Introducing your adult cat to your new kitten
August 7, 2012
While all cats are different, some being solitary while others are social, there can be many benefits to bringing another furry friend into your home. This feline could be a new companion and play partner, and can provide a new social outlet while you're out of the house. Since this is the time of year when animal shelters are pressed for space in the height of kitten season, now could be the ideal time to head to a New York animal shelter to give a forever home to a new kitten. However, your current feline may not be keen about the idea of a new housemate right off the bat, so use these tips to make the introduction less stressful on both of them.
1. Put the cats in separate rooms. Before your kitten comes home from the shelter, consider setting up a separate room with everything the young cat will need. According to PawNation.com, this will allow you to gradually introduce your cats to one another with limited interaction. Scent is an important factor here, so consider placing small towels in each room for the cats to lie on, then switch them to allow the cats to get used to each other's odor.
2. Feed your cats at the same time. Getting both cats into a routine is vitally important to establishing unity in your household. While the cats are still in separate rooms, feed them at the same time and gradually move the bowls closer to the closed door, suggests CatChannel.com. This will get the cats used to the sights and sounds of this daily activity, and can limit any aggressiveness the felines feel toward one another during mealtime.
3. Daily playtime. After a few weeks, you can begin to have supervised play times with both felines. Use a ribbon toy that both cats can chase around the room so they can get used to interacting with each other. Of course, if you start to notice the cats becoming contentious, it's time to separate them and try again on another day.
It may take a few weeks, or it may take an entire month, but it's important to be patient with the introduction process to allow both cats time to get used to one another and become lifelong friends.