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Am I asking for trouble, or is three a crowd?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a 16 yo F, 2 one and a half yo neutered males who get along great, and a 6 month old unneutered male kitten that I have been fostering since he was 8 weeks old. His mother and three sisters were adopted. My question is this, should I keep the kitten? I have to decide soon as he is eligible for adoption and once he is displayed at Petsmart, he will go fast, a real cutey. He plays with the older boys, but Spike (the alpha) has been pretty rough on him and has shown some agression towards his buddy and my old girl. My other male who used to groom the kitten and spike, seems a little cooler towards kitty too. When I see that, I think the young one should go, but when I see them playing amicably, and I have all three of them on the couch with me, I want to keep him. The old girl hates them all and generally stays in my bedroom with me, or alone with all her necessities. I am home when she is out with them. I know neutering will help, but I am afraid he may challenge Spike for the alpha role and I can't bear upsetting Spikey. He is the crowned prince. Is three a crowd with neutered males? Should I allow this guy to find a better home via being traumatized by being put in a display cage for a few weeks? thanks.
post #2 of 6
You have had the kitten for a while now. I must ask, has things gotten worse between the boys?

I feel your concern, it isn't great when our kitties don't get along. I know your worried that the kitten may take over the alpha role and though it is possible, it is unlikely. If Spike is as dominant as you say he won't give up his title very easily. He already has a head start too. Since the kitten was small, Spike had the upper hand because he was bigger and stronger.

I think the kitten is still trying to test the waters and I think this is where the tensing is coming from. Once the kitten realizes his place, things will calm down. From what you describe it doesn't sound too serious, only happens occasionally if they can all sit nicely with you on the couch. I would give it a bit more time and once the kitten is neutered he will calm down and not be as willing to be the boss (no more ranging testosterone).

There are some things you can do in the meantime to reassure Spike that he is the boss and not the kitten. These are things you probably have been doing, but I would just say them here just in case. Whenever you see both kitties in the room, always speak and pet Spike first, never the kitten. Also always give Spike his food first. And finally don't let the kitten up on Spike's favourite spot, be it whereever it is.
post #3 of 6
You must be an angel, good for you for even taking the kitten in. I would keep the kitten. You've gotten very good advice aboce, and in a multi-cat household, believe me, it will take a min of 6 months to really shake itself all out. Once the Alpha is alpha, not much will change. Do give the kitten his own private space, if you can, and fill it with toys and old sweaters. Also, a sweater of you that has not been washed will be great. He will feel comforted by that and not have jealousy so much when you pet the "first boys", first, feed them first, etc. If you make sure you have just 5 minutes a day "private, quality time" with the new kitten, every day, that will also help the integration. The hissing and the small outbursts of aggression are to be expected.....boundaries are being created....normal stuff. Also, when you leave for long periods play music for everybody while you're gone and always give the kitten a little tiny treat when you return. This distracts him while the boys are being fed. Within a year, everything will be just fine. Better three boys, all fixed, than three girls!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
You have had the kitten for a while now. I must ask, has things gotten worse between the boys?
They are not as close as they used to be. Fang doesn't groom Spike like he used to and Spike seems hurt by it.
I think Spike is jealous of any time Fang spends with the kitty, sitting together, grooming. The kitty can snuggle with Fang, but I don't think Spike allows it with him, since they don't. I see Spike going up to kitty and head butting, expecting the kitty to groom Spikes head the way Fang does, but the kitty isn't buying it. Spike and the kitty playfully chase each other, so I guess it might be ok. The dynamics change every day. I do what you suggested except I didn't know about removing kitty from Spike seats. I will remember that. Don't leave music on for them either. The three boys are together when I am not home, I do separate for one to one, when I am home. 2 on the enclosed porch, while the third is inside with me.

Thanks for you advice. I procrastinated so long that the empty cage is full at Petsmart, gives me more time. I want to get kitty neutered by the end of this month, he was born 08/04, 6 month birthday yesterday. I wanted to add their photos, but I can't figure out how to do it. The FAQs say hit the browse button, but I don't see one. Maybe I am too new for that privelege. If I figure it out I will post them. thanks again.
post #5 of 6
As a foster mom, I would advise adopting him out. He is already 6 months old, and nearing the end of his prime adoptable time frame. Unless you are 100% sure you want him in the family for the next 20 years, send him on his way. That makes room for a new litter or foster kitty, right?

I thought about keeping one of my fosters named Sugartoes. Although I loved her dearly, she didn't totally fit in. She is now extremely happy and loved in her new home. I ended up keeping Jasmine (seen as Red in my siggy). She fits in great, but didn't get really tame. I was wanting a third cat, and she is too skittish to adopt out, IMO. So obviously I'm not opposed to adopting a foster, but be sure it is the right one!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice all. I followed Catdvm's advice and assisited Spike with maintaining his alpha roll and things got better rapidly. All three are getting along great, and after Pablo is neutered this Friday, I suspect they will be even better. I love watching them interact, they are such a joy.
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