[LMB] OT: AKICOTL Cats and Kittens

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Mon Aug 13 22:03:10 BST 2007

Suey asked...

> Anyone got any advice on how to introduce older female (4 and 3yo)
> cats to 12 week old boy kittens. The kittens have been in the spare
> bedroom since Saturday. Both of the older cats have tried to get in
> but when allowed into the room had major hissy fits.
> We'd like to open the bedroom door and let them out but are a bit
> worried about whether there will be carnage!

My experience of introducing kittens to a household where there already cats 
has generally run along the lines of...

Shut cats out of one room; introduce kitten(s) to that room, allow kitten(s) 
to explore/get comfortable.
Let cats in to room with kitten(s).  Stand by to break up serious fights.
Leave felines to get on with it.

Yes, there will be major feline hissy-fits.  They'll work things out their 
own way, but it takes time.  Last time, we had 10 days of cats swearing at 
kitten and then running away; 10 days of cats swearing at kitten and then 
smacking him; 10 days of cats ignoring kitten.  After that, they all settled 
down more-or-less amicably...dubious neutrality was the order of the day for 
a while, and the older cats never really got past tolerating the kitten.

Cats do tend to be quite possessive of their space and their people, and are 
often not willing to share either unless they've grown up together in that 
space and with those people.  Your adult cats may never like the kittens, 
but they can learn to put up with them, and the sooner you let the felines 
mix the easier that will be.

Do remember to give the adult cats as much positive attention as you give 
the kittens; they do need reassurance that they are not being supplanted in 
your affections.  But likewise, don't allow either cats or kittens to attack 
each other with intent to hurt.

And good luck!

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian (long-time cat-owned).
Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
- Napoleon Bonaparte 

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