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My cat still hates my new kitten

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:19 pm
by CatLady29
Hi all,

So I’ve currently got 3 cats, Cleo who is 14, Felix who is 11 and Bells who is 3 months old. We introduced bells into the family about 2 months ago, Cleo has accepted her however Felix still hates her. He hisses and growls at her constantly and refused to come in the house most of the time. Both older cats are neutered and bells will be too when she’s old enough. I don’t know what to do anymore. We have tried cross scenting, I’ve recently got a feliway diffuser even though we have a pet remedy one and I’ve now got some Zylkene for him to try help him calm down but it doesn’t seem to work. If he walks past her he hisses and strikes and then looks for her so he can do it again. He’s not getting in with her at all and my parents are saying she needs to be rehomed but I feel terrible for rehoming her as she was a rescue from an abusive owner. Any help or advice would be great.

Re: My cat still hates my new kitten

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:10 pm
by Jacks
Hi CatLady29 - it must be very distressing for you, seeing Felix so angry and reacting this way. I presume he's had a health check recently? It's just possible that there's some underlying issue (like teeth problems) that is making him less tolerant and little Bells is an obvious target to take it out on. How does Bells respond to Felix? Is she scared, distressed, hiding? If not, then it might just be that it's going to take more time. This can happen. It's good that Bells and Cleo have bonded, but it might take longer for Felix. Try to reward him when he's near her, so that he starts to associate her with good things. I've had 9 cats at one point, and integration was never easy. I got a new little girl when I had three girls and a boy, and the 'Queen' disliked her and bullied her for 46 weeks - yes, I was marking it off on the calender. Then new girl went for a vet check, and when she came back Queen went up to her, sniffed her mouth, and from then on they were fine. Not a moment's problem! For me, patience is the key. If Bells is distressed by Felix, and has no quality of life, then I would talk to the rescue about it, but if not, I think 2 months isn't long.

Another cat lady friend had a boy and girl cat. They were fine together, but the girl died, leaving the older male. She got a young female to join the family. He HATED her. She had to keep them separated with doors for some time. But the girl was confident and not afraid of him, so she didn't play the victim and encourage his 'hunting' behaviour, and eventually over the course of a year he accepted she wasn't going anywhere. He doesn't LOVE her (no snuggling) but they are fine together. She was tortured for months that she'd have to give the girl back to the rescue, but patience and love (and capitulation) won out in the end!

Re: My cat still hates my new kitten

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:44 pm
by lilynmitz
I had this problem recently. Elsie is about 5 yrs old and has always been very friendly, even submissive, with previous male cats. When little Zig died very suddenly, we waited a few months then got Toby, who was about a year old, and also very sweet natured and very cat friendly. She went nuts! if he so much as moved a muscle she attacked him horribly.

To cut a long story short, a cat behaviourist suggested we put Toby in a large dog crate in the living room (for just brief periods, with food and water and an igloo if he needed to hide from her) and reintroduce them. He was safe from attack, and Elsie could get to know him safely. We put him back in his bonding room between these episodes to keep him safe and to let her calm down. We eventually started feeding them side by side while Toby was in the crate, rewarded her and reassured her a lot!, while Toby grovelled and fawned all over her until she calmed down and her body language improved. Toby was desperate to meet her properly, and once they started touching noses through the bars, we knew we were ok to let them out. They’ve been pretty much fine ever since. And after just 4 days, we dispensed with the crate completely. Couldn’t believe how quickly a desperate situation completely changed. (We were on the verge of returning Toby to the rescue centre.j see if you can try this. Clean the crate first to remove doggy smells, in case that confuses the issue,

Re: My cat still hates my new kitten

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:12 pm
by Sniper1
We have always used the crate option to introduce newbies keep it in a main room but not somewhere the resident cats are forced to pass it then they get used to each other with no threat or confrontation

Re: My cat still hates my new kitten

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:15 am
by CatLady29
Hi all!

Thank you for your help! We used the crate idea to reintroduce Felix and bells and it works! Don’t get me wrong he’s not crazy about her but he’s stopped going for her!!

Thank you all for your replies xx