Skip to Content

How to Introduce a Kitten to an Adult Cat

How to Introduce a Kitten to an Adult Cat

❇︎Affiliate Statement: The services and products that I may link in this article are ones that I use myself and am proud to recommend. If you follow one of my links please be aware that I will receive a small commission from Amazon or other vendors. I’d also like to say a big Thank You for your trust if you do.

Adult cats and kittens can coexist in the same household either as friends, rivals, or on a day to day basis as both. The biggest problem with multiple cats is that felines are territorial; if they have decided that a certain object or room belongs to them they are not delighted at all to find another cat in that area or playing with that toy.

An adult cat has no fear in teaching a young kitten what is his and what is free game, he will quickly hiss or strike the young animal. However there are times when a kitten desires the attentions of the older animal and will approach an off limits area on purpose. In this way kittens can be easily compared to toddlers.

Leave Kitten in Cat Carrier First

The best way for your previous cat and your new kitten to peacefully coexist is for you to do something that is going to sound kind of cruel at first. You must take the new kitten into your home, but leave him in his cat carrier and set him down in the main room with your cat who already resides there.

Let your cat sniff and stalk around the carrier housing the new kitten, maybe even peer through the bars in the front to get used to the sight and scent of the animal. Always stay close by so that you can be certain your cat does not get overly territorial and attempt to attack the new arrival through the carrier bars.

Let Adult Cat Sniff

Discuss the new household member with your cat as he picks up his scent. Inform him you have brought home a playmate and by no means it the new kitten going to replace his place in the household.

At the point where your cat finally stops constantly pacing around the box and sniffing through the vents, and possible stops crying out if he is mouthy, you can remove the new kitten from the carrier.

Make sure to hold the kitten, but love on your cat. If you can manage, transfer as much of each other’s scent onto the other animal. With time of course those living in the same household will put both of their scents everywhere so that both of them belong in that territory. However, just because they peacefully coexist in the same space does not mean they will ever be the best of friends.

Never Leave the Young Alone with Adult Cat

To be on the safe side, you should never leave the young kitten alone with the older feline. This is particularly important when everyone is asleep at night. The kitten should be left in his own space, away from the big cat, until he is both secure enough and old enough to defend himself if the need came about. While your new kitten probably has plenty of practice shoving other kittens his own age out of the way to get to a nipple on mommy cat your big cat’s size is enough to be a threat to the health of your kitten on its own.

This will Take Some Time

You cannot rush things, acceptance between the two animals will come in time, and the possible to develop friendship will take even more time. It is also possible they will develop a love hate type of relationship where they do not interact well, but at the same time if you were to remove one from the environment the other would pine. By making the choice not to force them to be together and introducing them slowly and properly you are ensuring that every day of their coming lives will not be a constant fight.

Useful Tips for Introducing Cats

In most cases you and your family are much more excited than the cat you own when you make the decision to add another one to the household. As a rule, cats are naturally solitary animals but they will generally accept a new family addition with the appropriate time and care. You must always exercise caution when introducing a new cat to the other cats in your home, due to the fact felines are actually quite territorial.

If all you need to introduce are a couple of kittens the introduction period could actually turn out to be quite short, as short as ten days that matter. Now, introducing full grown cats can be an entirely different ball game. The time required for that will depend on each cat’s personality. Just remember that when you introduce a new cat you should pay extra attention to your already owned pet. This will help your current cat understand that the new cat is not going to be competing for his place in your home and heart.

For the first couple of weeks, or the introductory period, you should keep your new cat in a separate room that your current cat is not allowed into when you are not present to supervise their visiting. Of course your new cat should have his own bowls, litter tray, sleeping place, and scratching post in the room he must temporarily be isolated in.

It is only natural that the cat you already owned may stand outside the door of the room you put the new cat in for safe keeping and hiss and meow menacingly to try and inform the new cat he is intruding. This is the type of behavior you should simply try to ignore, punishing your cat could lead to much larger problems. After a while, when the new cat’s scent starts to permeate, and the current cat realizes he is staying he will begin to calm down and not attempt to instigate a fight through the door. At this point, you should give your cat extra attention and praise to encourage his good behavior.

When your pet begins to treat the door in a normal manner, passes by without feeling the need to bristle or hiss; it is time to begin the actual introduction. The best thing is for them to become accustomed to each other’s smell first. A good technique for this is to feed them out of the same food bowl. However feed them in intervals, not at the same time, this way each cat smells the other while they eat, but they are not present to cause a scuffle.

After the time passes that both cats get used to the smells, you can begin to feed them at the same time. One way to do this safely is to feed them at the same time on either side of the closed door of the safe room. The new cat should be in the room of course. It should only take a few times of this routine before the two cats eat peacefully without hissing and growling through the barrier. Now it is time for physical introduction.

Things are still going to be a bit awkward between the two felines even though they will recognize each other’s scent. It is best for you to play with both of them so that their scents mingle as much as possible. If an actual scuffle does happen separate them once more for a period of time.

While they will mostly likely become inseparable it is going to take some time. Cats do enjoy socializing, but territory intrusion is another thing. So be sure to properly introduce them, and having more than one cat makes it simpler to bring more in later.