Having adopted a new kitten recently, I’m fascinated how adult cats communicate with each other and with a new kitten addition to the family. We humans think it’s all about body language and vocalizations, but there are also telepathic messages being transmitted. Those telepathic messages can be as important as the other forms of communication between felines, and also between you and each of your cats.
For one thing, my two adult cats, “Violet” (Blue Point Siamese) and “Sakhara” (cameo striped British Short Hair) had a meeting after we three had telepathically discussed the idea of a new kitten. Their private conversation took place before the kitten arrived. I found them in my bedroom, one on the floor and the other on the bed. Both were sitting on their haunches and “Star”ing at each other as only cats can “Star”e.
“Family conference?” I inquired.
“You’re not invited,” they replied in telepathic chorus.
“Well, you’re not a cat and you don’t know how to be a cat. This is a ‘felines only’ meeting.”
A bit later I learned that the topic of conversation had been how to raise the new Siamese kitten named “Star”. “Star” was an infant and still with her mother at the time. The two adult cats were discussing kitten raising philosophy and practical concerns about bringing up a new baby. I was delighted that they were taking my request seriously. I had asked them to help raise the new kitten, so when they excluded me from the deliberations, I chose to honor their decision. At least they were engaged with the project.
Some weeks later, only 2 days after “Star” arrived at our home, I realized that kitten-raising duties had been parceled out between the two adult cats. “Violet” was in charge of the initial interactions. Twice each day during two of my 4 visits with “Star”, “Violet” follow me to the door of “Star’s” private room and observe from the other side of the door as I took care of the 9-week old kitten. These were, in part, telepathic observations, as the door was shut and is made of wood with no windows.
Within just a few days, “Violet” requested that I let “Star” come out of the room to interact with “Violet” in the upstairs hall that leads between two bedrooms. “Star” had one room. The other room is my bedroom, although “Violet” thinks of it as her pwn.
Watching “Star” and “Violet” interact was fascinating. “Star” wanted to play. “Violet” wanted to teach manners and boundaries. Each had a separate agenda and the two agendas didn’t exactly align.
“Star” would try to get “Violet” to play by jumping on “Violet” and pawing at her. “Star”, with her back hunched up and tail held high, would bounce this way and that, try to jump on “Violet”, and then run like a thoroughbred race horse past “Violet”. Then she would reverse directions and do it all again
“Violet” would try to get “Star” to acknowledge adult dominance by screaming and cuffing her as her paws approached.
Cuffing is when an adult cat uses paws with claws retracted to discipline a kitten. The kitten is supposed to crouch down and even roll over to expose her vulnerable belly as a sign of submission. Cuffing is not harmful or dangerous. It is just a dominance issue being communicated along with a telepathic message, “I’m the boss.” Or “Don’t jump on me.” Or “Show some respect.” Or other concepts to that effect.
“Star” would ignore “Violet’s” disciplinary behaviors. “Violet” wasn’t having much impact with the cuffing because “Star” was just too fast. “Violet” literally couldn’t connect her paw to “Star’s” body. Meanwhile, “Star” kept encouraging “Violet” to chase and wrestle. “Violet’s” vocalizations were growl-yowls, none of which made any impression on “Star”.
Up and back they went in the hall and into “Violet’s” territory – my bedroom. “Violet”, who is always very polite and very much a lady, was careful not to enter “Star’s” room at all. This allowed “Star” to have a “safe” place to retreat, should she desire to do so. My body, sitting on the floor observing, also made a safety zone for “Star”, if she felt she needed one.
“Star” kept ignoring all the rules of kitten-to-adult interaction. So “Violet” often ended the session feeling frustrated and exhausted, but also exhilarated. She was having fun playing, but didn’t want to admit it to “Star”. However, I personally don’t think “Star” missed out on “Violet’s” excitement or that “Violet” was actually having a good time.
We humans have to remember that felines, especially Siamese, often make sounds in the same frequency range as the cries of human infants. We tend to think something is “wrong” when we hear the sounds cats make, while in fact, everything is just fine! So I kept myself tuned into the telepathic messages and visual observations, and controlled any tendency to overreact to “Violet’s” vocalizations.
