I do?

I don't want to ruin the special relationship that I have with Frida, and I don't want Sootie to remain the underdog forever. Sootie is a sprightly little thing and I believe that the girls have a lot in common and could be best mates if Frida lets go of the aggression. Noo couldn't care less but is sick of Frida's growling and, being the non-confrontational cat that he is, disappears outside.

Although these are early days (day 3 to be precise) and some progress has been made I would appreciate advice. I am intuitive, patient, and get on well with cats. If I had not recognised the loneliness in Frida (and I was right about Noo) I would not have got another kitten.

Sootie is having a nap on my knee. Frida has taken over the cage (the funny little girl has always loved the carry-cage) and is having a nap in that. Noo is out and about. So for now, all is peaceful - but puds don't nap forever!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for your replies.

Pudlover, Frida, Sootie and Noo Noo
post #2 of 6
Sounds like it was to quick and to soon for everyone to adjust- Please see this link to get some idea of what to do.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I wanted to take it one step at a time but Frida "Quizzy Beak" rushed in before I could hide the kitten. I had read cat psychology books (prior to) and surfed the net for advice but all of it is pre-introduction advice, in this case not very helpful. As it isn't an uncommon predicament surely there must be some advice out there?! Thanks for the link but I have already read it. I agree that prevention is better than cure but I need a cure. I thought that Frida, because of her nurturing nature and her age (she is, afterall, a kitten herself) would be less hostile than she is, though I agree that their meeting took place too soon.
post #4 of 6
If they are just hissing and growling, you are safe. It is when they attack each other with hostile intent that you need to be concerned. Have you tried the vanilla extract trick, where you put it on all the cats to make their scent neutral? You can also look into rescue remedy- and drop it in the water. But hissing and growling is a turf reaction and your head cat is telling the newcomer that someone else besides this interloper is in charge.

Also if they don't have a cat condo, that will help as well. Many a turf war has been decided fairly peacefully on a condo with the winner gaining the top of the mountain.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yes I will give bach flowers a go and I will look into getting a cat condo (although we are fairly choice limited here in Wellington NZ!) as both of them could do with a sratching post/cat gym. The good news is that Frida has given up on the noisemaking (though for how long I'm not sure) and she and Sootie just touched noses with no altercations! Sootie is running around like a mad thing and Frida is mellowing on the sheepskin with barely a hint of aggression. Progress!
post #6 of 6
If you are crafty and can make one, you can PM me for more details if you wish?
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