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fighting kittens-stories or advice?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Indigo (2 mos old) arrived 4 days ago, and is separated from resident Kioko (7 mos old) most of the time. But when I tried them together, they fought like crazy! Rolling, biting, pinning down. They are easy to pull apart, but Kioko cries outside Indigo's door and drives me crazy - she seems to want to be with him, and he paws back at her under the door. Last night, on a hunch, I let Kiki in while he was eating his wet food. He was too involved to care, and she just sniffed his tail and body, curious and calm. That didn't work this morning, though. I've decided no more play time for them for a few days at least.

If you have the time, please reply, I have 2 questions:

1. How do I know when its playing, when it's a necessary bid for dominance, or when it's really fighting?
2. Do you have any stories about cats you had who fought like this? Good or bad outcomes, I'm dying for some insight (will they ever get along?).

Thank you!
post #2 of 9
It's way to early to put them together. If you can put the new one in a room with a screened enclosure instead of a solid door that will help. It goes a lot easier when they can see and smell each other, but they can't get to each other. Even using baby gates and stretching them vertically in the doorway is better than using a solid door.

They need to adjust to each other and for that they need time-

post #3 of 9
I agree with hissy.

(But in general, it is fine for cats to "rough house" with each other but it is going too far if one is getting injuried or displaying lasting effects. IMO)
post #4 of 9
When we put Billy in the pound, and then got him back 2 days later, he smelled different. CJ didn't like that, and we had to keep them separated for a few days. Then, I took a bathing wipe, and cleaned Billy... then, with the SAME wipe, I cleaned CJ.... she still was mean to him a little, but, she soon recognized him again. They are just peachy now, obviously, considering CJ is pregnant, she's an inside cat, and he's my only other cat.

Some people here suggested putting some vanilla extract under the chin and on the tip of the tail on both cats, so that they smell alike. Worth a try?
post #5 of 9
Being they are both actually kittens my guess is that they were playing as kittens do play awfully rough, unless of course they were hissing, really scratching, growling, those sorts of things. But as stated above, it is important to take it slowly, one step at a time, and monitor each step. I would watch carefully too in that although they are both kittens there is a huge difference between 8 weeks and 7 months. Read the threads on introductions. I'm guessing your kitties will be great buddies since they are both young. And when they play, be prepared for some rough fun! Mine chase, play hide and seek, wrestle 'til the fur flies, but they love it!! I remember when Marcellus was 6 months old and we got Wallace (who was 6 months old too so we didn't have the size difference) and my gosh, I thought Marcellus was going to come out of his skin he was so excited to see another cat! He was so happy, I swear by it. They have been buddies ever since. Some cats need lots of time (I would always assume this) and some don't (mine became friends immediately but this isn't the way it is for all cats) so be be patient. Wishing you and your kitties lots of good kitty fun!!!!! I think you will love having 2 two cats!
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I think I'm getting a feel for when they are being okay, and when things are going too far. I fed them some tuna together the other night, and they were fine. I know I was going too fast, but there were reasons that I felt like I had to. Although I didn't get a chance to reply before, your reassurances really helped, so thank you!
post #7 of 9
Just a quick note about separating cats when things go too far.

Don't use your hands to do it. Chances are someone is going to get injured with those claws and teeth flying.

Don't spray water, or even use water. Wet scared kitties are the last thing you need in an already stressed situation.

Do use a large heavy blanket. Drop it over the kitties. It will surprise them both and stop the bickering long enough for you to safely separate them and place them in time out for about 5 minutes.
post #8 of 9
This behavior sounds like normal kitten play. If neither is afraid of the other, I say be happy - your kitties are instant friends!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, things are a little better, but I still can't let the be together for very long. But yesterday Kioko licked Indy's head! They started fighting immediately, but I thought it was a good sign. It seems like Indy is a little intimidated by Kiki's size, and so he always attacks pre-emptively. They chase and fight calmly, during which Kiki often gets distracted and stops with him pinned lightly underneath her. But every time they are together it gets out of hand within a few minutes and Kiki has Indy pinned and bites him hard and fast, and he squeals, hisses and/or growls and I separate them again. It's been two weeks, and I have a feeling it will be a few more before they can be normal with each other. Anyway, thanks again for the advice / encouragement!
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