My older cat is female and I got her from a friend. She is 3 years old and spayed. The two kittens are between 9-13 weeks old and I got them after a friend of a friend found them born under her porch so they are brother and sister. I'm getting them their shots and spayed and neutered in a month because the place won't do it this young. either way, the older cat hisses and moans at the kittens a lot. She is getting used to them but she doesn't like them. They try to be sweet but she gets kind of "catty" about it (lol). How do I smooth out the tensions between them?
Cats are not social creatures, in that they don't particularly seek out social contact with other cats. In the wild, cats are solitary predators.
On top of that, cats are territorial. What you've changed by introducing the two kittens is that the same territory (your house) now has to be shared by three cats. Of course the original cat who solely owned that territory is not happy about that.
she is getting used to them
Progress is all you can expect, so the fact that she's getting used to them means you're on track for getting them to get along.
but she doesnt like them
Not all cats end up being friends. Some cats simply learn to coexist. This very much depends on the cats and their experiences with each other. It's possible you'll never be able to do better than coexistence.
Two cats I had when I was a child never got along. The older one beat up the kitten, and only stopped once she had learned that she'd get punished for it. But since the older cat wasn't willing to connect, they never interacted with each other and lived separate lives.
they try to be sweet but she gets kind of "catty" about it
Our first two cats were very shy and very protective of their cozy spots. The third cat, an incessantly playful kitten, would approach them wanting to play. But the older cats did not want to play, and also assumed he was approaching them to take their cozy spot away from them. Conflict ensued.
However, it settled once both sides learned to understand the other side. The older cats learned to ignore him rather than defend against him, and he learned to not approach them but rather indicate he wants to play at a distance (running around and meowing). This solved the conflict between them, and the three of them now happily live together.
Jokes aside, being catty is part of being a cat. It will lessen overtime as the older cat starts to realize that the newer cats are less of a threat than she currently thinks they are.
how do i smooth out the tensions between them?
For the most part, let them find their own way. The only thing you should always immediately intervene in is aggressive behavior (not just violence, but also disproportionate responses and threats).
Other than that, you can try to help them connect by finding something they both love and letting them share the experience.
- All our three cats were once street cats, and they love hunting. They have different skills and over time have learned to respect each other's prowess. When they hunt a fly now, I see them working as a team and e.g. letting the cat who jumps the highest take the high jump.
- Street cats are often on the lookout for food, so we initially provided an abundance of cat food so they didn't feel like they needed to scrap over who gets to eat what food.
Nice experiences with someone (even if they're not the cause of the nice experience) leads you to think of that person in a better light.