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Unread 09-27-2016   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Please help! My two cats won't get along!

I got a spayed female cat who is about one year old. I named her Cinder due to her all black appearance. Although I love her, she did not turn out to be the lap cat that I was so hoping she would be. Since she often seemed to be bored, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone by getting her a play mate, but also make sure the new cat was an affectionate lap cat. I thought a kitten might be really nice since they tend to imprint on their owners at a young age and become super attached.

Well before I could get another cat, some friends of mine surprised me with an adorable little six week old fluff ball who I named Nutmeg. She's perfect! She sleeps with me every night, and will often sit in my lap as I use the computer or read. Waking up to kitty licks in the morning is one of the best experiences I've ever had. Cinder HATES her though. I've had the kitten for almost two months now, and although the situation has settled down quite a bit from what it was at first, they remain mortal enemies.

I have to admit that at first I almost stopped paying attention to Cinder. Then I got annoyed with her stubbornness and began to snap my fingers and loudly say no every time she hissed. This only caused Cinder to begin fearing me which is not what I wanted. Now I've stopped snapping and saying no and begun to pay more attention to her and she no longer acts afraid around me, but she still hates Nutmeg.

I've given them separate food and water now since feeding time has been a point of contention since day one. I had hoped that forcing them to share and in so doing experience each other's scents and company would speed up the process but that didn't work. I also have begun trying to supervise them both being close to each other while I speak softly to and pet Cinder in an attempt to assure her that everything is okay.

Most recently, I saw Nutmeg chase Cinder upstairs as she hissed and ran. She's effectively been cowed and defeated by an invader in her own territory, and I don't know if the situation is even salvageable anymore. :'( Any advice is welcome. I love them both and don't want to choose between them.
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Unread 09-27-2016   #2 (permalink)
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Oh dear. Unfortunately you've done everything wrong, right from the start, whoever was advising you gave you very bad advice, starting from giving you a kitten who was about 6 weeks too young to leave her mother.

Never ever punish a cat for expressing herself. It's only natural that Cinder hissed at the kitten, she was just expressing her feelings!

Anyway, what's done is done.

I advise you to start the introductions over, as if Nutmeg is just coming into the home.

This means, Nutmeg goes into a room, and stays there, as if she is just getting there. Concentrate on Cinder. Of course visit Nutmeg frequently to keep her active playful and socialized, Cinder will know she is in there.

Once Cinder is feeling more relaxed, start letting Nutmeg out for short periods, but never ever when you aren't there to supervise.

Do NOT scold Cinder for hissing or showing any other feelings. She is simply communicating and has a right to express herself.

Make sure she has safe places to go. Especially an elevated spot where she can hang out while you play with Nutmeg.

Both cats are still very young and have, or at least should have, enormous amounts of energy. When you are done playing with Nutmeg, put her back in her room and play with Cinder again.

Do this spearation for a week or maybe two before letting them intermingle again.

Feeding, each cat should always have her own dish and spot to eat. Feed good food. NO DRY FOOD. Feed good quality canned foods avoiding foods that contain grains and sugar. NO dry food.

Feed three or four meals a day. Nutmeg of course is stil growing and probably does need four meals a day for a few more months, but eventualy she too can manage with three.

But four for now, just make the servings smaller for Cinder.

Lunch break is over, I'll check back if you have more questions.

Don't worry, you can make this work.

Litter boxes should be separate too.
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Unread 09-27-2016   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acerlt View Post
Oh dear. Unfortunately you've done everything wrong, right from the start, whoever was advising you gave you very bad advice, starting from giving you a kitten who was about 6 weeks too young to leave her mother.

Never ever punish a cat for expressing herself. It's only natural that Cinder hissed at the kitten, she was just expressing her feelings!

Anyway, what's done is done.

I advise you to start the introductions over, as if Nutmeg is just coming into the home.

This means, Nutmeg goes into a room, and stays there, as if she is just getting there. Concentrate on Cinder. Of course visit Nutmeg frequently to keep her active playful and socialized, Cinder will know she is in there.

Once Cinder is feeling more relaxed, start letting Nutmeg out for short periods, but never ever when you aren't there to supervise.

Do NOT scold Cinder for hissing or showing any other feelings. She is simply communicating and has a right to express herself.

