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Introducing a 6-month-old kitten

post #1 of 2
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Last Friday (12/28) my husband and I brought my daughter's 6-month-old, male kitten to live with us. She is only allowed two cats at her apartment complex and was 1 over the limit since falling in love with "Fig" when he was 8 weeks old. He had adapted well to my daughter's 11 year old siamese and also played ocassionally with my son's six month old kitten when he would bring her over. My daughter decided that Fig is really a people cat and also realized he needs some younger playmates for both his sake and the two seniors. Even though we already have 5 cats we agreed to take him.

I have introduced many kittens into our home through the years so am fairly experienced. I recently introduced Melody, now six months when she was 8 weeks old. It took only two days for the others to begin playing and sleeping with her.I could use some creative tips from others however as it is going a bit slower with Fig.

After a 6 hour car ride Fig was a bit stressed and cut loose with an ear-splitting scream the moment he saw one of our cats. We have been keeping him in our room and supervising meeting with the others. Our 11 yr old female, Clancy is amused by the whole thing. Einstien,also 11 sleeps through most of Fig's hissing. Isaac (2 1/2) has been curious and ocassionally hisses but would really like to play. Melody our 6 month old has patiently sat as close to Fig as he would tolerate. They spend time in our room together,slept together on our bed yesterday and with us last night. They touched noses today.

Newton (1 and a half, neutered, male) is furious. He attacks Fig at any and every opportunity and sits outside our bedroom door when Fig is closed in there. We put Newton in our spare room off and on throughout the day so that Fig can get used to the rest of the house.Fig hisses and growls back but backs down or runs for his life. We praise all of the cats when they are together without any fussing. I am also giving Newton (who thinks he has exclusive rights to me) extra attention and cuddles. He is still agressive. This afternoon, I finally began using the water bottle to squirt him during supervised interactions with Fig. I don't like to use the water bottle unless absolutely necassary. Does anyone have any suggestions to make this transition a little smoother? I know that 5 days isn't long in terms of accepting a new member but would like to see harmony return :-) Thanks. In peace, Hannah
post #2 of 2
The best way to get them used to each other is to swap bedding. Let Fig have an old blanket, towel or whatever for several days to lay on (keep him secluded in his room) once his scent is all over it, take the bedding out, put it on the floor where the other cats can sniff at it, lay on it whatever, and take their bedding and give that to Fig. Let all the cats lay over the bedding, then take the bedding out and do another switch by setting the feed dishes on top of the bedding. Figs "placemat" will now have all the other cats scent on it as well as his, and vice versa. You will see a lot of growling, spitting and hissing during this period, but this is normal.

Sounds like Newton is the Alpha cat of the bunch, and he is telling Fig in no uncertain terms that his is Alpha. Newton is hoping that as Fig grows, there will be no attempt to oust him (Newton) as leader, and this is why the early dominance. If it gets to out of hand between the two males, when Newton makes a bad move, instead of squirting him, just scoop him up, tell him NO firmly and roll him over on his back, hold him there only for a second or two NO LONGER.This is your way of telling him YOU are boss, and he abides by the rules, or he submits. It is a very effective way to communicate with alpha males. Good luck and thanks for taking another one into your home.
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