Like Advice: How Long Does It Take For An Older Pet To Accept A New Pet?

Dot the newcomer kitty renamed Ouija - Photo of Ouija (formerly Dot) on his very first day here at my home
@pyewacket (44031)
United States
March 8, 2013 5:27pm CST
Hi folks. Sure has been a long time since I've been here, but could use some advice about pets, that is, when one adopts a new cat. Many of my friends will remember that my black cat Pyewacket (my avatar photo) passed away on April 19, 2010. It was devastating to say the least, as it happened so suddenly and he literally died in my arms that early Monday morning (yes, I remember what day it happened). Well, time passed, and I knew that somewhere along the line, I would adopt another cat, specifically another black cat as I've had black cats throughout my life, ever since I was five years old. Well during this time, my remaining cat, Kissy, a tiger-strped cat, now 13 years old, sort of had basked in the glory of being the numero uno only cat. While Pyewacket was alive, she didn't get much attention, only due to the fact that Pyewacket was the attention grabber. Every time I tried to pay attention to Kissy, he'd come running over and virtually push her aside, so she didn't get the same attention as he did. I kind of put off then getting/adopting a new kitty that is until recently. Over at Facebook, I got involved with a "Halloween" type auction with the Grayson County Humane Shelter in Kentucky...among the "items" were cats up for sponsorship, and I picked one out and sent money to sponsor "Dot", a young male black cat. Some time passed and I thought to myself, why just "sponsor" him when I could perhaps adopt him? Many shelters DO transport pets from one state to another, since here I am in the NYC area. So I filled out the application to adopt him....it took a month in the making, but low and behold on December 1st (of 2012) Dot arrived at my home. From get go he made himself quite at home as if he had been with me all his young life. He's the most friendly cat going, about a year old, yet has kitten kind of energy, and follows me around like a puppy. Here's the problem though.....My older cat Kissy still hasn't completely accepted him. No thankfully it hasn't been WWIII here and no major fighting, but she still continues to hiss and growl at him if he gets near her, and will on occasion hit him on his head with her paw. Ironically, I will catch them eating side by side, and sometimes from the same plate with no problem. Also, Kissy's personality has changed, in fact, I have a new nickname for her...grumpy cat. LOL. Before Dot came along she used to like to cuddle on my bed with me while I slept....she doesn't do that now, since "Dot" does so now. I'm kind of realizing that perhaps she may never fully accept him, but I'm still hoping!! Anyway, could use some thoughts and advice from fellow pet owners in general, not just cat owners...if YOU have introduced a newcomer, has your older, established pet ever accepted them? Oh and by the way, I renamed "Dot" and changed his name to Ouija...here's a photo of him...taken on his very first day here and which he already took over my bed.
8 people like this
18 responses
@blackrusty (3526)
• Mexico
8 Mar 13
It depends there is no sure fire answer to this question i have 4 cats and I have one that attaks the baby in my family every single time he now hides in my bathroom
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
8 Mar 13
I'm almost in a way kind of surprised with Kissy's reaction though...thought she would like another feline companion, but then she is the "old timer" and maybe had gotten too used to being the only cat for the past two years
1 person likes this
• Mexico
8 Mar 13
well all of mine are under a year and the baby is about 6 months
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
9 Mar 13
I never seemed to have a problem before though. I've had cats since I was five years old and there have been "newcomers" all along throughout my life. My very first cat was Babette, was the sole and only cat for six years and then my mom and I adopted two more cats the same year (this goes WAY back) and so it goes.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61041)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Well, you know its best to isolate the newcomer so the resident can get used to the smell under the door or something... I kind of got the idea that wasn't really possible. Whenever possible, you might try locking Ouija up and spending some quality time with just Kissy. He'll probably scream bloody murder, but try it. Kissy has had 2 and a half years to be the only cat, she's not a happy camper sharing you, but try to give her some "Mommy" time with you without the "interloper"...
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Yes I try and give her "mommy" time with me as much as possible. It's odd how the tables turned though....when Pyewacket was alive he was the ALPHA...wanted all the attention, so Kissy became kind of submissive in personality. So yes, those two and a half years it's like she became the ALPHA and boss. Like I said though at least there hasn't been a WWIII here
3 people like this
@ElicBxn (61041)
• United States
9 Mar 13
She's the adult so, yeah, she's alpha and boss, but kittens are bullet proof and don't really understand giving them the space they need.
