We just adopted 2 kittens but they don't get along with our cat

anabg

Sep 17, 2011
3,647
1,799
New York/New Jersey
We have a 3 year old female cat. We have had her for a year and a half. She is laid back, affectionate.. We just love her. Today we brought home 2 kittens. They are rescues. They are 1 1/2 months. They keep hissing at our cat and she is scared. I think they might be scared, too? The first few hours they were here, everything was fine. Until all 3 found themselves in the same hallway at the same time. Any advice, please? The lady said if they don't get along with our cat, we can bring them back. I would like to try to make it work. Thanks.
 

chessmont

O.G.
Aug 22, 2006
12,111
1,803
CA
I'm not a cat expert, there are some here who know a lot and will weigh in, but I think it will eventually work out. Give it time. As to the exact things you should do, I'll leave it to the experts we have on this sub forum...
 

cats n bags

Stinky's Mum
O.G.
Jun 24, 2008
2,148
188
We have a 3 year old female cat. We have had her for a year and a half. She is laid back, affectionate.. We just love her. Today we brought home 2 kittens. They are rescues. They are 1 1/2 months. They keep hissing at our cat and she is scared. I think they might be scared, too? The first few hours they were here, everything was fine. Until all 3 found themselves in the same hallway at the same time. Any advice, please? The lady said if they don't get along with our cat, we can bring them back. I would like to try to make it work. Thanks.
You probably need to slow down and back up on the introductions. Did the shelter give you any advice on introducing the new kittens to the resident cat? Usually you keep everyone separated by a door or other barrier so they can hear/smell, but not touch, especially the first few days. The kittens may have some "shelter flu" or upper respiratory viruses and you want to keep contact to a minimum to see if anyone gets a cold.

Make sure everyone gets attention, especially the older cat. You don't want her to feel rejected. Passing out treats will help a lot. Always feed the older one before the kittens.

Kittens hiss at everything the first time they see something new. 6 weeks is pretty young to be adopting kittens out. Did you get them at a legit shelter, or someone with an unspayed female? If they haven't been to a vet for wellness checks and blood work for viruses, you really do need to keep them all apart until you know kittens are healthy.

Expect to spend 2-4 weeks on intros before deciding the kittens aren't working out.
 

anabg

Sep 17, 2011
3,647
1,799
New York/New Jersey
They have been to the vet. They were with a foster. The mom was found while pregnant. She had her litter. And they are now finding homes for the kittens. The mom is still with the same foster family (we went to see them before they told us we could take them). They are waiting for all the kittens to find homes to spay her.
 

leasul2003

Member
Apr 8, 2012
900
0
Midwest, USA
Ditto what Cats said. Be patient and take it slow. It can take quite a bit of time for your queen to get used to the interlopers. :smile: That's how she sees them right now. And also as Cats said make sure to give her lots of love and attention to let her know she is still your number 1.
 

anabg

Sep 17, 2011
3,647
1,799
New York/New Jersey
It's them, though. When they hissed at her she took off running. We took her into our bedroom and they are both laying on her scratching post where she normally lays down.
 

vinbenphon1

Member
May 2, 2013
9,325
9,276
Western Australia
Everything "cats" said. Introductions take weeks not hours… they should be separated during this time so that they can only smell or hear each other. I would confine the kittens to one room set up with litter box, bedding, toys and water. If you want to be with the kittens then stay in the room with them. read a book or play on your laptop. Cats are very territorial. This is why new cats should be introduced slowly and not thrusted into a home with an existing cat. If it is not done properly with care and respect they are less likely to get on or be accepted. After a few days take the kittens out in a large carrier so they can be moved out of their designated room and be safe from the other cat. Let the older cat approach them in the carrier and then you should let your other cat can go into their room and explore. It is important for your older cat to leave her scent in that room. The kittens should only roam around the house if the other cat is confined to another area, so they can leave their scent. The pheromones in the scent glands in their cheeks is what they leave when they mark your furniture etc. By letting them (without fear) explore each others spaces and leave their scents on top of each other, creates a familiar scent that they will associate with each other.

