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Another new kitten post...I'm at a loss

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I REALLY am at a complete loss and could use a hand from some experienced cat owners, and I know it's a bit lengthy, but I wanted to provide as much info as possible.

Ok, so I adopted Dante from the pound a little over a month ago, he was 7 months old. I had him neutered, he and I get along splendidly, hes not the most cuddly cat but we have a nice relationship and thats all great.

Anyways, a couple weeks ago I heard a meowing out behind my work and after a search a few of us tilted the dumpster over to find a kitten trapped underneath it, which had been there since the morning before, about 30 hours ago. So I took her to the vet, got her cleaned up and all her shots and everything and are ready to bring her home (I utterly despise the way the animals are kept at the pound, so of course I'm going to try to keep her).

Enter dilemma.

I let them sniff eachother through the cat carrier (the kitten is 5 weeks old by the way) and there was no hissing, so I thought "Ok they seem to be alright, I can see how they do if I open the cage, I'll just watch them to make sure its ok". Well, they start wrestling a little, but neither of them are making sounds, so I figure its just a dominance thing or play. After awhile the kitten started to make a sort of agitated sound when Dante would pin her, didnt sound angry or anything, just...grrr, i guess.

So I decided it was enough play time and set her up in my bathroom, with her own litter box/food bowls/bed/toys etc. Shes been here for about a week now, and I go in and sit and play with her, and she is adorable and loving and sleeps on my lap and so she and i get along great as well. And she and Dante play footsies under the door all the time and when she meows he meows back, sometimes at me.

Now, I've been letting her out every now and then for monitored interaction time with Dante each day and it's always the same, they wrestle and chase (always Dante chasing her). Dantes ears are back sometimes, which I know to be an aggressive kind of thing for cats...and he seems to bite at her, but doesnt scratch or break the skin, hasnt ripped furr or anything either. Still, no hissing, but it looks like hes being too rough and the kitten might be hurt or scared, so I'll give a short, sharp hiss and he'll back off. But, then the kitten gets up and runs and tackles his leg (although sometimes she'll run and hide under me)...leaving me confused and them back at it. Sometimes when he pins her though he licks her bottom alot...which I don't know what that means, I hoped it was a positive, grooming kind of thing but it doesn't last long before theyre beating eachother (actually, Dante is the only one doing the beating) up again.

Is that playing or real dangerous aggression between them? Have I ruined their chances of getting along by the way I introduced them? What can I do to help establish a friendship with them? How can I tell when hes crossed the line from showing dominance to just wanting to kill her? I can't think of anything else but just ask if you have questions...please help me to get these two to get along!
post #2 of 4
Is she spayed? If not she needs to be that will help. Plug in a few comfort zone room diffusers if she is fixed and let the two of them work them out. There is bound to be territorial issues from the resident cat, after all he has run your home for quite awhile Many vets now do early spay and neuter it just depends on how up-to-date they are on this. You can also spray the kitten with a little bit of bitter apple- actually spray your hand and rub the kitten with your hand, that will stop any serious confrontations for a bit
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response!

No the kitten isnt spayed yet, I wasn't sure how early I could have that done, but I'll be sure to ask my vet if they can perform that. Also, Dante has had his front claws removed, while the kitten has not...I did'nt know if there was any way he could recognize that and project it in some sort of jealousy. Great, I'll check with the vet and keep watching them.

thanks again!
post #4 of 4
It sounds to me like they are doing quite well. Because they are both so young, they have a lot to learn about playing. When we got our two kittens it seemed for a while that the male was hurting the female. Sometimes she'd hide under the couch for awhile where he couldn't get her. But after awhile she'd be ready for another game. We talked to our vet about it and he told us that young cats have to learn what is acceptable and what is not. When our male got too rough he would lose his playing partner... he gradually learned to tone it down if he wanted to keep playing. The same theory as kittens biting their owners--when it starts to hurt the game is over. That's how they learn.

I think you've done a great job keeping everyone supervised and safe and I really commend you for saving that little kitten from the dumpster!
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