A great deal of chasing took place, which pleased “Star” no end. “Star” had an almost permanent grin on her face and radiated love and joy the entire time. She kept telling me after each session, “I just LOVE “Violet”.” “Violet” didn’t seem interested in being loved. She wanted to be a good teacher and, to her dismay, “Star” proved to be a very challenging student.
“Star” was making sounds, too. But they were shorter in length and expressed excitement, wonder, joy, enthusiasm, and exuberance. “Star” made a wider variety of sounds than I had ever heard from any other cat. Siamese are famous for this, but as “Violet” is a rather quiet Siamese, the range of sounds coming from “Star” had amazed me since the day she had arrived.
When it seemed that “Violet” had had enough for one day, or when I was out of time to supervise them, I would end the session by putting “Star” into her room with plenty of food, water, toys, and reassurance that I’d be back a bit later.
One day, having just completed a session, I headed downstairs while listening “Star” protesting loudly on her side of the door. I arrived in the kitchen in time to hear “Violet,” who had remained at the top of the stairs, scream a very loud, long vocalization. In my head, I heard the telepathic message, “WILL YOU SHUT UP?” This was followed by complete auditory silence from both cats. All that could be heard were the sounds of “Violet” descending to the living room.
When “Sakhara” began her lessons with “Star”, her style of training was quite different. As “Star” tried to play with her, “Sakhara” would growl fiercely and hold her ground. “Star” couldn’t chase, and the growl sounded ferocious. “Sakhara” would telepathically say, “Show respect. I’m dominant here.” “Star”, for her part, kept refusing to acknowledge this message in any way. With her back arched, her tail held high, and bouncing enticingly around, “Star” kept sending telepathically,:”Awe, come on. Let’s play, OK?”
“Sakhara” had birthed one litter of kittens before I adopted her from the Humane Society. She had also been a foster mother to many babies, and had actually helped raise “Violet” from a kitten when she first came to live with me. “Sakhara” has strong ideas about raising kittens and a great deal of experience.
Over a few weeks, “Sakhara”‘s persistence won the day. “Star” began to roll over and show her belly to “Sakhara”, while continuing to paw at “Sakhara’s” face, indicating a desire to play. “Sakhara” would cuff “Star”, and “Star” would still pat her on the face. “Star” was indomitable and persistent, while also ecstatic because she saw this as a form of play. Meanwhile, “Sakhara” would say to her, “That’s right. Show respect to me, and then I will play with you.”
Today, all 3 cats live together, play together, sleep together, and groom each other. There’s no fighting and no one was injured during the entire integration process.
By recognizing that cats communicate using telepathic messages, as well as with body language, scent, and sound or vocalizations, I was able to ensure success.
Here are some tips that will help you integrate a new cat into your feline family.
- Use telepathic communication throughout to make sure everyone not only understands what’s going on, but also has their perspective and feelings heard and understood.
- When you get the older cats to buy into the arrival of a new cat BEFORE that cat arrives, you’ve begun the processes in the most positive way possible.
- Whenever possible, introduce the current family members telepathically with the newcomer before the new cat arrives.
- Make sure the current family members’ needs and feelings continue to be considered and met. Give them lots of love and attention.
- Involve the existing family members in making decisions about the integration process.
- Make sure everyone knows the “house rules” for acceptable behavior.
- Be aware that screaming, growling, hissing, and cuffing are normal forms of feline interaction. Don’t try to stop it, or you’ll confuse the cats. That can lead to actual violence, which is to be avoided at all costs.
- Let everyone know that you expect a happy, integrated family by holding a strong mental image of all cats in a big pile, curled up together, and grooming each other. Remember that one powerful picture is worth 1,000 words. It may be months before you see this happening, but if you keep that image strongly in mind, you are communicating it to your cats.
- Accept that in most circumstances, it can take up to 6 months to fully integrate a new feline family member.
- Stay positive. Consult with your existing feline family frequently.
Then get out the camera, stay calm, and have fun!!
Source by Nedda Wittels