7 Tips to Introducing a Kitten to Older Cats
Introducing a kitten to older cats can be hard for pet owners who have never done it, but these tips can make it easier for you. Learn more here.
Are you intending to introduce the older, wiser feline to a cute new ball of fluff? There are a few factors to consider before initiating any introductions: your cats may be territorial, and they may not instantly accept a new and unknown cat into their habitat!
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to alleviate any anxiety and help make introductions more fun!
Considerations Before Introductions
There’s a lot to consider before adding an extra cat to your family, including if it’s the ideal time to get a new kitten!
Understand that cats are generally lonely creatures, and seeing a new lively feline invade their territory or crawl under the couch to play hide and seek might be frightening, especially if your current cat is older. If you’re planning to present a new pet, make sure it’s not a stressful first meeting! Instead, make a gentle introduction, allowing each kitty enough time to become acclimated to the other’s aroma.
Will your new kitty cat be an independent feline or a lap cat? Try to acquire a feel of your new kitty’s personality before it shows up in its new home; you’ll be able to do so by studying them while they’re still with their feline siblings. When playing, the new kitten may be quite active, or he or she may just sit back and enjoy the antics! Your replacement kitten should ideally be younger, of the opposite sex, and as energetic as your current cat.
7 Tips to Introducing a Kitten to Older Cats
1. Begin Preparing for The Kitten’s Arrival as Soon as Possible
It may be enticing to introduce both cats immediately when the big day arrives, and you bring the cat home, but resist! It’s crucial to keep the two cats apart for a time so they may get used to the new cat’s smell. Making different, separate places for every cat in the home is an excellent method to achieve this. Make sure you have enough toys, beds, litter boxes, and food dishes for all of your cats.
2. Begin by Introducing Your Kitties Via Their Sense of Scent
While you expose the new kitten to the unfamiliar setting, encourage your elder cat to enjoy in a different room. Your new kitten will pick up on the odors in the home fast and realize there’s another feline in the house. You may then switch them around, enabling the older cat to explore and sniff the new kitten’s fragrance. While both cats are learning that there’s a “new child on the block,” another ‘kit on the street,’ remember to praise and treat them.
3. Allow Them to Interact with One Another
Visual contact is the second step in your cats’ introduction! Separate your furry buddies with a gap or a screen in the door before allowing them to roam in the same room. Allow them to mingle cautiously at first; if they’re comfortable with each other, they’ll sniff faces or rub against the door. Allow them to meet in person at this point!
4. Encourage A Calm, Patient Start
Be as relaxed and calm as possible when your cats are prepared to establish contact! Keep in mind that your existing cat will need to agree to share his or her territory and welcome the new kitten. Older cats may be less patient, so start with brief introductions and gradually increase the amount of time they spend together.
The new kitten, on the other hand, may be fearful and want to investigate, irrespective of what the current cat thinks! Keep an eye on both cats’ body language at all times. At first, there could be some hissing, but be willing to react if they begin to fight!
5. Hand Out Snacks
Don’t be shocked if your cats don’t immediately accept each other. It takes time to do these tasks! When they behave peacefully and seem content in each other’s presence, you may use incentives and encourage play to enhance bonding. At this point, be sure to touch and compliment the senior cat more often. Assuage their fears by assuring them that they will not be replaced but will instead be given a new friend!
6. Keep an Eye On Your Dogs’ Reactions
Keep a watch on your cats even after they seem to be getting along; there’s no assurance that they’ll connect right away. Look for indicators of stress and anxiety, such as a loss of food, hiding for lengthy amounts of time, vocalizing, aggressive acts, or other strange features that last for over a few days.
Senior cats may show signs of stress by sleeping in unexpected areas or refusing to eat or drink regularly. Make sure the cat has easy access to their litter box and that their usual escape routes are always open. Check that your elder cat’s drinking and eating habits haven’t altered – senior cats are susceptible to dehydration, but with a new feline companion entering the territory, they may not hydrate as often as they used to. If you have any concerns about your cat, you should see your veterinarian.
7. Stick to A Routine to Reduce Stress
Cats are creatures of habit! Maintain a play, eating, and sleeping routine for your pet to help them through this adjustment. Your incumbent cat’s routine should not be disrupted simply because she gets a new friend. Maintaining a consistent schedule can help your new kitty settle in and relieve the tension of adjustment for the existing cat.
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