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Introduction Question

Laura W

Savannah Super Cat
#1
Echo, my unsocialized F2, now has a friend........kinda. ;) Dolos, a 6 week old Bengal kitten is now in our home. He is in a large dog crate when we aren't home. How old should Dolos be before we start the introduction?

I am thinking it should first be with Dolos in the crate with his bed and toys, in Echos room, in the evening when Echo is more likely to come out, with supervision. I know male DSH males are generally ok with kittens at this age, but Echo is 25 - 30 lbs and we are afraid he will hurt Dolos. Echo was with an adult male Bengal whom he was very attached to before we adopted him.

I value your opinions, you all have much more experience with SV's than I do.
 
#2
I don't introduce my kittens to any outside cats (so beyond their Momma) until they've had two sets of shots- so not until 12 weeks of age at least. An adult cat can carry pretty innocuous issues for fully vaccinated cats (IMHO) that I don't want kittens exposed to... Perhaps I'm just over paranoid, but I'm okay with that as a breeder.

With Echo being such a big, big baby- I'd wait until your Dolos is bigger regardless. I know my F1 male is very friendly to kittens, but I also try to remember- he might forget his size and hurt a kitten unintentionally (rough housing- for example). So I am very cautious when introducing even 12-14 week old kittens to the rest of the household until I know they can hold their own.
 

Laura W

Savannah Super Cat
#3
See Trish, you hit my concern directly! I'm afraid Echo will unintentionally hurt him. Even with the dogs (Miniature schnauzer and 40 lb doxie-bassett mix) we watch then like hawks when they play with him. He instigates the play and isn't afraid of anything so it can get pretty rambunctious! He loves the schnauzer, bothering her to the point she warns him when she has had enough and cuddles up to her when he wants to sleep. It's so cute!

What's your feeling on early altering and not stunting growth and at what age? I won't have an unaltered pet.
 
#4
I have went both ways- I've altered at around 16 weeks and I've altered at 6-9 months. I think you need to go what your gut is comfortable with and work with your vet on this issue :)

And you know- my big guys tend to know to pull their punches with the little ones, but I think a good, attentive parent still keeps an eye on the little guys. Just in CASE.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#5
I'm like Trish, I don't introduce my kittens to other cats until after two vaccinations. Six weeks is really fragile for a kitten in terms of their immune systems! Yikes!

As to Echo hurting him, I have some video somewhere of my first SV, Bobo with my second SV Karamu so he was 18 months old when she arrived... within a day of introducing them they were wrestling furiously but we could see that although Karamu was throwing herself into the fray, Bobo was playing with a child gently... it was easy to see that he knew she was a baby and was taking care for that reason. But as Trish says, always supervise!

For altering, studies have shown that altering early does not stunt growth, in fact it may do the opposite as testosterone will cause closure of the growth plates...by neutering a male early before they are producing much of that male hormone you may actually encourage more growth.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#6
I'm like Trish, I don't introduce my kittens to other cats until after two vaccinations. Six weeks is really fragile for a kitten in terms of their immune systems! Yikes!

As to Echo hurting him, I have some video somewhere of my first SV, Bobo with my second SV Karamu so he was 18 months old when she arrived... within a day of introducing them they were wrestling furiously but we could see that although Karamu was throwing herself into the fray, Bobo was playing with a child gently... it was easy to see that he knew she was a baby and was taking care for that reason. But as Trish says, always supervise!

For altering, studies have shown that altering early does not stunt growth, in fact it may do the opposite as testosterone will cause closure of the growth plates...by neutering a male early before they are producing much of that male hormone you may actually encourage more growth.
I neutered taj at about 5.5 months and it did not stunt his growth at all.