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Introducing a new F2 kitten to my 12 Y.O. DSH

Aaron

Savannah Super Cat
#1
Hi everyone!

I actually posted a few weeks ago re: choosing a new Savannah. I wanted to thank everyone for being so helpful.

I've ended up choosing an F2 Male kitten and I'm bringing him home within the next few weeks (he should be 12-13 weeks old). Now, I currently have 2 kids (who are amazingly excited) and a 12 Year Old Neutered Male DSH at home. He was raised in my home from when he was a kitten, along with his sister who we recently had to put down, due to a Saddle Thrombus. (so he's lived his entire life with another cat, but its been about 6 months since she passed). I'm needing to get some guidance on how to properly introduce this new ball of energy to my senior cat with as little stress as possible....

- have an office on the main floor of our house with wood doors and large glass inserts, was thinking of initially keeping the new kitty in this room (am purchasing a PetMate animal playpen as well to put in the office, which is 36 inches wide x 25 inches deep x 49 inches high... was thinking of alternating between letting the new kitten roam around the office and staying in the pen when the kids are around, just to prevent the kitten from getting into the main area of the house,incase the kids opened the office doors etc... was just thinking about using it as an extra barrier. I'd be keeping the litter, food and water in the pen initially as well. The glass doors of the office would allow both cats to see each other without actually being in the same room, which I thought would be a benefit.

Any step by step instructions on how to slowly integrate this kitty using this office and pen (if need be) over a couple of weeks or so would be great! Again, my senior cat lived his entire life with another cat (his sister) and isn't all that lazy (enjoys stimulation, but at a geriatric level of course lol )

Thanks so much guys!!
 

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
#2
Aaron, There's quite a few recent threads on integrating new cats and kittens into homes with existing cats.

The first, and most important, thing, that you seen to be preparing for, is at least a two week quarantine period. This period has a few goals. First, to make sure your new kitten is healthy and isn't going to infect your other cat with anything. The second is to start him bonding with you. During these initial weeks it's important that the kitten bonds with humans first. And third is to start the socialization process between the two cats.

The first is pretty obvious. Watch for signs of sickness and plan on at least one vet visit--more if needed.

On the second, spend as much time as possible with the kitten. He will be going from an environment with several cats he knows well as well as humans he knows, to being isolated. So you must plan on spending as much time as possible with him. Sleeping with him really helps, if at all possible. Beyond that, you'll have to take the kitten's lead. Some are outgoing and easy to engage. Others require more time and patience.

And on socializing with your existing cat, they will smell each other as soon as the kitten arrives. Work up to feeding them on opposite sides of glass. Near the end of the quarantine, have them switch places for a while. Also, switching litter boxes at another time can help them get used to their scent. As the quarantine ends, allow them to interact through a small gap. Then proceed based on how they are interacting.

Often kittens are easily accepted into a home with adult cats.

How old are your children?

Best wishes, and sorry to hear about your loss. A kitten will help all your family move past this loss--including your cat.
 

Aaron

Savannah Super Cat
#3
Aaron, There's quite a few recent threads on integrating new cats and kittens into homes with existing cats.

The first, and most important, thing, that you seen to be preparing for, is at least a two week quarantine period. This period has a few goals. First, to make sure your new kitten is healthy and isn't going to infect your other cat with anything. The second is to start him bonding with you. During these initial weeks it's important that the kitten bonds with humans first. And third is to start the socialization process between the two cats.

The first is pretty obvious. Watch for signs of sickness and plan on at least one vet visit--more if needed.

On the second, spend as much time as possible with the kitten. He will be going from an environment with several cats he knows well as well as humans he knows, to being isolated. So you must plan on spending as much time as possible with him. Sleeping with him really helps, if at all possible. Beyond that, you'll have to take the kitten's lead. Some are outgoing and easy to engage. Others require more time and patience.

And on socializing with your existing cat, they will smell each other as soon as the kitten arrives. Work up to feeding them on opposite sides of glass. Near the end of the quarantine, have them switch places for a while. Also, switching litter boxes at another time can help them get used to their scent. As the quarantine ends, allow them to interact through a small gap. Then proceed based on how they are interacting.

Often kittens are easily accepted into a home with adult cats.

How old are your children?

Best wishes, and sorry to hear about your loss. A kitten will help all your family move past this loss--including your cat.

Thanks Chris, your words are putting me at ease! The Kids are 3 and 6 :)
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#4
As Chris said, there have been several threads on introducing a new kitten/cat to the home, here are a few:
http://www.savannahcatchat.com/search/72161/?q=introducing&o=date&c[title_only]=1
http://www.savannahcatchat.com/threads/introducing-savannah-kitten-to-other-pets-in-the-house.3059/
http://www.savannahcatchat.com/threads/first-time-savannah-owner-new-kitten-questions.4255/

Also, just a caveat to something Chris said, I would not switch litter boxes until you know for sure that the new kitten is not carrying any GI infections that he could pass on.

BTW, where are the pics of your new little guy???
 

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
#5
Thanks Chris, your words are putting me at ease! The Kids are 3 and 6 :)
You're welcome. This forum has been a great help to me. Glad to give back.

Your kids have been around adult cats, so just a couple of suggestions. Kittens need more gentle handling, and this kitten may or may not have been around kids. Ask the breeder if you don't already know. You know your kids--but do spend some time explaining how to handle a kitten. Some kittens like to be picked up, others don't. You and your kids should respect the kitten's wishes, and let him come to you.

There was a kid that got hurt recently trying to break up a cat fight. Please explain to your children to stay out of any fights or even active playing. Cat bites often get infected and should be treated every time--obviously, avoiding them is the best.

Breaking up fights is best done with water or blankets. However, what may appear to us as fighting may be active playing to them. If there is little or no noise it's pretty certainly playing. Occasional yelps are expected as they adjust the play to each other. If one yelps and backs out, but then reengages it's play.

Sometimes it's best to let the cats work it out, even if it looks a bit violent to you. This can be really hard.

And be sure your existing cat gets plenty of attention throughout this process. Cats do get jealous.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Another thing to consider is escape locations for your senior cat. There is a good chance your older cat is going to wish to have time not being wrestled with and chased. Make sure you have plenty of higher ledges (cat trees and shelving options) so that when he wants some peace he can escape up onto a perch. An F2 kitten is a LOT of energy...
 

Aaron

Savannah Super Cat
#7
Thanks Guys!!! My Old guy is like 22 pounds of tubby love, so him jumping on a high perch may require more effort than he is able to give haha... We do have a two story house and a finished basement, so finding an exit for my DSH shouldn't be a problem (I hope). Thanks again for the advice! And Chris, I'm definitely going to be watching the kids like a hawk. It does help that they've been exposed to animals their whole lives, but a kitten IS different. And from what I gather, a Savannah Kitten is REALLY different. I'll try and have them play using a kitty wand or other toys rather than engaging hands on to start. By the way, here's a pic of the new guy (taken from the breeder... he's on a cat tree so apologies for the angle)... I think he's pushing 11 weeks now??
 

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