It's National Kitten Day!
What a joy it is to have a new kitten join the family! But will your other cats feel the same way? This is a common conundrum that any pet parent has when bringing a new family member into the dynamic. Fortunately, there are ways to have your kitten and existing cat form a happy union.
Here are our top three ideas:
- When first bringing your kitten home, be sure he has his own space. It is important for your new kitten to feel safe in his new environment. When he has his own space to walk around and explore, he can get familiar with the environment and know it is safe to retreat to this space if the rest of the house ever gets overwhelming. It is important that this location in your house has all of his necessities: a litter box, a bowl of food and water, and toys to keep him busy.
- Introduce your kitten and cat slowly to one another. Cats are extremely territorial animals, and your current cat will not be fond of the new family member quite too soon. For the first two days, each cat should be given an item with the other’s scent. This way, they can interact with each other in a limited way that makes every cat feel safe.
- Know how to respond when they get into a fight. When cats are first introduced to each other, they are likely to fight or compete for toys or attention. The first few days, allow your cats to interact freely and form their own dynamic. However, if one cat shows threatening displays like hissing or arching, it is important to distract the cats with toys so they have the chance to retreat and calm down.
As a longtime cat parent, I have experienced the stress of introducing a new kitten to your current cat. Patience is the key. When you can go at the pace your cat feels comfortable with, the new kitten and cat will become friends in no time.