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Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21124
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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I am having a problem with introducing a new kitten to my once

Customer Question

I am having a problem with introducing a new kitten to my once loving 7 year old cat.I
I have had the new kitten for 7 days and the resident cat is so sad and mad.He stays outside most of the time now.I have separated the new kitten from him in the house except for a few brief meetings which end up in the older cat hissing,yowling and screaming.My older cat was previously the perfect boy and I am wondering if I have made a mistake getting new new kitten.Help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome!

My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to help you and your kitties today.

I have a few questions first, to get to know them better:

What are their names?

How old is your new kitten?

Is it male or female?

Are both cats fixed?

How did you first introduce the new kitten to your older cat?

Thanks for all your additional information. After you reply, please allow me some time to go over it, then compose and send your detailed answer.

Warmest wishes,
Cher
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,

I was hoping to hear right back from you with some additional information, but I will send my answer now, and if you have any additional questions, just click reply.

Introducing a new kitten to a resident cat can be a challenge. It also depends on the personalities of the two cats. Your older cat was used to being 'king of the castle' and here comes this 'intruder' who is invading his territory and also, taking up some of your time, which you could be spending with him. This is a very natural and instinctive reaction, but they will work it out, with your help.

As you know, cats can be very territorial and he may not like sharing his space with the new kitten; however, if you are able to use a good new process, this will help. Cats love routine and any minor changes can make them stressed. The first thing I’d recommend, is a ‘scent transfer.’ Take a slightly dampened cloth or paper towel and pet your cat with it, then pet the kitten, then, vice versa. Do this frequently throughout the day. You can also take an old t-shirt of yours and pet them both, so your comforting and familiar scent is carried on their fur all the time. Giving rewards (healthy treats) to both of them (especially your older boy) for good behavior, is also a good idea, as cats associate eating with a pleasurable experience, which will they will then associate with each other. It's very important to take things slowly and follow the most appropriate method for new introductions. You can see more detailed information at this link:

http://jacksongalaxy.com/2010/10/01/cat-to-cat-introductions/


You can use the following products to help your older cat with stress:


http://www.feliway.com/us

http://www.petco.com/product/122726/Vetri-Science-Composure-Feline-Bite-Sized-Chews.aspx

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=3550


Don’t use the Rescue Remedy and Composure chews simultaneously; choose only one. However, both can be used with the Feliway diffuser. There is also a collar that contains calming pheromones similar to Feliway; one is made by Sentry and the other, by Meridian, called Nurturecalm:

http://www.petco.com/product/109457/Sentry-Calming-Collar-for-Cats.aspx


http://www.meridiananimalhealth.com/product/feline/nurturecalm.asp


Try to interest your cats in interactive toys and others, so they're kept occupied and your older cat will associate enjoyable 'playtimes' with the new kitten.


When you get the new toys, divide them into several groups. Change out the groups every few days, and they will feel like they're getting 'new' toys, which will intrigue them, more.

You should have or can get, a tall kitty condo or cat tree with different levels, shelves, and 'hidey holes' for playing, sleeping and scratching (these are covered with carpet). Cats like to be up high, so if your older cat can be on top of the kitty condo, he will feel this is his domain and will feel safer. He will also enjoy a foraging toy, which fulfills the natural instincts of stalking and hunting prey. (more on that, below)

Interactive toys you can play with them, are laser pointers and feather dancers or fishing pole toys. There are even 'automatic' laser toys which you can set on a timer. Another thing he will like, is a dvd with 'critters' of different types playing and doing other activities. I will list information for these types of toys in the links below:

Foraging toys


http://www.zootoo.com/pet-product/cat-toys/funkitty-twist-n-treat

http://www.batarat.com/


http://www.catdvd.com/

http://www.shopfatcat.com/Cat-Toys_c_7.html

http://www.amazon.com/FroliCat-BOLT-Interactive-Laser-Pet/dp/B0021L8W6K


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As a last resort, you can discuss a prescription medication to help calm your older cat's behavior, such as Clomicalm. Here is more info:

http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/prescription/clomipramine-clomicalm


I hope things will improve, soon, but this may take time and I know it's frustrating, but patience and repetition are key in this type of situation. Even if they don't turn out to be 'best friends', as long as they can tolerate each other without aggression or fighting, that will be a positive step. For the moment, continue to keep them separated, and use the new introduction methods to slowly get them used to living in the same space. As time passes, only allow them to be together when you can supervise.

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback so I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you.

Rating will not cut off our communication and you can click 'Reply' at any time to keep in touch with me or ask for any clarification or additional information.

Warmest regards,
Cher


Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.
Hi again, I'm just checking in with you to see how things are going with your cats. I know it may be too early to see a big change, yet, but if you have employed some of the methods I recommended, continuity and patience are key, in this situation. Please keep me updated and also, if you found the information in my answer helpful, please take a moment to provide a positive rating, so I am recognized by the site for my help. Thank you very much! Warmest wishes,Cher