How to intro. new kitten to older cat

orieJuly 20, 2009

Hi everyone- My 14 yr. old DD and I have been volunteering at the SPCA and have fallen for a kitten. We would love to bring it home but we are concerned about our crabby 7 yr. old orange tabby. He's king of the house and does not warm up to anyone that doesn't live in the house. We know he'd have a fit if we brought the kitten home. The SPCA discourages adopting the kitten because it will disrupt the life of our older cat and we may end up returning the kitten (Which they frown upon). Anyone have any advice that may make it easier for our older cat to accept the kitten if we decide to go through with it? Does anyone discourage it also? Anyone have the same problem before? I would hate to upset our older cat to the point of his personality changing or have him start 'going' all over the house to mark his areas. I know it would be unfair as he was here first but is there an easier way to introduce them or to have him accept the kitty??? My DD is heartbroken that we can't seem to find a way. The kitty is adorable and has the personality she wanted in a cat (total lap cat) that we didn't get with our first one. We love our older, PIA cat and don't want to torture him with a new kitten driven him mad. Any suggestions?? Thanks.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would also love a #2 but my cat freaks out at the sight of another cat. I wish it was easier. I'd venture to say there would not be so many cats in shelters if cats would just learn to get along with eachother!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 8:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I will put a link below to a previous discussion that contains some helpful strategies, some of which I have tried successfully in the past. These include:

- Separate rooms for a few days (you'll need an extra litter box). We do this.

- Feliway diffuser to reduce anxiety.

- Rubbing both cats with the same towel back & forth to mingle odors.

- Putting a dot of cologne on oldster's face to mask new cat's odor. (We do this when bringing cats back from a vet visit too, to disguise those medicinal smells.)

Whatever strategies you employ, expect hissing, growling and sulking for some period of time. It's normal.

Here is a link that might be useful: some useful ideas

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 10:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You've gotten some great advice...Like the above poster said, you will get that growling and hissing but hopefully in time, it will lessen....At one time, I also volunteered with a cat/kitten rescue organization and you always end up with another kitten or 2....I fostered quite a few fur babies but had to give it up...It just broke my heart when I had to give them up even though I knew they were being adopted into loving forever homes...But I did keep 2 little girls to go along with my grumpy orange tabby....It's been 4 years and he still growls at one of the girls..The other, he gets along fine...We think he just likes to show he's the "man" of the house....
Bless you and your daughter for caring and giving this furbaby a new home....Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 1:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm surprised the SPCA took that position. For one thing, multi-cat households are common, and you can be sure most of the cats in a given home were not acquired all at once. One would think the SPCA routinely adopts kittens or adult cats out to families who already have at least one other.

Also, from reading your post I would say it's most unlikely that you would return the kitten. But even if you did, considering the huge number of felines in need of adoption, wouldn't it be better to give the kitten a shot at a good home than to retain her at the shelter until the perfect catless person (maybe) shows up?

I should add that over the years my family introduced many new kittens/cats into our multi-cat household. We used the separate room technique. And yes, we had hissing, spitting, and sulking. They always got over it to one degree or another. Not a problem.

I hope you proceed with this adoption, Orie.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 1:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How old is the kitten, and what is the gender? At what age was your current cat neutered?

In my VERY multicat household, I have observed that in general (and there are ALWAYS exceptions to general rules), male cats who were neutered before the hormones kicked in around 6 mos of age are a lot more likely to adapt peacefully to new feline housemates than are males who were neutered after reaching sexual maturity. But even adult-neutered males tend to adapt well to female kittens. If the kitten in question is 3 mos old or less and female, I say give it a try. If the kitten is either sex and older than 3 mos, the adjustments will be more difficult for both felines (your resident cat may view an older kitten as a territorial threat). If the kitten is male and your cat was neutered late, there may be problems.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok.... got the kitten 2 days ago but went a different route. Called our vet to get some ideas on this also. The girl was very nice and at the end told me they had 5 female kittens waiting to be placed and that I was free to come see them. I told her my problem was with the older cat not accepting the kitten and I would need a trial period. They have given us a week (until next Fri). The kitten is a female, 4 wks. old! So incredibly cute and sweet and we're already attached and so is she. Our older cat you ask??? Wow, pissed off! I am getting the growling, hissing, spitting and even lunging! He tends to be bothered more by the 'meows" than the smell. We have her in my DD room and sleeping in a very cushy bathtub! She just figured out the litter box yesterday. She is still using a nursing bottle, too. Incredibly loveable. Our older cat seems to have his moments. Sometimes he will come and rub and let us pet him. He's not the friendliest and most affectionate cat so he's not overly loving right now (never is) but we can tell he's miffed! I pray that it works out. I don't have the heart to return this little lap cat esp. if her sisters are gone from the vet. She'd be so alone and already used to us. I'm faced with, 1.- do I return her now and give up on this situaion before her sisters are adopted and she's alone in the cage? 2.- do I wait until Friday (my deadline) and hope that if I have to return her, her sisters are there?? 3.- do I keep her and just tell my other cat to deal with it (which seems so unfair). What are the chances that after some time, he'll adapt or just tolerate?? Oh, I got him very young also... 5-6 wks and got him declawed and fixed at 6 months. He's a boy of 7 and the kitty is 4 wks. What do you all think?? What would you do? I've done all the above that everyone's suggested.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 4:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You're cat sounds so much like my 3 year old boy. I love him but I sure wish he was more affectionate. Would love to get another (hopefully lap cat) but I don't know if I could deal with the stress of the introductions.

My girls and I were at Petsmart yesterday. All the way home I had to answer, "but why can't we get her????...." -- an adorable female calico (4 months).

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 7:00PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Can we say G A S
And it's not me, dh or my two old dogs. It's the new...
Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
Hyperthroid Cat Ear Gel - Handling Precautions?
Anybody used this? Did you follow the handling instructions...
Dog throwing up yellow bile
Hi,what would be the most obvious reason for a dog...
Smelly dog ears
I am not used to having a long floppy eared dog (Dachshund)....
Can I help a wild rabbit in my yard?
I live in Western NY state and I was shocked to see...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™