Two new kittens - behaviour issues

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KittyWitty
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Two new kittens - behaviour issues

Post by KittyWitty »

Hi all, so this week I finally felt ready to open my home to two new kittens and was lucky enough to find two almost straight away.

Abbie came first, she is a barn kitten and at 9/10 weeks she has never lived in a house before and had limited exposure to humans. She was picked up on Tuesday night and has steadily been making progress - she is starting to get used to the house noises, to myself and new boyfriend and to playing.

I then went to pick Loki up on the Wednesday night, he has had a very hard start to life, we are his fourth home in 11/12 weeks and at his second home he had a very hard time with being bullied and attacked by the resident cat. He has also been around dogs (not sure how or if this has affected him) and kids (he's not a fan of them).

He appeared to be confident when he first arrived so following the advice of some online posts we let them both smell each other through the door gap, while in carriers and also briefly face to face but this lead to very rough attacks from Loki and hissing and growling from Abbie. They haven't been face to face since. since then has been very territorially insecure and has started to pee outside of the litter tray, this has now led to Abbie peeing where he has peed too. Loki is incredibly hyper active I think this may be something to do with his insecurities.

Once the peeing started Loki was put into a room by himself where Abbie has never been and I plan on working on his confidence and insecurity first before reintroducing but I'm not sure where to start.

Any advice would be great
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Ruth B
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Re: Two new kittens - behaviour issues

Post by Ruth B »

Congratulations on taking on 2 kittens who both were in desperate need of a good home, at 11-12 weeks a kitten should just be leaving their mum for their second home, not on the forth.

I may not be the best adviser for introductions, I've read plenty but when it came to actual introductions things have always been a bit hit and miss, including one time when my resident cat let the newcomer out of the lounge where he was confined to start with, and he then discovered the cat flap, having never been let outside at his previous home. standing on the doorstep at 6.30 in freezing January rain, yelling for a cat and shaking a box of crunchies is no fun.

That aside, for yours I would advise keeping them apart for a few days, possibly a week or more to let them grow in confidence in the room they feel safe in. Then letting one explore the rest of the house at a time, alternating between them so they both get use to the idea that there is another cat living at the property, and they can smell them behind the closed door.

If later you can borrow a large kitten pen, you might be able to start feeding them close together but where they can't get at each other, hopefully the food will act as a distraction.

Sorry I can't give much more advise, most of what I know involves introducing a cat when the resident cat has lived there a while, hopefully someone else will be able to give better advise.

I will also say you are brave calling one Loki, he will either be an absolute terror or a complete softy.
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Kay
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Re: Two new kittens - behaviour issues

Post by Kay »

congratulations on your new family, even if they are causing you some grief at the moment!

personally I would bring them together for play as at their ages that is most likely to be their main obsession - playing with them both with an interactive wand type toy is likely to distract them from each other and get them concentrating on the toy

the peeing problems are not uncommon with new kittens, and should resolve, but you will need to eradicate the smell where they have been outside the tray - how many trays do you have? you might find two side by side will work best, so they copy each other in using them rather than going elsewhere

and be prepared for hissing, growling and rough and tumble - it may seem alarming but it's what kittens do, and I would be very surprised if they are not both up for it - in my experience females make a lot more noise about such rough play than males, but nevertheless keep coming back for more!
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KittyWitty
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Re: Two new kittens - behaviour issues

Post by KittyWitty »

This is not my first introduction thankfully, the first was really easy and I got lucky but unfortunately my ex was better able to offer them a stable home after our split than I was, but Loki's behaviour because of his past is making it incredibly difficult so I will not be risking making his insecurities worse by just leaving them to it, I know at their age it should be easy but the fact that he has had such a had life already means that I can't rely on that.
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KittyWitty
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Re: Two new kittens - behaviour issues

Post by KittyWitty »

I think what I need right now is advice on how to help a very insecure cat become more confident as a new cover as that is how I am going to introduce them when the time comes again - Abbie as the resident cat and Loki as the new comer
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Ruth B
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Re: Two new kittens - behaviour issues

Post by Ruth B »

As far as helping an insecure cat goes then my advise is slightly odd, ignore him. Let him decide when to come out and come to you.

Our sitting room is the only room we can use to contain a new cat. This may not sound ideal for a nervous cat, but it worked really well. Most of the time we were in there to do something else, eat meals, watch TV, read etc, so Freyja, who was extremely shy, got used to us being around and the normal sound of life by being able to watch from her prefered hidey hole. Eventually she would come out while we were in there, it might have helped her that we adopted another cat at the same time who was over confident so she did take a bit of a lead from him, but mostly it was letting her do things at her pace.

Even when they were allowed further out into the house and met the resident cat, the sitting room was always the place she retreated to if things go too much, and I would advise the same with Loki, let him get use to you being in with him but not trying to fuss him unless he comes to you for attention. Sit and read, or listen to music, let him get used to his one room and to you being in there. During this time you might want to let Abbie get to know the whole house so she is settled as well. When you think he is ready, let him out for short periods, try and keep Abbie out of his room if possible so he knows he can always return there and be safe. If he does return and hide, then shut the door and he will know he is safe.

I would also advise one of the wand and string cat toys to play with him with (and with Abbie, you can't give just one all the attention). i got a 'Flying Frenzy' from Amazon for Freyja, the wand has to be over 5' and the string about 6' long, they sell various attachment, the basic feathers and wiggly worms were the most popular with mine, but it meant I could have her running around the lounge with out needing to be near me.

Take it slow with Loki and let him gain confidence at his own pace. Once he realises that he is home to stay and is somewhere safe, I have no doubt he will be up to the normal kitten mischief.
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KittyWitty
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Re: Two new kittens - behaviour issues

Post by KittyWitty »

Hi Ruth, thanks but his insecurities aren't with humans - it's with other cats that they lie and his territory.

With us he is completely fine and is a normal playful kitten, it's anything to do with Abbie that he isn't good with
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Re: Two new kittens - behaviour issues

Post by Crewella »

Please forgive the slightly standard response, but the Cat Chat advice page is a good start:

http://www.catchat.org/index.php/new-cat-introductions
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