2 people like this
@cerebellum (3870)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Welcome back! How cute. He sounds like a typical male. I never really had any problem, but my one cat favored one over the other. Any time I gave Sam any attention, he would walk over and swat her, but Fifi could get as much attention as possible and he didn't seem to care. He was black also, but I don't think that had anything to do with it. The only thing I can suggest, is maybe pay extra attention to Kissy, and don't let her see you giveing much attention to the newcomer. It takes time, but she will adjust.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
11 Mar 13
LOL--yes Ouija is a typical male cat...a black cat at that, and black cats do seem to have a "catitude" about them...my former Pyewacket did as well...at least there haven't been any major "wars" here
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (51137)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Long time no see. I don't have cats so all I can say is good luck!
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Yup--been awhile here...kind of miss this place and hope to be here a bit everyday..a LOT of catching up to do here!!!
2 people like this
@Hatley (164264)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Mar 13
Hi I think it takes time b ut usually the older cat will accep the younger one eventually. I fid not have that problem when we had a cat but we had a dog too and at first the cat was not going to have anything to do with our dog swap but they became good buddies and it was funny to see the smaller cat Midnight cuddled up against the dog Swap.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
8 Mar 13
LOL--I'm sure hoping that one day I'll find the two cats cuddled up together on my bed. I've actually "talked" to my Kissy telling her, "Kissy, you have to realize that Ouija is here to stay" LOL--think only a pet owner will understand what I mean by having "talks" with their pet!
2 people like this
@pergammano (7691)
• Canada
9 Mar 13
Nice to see you....here, Pye! I must have had a dejavu moment the other day...as I thought of you...and Pyewacket! My dear old cat "Curlew" will be 19 on the 29th of May..and he recently has had two strokes...so am fearing the Rainbow Bridge is near! My very first thought, and I have never been without animals...is that Kissy, is regarding "Ouija" as an errant, misbehaving child...that needs to learn some manners...as he is behaving kittenish at times. From past similar circumstances, I have found the Senior Kissy, will accept him fully when he matures a bit. She, from your explanation, really does care for him...BUT he has a lesson or two to learn....and it will happen and she has shown in her ministrations of affection by sharing her food! Have faith...and Congratulations on your new little friend!
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Great to see you here again! What's really funny was a lot of people were telling me to adopt a kitten, perhaps maybe four, five or six months of age as they told me Kissy would probably adapt to a MUCH younger kitten...sure glad I didn't as she might have reacted worse than she does with Ouija. I just guess she's plain not used to the high energy Ouija has as she's always been a rather "sedate" cat. Heck even I'M getting used to his energy and he most certainly keeps me on my toes, but love him to pieces..getting him was like the shot in the arm I needed..best medicine around.
3 people like this
@celticeagle (122952)
• Boise, Idaho
9 Mar 13
Give them time. SOmetimes it just doesn't happen. They are alot like humans. Personality clashes, age differences, etc. OuTr get along rather well except for Sabbath. He stays to himself. Crystal is 3 or so and Colbert is alittle more than a year. Those two play like a couple of kittens. I think cats are great. Loving and kind yet self reliant. And like you said they will keep you on your toes.
2 people like this
• Canada
9 Mar 13
Never have I had the problem, of animals..dogs or cats, given time and space, not learning acceptance and tolerance..if WE as humans stay out of the mix. They seem to understand cohabitation better than we do...and always seem to have a "leader of the pack"...and "Alpha", or a boss! Kissy had the run of the castle to herself...and now she has an interloper, and she has already acceded..giving up her bed, sharing her food...I see great promise there.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 13
it takes a while sometimes. we're just now getting real peace 3 years after the last 3 of 6 were adopted. of course,if the new sisters didn't have a habit of hissing it would have gone faster.. the 6th cat bandit,moved right on in,barely any problems compared to 4 and 5.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Sighs--our "children" certainly keep us busy, right? But I don't think we would have it any other way
2 people like this
• United States
9 Mar 13
yup i'm still trying to figure out how i got a houseful of mostly girls this time,but goddess' plan,y'know.
2 people like this
@bellis716 (4805)
• United States
11 Mar 13
Try giving Kissy more personal attention and don't let Ouija squeeze in between you and her. Usually, I'd say let the animals solve their differences, but it appears that Kissy is getting short changed. She thinks she has already been replaced. I don't blame her for being grumpy.
