My new baby

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I got a new furbaby today... Waiting for her personality to name her. She's a tuxedo like Betty.

A little skittish. Keeps hiding behind the sofa, I guess cause the big cat keeps hissing at her lol. They will be fine, they just need a little time.

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The little brat was lost for almost 24 hours now! I just found her in a small hole the size of Tom and Jerrys mouse hole in my bathroom.

I had her confined to the bathroom since she and my adult cat aren't exactly getting along yet. I set her down on a tshirt of mine and walked out of the room..closing the door behind me. I came back in less than 5 minutes later and she disappeared.

Long story short, I was looking for her all last night, this morning, then again when I came home from work tonight. I finally resigned myself as bad kitty momma and she musta slipped out of the house...which would be a death sentence for a tiny kitten here in florida.

I walked into the bathroom for one last look. There was poop...and a magic eraser, in the sink. I guess she found a gift to give me to clean up the poop lol.

Can't find her. I pulled everything out of the vanity (which I have done many times by now). I have two bathrooms and this is the really small one. Drove me nuts for the past three hours. At least I know she didn't get out.

I spotted a hole where there probably should be a shim between my vanity and the side wall. I put a bowl of wet food there and out came a little nose LOL. Little jerk. I pulled the bowl farther and farther out until she was out far enough to grab her. Thankfully she was starving enough to come out. I had food there in the bathroom all day and she didn't come out to get it. I even changed the food when I got home from work. Nothing, until I put it right up to the hole.
 

earlene

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Poor scared baby! She sounds like she is traumatized and needed to feel safe. Is she shaking? We rescued a baby kitten from a hole in a building around the corner from us when my boys were little and that kitten never stopped shaking.

How was her night? I hope she calmed down and that your adult cat stops that hissing.

Have you tried using a calming product?
 

Babyshoes

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She's gorgeous!

In my experience, once they start eating, they'll begin to settle in fairly soon after that. It's good that you were able to lure her out with food!

Jackson Galaxy has some good videos about introducing cats. I don't fully agree with all of his techniques because all cats have their own personalities and can react differently, but the main principle of doing it slowly, is solid advice.
 
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Poor scared baby! She sounds like she is traumatized and needed to feel safe. Is she shaking? We rescued a baby kitten from a hole in a building around the corner from us when my boys were little and that kitten never stopped shaking.

How was her night? I hope she calmed down and that your adult cat stops that hissing.

Have you tried using a calming product?
I have never had a kitten that was so shy. The big cat doesn't help, but the little one is so timid all the time. They told me at the rescue that she was shy, I'm thinking that was an understatement. Also thinking that she might have been feral.

However, after the trauma of being in a hole for all that time, she is starting to warm up to me. She purrs SOOO loud, you can hear it in the bedroom from her bed in the closet. She ate treats from my hand today and let me walk her around the house with no fussing. And I haven't heard her meow until I got home from work tonight, so much cuter than hearing "turkey cat" LOL.

I opened up the door to the closet (its a big walk-in closet) to the bedroom and she promptly went behind the dresser to hide. I'm not sure if I should just leave her to investigate (if she ever does), or just slowly introduce her to the world. I don't know. I have never had a kitty so afraid of everything. Every kitten i have gotten in my life has been fearless, but they have always come from homes. Chloe is just content hiding behind things or sitting in the cat carrier. I put towels in it to make a bed for her, but when I come back they are all pushed to the front and she is just sitting or laying on bare plastic.

I tried playing with her, but she doesn't want to yet. I don't know if she ever played with toys before. She doesn't seem to know that this is fun.

I guess its just gonna take some time...

The only thing I know about her is that she lived with a vet since birth. I don't know if that means she lived WITH the vet, or just in a cage at the vets office. She definitely doesn't seem like she came from a person's home.

Edit: and since my cats have always been inside cats, I never put collars on them, ESPECIALLY collars with bells. I mean, a bell around my neck that jingled every time i moved my head would bother the crap outta me LOL. I assume it would bother an animal too. But she's got a bell now in case I can't find her again. Just for a little while. It doesn't seem to annoy her lol. When she is ready to be sociable, the collar and bell will come off.
 
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Update on Chloe:

Shes getting better and happier. We spent most of the day in bed today. I have two pillows propped together with a blanket for Betty to sleep on...Chloe found it and made good use of it. She can stretch out loooong LOL. She laid like that most of the afternoon.

