Introducing a Kitten to a Cat

The following article has kindly been written for us by the Vital Pet Club – @VitalPetClub on FB & IG.

Are you welcoming a new fluff-ball to your home, but wondering how to handle the introduction with your existing pets? There are a few things you can do to help to reduce the risk of conflict between felines. This article explains some ways to help your cats get along – making life easier for everyone!

Should I get a kitten for my cat?

Many cats can live together harmoniously, and some can even be affectionate towards one another. That being said, cats are generally solitary animals and very much like living alone, so if you currently only have one cat, they won’t need another pet to keep them company. 

How to introduce your new kitten to your cat

As well as adjusting to their new home, your kitten will also have to learn to adjust to a new family member- and this includes other pets! If you have other kittens or cats, it’s important to bear in mind that multi-cat households can be problematic if you don’t do your research first, so it’s important to read up on cat and kitten behaviour, and make sure you are prepared in advance to give your cats have the best possible chance of getting along. 

The first thing to remember is that, while cats can form bonds with humans and other pets, they are not as sociable as some other animals. This means that they need their own space, often don’t like to share and will sometimes need things to be on their own terms.

If you have a multi-cat household it’s important to make sure that each of your cats has their own area of the house where they can be away from other pets if they are feeling overwhelmed. And it’s best to keep your felines separate at first, before slowly introducing them to shared space for set periods while you keep an eye on them.  You can gradually extend these periods until all cats have the run of the house, but make sure there are lots of hiding spaces available up high so your cats can have time to themselves if needed. 

Cats don’t share! 

As a general rule, felines don’t like to share their things and this can stress them out, even if they aren’t showing visible signs of being upset! Because of this, it’s advised to have one litter tray, and one food and water bowl per cat and then an extra one on top. While this may seem a bit excessive, this really is the best way to keep all your felines happy and help to avoid conflict in your home! 

What to do if your cats don’t get along?

If your cat starts showing signs of fear or aggression (which may involve them running away, putting their ears back or hissing) make sure you give the cats plenty of time apart before slowly introducing them to each other again. And if your cat’s really aren’t getting along, and you’ve given the plenty of time and space to get used to each other, it’s best to keep them completely separate and speak to your vet or pet shop specialist. This is especially important if one or more of your cats are showing signs of aggression or trying to fight.

Do cats get jealous?

While cats don’t normally get very jealous about owners giving them their time and attention to another pet, in the same way a dog might, they do get very jealous over their things, which includes their belongings and their space or territory! 

Photo Credits: Corey Seeman & Jennifer C.

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