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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20953
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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I have two cats that I got when they were just born, mothers

Customer Question

I have two cats that I got when they were just born, mothers were no where to be found. I bottle fed both cats and they are still with me. One is 13 years old and the other is 8. I brought home a 12 week old kitten two weeks ago from a shelter. She has been living in our bathroom with, as well as being in a cat enclosure a few times a day where the other cats can see her. The oldest cat is a little wary of the new kitten but seemshappyto try and get to know her. The 8 year old female seems to be scared of the kitten, there has been hissing and spitting at the new kitten through the enclosure. Lat Friday I tried to let all cats wander the apartment freely for short periods. On Sunday both the older cats puffed up thier fur, so I returned the kitten to the bathroom. Today the 8 year old began snarling and hissing and went to attack, she grabbed the kitten with her claws, but I clapped , and said hey!
Just wondering if you have any advice , I am worried they might not be able to live in the same space.
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 7 days ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 7 days ago.

Hi, Julie. This process takes a lot of time when you are placing kittens with older cats. The older cats not only feel that its their job to set firm boundaries but kittens have only learned so much about acceptable cat-to-cat interactions as kitten hood is all about play.

I recommend moving the enclosure into an active part of the house like the living room, there the established cats spend a lot of time and are more apt to be expected to socialize. Given the chance, they will often avoid. This allows kitten to see and learn about the established cats safely and it also allows the adult cats to interact and establish boundaries without anyone being stressed or harmed. Now, you're still going to see hissing and puffing of the fur, but this should quickly end. Once the established cats are ignoring her entirely or even socializing nicely, you can allow her a few hours out of the enclosure at a time over a week or so and then move up to full time out of the enclosure. I would recommend if this is a small enclosure to let kitten have the bathroom again at night to stretch out and enjoy rest time.

I’ll be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further.

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Customer: replied 6 days ago.
The enclosure is in the living room already. I will continue to have the kitten in it when we are home. The oldest male cat seems ok with the kitten, but he is trying to keep the peace with the 8 year old female, who has started to be a little agressive,towards him, and they always get along. Thanks for your response.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 6 days ago.

Thanks for your response, Julie. It sounded like the enclosure was in the bathroom for some reason.

What type of enclosure are you using? Pics may help, as well.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
it is canvas and netting, pic attached, thanks
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
No thanks on the call, thank- you
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 6 days ago.

Perfect. Changing from the netting and canvas may give you faster results. Ideally, we want them to be able to easily see each other from a distance and have eye contact without having to approach the kennel. Something like a large dog kennel that's wire would be ideal. 36" and above provide ample space for a bed, food, water and a cat box (I like covered so the kitten can hide if they wish).

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