If you’re a cat owner, there are many reasons why you might consider getting a second cat.
Maybe you’d like your existing cat to have some companionship. Maybe you miss the kitten stage and you’d love to relive those days by getting a new kitten. Or perhaps you already two or more cats but one has passed away, and you would like to add a new member to your cat family.
It is generally thought that cats are more content in the company of another feline, rather than alone. This is especially true for indoor cats, as they do not get the opportunity to socialize with other cats outdoors.
However, before you rush off to your local cat shelter or breeder, it’s worth bearing in mind that bringing a new kitten home to another cat can be anything but straightforward.
Here are a few tips to make bringing home a new kitten as stress-free as possible.
If you’re wondering how to introduce a kitten to an older cat, this is our number one piece of advice. Choose a time when your home is not too busy, so you can be sure you’ll have time to devote to your new kitty and your existing cat.
Although Christmas is a popular time to introduce a new pet, we recommend you avoid holidays or other times when friends and family are likely to visit. You’ll likely find yourself so busy that you won’t be able to fully pay attention to how your kitten is settling in.
If you’re really set on bringing home a kitten at Christmas, perhaps wait until a few days after the celebrations are over - or else be prepared to be at home and present with your cats as much as possible.
This will help to ensure you can monitor how your two cats are interacting with each other.
As much as you may trust the breeder or home that you get your new kitten from, you should always take them to your veterinarian to get them checked and vaccinated.
Kittens have weak immune systems and are likely to pick up something at the shelter or cattery. You want to make sure that you protect their health, and you also need to consider the risk of them passing something on to the cat you already have at home.
Consider adopting a cat of the opposite sex to your existing cat, as this will avoid same-sex rivalry and associated problems.
For a number of reasons, all your cats must be spayed/neutered. You’ll find your new kitten and existing cat will be much more likely to get along once this is the case.
If possible arrange to bathe your new kitten at a friend’s house before you take it home. This will neutralize your kitty's odor, and go some way to prevent unsettling your cat.
A short isolation period is necessary when introducing a new kitten.
It would be ideal to have a separate room for the new kitten, and your new little pet will need their own litter box, food, and water bowl.
Some kittens will hide out under furniture for some days, whilst more adventurous ones will be eager to explore their new home almost straight away.
Don’t worry if your kitten spends most of their time hiding at first, as this is perfectly normal. Do not try and force them to leave the room as this will just cause them unnecessary stress. You will know when she is ready.
Allow your new kitten to explore around your home while your older cat is in another room.
Make the introduction very slowly - this isn’t something you want to rush. It is a good idea to let your existing cat sniff your new kitten's blanket a few times before they actually meet.
Make the initial periods of contact short. Gradually increase the time that they spend together as they get used to one another.
It is not unusual for there to be a few spats in these first meetings, so do not leave them alone together until you are confident that they get on.
If a fight does break out, distract the combatants and get them into separate rooms as soon as possible. Never punish either cat.
Be sure to give your older cat just as much attention and affection as you give the newcomer.
The process of introducing a kitten to your cat can be relatively stress-free, but the key is in making the introduction slowly.
Before you know it you will have two cats that thrive on each other’s company.
We hope you’ve found these top tips for introducing a new cat to another cat helpful!
Comments will be approved before showing up.