Introducing a New Kitten: Week 3

by Melissa R. on October 22, 2012

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Cosmo lounging

Cosmo lounging

We currently have three cats in our home: a 10-year-old black male, Kai; a 3-year-old Silver Ocicat female, Cirrhi; and a 3-year-old male Chocolate Ocicat, Ritter. We also have a 13-year-old Border Collie! After a loss of a pet earlier, we decided it was time to get a new kitten. We had always admired Bengals, and were fortuitous enough to find a 16-week-old male available in our area. Here is how we introduced him to our household.

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Things continue to progress well with introducing our new Bengal kitten to our other adult cats. It is taking longer for Cosmo to get settled in our home than it has with our other kitten-intros, but I suspect this is because of his breed, and his personality.

Everyone is getting along much better. There is FAR LESS growling and hissing. The only one hissing & growling now is Cosmo, mostly. Our female, Cirrhi, sometimes hisses at him when he gets in her way, or has a toy she wants. Cosmo has learned to BACK DOWN from Cirrhi. She gets that paw out to start swatting, and Cosmo immediately sinks on his side on the floor. There have been small moments of peace with them both sitting near each other calmly.

Ritter, our younger male, is still scared by Cosmo, but I think getting the idea now. He often sits right up next to wherever Cosmo is, and looks at him. Waiting. For. Play. Cosmo usually hisses a bit, but it is getting less, and Ritter isn’t running away as much. We think we have seen the two of them giving chase once or twice. One afternoon I spied Ritter and Cosmo under the kitchen table. Every now & then Ritter would MEOW and kinda jump/run up to Cosmo as if he wanted to play! It was very cute. Cosmo seemed unsure what to do, but he wasn’t hissing at least.

Sharing boxes with Cirrhi

Sharing boxes with Cirrhi

Kai, our oldest male, pretty much ignores Cosmo. He has stopped hissing at Cosmo, too. Now it’s just Cosmo who is hissing. Cosmo will walk up to Kai and sniff him, while Kai is sitting there calmly, and then Cosmo starts up the hissing… and Kai stalks off, offended. Kinda funny.

The behavior of our adult cats has returned to normal. Cirrhi is no longer hissing and swatting at everybody. They have all gotten used to the new scent in the house so it isn’t throwing them off. Our male cats were spending a lot of time sleeping downstairs, where kitty wasn’t. But now they are back upstairs all the time, and sleeping in bed with us like normal.

Napping

Napping

We’ve started transitioning Cosmo’s litter box to the laundry room with the other litter boxes. We move it a little at a time. First, just outside the door of his safe room, then down the first flight of stairs… until we get to the laundry room. Right now, we are still keeping an eye on his stool. We did take a stool sample to the veterinarian, and he has excess bacteria, so we are starting him on Metronidazole, which treats multiple things including infections and Giardia. We are having the medication compounded into a form called Ani-Melts, which are much smaller and easier to disguise in a treat than regular capsules. We’ve used them with great success in the past.

Cirrhi & Ritter napping. Is there room for Cosmo someday?

Cirrhi & Ritter napping. Is there room for Cosmo someday?

Cosmo is being very territorial about food. We moved his food bowl downstairs with the other cat feeder. Our cats have an automatic feeder, which dispenses a certain amount of food several times during the day. Mostly, the food bowl has SOME food in it at all times. Cosmo is eating a different food, so he has a bowl, which we just fill up when it gets near empty. Cosmo, of course, has decided to eat the OTHER food. But if another cat comes near him, he swats and gets growly. We don’t like this behavior, so are combating it by setting out 3-4 food bowls filled with food. Hopefully, this way he’ll learn there is plenty for everybody.

I am still hoping that someday everybody will be best buddies. Our other three cats sleep together during the day and are very friendly. So far, Cosmo has not shown any interest in lounging with them. He just hisses at them. He seems to enjoy laying in our laps when we are home and watching TV, which is kinda fun, but I’m not sure this behavior will continue. I’m not complaining, though!

Stay tuned for further kitty updates.

See Part One here

See Part Two here

See Part Three here

See Part Four here

See Part Five here

See Part Six here


About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the DrsFosterSmith.com and LiveAquaria.com websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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