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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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We got a new kitten, Dahlia, about 4-5 weeks ago. At the time

Customer Question

We got a new kitten, Dahlia, about 4-5 weeks ago. At the time she was 11 or 12 weeks old. She adjusted quickly to us and our home. She's slept in our bed glued to one of us (mostly me) during the entire night since the first night we brought her home. We got her from a rescue where they keep all of the kittens together in an open room with ample toys and interaction. Not caged apart from one another.We just got her a friend about a week ago. We separated the litter boxes and food and water bowls. Confined Dahlia to the bedroom since she loves to sleep with us, etc etc. Long story short, we are monitoring their supervised interactions, and while Dahlia is doing fine, our new kitten, Monday, growls and hisses whenever Dahlia initiates playing. But when Monday initiates playing, she's fine with Dahlia. It is confusing Dahlia and us. Monday is around 10 weeks old. How do I make Monday feel more confident and accept Dahlia so they can play and be energetic kitties together?? Help!!
Submitted: 2 years ago via KittenCare.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Terri replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry you are worried about the fur kids.
Don't worry a bit about hissing, growling or swatting. - they completely normal.
All her hissing means is:" Hey, who are you? You smell different!! I don't recognize your scent and I am SCARED, so please be patient.
This is the way cats act when they are first introduced.They have a specific language the use to communicate with each other.
You do not need a behaviorist for cats. They are really quite easy to understand.
They do not rationalize, nor are they capable of in depth thought or reasoning.
Everything they do is basic, logical (to them) and makes perfect sense.
In a cat hierarchy a strong kitty will always try to take over and assume the head cat position. In addition, that is always subject to changes if cat one senses weakness in cat two. Cats DO work things out in their own way and they could care less what humans (or behaviorists) think. They only respond to the energy of another animal be it feline, canine or human.
Dahlia HAS accepted Monday and WANTS to be friends. Just ignore any hissing and let them work out the pack standings.
In every relationship there must be a leader and a follower. The cats must be allowed to work this out on there own...I promise they will, IF you let them
DO NOT separate them because it delays their bonding.
Feed them tasty food side by side so they see "good" things happen when they are together.
Use a feather wand or laser pointer to engage them in play.
Be as calm as you can muster. If you act like its purrfectly normal to have both of them, they WILL believe you.
Please let me know how things are going. Just press reply and I will be here for you.
Please be so kind as to rate my answer positively as that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thanks.
If you need any additional information, just click reply and I will be here for you and your fur baby.. Rating will not cut off our communication. This question will always be open for you to reply to me.
Expert:  Terri replied 2 years ago.
Hi Lea,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?