She can jump off the bed just fine, but can't figure out how to get back on the bed, so she sits on the floor meowing at me to pick her up.

Time to wash the white blanket now that I have TWO black cats using it. It keeps the hair off the pillows.


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So she has laid on the blanket to mix her scent with adult cat's scent? Betty is the adult cat who hisses at her? Maybe the scent sharing will help Betty to accept her.

I am so glad she is acclimating and no longer hiding like at first. She is such a cutie!
i keep trying to mix their scents. The first night was a disaster though LOL. I held and petted Chloe before I went to bed, then Betty climbed into bed with me after I put the baby in her carrier in the closet. Betty hissed at me all night and even swatted at me a few times while I was sleeping. I could not get a wink. Finally at 2:00 or so, I got up and changed clothes and washed my hands and arms so the brat would stop. Ever wake up out of a dead sleep because a pissed off cat is hissing and batting you in the head? LOL.

Other than the hissing, Betty hasn't been physically aggressive toward the little one even when left alone. She will hiss and spit, then walk away like nothing. I just got home from work and ran straight to the bathroom (an hour long drive...gotta pee). Chloe was out and about in the bedroom and I kept hearing Betty hissing at her. I feared the worst and hurried up. Came out and Chloe was just sitting there like nothing happened and Betty was at her post scratching away "look what I can do", or more likely "This is MINE" LOL.

Both are eating fine. Neither one seems too stressed out otherwise. I wonder if transferring some litter to each box will help too??
 

Babyshoes

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i keep trying to mix their scents.
.............

Both are eating fine. Neither one seems too stressed out otherwise. I wonder if transferring some litter to each box will help too??

Mostly, give them time.

Has new kitty had a quarantine away from other animals before she came to you? New animals coming into the home should ideally have a ~2 week quarantine, either in isolation elsewhere like a rescue, or within their safe room in the home, before they meet resident pets in close proximity. That's just in case they're carrying something.

I would suggest keeping them mostly separate for now, but if possible able to see eachother. Feliway friends diffuser might help, it didn't do much last time I tried it, but others swear by it. I think it depends on the cats. Other calming products might also help.

If you're fairly sure your new baby isn't carrying anything that could be transmitted via used litter, then swapping a tiny bit of it might have one of 2 likely outcomes.
1. It works as you hope and they get used to eachother's smell.
2. Resident kitty develops toileting issues. If you're lucky, they resolve after a litter change, or at worst a new box and type of litter... If not, you're investing in an awful lot of enzyme based cleaner, to get poo and wee out of your carpets, bed, shoes etc.

A safer option might be to make both kitties smell different, but the same as eachother. Pet-safe wipes are a good option, unless you think you can manage to bath them both with pet safe shampoo? I've got some cat wipes that smell lovely to humans, but I'm not sure the cats appreciate the orange scent as much as I do.

Mutual play, and mutual treats might also be useful for desensitizing them to eachother.
 
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So last night i somehow managed to have both cats sleeping in my bed. It wasnt intentional. Betty musta snuck in. Betty was at my feet and the little one at my head. Then betty woke up this morning and started hissing, like “oh i forgot. Im supposed to do THIS” lol. I think they will be ok. When i got a dog a few years ago, i thought she would never be normal, but then they were friends. Hopefully one day i will be posting pics of them cuddling
 

