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Integrating a new cat/kitten into the home, Help please....

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gordyagusta | 11:06 Thu 04th Nov 2010 | Pets
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On Sunday this week i got a 7 month old Savannah kitten from a local reputable breeder. I have a 1yr old Bengal at home at the moment. I thought that a new kitten would be some ideal company for the Bengal. However since bring the new kitten home it has gone into hiding in the spare room and won't come out if theres anyone in the room. She's eating and drinking fine and using the litter tray but she seems absolutely petrified almost like the proverbial 'caught in the headlights' type behaviour. I can get to gently pet her but she won't let me lift her out of the corner and into the room. Might i add that I have only spent the odd 10 minutes every couple of hours with her just gently talking to her and petting her, but absolutley no change. I have yet to introduce the new kitten to the Bengal although they do know each other exists, ie calling through the door to each other, but if you enter the room the kitten scurries away into the corner. Any advice on how to help integrate her into the home would be greatly received.

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Nor much help gordy, but there is ALWAYS hassle when you introduce a new kitten....it will all sort itself out in the end.
let her be, she is obviously coming out to eat etc, let her get used to the new home in her own time. a couple of mine spent 2 weeks living under my bed and only ventured out when i was asleep.
If you have bedding that they like, swap it over so each cat gets a chance to sniff the scent of the other and get used to it.

theres also a lot to be said about just leaving the cats in the house together and letting them decide whos boss in their own way.
Might watch the bengal though as the breed has a bit of a reputation for being territorial I was surprised when I read this on a breeders site...put me off getting one although they are truly beautiful
Don't leave the Bengal alone with the kitten when you introduce them It should be a gradual thing. Like it's been mentioned, my parents had a similar problem with a neighbours Bengal hassling the younger of their two cats. The older one was stronger though which soon kept it in it's own territory.
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i was thinking of getting one of those indoor dog cages and putting the new kitten in that. that would allow me to bring her into the main rooms of the house and let the Bengal see and smell her but would still keep them from actually doing any damage to each other.
No...that will just scare her. They are animals...this is what they do. Don't interfere...
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She could then get used to me going about my business at home. I'm trying to build her confidence because I don't think she's had much human interaction.
She will get use to it in her own time.
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I understand where your coming from Ummmm, but it appears to me that this kitten couln't get anymore scared, She's that far in the corner shes practically behind the wallpaper, I just want to get her out into the main house and let her confidence build and show her that she won't come to any harm, as for when the two cats come face to face, well... thats up to them to sort out who's going to be 'top cat'. I'm not going to interfere with that. I'll well prepared for this to be a long journey if thats how it turn out but it just concerns me that the wee thing looks so petrified.
I agree with ummm

I had a ginger tom that hated my new kitten he would belt her around the back of the head when ever possable but after a time thay became best of mates . just give it time after all what more can you do except get rid of the kitten witch i dont think you would like to do that. >'.'<
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Thanks all, No I'm not even considering getting rid of her, invested too much on her already, I'll give it another couple of days in her 'solitary confinement' then I'll open the door and let them get on with it... Dreading it but thats what i'll do....
what does the "local Reputable" breeder say? I know cats and dogs aren't the same but from what i know of dogs and the cat breeder chat i read on forums, good breeders accustom their precious babes to household activity and people before letting them go to new homes.
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Hi Woof, I have as yet to speak to the breeder about her current behaviour. She had been kept in the breeding pen with her siblings and let out into a fairly large sized secure outdoor run up until i've took her home, so as far as i can see, non or little human contact and never inside a house. She is 7 months old after all, to me thats quite along time in her development, more wild cat than domesticated.
that doesn't sound right to me...are you sure this is a reputable breeder?
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Hi Ummmm, I have no doubts about the reputation of the breeder, they have an extensive and well laid out property, Their reputation is not the issue for me. What I bought was an expensive specialist breed cat, not your average moggie that can be had for £40 off Gumtree, When your asked to pay well in excess of £600 for a kitten most folk would say thats way too much for a cat but they wouldn't think twice about paying that for a yorkshire terrier, hence the reason why she would still be at the breeders at 7 months old, its because of that her development and integration with humans has been stunted. I'm only looking for advice to help me help her integrate with myself and the other cat, ways that will cause the least amount of stress and likely injury when I enivitably put them together in the same room.
I have been making some general enquiries on the pet forum that I mentioned. some (quite a few) of the folk on there are experienced and reputable breeders of expensive pedigreed cats and the consensus seems to be that they would NEVER raise a kitten as you describe. Kits may be kept apart from the adult cats except for mum but they will be brought up in a kitten room where they will hear household noises and see people and be played with and handled. Where a kit is "run on" because a suitable owner doesn't present or the kit may be a breed or show prospect and thus kept, the socialisation is continued and the kit will often be introduced to one or more of the adult cats.
sorry but they don't seem to think that "reputable" is a good description :-(
PS gordy, I am not having a pop at you, just pointing out that you may have a bit more of a problem on your hands that just integrating a normally raised kitten.
I think the crate idea is a good one, make it big enough to put her litter tray in and a bed and keep it in the kitchen or wherever there is most activity. Open the crate door when you are about and let the other cat come and go as normal. Just make sure there are no 'emergency exits' open.
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Hi, woofman, and all,
I appreciate your input and realise that perhaps you have more experience at this than i and many things you have said make perfect sense, however I have no issue with the reputation of the breeder.
My original question was looking for advice on how to assist the integration of the kitten into the home, I'm prepared that I could have a bit of an up and down journey to get her to feel like one of the family. However to update, I got the dog crate, I put her in it, with litter tray, soft bedding , food bowls etc, and put the crate in the kitchen, My Bengal cat has had a look and a sniff and a wee hissy fit but nothing dramatic, the new kitten seems a little more relaxed now that she can see whats going on round about her, she's calling out plenty. I feel a little more less anxious now than i did this time yesterday, however as Lankeela has suggested when i get home from work this evening I'm going to leave the cage door open and see if she's confident enough to come out and have a sniff around, I'll keep the Bengal out of the room while this happens. I've decided that Sunday will be the day when i let them both 'meet' and we'll take it from there...
Try sitting in there reading,don't make eye contact,she will eventually come round.As to the cats,it's best to introduce them slowly,put each into different rooms,then transfer them so they get used to each others smell.There's no guarantee that they will ever get on,but i suppose it'sworth a try.Good luck.

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