Make sure she has safe places to go. Especially an elevated spot where she can hang out while you play with Nutmeg.

Both cats are still very young and have, or at least should have, enormous amounts of energy. When you are done playing with Nutmeg, put her back in her room and play with Cinder again.

Do this spearation for a week or maybe two before letting them intermingle again.

Feeding, each cat should always have her own dish and spot to eat. Feed good food. NO DRY FOOD. Feed good quality canned foods avoiding foods that contain grains and sugar. NO dry food.

Feed three or four meals a day. Nutmeg of course is stil growing and probably does need four meals a day for a few more months, but eventualy she too can manage with three.

But four for now, just make the servings smaller for Cinder.

Lunch break is over, I'll check back if you have more questions.

Don't worry, you can make this work.

Litter boxes should be separate too.
Actuallyi think it may have been either weeks which according to multiple sites I found is the appropriate age for separation.

Unfortunately the only room I can use to keep Nutmeg separated is my own room. All other rooms in the house are occupied. Cinder by now is accustomed to food and litter being in my room as they have been since the beginning. What would you recommend in this case? Should her litterbox and food be in the living room?

Also, despite how young Cinder is, she doesn't really play. Oh she can move quickly if there is a laser to chase, but otherwise she is pretty laid back. Since she's not a cuddler, attention is typically limited to what Pets I can get in before she walks away.
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Unread 09-27-2016   #4 (permalink)
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I put Cinder's litter box outside my room. I will keep feeding them both together whenever possible. It's a positive experience that they can both take part in. I think I will be spending most of my time with kitten though since my room is where I'm keeping her and it is also where my computer is which I tend to use quite a lot. I think Cinder will be okay though. She's a fairly independent cat. I'll just make sure to give her attention daily.
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Cinder has only been there not even three months! She's had no time to adjust to anything, you can't possibly understand her personality yet, it takes cats months to adjust to a new home.

Since you don't want to follow any advice and clearly are only interested in the younger kitten, please take Cinder back to the rescue or shelter, where she can have a chance to find a home where she will be loved and wanted instead of shut out and ignored..

A one year old cat is still a kitten and would play if she was settled and adjusted to her new home. Cinder is neither. Clearly you aren't the right home for her.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acerlt View Post
Cinder has only been there not even three months! She's had no time to adjust to anything, you can't possibly understand her personality yet, it takes cats months to adjust to a new home.

Since you don't want to follow any advice and clearly are only interested in the younger kitten, please take Cinder back to the rescue or shelter, where she can have a chance to find a home where she will be loved and wanted instead of shut out and ignored..

A one year old cat is still a kitten and would play if she was settled and adjusted to her new home. Cinder is neither. Clearly you aren't the right home for her.
You speak to me as an outsider. I had Cinder for a little over a month before I got the kitten. By that time she and I had well established routines. Indeed she adapted remarkably quickly to her new surroundings. The first day she was already out exploring and being affectionate. Within two days she was exploring the rest of the house. If there are any problems they are likely due to me going about the wrong way from the beginning due to a lack of knowledge.

I resent you claiming I am not willing to listen. I have confined the kitten to my room since that is where I spend a lot of my time. I plan several times each day to spend extended amounts of time with Cinder. I fail to see how you can say I'm ignoring advice, unless you think I should just ignore the kitten most of the time while she meows piteously from behind my closed bedroom door?
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Yes I think it is wrong and cruel to shut Cinder out of your room, that was HER room, and leave her alone. She was there first.

Somehow from your posts I get the idea that the infant kitten is cuter and more to your liking, so you don't care about Cinder any more.

Is there someone else in the house that can take over Cinder's care and attention? Cats are not really "independent". They need to be with their people. Not sat behind a closed door to a room where she used to live. That's just cruel. It was her home first.

Kittens need to be with their mothers and litter mates for 10 weeks at the minimum and 12 weeks is really preferred. They learn important social and behavior skills in those extra weeks.

Taken away too young they usually become biters. So you will need to be prepared to deal with that.

But it bothers me greatly that you have decided that Cinder doesn't "need" you. Really, it makes me very sad. I wish I'd never read the thread in the first place. I saw your other post where she had only been there one day and you were expecting her to be a lap cat. It sounds like you just don't like her any more, now that you have this cute kitten.

