So you read somewhere that bringing a new kitten into your home could be beneficial for your existing cat, for the company. And you remember how fun your cat was when she was a kitten, and you would like to relive those days.
Cats are generally thought to develop best in the company of another feline, especially cats confined indoors. But before you go to your cat shelter or your breeder, here are some tips to bring a new kitten home.
Choose a time when you are not too busy and have time to spend with your new kitten and your existing cat, avoid vacations, for example, or other times when your friends and family are likely to visit you.
Before bringing the new kitten home, take it to your veterinarian to have it checked and vaccinated. Kittens have a weakened immune system and are likely to pick up something from the shelter or the cattery. Consider adopting a cat of the opposite sex to your existing cat, this will avoid rivalry between cats of the same sex and the problems associated with it. For a number of reasons, all of your cats should be neutered.
If possible, arrange to bathe your new kitten with a friend before taking it home, it will neutralize the smell of the cat and will avoid disturbing your cat.
A short period of isolation is necessary when introducing a new kitten. It would be ideal to have a separate room for the new kitten, your new pet will need his own litter box and his bowl of water and food. Some kittens will hide under furniture for a few days, the more adventurous will want to explore their new home almost immediately. Do not try to force the kitten to leave the room, you will know when it is ready.
Allow your new kitten to explore your home while your older cat is in another room. Introduce, little by little, it’s a good idea to let your existing cat sniff the blanket of your new kitten several times before they meet. Make the first short contact periods. Gradually increase the time they spend together as they get used to each other. It is not unusual for there to be a few recruits at these early meetings. So don’t leave them alone together until they have progressed. If a fight breaks out, distract the fighters and bring them in separate rooms as soon as possible, never punish any cat.
The process of introducing a new kitten to an older cat can often be relatively stress-free and need not be filled with problems. The key is to introduce slowly, and perhaps the best advice is to give your older cat as much attention and affection as the newcomer.
Before you know it, you will have two cats that develop well together.