New Kitten with 2 year old cat
I was looking for some tips on getting our 2-year-old cat acclimated to our future kitten. A couple of things I was mostly concerned about is the feeding situation; we free feed our adult right now and were thinking about switching to wet food and trying to get her on a schedule. Not really sure how else to go about it until the kitten got older.
We also wanted some tips on the initial meeting and getting-to-know-ya stage. Any advice would be great!
PS: I think a video about this and other basics of introducing a kitten to other cats would be amazing. Thanks again!
Hi @Heath James
Thanks for your questions, this topic is definitely something we will aim to provide more information on in the future!
One of the most important things to remember when introducing a new cat or kitten is that it should be a gradual process and should never be rushed. Some of my top tips are:
- Initially set-up a separate area for your new kitten in a safely-enclosed room with everything they need (litter tray, food, water, bedding, hiding places, toys etc.).
- Swap scents by exchanging an item of bedding between your new kitten and your adult cat before beginning the physical introduction process.
- Gradually introduce the cats, starting by allowing them to catch a glimpse of each other (e.g. through a stair-gate or crack in the door) then building up to short, frequent supervised interactions until they are comfortable with each other.
- Consider the use of synthetic pheromone diffusers e.g. Feliway.
- Be patient, this process can take weeks.
In regards to food, it can be easier feeding to a schedule as your kitten will have different nutritional needs to your adult cat. Any changes you make to your adult cat’s current feeding schedule should be made gradually where possible to reduce stress (ideally before your new kitten comes home or you begin setting up the house for them). I would suggest feeding small frequent meals if possible (feline experts suggest 5 small meals a day most closely mimics your cat’s natural feeding preferences). This could be dry or wet food or a combination of both, just be sure to measure out the correct portion for the day and divide it into individual meals.
Hope this is helpful and do let us know how you get along with your new arrival!
Dr. Ellen Marcinkiewicz BVSc. MRCVS