How can I help my cats get along?
I had two cats already, a 16 year old male (Snowy) and a 3 year old female (Taz). A few days ago I got a female kitten who is 8 weeks old (Clover). I've heard around that you're not supposed to introduce new kittens straight away and that the process has to be slow, however my parents thought it would be a good idea to introduce the Taz to the new kitten nearly straight away.
Taz hissed, which is something we've never heard her do (she's very skittish), and Clover did not seemed frightened. Since then I've been doing my best to keep Clover away from Taz so that I can introduce them properly, slowly and carefully. I'm in school so for 7-8 hours everyday I have no say in what happens. I've noticed that while Clover is around, Taz won't eat, she sits still on the food table and does not take her eyes off the kitten.
I'm worried that Clover's presence will effect Taz's health and I don't want that to happen. I'll be happy if they just ignore each other at the very least. I've talked to my parents and they said that if it doesn't get better then Clover will have to go to a new home. I've already grown so attached to her and get upset at the thought. I suggested we start the process again, but it's going to be difficult. I've been doing as many small things as possible, swapping Clover and Taz's scents (using cloths) and keeping Clover in my room of a night time. My parents are adamant that Taz will get over it but I'm not too sure.
Does anybody have any other suggestions?
- J CLv 76 years agoFavorite Answer
No, this is a case where you are right and they are totally, totally wrong. Good introductions last a lifetime - and so do bad ones. Taz may become so stressed that she will stop eating, and potentially stop using the litterbox. Yes, eventually Taz will get over it - but at what cost? A cat that hates the newcomer forever? Getting sick from not eating? Peeing in the house from the kitten invading her territory? Try finding some articles online about the need for proper introductions, and show them to your parents. There is no reason why this has to be the mess it is - and no reason to get rid of the kitten due to your stubbornness on your parents part. Put Clover in your bedroom and shut the door, and try to tactfully tell your parents that it's for everyone's good. If they won't allow that, then perhaps you can do a sort of "reverse integration" and keep Taz in your bedroom? Sometimes the children are wiser than the parents :(
- 6 years ago
Try introducing them with positive reinforcements. Start with them in separate rooms, with food that you know they love(wet food, a dry food you know they'll gobble down), and start feeding them with the door closed... get them used to the scents of one another, and have them "trade" areas. Them in separate rooms, but rotate so it's a shared space with all their scents around. Once they can eat right at the door smelling one another, then try to slowly open it. It does wonders!