I hope I am wrong, but the whole thing just has me very distressed.
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Quote:
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Yes I think it is wrong and cruel to shut Cinder out of your room, that was HER room, and leave her alone. She was there first.

Somehow from your posts I get the idea that the infant kitten is cuter and more to your liking, so you don't care about Cinder any more.

Is there someone else in the house that can take over Cinder's care and attention? Cats are not really "independent". They need to be with their people. Not sat behind a closed door to a room where she used to live. That's just cruel. It was her home first.

Kittens need to be with their mothers and litter mates for 10 weeks at the minimum and 12 weeks is really preferred. They learn important social and behavior skills in those extra weeks.

Taken away too young they usually become biters. So you will need to be prepared to deal with that.

But it bothers me greatly that you have decided that Cinder doesn't "need" you. Really, it makes me very sad. I wish I'd never read the thread in the first place. I saw your other post where she had only been there one day and you were expecting her to be a lap cat. It sounds like you just don't like her any more, now that you have this cute kitten.

I hope I am wrong, but the whole thing just has me very distressed.
I do love her. You are making assumptions. Her behavior bugs me yes, but I love her nevertheless, and that is why I want so much to work this out if possible.

Regarding separation; I'm in a hard spot. Like have said, my room is my sanctuary. My computer is in there, I do a lot of reading there, etc. So it sounds like I have two options; keep Cinder in with me while the kitten cries outside of the door, or keep the kitten in with me and then the kitten cries when I am outside with Cinder and not with her. What am I supposed to do?

It's worth noting that Cinder has all but abandoned my room now. She comes there to eat and use the litter box, but then she is gone. I ask that you keep in mind with your further replies that I am a newbie cat owner who has made mistakes. I'm in damage control mode now. I want to salvage things if possible because I love both cats, and am open to advice that is meant to be helpful. I didn't come here to be condemned. Rehoming is a last resort, but it is an option if absolutely nothing else works. I don't want to lose either cat.

I forgot to mention that although they do eat close to and within site of each other, they have their own separate food and water dishes. Eating has become a relatively relaxed affair provided the kitten doesn't get too close. I also supervise to make sure there is no hostility or trying to get each other's food.

P.S. I was not expecting a lap cat in one day! I waited over a month before I thought of a second cat. I gave her frequent attention but when I was using my computer she would often sit there and stare at me like she was expecting something. I didn't know what to do. I bought her numerous toys all of which she ignored. I would try to play with her but she didn't respond. She just looked at me like "what are you doing?" I thought for sure she felt lonely. That's why I decided to get another cat. I wanted her to have someone she could play with. What's done is done now though. I can try everything possible to make this work, or I can give up on one of them. That is a last resort.

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I'm glad you don't want to give up on them. I do wish I'd seen your original post and so been able to help you with Cinder in the beginning. I don't come in here very often.

Cats need interaction, toys don't matter if nobody plays with them, and if you don't know how to play, or she's never had anyone to play with, then yes, you can run into a problem. It's not your fault you didn't know how to entice a shy cat to play.

Do you know Cinder's history?

The thing is, you need to make sacrifices when you have pets.

This means turning the computer off and getting down on the floor with them and giving them your undivided attention. Multiple times a day. First with Nutmeg, then with Cinder.

They are both young enough to learn to get along together, but you can't ignore one in favor of the other and expect them to bond. Nor can you force them to want to play together.

They both, each, need your undivided attention several times a day. I can help you with Game ideas if you want them.

I mentioned diet, because diet plays a very important role in behavior. A cat on a dry diet is a cat who doesn't feel her best, ever. Dry food is dehydrating and leads to many diseases later in life.

Cats need a wet diet made from meat. They don't need corn or wheat or sugar or rice, it is very bad for them and they cannot get much nutrition from any of that.

I apologize for sounding so grouchy. But I see it all the time, people get a new kitten and no longer want to spend any time with the cat already there. It's heartbreaking. It would be awful for Cinder to have to lose another home.

But you need to be prepared to work at it, and that means turning off the computer and coming out of your room!
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For some reason my latest post isn't visible until a moderator approves it?
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