Introducing A New Kitten To Your Current Cat

A few ideas on introducing a new kitten to your current cat. How to encourage the new kitten and adult cats to get along.

Cats can be possessive and territorial animals. If cats are brought home together as kittens, they usually get used to each other quickly and rarely have a problem getting along. However, if you have a houseful of adult cats who all get along and they try to bring a new kitten home for the first time, trouble can start brimming.

Your adult cat(s) who have been living with you for some time are probably not going to like your new kitten at first. They see the new kitten as a threat, as someone who is treading on their territory and dare it be said, trying to steal their "people's" attention.

The kitten, however may not be at all bothered by the adult cats and may even try to play with them, only to get batted at, hissed at, and in circumstances where the adult cats are not declawed, scratched.

Here are some ideas for making the new kitten and adult cat(s) get along better and make the transition a little smoother for both:

1. Let your adult cats smell the box (if you brought your kitten home in a box) that your kitten came home in. This will help the adult cats get to know the kitten's smell.

2. Separate the new kitten and the adult cats for the first few days, maybe a week. Do not let your new kitten be bullied by your adult cats and leave him to fend for himself with your adult cat(s)!

3. Do not ignore your adult cat(s) and give all your attention to your new kitten. This will only perpetuate the situation. Allow times where you will play only with the adult cat(s). Maybe there will be a time when you will spend a full hour with your adult cat(s), while your spouse spends that hour with the new kitten. That way, the kitten will have a lot of individual attention, and your adult cat(s) will also, and they will not feel ignored. Again, a lot of times the reason why the adult cat(s) do not like the kitten is because they feel threatened for their owner's attention.

4. Slowly let your adult cat(s) and new kitten come into contact with each other, with your supervision, for short periods of time, building up to more and more time every day, with less and less supervision. Let them smell each other- they won't always just attack each other. They need to "get to know each other." Also, some adult female cats take new kittens under their wings and let them "nurse" on them! But then other adult cats will never like the new kitten, no matter how much time goes by.

5. It also may help to "condition" your adult cat(s)-- whenever you show them the new kitten/let the kitten come out and see the adult cat(s), give them their favorite treat. So, every day for two weeks or so, whenever the new kitten comes out, give the cats tuna fish as soon they see the new kitten. The adult cat(s) should start associating the new kitten with the treat, and therefore liking the new kitten more. As time goes on and they get more used to the kitten, you can slowly stop doing this.

Good luck!

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