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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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i have six cats, recebtly rescued a kitten 3 months old, had

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i have six cats, recebtly rescued a kitten 3 months old, had him fixed but he chases my old ones and they hide under the bed, they haven't been downstairs for 2 weeks now, he strolls upstairs and chases them under the bed, my old cats growl and hiss, I have put him in a cage so that the old guys can see him, and he worked himself out of the cage, I dont want my others to stay under the bed 24-7, at night I have to lock him in a room for the night and during the day the others are under the bed, i have brought food upstairs for the others to eat, is this a mistake, what can I do, I don't want to get rid of the little guy, any suggestions do you think they will ever get along, will they always fight, at night when I put the terroist in his own room, all the others come out and crawl in our bed, but they are very careful,    help

Hi there,
Congratulations on your new kittens, and I'm sorry to hear he's upsetting your other cats' routine. I do have some tips that I believe will help.

First, quarantine the newcomer. Put him in a room by himself when he's not being directly supervised, with his own food and water and his own litter box. Continue providing your old cats with a sanctuary where they can hide away if they like, with their own food, water, and litter.

Then, take a piece of laundry you have worn, such as a shirt or a sock, and rub it all over the kitten immediately before putting them together. Allow him out of his room for a short while-- maybe an hour-- while you are around to supervise. Allow the old cats to hide if they like, or to come out and investigate him. Making him smell like you will make it more likely that they will accept him. While he is out, play with the kitten, so that he is distracted and not chasing the other cats. Young kittens often don't have the social skills they need to interact peacefully with established adults that aren't related to him, and having something else to focus on will help him learn.

Gradually increase the amount of time that he is out over several weeks. This needs to be a long, slow process, and you should rub him with laundry each time he comes out. When the growling and hissing start to drop off or stop, you can start leaving the kitten out unattended. Be patient... cats are slow to adapt to change.

Having at least 1 more litter box than you have cats is helpful, as cats will often guard litter boxes to express territorial ownership (You don't belong here, and I won't let you pee! Now leave!) It's great that you are giving the old cats a place to hide and eat in peace, but reducing their exposure to the kitten and gradually letting them warm up to him as he learns stronger social skills may help too. Feliway diffusers can also help reduce stress and encourage attachment.

Most cats eventually come around and get along. Some just don't like each other and never will, but I think with time and patience, your cats have a very good chance of at least tolerating one another, if not enjoying one anothers' company.
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