Cat Intro…Gone Wrong?
Hi! I have a resident cat (Russian Blue/female) who I adopted last year. She was my first cat, and she’s done well in our home after settling in. She is sweet and shy. However, she seems to scare easily. I’m not quite sure what her prior home environment was, but I thought adding another cat would greatly benefit our family and her. I adopted a nine-month-old kitten (Ragdoll/female); she is super sweet and easy going within a day or two of being in her base camp, she was up and out exploring and playing. I’ve kept both cats in separate spaces. Unfortunately, I may have moved too quickly through the intro steps, and I allowed them to be in the same room after a few days. At first, I could distract them, and they seemed to be okay for the first few minutes. However, I think I pushed my luck, and my resident cat locked eyes with my kitten and began hissing, and I immediately separated them to avoid either attacking. Since that day I’ve been keeping them in their own spaces and have been swapping them out daily so they can get used to each other's scent, but now, each time my resident cat comes into the base camp room, she smells my kitten scent she hisses and becomes very agitated.
In contrast, my kitten hides when she comes out of her base camp and is very scared to explore, which is not how she was before her interaction with my resident cat. She only wants to stay in her base camp now. Any advice on what to do? Thanks for taking the time to read this and I would greatly appreciate any feedback.
Congratulations on your new adoption.
Inadvertently the introduction process was rushed, which made both cats feel uneasy.
I would restart the introduction process and follow the steps I documented in this article https://perfectpets.com.au/best-pet-blog/post/how-to-introduce-a-new-kitten-to-a-resident-cat . Please take your time and don’t rush through any of the phases.
Watch for negative signs like hissing, growling or blanket avoidance which may predict the introduction process can take longer than first anticipated.
Please ensure each cat is given equal attention plus playtime and both cats have enough resources to reduce competition.
You should expect positive results within a few months. If you follow all the steps appropriately and both cats don’t get along, please consult an animal behaviorist.
I hope this helps and that you can all have an excellent and happy start to the new year.
All the best
@melina-grin, Thank you for your feedback and recommended resource. I will start with the phases as suggested until each stage has been successful before moving on to the next. I currently have both my kitties in separate rooms in my apartment. My resident cat is primarily in my living room and has access to all other areas except my master suite since that's where my kitten spends her time. Both have an equal amount of toys, condos, beds, littler boxes, water fountains, and vertical access to climb or sleep. I will share my progress if I encounter any difficulty with the introduction. Happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year!