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Old 03-19-2009, 05:53 AM
 
3 posts, read 66,052 times
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I know this has been posted somewhere as I did a search and that is how I came to find this forum. However my situation is different and therefor have different questions..

I have a 2 year old cat that was a rescue cat. He is currently 23 lbs and healthy, The vet says he is NOT over weight because he is just a very tall and long cat. He is the type of cat that doesn't like a lot of affection etc.

My daughter adopted a kitten on Tuesday. she is 3 months old. Due to my apartment being very small (2 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and living room combo) the kitten was let in the main living quarters. The kitten ignores the older cat, the older cat for the most part ignores her.

I didn't lock her in one room upon getting her and had discussed it with the shelter upon adopting and they said it would be fine as we put her in a room with an older cat and she basically ignored it. Plus 1. I felt like it was punishing the older cat and 2. she cries non stop when she is not with you and neighbors complained already about that.

BUT my older cat has stopped eatting and using the litter box. He has become aggressive towards my daughter and I and somewhat towards the kitten. My main concern is he will not eat, will not allow us near him, will not come in the bedrooms and sleep any more.

I know its only been two days and they need time to adjust but it concerns me that he stopped eatting.

The other issue is the new kitten is VERY needy. She needs to be with someone 24/7 or cries. She is always on your lap and at night wants to sleep on your head and keeps us all awke by licking our faces. I have gotten 2 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours and am dead tired. I tried shutting her out of the bedrooms but she cries and keeps everyone awake even the neighbors.

Any suggstions? I know they need time but how do I get my older cat to eat? and how do I get this kitten to stop keeping us up all night by licking our faces?
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Palm Coast, FL & Floral Park, NY
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I think you socialized the cats too quickly. Whenever I introduced a new cat to my apartment/home, I always isolated the new cat so that it could first get used to me, the surroundings, a routine, eating, sleeping, sounds, using the litter box, etc. Gradually you introduce a new room to the cat, and maybe a "peek" at the older cat. It takes time but it is necessary in my opinion to be patient and not rush into things. Its all about behavior and you are trying to keep it as consistent as possible. The older cat not eating is no doubt due to the presence of the kitten. THe aggressive behavior and the litter box behavior as well.

I would confine the kitten during the day when you are at work or your daughter is not home and even leave the kitten in the room when you are home. Spend time with them in the other room and keep the kitten company but give your older cat a chance to adjust.

The not eating could become an issue so hopefully you can get the cat back on track. Good luck.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, FL
1,007 posts, read 5,396,749 times
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I have had this scenario several times. I just got a rescued kitten on New Year's day. My other cat is now 3 years old. My new kitten is also very needy. They all are. My other cat was very withdrawn for the first couple days- always hiding. As time goes on, the older cat will come around. My older cat wouldn't eat either - one reason is because the kitten eats like a horse. Anyway, I ended up locking the kitten away so my other older cat can eat in peace. At first she still won't eat much.. but give it time. You probably need to separate their time in the litter box as well. They do get upset with you. You must give them equal time. I found that showing the older cat affection while the kitten around helps them understand they aren't being forgotten. Mine now play together and are fine most of the time. They still have their moments. They don't like sleeping together .. my kitten tries to sleep next to the older one, but the older one doesn't like it - I guess she is in her "space". They will work it out. Just make sure you give time to the older one. My older one still has issues eating - so I still try to set time aside for her to eat in peace.

Can't help about the kitten keeping you up at night. Mine likes to sleep on my head. You can keep them out of the bedroom by closing the door. But I haven't done that either. She is getting better, but that will continue until they get older - until they understand your routine. But my other cat always woke me up in the wee hours also - usually sleeps between my legs . So.. I have just gotten used to it - at least she doesn't use me as a "spring board" running across the bed.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:04 PM
 
536 posts, read 1,044,324 times
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i would keep new kittens in large dog carrier/crates in the same room with the other cats when i wasn't home. and feed them in their seperate from the others. that way they could become aware of each other without too many issues. i know it's a concern about your older cat not eating but he will come around when he is hungry enough. as for the kitten keeping you awake that's what it is when there is a new baby in the house. that too probalby won't last forever. except in my house when it's cold and i have all five and a husband in bed with me. good luck
,,,^..^,,,
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:02 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 7,648,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimimela View Post
I

I didn't lock her in one room upon getting her and had discussed it with the shelter upon adopting and they said it would be fine as we put her in a room with an older cat and she basically ignored it. Plus 1. I felt like it was punishing the older cat and 2. she cries non stop when she is not with you and neighbors complained already about that.

BUT my older cat has stopped eatting and using the litter box.
. Shame on the shelter in question.

As already stated here, you older cat is suffering from stress and has withdrawn. This can go either way but by no means should you be under the illusion that is all will work itself out. Sometimes it doesn't and you can end up with two cats that effectively hate each other and are stressed to an extreme. You need to start managing the situation and you need to start now to actively try to avoid this happening.