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
11 Mar 13
Believe me I pay a lot of attention to Kissy....I even have "talks" with her to reassure her, she's still number one in my heart LOL
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (23530)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
9 Mar 13
Hi! Glad to see you back! Perhaps Ouija is Pyewacket re-incarnated? Or at least, Kissy might think he is. After all, he is another black cat, and a bossy boy at that. Just keep reassuring her that she's still loved.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
11 Mar 13
You know it's funny that you mention "reincarnated"....I sometime wonder if Kissy DOES think Ouija is Pyewacket come back...LOL
2 people like this
@Angelpink (4022)
• Philippines
9 Mar 13
Hi ! I got a cat and when my puppy arrived seems there was no problem , cat was able to adjust slowly until they get along . They even shared food ! It is impossible right? But no i am really serious , they get along. Maybe it depends on the owner . If the cats have felt that she is being loved by all , i guess she got no reason to be insecure thats why learn to love4 also the puppy.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
11 Mar 13
Of course there could be the age factor between the two. In the past I had no problem introducing a "newcomer" to the "old timer" but there wasn't such an age difference. I actually have "talks" with Kissy! Know that sounds weird but I talk to her and tell I her I still love her very much and she's still number one.
1 person likes this
@natliegleb (5182)
• India
9 Mar 13
It will take some time and ouija is a funny name and it reminds me of that magical and mythical board and i am sure they will get adapted,cats are lovely
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
9 Mar 13
LOL--that's exactly why I came up with that name, and don't know why...although my great-grandmother had one of those Ouija boards and so did I as a kid
2 people like this
@cvodrey (227)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Cats are like people, and it's really hard to say. It may NEVER happen. But what you can do is work especially hard at letting the older cat know that they are important to you. Their feelings are strong like ours, but they cannot rationalize circumstance.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Yes I do make it a habit to give my older cat a lot of attention to make her feel like I haven't abandoned her
1 person likes this
@Trace86 (5033)
• United States
9 Mar 13
I have to agree that each animal is different and you just have to wait and see. I have wanted to adopt another pet for a long time, but I know my Maya would start WWIII. My brother and sister-in-law have always had 2 cats and don't seem to have any problems when it is time for a new cat. They actually have had 3 new cats in the past 6 months! They had a string of bad luck with 2 shelter cats passing away within a few weeks of adoption. However, they do like to adopt the older cats that nobody is taking, So they are already saints. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Yes it's amazing how animals can have their own distinct personality, isn't it? Of course, in the past when I introduced a "newcomer" there wasn't such an age difference as between Kissy (13 yrs) and Ouija (about a year) and perhaps like "old" people perhaps my Kissy just got set in her ways
1 person likes this
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
14 Mar 13
hi.. it has been awhile since i read anything from you.. so it is nice just to have you back.. i dont have any advise for you - since i dont keep any pets.. just wanted to welcome you back..
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
14 Mar 13
Glad to be back
@kprofgames (3100)
• United States
13 Mar 13
I don't know if this will work for you but had a new mother cat have kittens, then she left them . Most of the other moms wouldn't take these new borns, but found one that wasn't overly annoyed with them so rubbed tuna oil on the kittens. The mom licked the oil off and the kittens started to nurse. It worked. I'm wondering if the same tactic would work between your two cats. There is a certain pecking order when it comes to the new guy in, but wonder if it would have the same effect. Seems like when there is shared grooming that it just brings all those walls down between them.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
14 Mar 13
LOL--great idea for those young kittens but don't think that would be such a great idea to do in this case...might wind up just having tuna smelling cats
@Jargoness (1191)
• Israel
11 Mar 13
Have you properly introduced them? I didn't introduce Pauline and Miu at the beginning for example, so they still hate each others. It's been three months already. The problem is that Pauline doesn't fully understand she's a cat herself I think the main "problem" is that Dot/Ouija is a kitten and is very needy, while Kissy is way older (or so I've understood). You could try make them play together, or at least very near. What they need the most though, is time. :)
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
14 Mar 13
Yes I suppose I just need to give it time. It can be almost funny though since on occasion I've caught the two of them eating side by side from the same plate without any problems. Yes Kissy is way older, 13 years old, and will be 14 in October, while Ouija is about a year old. I don't know about properly introduced...it was kind of hit and miss. I know a lot of people when they introduce a newcomer, they will keep them in separate rooms until a gradual introduction can be made, but couldn't do that in my case since I live in a small apt and no separate rooms really
@mariaperalta (19089)
• Mexico
8 Mar 13
I think every pet is different. And that it also can depend on the pets owners as well. Good luck there...
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Like I mentioned I've had cats since I was five years old and introducing a "newcomer" all through my life never seemed to be a problem before
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84071)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Mar 13
Some older pets never do. Others just take some time. I know it goes better if you introduce them slowly.