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So I have a few suggestions that are normally given to my clients who adopt kittens into a house with an adult cat. I apologise if you are already aware of some of these, many people are so much more savvy these days with the interwebs and all. And these are suggestions only, you are the best judge of your own situation. This is the standard advice I give during consultations and is what most companion animal behaviourists suggest:
  • First and foremost, and I can't overemphasise this too much........ Feliway!!! You need to get the diffuser and the spray. Put the diffuser into any room where the cats mainly inhabit. Feliway is a soothing and calming pheromone given off by queens who have had kittens. This stuff is a game changer for stressed cats and is used prolifically by veterinary behaviourists who work with cats. Use the spray on bedding and other areas where the cat and kitten lay. It is pretty potent and takes about 15 minutes to work so a single spray onto a bed once or twice a day will do wonders.
  • Litter trays are also an area of increased stress for cats who find themselves sharing with other cats. The general rule of thumb is one tray per felid and one for the pot. So you should have 3 litter trays for 2 cats, and if possible not too close together.
  • Swapping blankets between the two each day will also increase the speed at which they will become accustomed to each other
  • Feeding in separate rooms but with their food right up close to either side of the door, this allows the cats to feel the presence of the other during a positive experience but without the threat of them being in the same room. This is extremely effective and is great for dogs too. However this usually works best after a few days blanket swapping.
  • Restrict interaction with each other to be done only under supervision until the older one stops hissing and becomes calm. I am not worried about violence happening, I am more concerned that unrestricted kitten interaction can exacerbate a negative experience with the adult cat and may worsen the situation to the point that the adult cat never "likes" the new kitten. I always compare this situation with putting a 4 year old child with an adult who has not had dealings with children, it takes time to get over the shock.
  • Finally I highly recommend the first point. Feliway!!! If you feel either of the cats are unusually stressed or is peeing inappropriately (on the bed usually) then spray a little Feliway onto a small piece of a Chux cloth (or any type of those paper kitchen cloth things that come on a roll) and attach it to the collar, we wrap the chux around a section of the collar and fasten it with a staple, it tears off easily and after a few hours can be replaced.
Hope some of this is useful 😺 😺😺
 

earlene

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  • Finally I highly recommend the first point. Feliway!!! If you feel either of the cats are unusually stressed or is peeing inappropriately (on the bed usually) then spray a little Feliway onto a small piece of a Chux cloth (or any type of those paper kitchen cloth things that come on a roll) and attach it to the collar, we wrap the chux around a section of the collar and fasten it with a staple, it tears off easily and after a few hours can be replaced.
Hope some of this is useful 😺 😺😺


Wonderful suggestion! I have not seen this little trick before. I'm going to give this a try next time we visit son & DIL's house.

I travel with Feliway when we because Kitty Baby hates my granddaughter's cat, Olive. I wish I had used it from the start, when they first met. I only started using it until last year, and still even after living together for a couple of months (twice - first in 2020 without Feliway and again in 2022 with Feliway while Hubby & I were in Italy) Kitty Baby still doesn't really want anything to do with Olive. I think it's partly because Olive was unwelcoming and hissed & growled at her at lot in the beginning, but perhaps also because Olive is a 2-person cat & doesn't like even my son or me to touch her (although I am the person that actually went with granddaughter to pick her out - I guess she doesn't remember that about me. She was just a tiny kitten then.) Olive is becoming more willing and has made attempts to share the room with Kitty Baby this year, but Kitty Baby still hisses & growls at Olive, even in the presence of Feliway and her recent 2 months shared space.

This is why I am amazed anytime Kitty Baby takes to another cat at all. She generally wants nothing to do with any other cat, unless they are kittens. In the 2 & 1/2 years I have known her, I have only ever seen her be willing to allow closeness with 2 other adult cats, but it was so fleeting I don't even know if it would have lasted had they been indoors.
 
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At first i thought it was cute that the kitten found a spot on my bed. But she wont leave it. She seriously looks like the most chill couch potato kitty in the whole world snuggled in between two pillows. But she wont play. Im a little worried about that. Actually a lot worried. She eats fine…is very food driven. She potties fine. When shes done…right back to her pillow fort.

I picked her up and cuddled. Put her down…to the pillows. I took her out of the room and out onto the porch. She fussed a lot. I cuddled her, but she shook like crazy. Put her down…right back to the fort.

i run my fingers under the blankets and no reaction. I have plenty of toys. I bought a wand/feathered mouse thing. Nothing. She doesnt even track it back and forth. Shes not blind, not deaf. Not even a laser light peaks her interest.

So i just ordered the feliway. Like i said, i never heard of it, but i will give it a shot. I dont think its anything to do with the other cat. The little one has been in my bedroom almost exclusively without Betty. I close the door when im not home.

She doesnt look stressed. But i know cats are great at hiding stuff (sickness etc). I have never seen a kitten with such a lack of energy before.
 

earlene

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Maybe get her a new Catnip-fill toy, put some catnip in it, scrunch it around in your hands and lay the toy in her spot or anywhere on near it. She will most likely start a love affair with that toy. Not play like you're wanting to see, but it really is a joy to watch them cuddle up to a soft catnip-filled plush toy.

How old is she? I really don't know when the hunting instinct kicks in. I haven't had kittens in decades, so don't recall when I noticed them learning to play. Maybe she just needs to feel more content with exploration before she starts feeling safe enough to play.
 

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