Introducing a new kitten to an older cat can be exciting, but it doesn’t always go smoothly. It is important that pet owners introduce a new kitten to their older cats in a positive manner, otherwise your cats may have even more difficulty getting along. There are some ideas floating around regarding how to introduce cats to one another that are commonly believed but should not be practiced!
Ignore the Newcomer
Many people will tell you to ignore the new cat in front of the older cat. This is supposedly to help make sure your older cat doesn’t feel “replaced” or unloved. This, however, can be very damaging to the future relationship of your cats! Your older cat may get the impression that you don’t like the new cat or want it around and may treat it badly as a result. Doing this could also be damaging for your new kitten. After all, your new kitten is probably overwhelmed being separated from his or her mother and siblings, in a new and unfamiliar environment! Your new cat could become increasingly fearful and anxious if they are ignored.
Do Not Force Interaction
When you are introducing a kitten and an older cat, do not force them to interact with one another! Forcing cats to interact before they feel ready could cause fear, anxiety and stress in both cats. Instead, allow your cats to investigate one another (supervised) as they feel comfortable doing so.
Do Not Introduce Cats Immediately
It can be very tempting to bring your new kitten home and set it down immediately to explore and meet the other cat, but this should never be done. Before allowing your cats physical access to one another, they should be allowed to see and smell one another without physical contact, such as through a crate. Physically introducing your cats too soon could cause both cats to become hostile and defensive.
Do Not Let Your Kitten Be Bullied
Many people believe that a kitten should be left to fend for themselves, but it is not a good idea to allow your older cat to bully the new kitten. If the older cat is being a bully separate the two cats. If you allow your kitten to be bullied, he or she may become very skittish and fearful.
Do Not Allow Your Kitten Out At Night
If your kitten is less than sixteen weeks old, he or she should not be allowed to roam the house at night. Even if they appear to get along with your older cat, they should still be crated at night time, or when you are away, to prevent any possible altercations with the older cat.
Do Not Favor Either Cat
It is important not to show favoritism to one cat. Both cats should receive love, attention and affection, even in front of each other. Your cats will need to understand that you belong to both of them and they must share you.
Do Not Disrupt Routines
It is important to keep routines as normal as possible for your older cat. For example, if your older cat typically sleeps with you at night, do not change this, as doing so could leave your older cat feeling resentful of the newcomer.
Do Not Punish the Cats for Not Getting Along
Do not punish your cats for not getting along. It can be difficult for cats to adjust to the addition of a new kitten, but they should not be punished if they do not get along immediately. Instead, try to distract your cats from one another, and separate them if necessary.
Integrating Kittens with Cats