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I screwed up...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have two older cats - Sniper, a 2.5 year old male, and Target, a 1 year old female. I just added a kitten to the mix - Bullet, a 7-week old female.

Well, I had full intention of doing the proper thing - keep them all separated from her for a week and gradually introduce scents... until my husband let her out of her room. And that kind of killed that approach.
So.. her first day home, she spent a few hours in her room (unforunately all I have for her is a bathroom, but she has everything she needs). Hubby had her out and in sight of the other on our main level that evening, a couple of times. There was some hissing, and one slap (no claws, thank goodness).

Bullet slept in her bathroom all night - didn't trust the other two with her.

This morning, the other two cats were quite good - quiite affectionate (well, they always are before food). Hubby brought the kitten into the bedroom - about 2 days earlier than I wanted this to happen, but I was still asleep, couldn't stop him. It went ok, although it was only Target and Bullet in the room.

Today, I've let her out amongst the other two three times - all three times were a 45 to an hour play session, then back into her room to sleep for a few hours.

The problem: Sniper is hissing at both of the other cats, not just the kitten. I think it's just him trying to demonstrate his dominance over the other two, but not really sure. I'm hoping it will stop in a few days. If not, well, the lady I got the kitten from is glad to take her back.

Any suggestions? I'm not alway shome so can't always track how much she's out with the others, and as soon as she hears a voice, she wants to be with us. She's very sociable. Any advice appreciated. At least I'm keeping her to her own blanket, not using the others, but it seems to be stressing out Sniper.


- wondering if I've done the wrong thing.
post #2 of 7
First of all, I DO NOT think you should take the kitten back just yet. It sounds as though showing dominance is exactly what Sniper is doing, and Bullet just needs to understand that. None of my cats have ever been introduced the "right" way, and all are very good friends. Just keep trying, its not all lost just because of a bad beginning!!! Keep us updated on the situation as much as you can I'd love to see some pics too
post #3 of 7

You have NOT done anything wrong...You did a great thing giving this young cat a loving home. Pat yourself on the back...OK?

Since things have so far worked out amiably, I would say go ahead and let them interact as much as possible, they may scuffle a bit, but so long as it doesn't get nasty, I wouldn't worry. Give them a chance to establish where they stand, and understand that as a kitten and new member of the family Bullet will be on the lower end of the pecking order wether she understands it or not, but she will get through it just fine.

Since she is a kitten, she will most likely be able to adapt to the other cats without a problem, and they will have a much better tolerance of her, the introduction/socialization should work out ok. Make sure you give the cats as equal an amount of attention as possible, that way hopefully none of them get jealous.

So long as Sniper isn't totally stressed out, a little hissing isn't unheard of. Try to comfort him [and all of them really] but also do your best not to reward him for bad behavior.

Be patient, try to let them settle this out in their own way only intervening if the situation starts to get out of hand. Within a few days though, things should be well on their way back to normal.

Please keep us updated and don't hesitate to ask us if you are concerned about something.

You're doing a good thing

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support. I'm glad to know that others have been through this too!!!

Target and Sniper get extra attention in the morning and before bed, since they have bedroom access. so I think that will help. I'll keep working at the three of them over the next few days and keep you posted. As for the kitten, she's not afraid of anything. (But she does stop in her tracks when Sniper hisses at her for trying to come to close! Right now that distance is about 3 feet :-)
Oh yeah. And every time he walks by her or her room :-)

He's getting a little better I think though.

Thanks again!
post #5 of 7

post #6 of 7
I got my second cat as a playmate for the first. My older cat wasn't thrilled at ALL in the beginning. I would get so upset and worry that I did the wrong thing, too.

But now my kitties get along great! They play together and cuddle up together. There are still times that the little one gets on the bigger one's nerves, but I think that's normal. The same thing happens with people.

There are some pictures of my kitties together in the link in my signature line.

Good luck with your little one! I think it will all work out.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well, it's looking like I didn't screw up after all. The kitten is doing just fine.

Sniper (the 2.5 yr old) still hisses at her if she gets too close, but he let her play with his tail a couple of times, and has been witnessed licking her (he thought we weren't looking) :-)

Target, the 1 yr old, has decided that the kitten is a great playmate. They play tag for about half an hour in the morning, and again in the evening. And right now, each cat is passed out in their respective sleeping places. :-)

I'm still keeping her in the bathroom through the night, cuz she's not figured out the cat door to get into the litter room yet - she has her own litter box with no door on it. So it will be that way for a while yet - until she's big enough to actually open the door. But she seems quite content, and quite insistent on being let out when she hears us get up in the morning!

So... I think we'll be ok. I think the best part is that I work from home, so I'm able to watch them, and they get a lot of interaction time. And more play time individually than they would otherwise. Thank goodness this is working out!!!!

Thanks again for your help!
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