I'm new here. Ok so my husband and I "acquired" a new kitty on Monday night. She apparently appears to be about 8 weeks old or so. Well, we already have a cat, Sadie who is about 8 years old. She was our baby until now. She slept with us, had the run of the house, etc. Sadie is really really mad about the new kitty (she doesn't have a name yet) and hissing and growling and everything. We separate them while we are at work. The new one gets locked in a bedroom complete with toys, litter box and water. I don't put food in there because she appears to be feral and eats so fast and eats everything in sight. She even tried to eat our food. I don't know how to make Sadie feel better. Last night the new kitty climbed in bed with us and decided to lay down between us well, Sadie came in and freaked out and smacked the little one, hissed and growled. We let them go but, Sadie seems to get discouraged because the little one won't listen so Sadie just left the room and never came back. Sadie just sits and watches the little one run around and anytime she comes near her she hisses and growls. I know this sounds crazy but, I don't want Sadie to think we have replaced her. Any suggestions before I go crazy?????
How did you introduce them initially? Here is a post I wrote elsewhere on introducing animals to the household:
.... while one of my duties as an animal communicator is to explain to the animals what is happening, the onus is on the adoptive parent. Introducing a new cat into the household takes time. The last time I introduced a kitten to another cat, I think the vet told me a good two weeks. Thatís hard, but you need to do it way longer than a day. For one thing, you need to make sure that the kitten has no hidden communicable diseases that might show up.
You need to give them plenty of time, day after day, and night after night, to sniff each other under the door and get accustomed to each otherís smells and the idea that this is not temporary, but this is someone theyíre going to smell every day, every day. This is especially important for the big cat.
Once youíve given them a few days to do that, start bringing the kitten out by hand, one person holding the kitten on the floor, the other the cat and let them look at each other from a distance. Do this several times throughout the day. After that when you do it, let them get a little closer and closer, still holding them, until you can let them get close enough without hissing to smell each other. (Again, this is more for the cat than the kitten.)
Once that has been accomplished, start letting the kitten out to run around for very short periods of time, when you are home and can watch over things. Let the kitten investigate, by this time, hopefully, the cat will look at it with curiosity, rather than jealousy and animosity. Again, do this several times throughout the day, extending the number of times/day every day, and the length of time out as you go.
Doing it this way, you are increasing the chances of their getting along. The transition has been gradual and monitored. Make sure during that time that you spend plenty of time in the bathroom (or a spare bedroom if you have one -- thatís even better) with the kitten giving it plenty of love and attention, as well as giving extra attention to the cat. If there are two of you, donít both go in to spend time with the kitten together. Each needs to feel loved, not excluded.
Remember that there is no "set time limit" to do this. It will depend on how quickly the cats (or cat) adjust. But you donít want to rush it.
If you feel in a shorter time that they are doing well and can take more time or more contact, move closer or to the next step. But if the cat is still hissing and such, you need to move more slowly.
I think our last two it was a week and a half before the kitten was out and about a large amount of the time, maybe two weeks by the time he started sleeping with us, maybe a little less, I canít remember. But itís really important to take as much time as it takes so they have a good relationship.
I remember it being really hard to try to take so long, the kitten really wanted out of the bedroom, but our cats are *great* friends now, so it was worth it.
Congrats on your new addition.
May you all live together in peace, harmony and happiness for many, many years.
I'm not sure how much contact they've had, or if you did this initially, or how much you can backtrack, but I would slow it down as much as possible.
Additionally I would suggest:
1. Make sure that your 8 year old is getting TONS of love and affection.
2. Talk to her. She will understand you. Take her into a quite room just the two of you, and explain the entire situation to her. Do it in words, she will understand, but also, really get into the *feeling* of whatever you are telling her.
Tell her that she is your forever girl and that you love her just as much now as you did before. And do this many times.
Also, ask for her help. Tell her that she has a little sister now and that it would be really helpful if she would help you look after her. Animals like to have a job and they want to please us. Visualize what you might want her to do (not what you don't want her to do -- animals don't understand "not"). And then thank her for doing such a good job when she does it.
Talk to her. She will understand.
Hope this helps.