Question by Agent RQ: How can we help an older cat adjust to the presense of a new kitten in our home?
We just brought home an eight week old kitten. We just introduced him to our two and a half year old cat, and she seemed wary but curious at first, then started hissing before we separated them. I’m worried that our older cat will feel jealous or unloved, which is not the case. And of course I’m worried for the safety of the younger one.
Will they eventually start to get along on their own? How long will it take? What can we do to help?
Answer by M
Cats HATE abrupt changes.
This is a fairly in-depth process. My info is from the book listed below. The website is for you to go to now.
You have to have the new cat in a separate room with food, water, toys, scratching post, and litter box. Then, you have to exchange their scents by petting them on the head and sides with a clean sock and putting the sock in the other cat’s territory.
I let the isolated cat out to explore the house while I put the other cats in a separate room. Cats don’t think this is a punishment so don’t feel bad about it. I did 15 minutes a day for awhile. At first she wasn’t too interested in coming out, but just give your cat the choice by opening the door to his room.
This author suggested stacking two baby gates so the cats could see each other and feel safe. I only used one, but I kept an eye on things. The cats didn’t try to jump it. Finally, and this was after about a week or so of the gate. The cat started busting down the gate, which meant she was ready to be out with the other cats. Then, I still closed her in the room at night for several days after that.
You have to supervise the cats a lot at first. If one gets really upset, they have to be separated so they don’t form a negative relationship.
You can also use a Feliway plug in to reduce their stress level. Some people swear by Bach’s Flower Remedies that you get at health food stores and put in the cat’s water.
It took a month before my new 12 year old cat was ready to be out with my other cats. Then, it was a few more weeks before everyone got in their groove.
The author’s advice really worked and made life less stressful for all of us.
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