Cat antics, Random musings

Making progress with cat introductions

I’ve had this post in my “drafts” folder for a couple weeks but haven’t found time to update it. I’m going to post it now, with hopes to post again in a few days. I didn’t realize how much time we’d be spending managing 2 cats and 2 kittens! Seems like every time I sit down to do something, some kitty wakes up and needs attention!

We’re slowly making progress introducing Wolfie, Tilly, Molly, and Pearl. We’ve moved past Tilly hissing & growling and needing to keep the kittens safe behind a screen door and we’re able to have everyone in the same space – for at least a short time, with constant supervision.

Wolfie is fairly tolerant of the kittens. He will watch them play and occasionally try to interact with them. He gives them a little swat if they get in his face, but I think that’s to be expected. He’s a very mellow kitty and they are rambunctious strangers.

Tilly is still deciding what to make of the kittens.

They can all be very close when food is involved. They are spaced out in the photo below for a canned food breakfast. But they can be within inches of each other when we’re working on keeping them all calm in the same room and using treats to keep everyone happy & distracted.

The other day, Tilly came into the bedroom while the kittens were sleeping. In the video you can see Pearl is on the bed with Tilly! Molly is in the tallest perch at the foot of the bed. Sorry for the sloppy top sheet – we put an extra sheet on the beds and launder them frequently to help keep the cat hair under control. Seeing it all wrinkly is driving me nuts!

Tilly woke from her nap and climbed to the top perch, only to discover Molly sleeping there. Tilly did not bother Molly, then slowly and calmly walked out of the room.

When the kittens are active, the chaos begins. The action and noise agitates Tilly, so we’re working on desensitizing her to that. We discourage the kittens from approaching Tilly too often and we encourage Tilly to remove herself from the room. Basically – self control from everyone!

In this video we see Molly approaching Tilly. Dad follows, able to intervene in case Tilly gets too smacky. It goes fairly well, with Molly quickly learning that Tilly is not ready to be best friends. You can also see a flying toy – we use that technique A LOT to help redirect the kittens away from the adult cats.

Making sure everyone gets attention and proper socialization has been a very time-consuming process, but it’s going well.

16 thoughts on “Making progress with cat introductions”

  1. Thanks for the update. My 2 older cats never did get along with the new kitten. But they just had to all deal with it. 😸

  2. It will take time but Woofie and Tilly are still young and should eventually accept the kittens. Just take it slow and try to keep all interactions between them as positive as you can. Food is a great motivator.

  3. Poor Molly getting a whappy paw. Looks like you are doing everything right and slow so I am sure they will all be best buddies someday.. 🙂 XO

  4. MOL! I love how Tilly just casually reaches out and whaps Molly, and her paw is the only part of her that moves. I think they are all coming along well.

  5. They are all getting along well and that little tap from Tilly was just a reminder that was accepted and noted. We remember those days. We had more problems when we lost Big Buddy Budd who was the patriarch of the family and was a gentle big boy. The ensuing power struggle was the pits

    1. Oh, no. Re-sorting the hierarchy after a stable “enforcer” is gone can be problematic. I’m not sure who’s going to end up being top kitty. It probably won’t be Wolfie or Pearl. Both Tilly and Molly have traits in their favor. Tilly is the enforcer, while Molly is the bridge-builder.

  6. Great update! Love the photo with the kitties separated and eating. Food kinda makes things all better. I’m sure they’re thinking – much too busy enjoying a meal together to think about differences (kinda like the humans!) Meow! Happy purrs as you all go forward!

  7. You can’t have conflict when they’re eating, as long as everyone has their own food. However, someone can eat “too fast” and then go looking for “more food”. That “someone” then ends up being very pudgy.

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