They may never get along and this is something that cannot be determined in a few hours or days. It could take months or it may never happen. It is also hard work but rewarding if you at least try and do it properly. However, they may only reach a level of tolerance. I wish all the best to you and your fur family, but please remember pets are not 'boomerangs'. Once brought into the home should never be returned because they 'don't fit in' or what ever pathetic reason people come up with. They are a life long commitment and should be treated with respect.
 

anabg

Sep 17, 2011
3,647
1,799
New York/New Jersey
Pathetic? really? The lady told us she would rather have them back than have them stressed out. This is something she told us way before we took the kittens home. We were told the same thing when we adopted the first cat (it was not from the same place). Even though we had no other pets, there was a chance she wouldn't take to us. But it all worked out. We will try to do it right. Thanks for the advice I guess, dig and all.
 

oggers86

Member
Dec 7, 2008
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Leicestershire
Pathetic? really? The lady told us she would rather have them back than have them stressed out. This is something she told us way before we took the kittens home. We were told the same thing when we adopted the first cat (it was not from the same place). Even though we had no other pets, there was a chance she wouldn't take to us. But it all worked out. We will try to do it right. Thanks for the advice I guess, dig and all.
Cat introductions take ages, your kittens are scared by this unknown cat so hissing is completely normal. Some people suggest that you do the whole process incredibly slowly, others just chuck them together.

I brought a kitten home 2 months ago and introduced him to 2 females aged 3 years. I kept him separate 24/7 for a few days allowing them to come in and have a look at him. After a few days I started allowing them to mingle when I was at home, putting him back in his room when I felt the others had had enough.

There is still hissing and growling 2 months in from the others but they are telling him to not invade their personal space. I still keep them apart when I am not home for long periods but now I let them get on with it. The cats are not attacking him and mostly ignore him unless he pesters them but he needs to be told what they find acceptable and what they do not.

I said that if things didnt work out between the kitten and the cats he would have to go back to his breeder. By that I meant if the cats were actually doing him serious harm and wanting to kill him or were so unhappy that they left home.

Honestly just give it time, give them all treats when they are near each other, feed them in the same room. Your kittens are extremely young at I am guessing 6 weeks, Your cat will be huge and scary in comparison so it isnt a surprise they are hissing.

If in 6-12 months things are still not progressing then perhaps you need to reassess.
 

vinbenphon1

Member
May 2, 2013
9,325
9,276
Western Australia
Pathetic? really? The lady told us she would rather have them back than have them stressed out. This is something she told us way before we took the kittens home. We were told the same thing when we adopted the first cat (it was not from the same place). Even though we had no other pets, there was a chance she wouldn't take to us. But it all worked out. We will try to do it right. Thanks for the advice I guess, dig and all.
Yes. you would be surprised what reasons people give for returning a cat. One woman brought back a cat to the shelter because it didn't go with her decor… :cray: Some because it meowed too much (after being with them for 1 week). Ah yes, my favourite - it scratched my furniture.

I just hope you try everything before giving up. There is some great info out there on introducing new cats as well as what has been said here. It takes time and heaps of patience. It is also very stressful on the humans too. But be aware that they may never get along, but it isn't the end of the world or a reason to give them back. As 'oggers' said give 6-12 months and reassess about rehoming, but only if they are trying to kill each other on a daily basis.

When I introduced Bennett into the fold with my two - Vincent took to him like he was a long lost brother, but Phoenix hated him from day one and still does. Bennett lived in the second bathroom for about 3 weeks. I increased his time out of the room each day, but he was in a large carrier so he was safe and the other two could sniff him and investigate his room. Phoenix and Bennett still do a bit of hair pulling every now and then (its been 7 years) if one gets too nosey and apart from that its ok that they aren't best buddies. They pass each other around the house like 'ships in the night'. They pretend the other is invisible. Having said that… once in a while I do catch them playing chase with each other.

Try some feliway, many people here swear by it. It didn't work for my 3 it seemed to make things worse, but give it a try your cats might have a different response.
 

anabg

Sep 17, 2011
3,647
1,799
New York/New Jersey
Our older cat has already re-decorated the couch. Nothing the kittens can do will make it worse. As for the cats not getting along, it's more stressful than anything else. Will I feel the need to constantly watch them? Will we always have to keep them separated? It could be worse, though. No physical attacks. Just a lot of hissing. What really got to me is how scared our older cat was.

I will google feliway. I have no idea what it is.
 

tulipfield

O.G.
Dec 11, 2007
1,126
693
While they are separated you also might introduce them to each other's smells~ rub a cloth over each of them and let the other cat(s) smell it. Give a treat or something and make sure the experience is pleasant so they feel more comfortable with the smell.