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  #1  
Old 05-04-2004, 04:28 PM
jayjay jayjay is online now
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Does a cat's "growl" mean the same thing as a dog's?

We finally brought the kittens my uncle's cat had back home a few days ago, and...well, things aren't entirely peaceable in our little kingdom. Her Majesty (our original cat, been with us about six months, roughly a year old) took one good look at the two newcomers and got her hisser and spitter stuck in Overdrive. In addition, she was making a sort of groaning/growling sound for several minutes after we'd hustled the offending felines up to our bedroom. This afternoon she was lying in the hall looking under the bedroom door making the same noise. It's a very low groaning more than a growl, and there's an edge to it that I can't help but describe as "anxiety", though I'm no pet psychic.

What does this sound mean? Is she afraid she's going to be replaced? Is she unspeakably furious at the idea of two little territory and attention thieves? Is she just curious? Can anyone with more cat experience help me?
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2004, 04:44 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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Her Majesty is expressing anger at the intruders in her kingdom. I've observed this with inside and outside cats. Give HM a while to establish herself as Alpha Cat and she'll be happy. Once she and the intruders meet, there will be some fights, along with hissing and smacking, but that is part of their making a place in the heirarchy of kittydom. It sounds much worse than it really is.
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:49 PM
wisernow wisernow is offline
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Yes your ol'cat is unhappy and angry and threatened. I guess you have to let her and the tots get to meet other over a period of time and as they say, in a "controlled" environment. Keep them separate with a physical barrier, and let them meet while you are in the room and for a little time at a time. I read somehere that the new cat should also be given the chance to rule the house for a short time(HM locked away for that time) but in your case since the newcomers are kittens I don't think that matters.
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:56 PM
jayjay jayjay is online now
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Will the fighting make the kittens permanently afraid of Her Majesty? I wouldn't be so worried if they were a little older, but these are 10-week kittens who've spent their entire lives so far in a very small apartment with basically nothing but the mother, their siblings, and my uncle. On the other hand, the babies have their claws and Her Majesty doesn't, so I'm not so terribly afraid of profound physical injury.
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:31 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Cat / Kitten Relations
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2004, 05:36 PM
jayjay jayjay is online now
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Duckster, that was incredibly helpful! We were already using some of what they suggested (keeping the kittens in our bedroom with the door closed, letting them get to know each other under the door), and we're planning on more face-to-face later this week (they've only been here since Sunday night). I like the "smell the same" idea. I'll have to try that.
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:18 PM
BonoVox BonoVox is offline
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Smell the same works great, the new cat didn't like the old cat, and vice versa. I took new cat and held him on my chest, getting lots of hair on it. Now I smelled like new cat, and me. I then went and did the same with old cat. Three days later they were giving each other baths and sleeping next to each other.
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:33 AM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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What does it mean for a dog?
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2004, 07:44 AM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanicbird
What does it mean for a dog?
It means, "I should very much desire to dine upon that kitten."
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2004, 07:53 AM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanicbird
What does it mean for a dog?
"Watch out, 'cause I don't want to have to attack you."

It's usually accompanied with aggressive posturing and eye contact. Which, depending on the dog, could look really scary or really silly.
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2004, 07:55 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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When we brought the "little storm cloud" home a year ago, our middle kitty hated her guts. She hissed, skulked around, and had nothing nice to say about her.

Now, they are best buddies. They run and tumble together, occasionally sleep on the same chair together, and are very good together. There is still a power struggle, but the little one knows her place. The low growl happens all the time when the little one crosses the line. Then she lays down in a "beta" position and lets the older one re-claim her title as Queen of the House 2004.

Our oldest kitty isn't aggressive at all, so the two younger ones are always kicking her out of her favorite chair or whatever.

We now have a stray boy that is slowly working his way into the house. The girls were carrying on like professional Hissy-Fitters last night. He's just easing in, a few minutes a day, so the girls don't get too intimidated. But I'll tell you right now, if he sprays on my furniture, he will be evicted directly.
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2004, 08:20 AM
Capt B. Phart Capt B. Phart is offline
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In my experience, that low "dynamo" growl means- "OK, now I'm really pissed-off / frightened, any scratching or biting to be done henceforth will be for real."

Often followed by a passable imitation of the Tasmanian Devil
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  #13  
Old 05-05-2004, 10:12 AM
jayjay jayjay is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalhoun
But I'll tell you right now, if he sprays on my furniture, he will be evicted directly.
This is exactly why all of ours are girls. We even passed up a beautiful ginger kitten from the same litter as the new girls because it was a male. And it's also one of the reasons the big old feral tom who lives under our deck isn't becoming a civilized inside cat. No sprayers!
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  #14  
Old 05-05-2004, 12:48 PM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay
We finally brought the kittens my uncle's cat had back home a few days ago
Just wanted to mention that it is a good idea to confirm the health of new introductions prior to exposing them to your cats. Feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, and ringworm are a few of the concerns. I have seen cases where a person brings a new kitten into an established household and 6 months later has lost all their pets to disease.
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2004, 12:57 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay
This is exactly why all of ours are girls. We even passed up a beautiful ginger kitten from the same litter as the new girls because it was a male. And it's also one of the reasons the big old feral tom who lives under our deck isn't becoming a civilized inside cat. No sprayers!
It's a real deal-breaker for me. I haven't had one problem with the girls (although people say they can also fuck things up on occasion). My husband says Big Daddy looks lonesome. I guess he kind of does, but we're talking custom furniture here, and I really don't want to risk it. The girls can go out in the laundry room with him I suppose. And they talk through the window (sort of like prison, I know...but what can ya do?).

We had him fixed and immunized (and he's eating us out of house and home). I just don't feel the burning need to bring him all the way in.
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  #16  
Old 05-05-2004, 02:59 PM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
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My older cat (she's 9) doesn't like the new kitten (he's 1) that we've had since August. He tries hard to cuddle with the older one, but she won't have it. He licks her ears and all she does is hiss and growl. She smacks him around, but claws never come out and there have never been any injuries.

Watch to be sure no one is getting hurt and I think you'll be fine.
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