Kitten may not like some of the measures, but sorry - you do have an obligation and a responsibility to your resident pet first and foremost.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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Just to let you all know that I do not work so am home all day and in no way allow them to be alone. They are monitored at all times. The male (older cat) is mainly my cat. He is very anti social and is a one person cat but has never liked to be held, or pet, etc. He sleeps on the bed when he wants to. The kitten is mainly my daughters cat. The older cat is getting just as much attention as he always has, if not more. They are fed seperately as they are on different foods.
I also did try to put the new one in the bedroom at first to seperate them and the older cat seemed more stresed as he has never scratched my carpets at all and now I have a huge hole in the carpet near the door the kitten was in. So that is why I opened the door. I took them both to the vet today and was told they actually are doing great together and not to worry since the older cat will eat when he is hungry. He has been eatting treats and playing with me like he always has tonight.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:34 PM
 
3 posts, read 66,052 times
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Originally Posted by Samrai309 View Post
I think you socialized the cats too quickly. Whenever I introduced a new cat to my apartment/home, I always isolated the new cat so that it could first get used to me, the surroundings, a routine, eating, sleeping, sounds, using the litter box, etc. Gradually you introduce a new room to the cat, and maybe a "peek" at the older cat. It takes time but it is necessary in my opinion to be patient and not rush into things. Its all about behavior and you are trying to keep it as consistent as possible. The older cat not eating is no doubt due to the presence of the kitten. THe aggressive behavior and the litter box behavior as well.
I understand what you are saying. However as I said my apartment is small. Two bedrooms (mine and my daughters) and a living room kitchen combo. The older cat sleeps under my daughters bed or on my bed. I believe he would resent her more if he couldn't do what he is use to doing. After all I don't have a room to let her stay in that I can slowly introduce her to. My daughter is a senior in high school and has to keep her grades up and needs her sleep so the kitten can not be locked in her room as it stays up all night. If I lock it in my room I am definately stressing the older cat out since he has always slept in my room at night (under my daughters bed during the day when she is at school). My bathroom is small and has no windows and to be honest with you a litter box will not fit in the bathroom to keep her in there. Maybe the whole thing was a bad idea. The ONLY reason I even considered adopting anothe cat was because my daughter has a spinal injury and her nuerologist wanted her to get a cat for pet therapy and my older cat wouldn't work since he doesn't like to be touched much.. I know I am overwhelmed and stressed!
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:28 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 7,648,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimimela View Post
he has never scratched my carpets at all and now I have a huge hole in the carpet near the door the kitten was in.

I took them both to the vet today and was told they actually are doing great together
And the vet told you this on the basis of what? A few minutes with them in an examining room?!

Look, I know you're upset. Truly I do. You were expecting "Happy Families" and it's not and it's definitely not going according to plan. But you need to sit down and think about your situation and the cats - clearly and logically.

1) Vets can be singularly ignorant about behavior. I'm not saying all vets, I'm not saying most vets. I'm saying a vet can be. (They studied medicine, not behavior and they're two different sciences.) To wit: how your cats behave at the vets may bear no resemblance to how they behave at home. Cats are territorial, and the vets office is not his/her territory. A cat may be anxious at the vets, in which case all normal behaviour goes on hold while the cat deals with the situation at hand.

2) You seemed to have been on the receiving end of some, in my opinion, shockingly bad advice. You went to the shelter in good faith thinking they'd steer you in the right direction. In my opinion, they've failed you, they've failed your adult cat and they failed the kitten. To me, it's the effect on your adult cat that's the most important. This is my view - others may see it differently.

Take a minute to try to put yourself in his shoes: he has an established life, an established routine, his world ran like clockwork, and life was pretty darn good. *Poof* enter screaming meemee. What was "his" is his no more - his world, his existence, is now a shared existence with ... a kitten. A high energy, high octane, playful, annoying, frustrating, will-the-damn-thing- ever-sleep, kitten. Due to your living situation, he has no safe haven currently. He cannot get away from it and he really does need to. He's stressed - as indicated by not eating, not using the litter tray, and scratching. He's not a happy bunny.

3) Kittens are predisposed to get along with other cats - they're growing and developing beings and would, in the wild, still be part of the colony at 3 months of age. An adult cat who has been a lone pet for "x" number of years is going to have a very different point of view. To put a 3 month old kitten in a room with an adult cat for however many minutes and declare the kitten "sociable" is... well, lunacy is a polite word. What everyone seemed to fail to consider is the effect of bringing a 3 month old kitten into the established territory of a 2 yr old male cat!

Is there any reason the shelter did not direct you to a placid adult cat whose character was a known value? Cats, like all animals, come in varying personalities and temperments. What a kitten is going to become - i.e. personality-wise - is anyone's guess. With an adult cat, you're getting a "known value". I personally feel the shelter failed you in not directing you to an easy-going, any-more-laid-back-and-it-would-be-in-a-coma adult cat who wants to be nothing more than a lapcat and is not interested in climbing the curtains. This personality type would also make it easier for your established cat to accept it.

There is a framework that should be followed when you are bringing in a new cat to a household where there's an established cat. It is not, by any means, throw them together and hope for the best - slow, careful introductions work best. You must give your resident cat the chance to get used to the new idea. This isn't just a theory, it is a fact. Undoubtedly there are people out there that do just throw them all together. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. But if you think about it from the resident's cat point of view, it's a pretty stinky policy.

Again, I'd advise that take a good, hard look at what, in reality, you can &/or cannot do in trying to make the current situation workable.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:41 PM
 
4,948 posts, read 17,607,397 times
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Cat number one is Gold, and we now have a new kitten? OK it can work, and how?
You alone do need to decide this! Sometimes a match is not met to be.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:15 AM
 
Location: USA
1,107 posts, read 2,773,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samrai309 View Post
I think you socialized the cats too quickly.

I would confine the kitten during the day when you are at work or your daughter is not home and even leave the kitten in the room when you are home. Spend time with them in the other room and keep the kitten company but give your older cat a chance to adjust.
Yes, this is good advice. I am going through a difficult time with my 7 month old and 7 year old because I did not introduce them correctly. I spoke to a cat behaviorist, and she gave me some good advice, but it's going to take time. See my thread " Need Kitty Advice ". If you do things correctly now, you can spare yourself and your kitties a lot of grief. I highly recommend you keep them separate for awhile and let them get used to each other.

I also recommend you purchase a book quickly, it's called "Cat vs. Cat - Keeping The Peace When You Have More Than One Cat". It's quite good and has good advice for bringing a new kitty into the home.
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