For people who love cats, it can be hard to stop at just one. Despite the fact that cats are solitary by nature, they can grow to tolerate and even enjoy other cats in the same household over time. That being said, it requires a lot of planning, preparation, and patience before your existing cat and a new kitten can even begin to form a peaceful relationship. Take a look at these tips to figure out how best to introduce your new kitten to your cat.
Make Sure Your New Kitten is Ready
You must take several steps to ensure that your new kitten is prepared to live a long and healthy life. Before considering introducing them to your existing pet cat, you need to ensure that your kitten has had all their vaccinations. Also, look at their spaying or neutering options. Visit easyvet.com to find out more about caring for the health of your new furry friend. Once they are fully vaccinated and spayed or neutered, take the next steps in introducing your cats.
Create Separate Environments
One of the most effective and tested ways of gradually introducing two felines is to have separate zones or rooms for them to smell each other from. Chances are even the scent of a new kitten in your home will be enough to alert your cat to an unexpected presence, so getting them accustomed to the smell is a vital first step. Similarly, your new kitten is still young and has limited experience with other cats, so is likely frightened by the scent of your cat. After a few days of letting them smell each other through a door or wall, try letting them see the other cat. A fence, crate, or carrier is a good option for this. Let your adult cat roam free to approach the kitten on its own terms, as trying to contain the older cat can lead to greater distress.
Soothe Your Cat
You can use methods to make your older cat calmer for the duration of the introduction, such as special pheromones that reduce stress. Cats are solitary and territorial animals that prefer their own space, so your cat is used to having its own way. No wonder they feel stressed when the scent of a new kitten arrives out of nowhere. Spend time with your cat and stock up on its favorite treats to make the transition easier. Of course, you’ll be playing with the kitten too, so the scent of the kitten on you when you’re interacting with your cat will slowly get it used to the kitten’s existence.
Remember, Patience is Key
As already mentioned, cats are highly adapted to living alone and feel safer on their own. A new kitten represents a threat to their territory and food supply, so it might take some time before your cat is ready to accept this new addition to the family. Don’t rush the process; this can lead to extended distress for everyone involved. Remember that your older cat was there first and deserves as much love and attention as the new kitten. Sooner or later, they’ll grow to co-exist amicably and maybe even become friends.
For tips on how to introduce a new kitten to dogs in your home, check out this next article on CattitudeDaily.com.