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Home Pet Q&A Cat Questions How Do I Get My Older Cat To Like My New Kitten?

How Do I Get My Older Cat To Like My New Kitten?

You can get your older cat to like your new kitten by starting with proper introductions. Older cats are often less receptive to newcomers, so getting your older cat used to the kitten slowly is better than springing this hyper little kitten on her all at once. If you're able to adopt two kittens the same age, size and energy levels, that is often the best way to help the kittens get along with your adult cat. They will be able to play fun energetic kitten games and your older cat can join in when he's in the mood, without constantly being pestered by a kitten who wants to play all the time.

The Introduction 

You're probably super excited about having a new kitten in the home, but your older cat is likely to be a bit less thrilled. Older cats especially like their routines, and an energetic kitten could disrupt that in all kinds of ways. If you're not able to adopt two kittens the same age and energy levels, it will be up to you to play with the kitten long and hard enough multiple times a day to get out the kitten's boundless energy on toys, instead of the kitten constantly pouncing on your older cat.

That doesn't mean there is no chance of them getting along. In fact, some older cats will be happy for the company—but for the best chance of success, introduce them slowly.

Step One

Keep the new kitten isolated and feed both the older cat and kitten close the door. Over a few days, move the bowls closer to the door, so they are eating close together with just the door between them.

Step Two

Prop the door enough that they can see and smell each other. Do this for a few minutes each day for several days. During this time, swap their blankets so they can get used to each other's scents.

Step Three

Bring your older cat into the room with the kitten. Your cat may hiss and snarl, ignore the cat completely, or be just fine. A little hissing is nothing to worry about, but you'll need to be there in case things get physical. Let them spend about 10 minutes together during the initial meeting.

Step Four

Increase the time the cats spend together by 5 or so minutes each day. How this next part goes will depend on how the cats seem to be getting along. You may have to take things more slowly or you might realize they are ready to be proper housemates. 

With proper introductions, lots of playtime with you to expend their kitten energy, and a healthy dose of patience, your older cat will likely accept your new kitten—even if they don't spend every waking moment together.  

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