Mathmatique asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

multi-cat owners, advice please!?

can I safely introduce a 10 wk old, female kitten to a 4 year old altered female. My 4 year old has always lived on her own but the kitten I'm hoping to get loves other cats. Is it a bad idea to bring the little one home? I really want a second cat but I'm scared of my current cat getting distressed or the young kitten getting hurt.

I heard the females like to take kittens as their own, is this true?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Very, very, very, very slowly...that is how it is done.

    As your cat is a bit older, she will probably resist the new addition, she has been the queen of the domain for some time now and may not appreciate the little intruder.

    So in order to make "Bringing home Baby" a smidgen more smooth (be warned...there will be lots of hissing and spitting and crying and whining...this is natural) these are the steps I use when doing introductions:

    1) Get a blanket or something along those lines that belongs to the kitten and bring it home. Put it somewhere where your adult cat will be able to smell it and scent it. Leave it out for as long as you can, maybe bring some other kitten scented items and let your cat get used to the smell. Do this as early on as you can.

    2) Prepare a spare bedroom with the kitten's supplies, toys, bedding, litter, food, water, scratching post etc the day before you are bringing kitten home and close the door.

    3) Bring kitten home and straight into the prepared spare bedroom. Let her out of the carrier to explore this room. Sit and quietly talk to her and let her go at her own pace. When she is ready, show her where the food and litter is. Once she seems somewhat settled, you can leave her on her own for a bit, if it is dark out, I would suggest leaving a lamp (secured) or a nightlight on so you can see her when you go back in and so she can see where she is going better in a strange environment.

    Don't forget to go back and check on her several times a day, just sit and play with her for a few minutes. She will be sleeping for a good chunk of her day so don't feel you need to entertain her 24/7.

    4) Day 2, play with the kitten and get her smell all over your clothes and hands and then leave her in her room and go play with your cat. If the kitten hasn't been given shots/deworming pills, then make sure you wash your hands before playing with your cat.

    Repeat #4 for Day 3 & 4

    Day 5, Put up a baby gate or 2 and let them smell eachother through the gate. If your cat is overly stressed out, close the door again but keep playing with the kitten so the adult gets used to the new scent.

    Keep trying through the baby gates for a couple of days until your resident cat seems to somewhat accept the new comer

    5) Give the resident cat some treats and put her in a room alone away from the kitten. Let the kitten to explore more of her new house. Watch her carefully and if she seems too stressed, back in the room. Try again later.

    At all times make sure to warmly reward and treat the resident cat - bringing home a kitten shouldn't be perceived by her as punishment.

    Once the kitten seems comfortable with the house (this can take up to a week or two to get to this point) allow supervised visits in the kitchen or living room with the two of them. Expect hissing, growling, paw swats, posturing etc. As long as the resident doesn't start beating on the new one and biting etc just leave them be. They have to peck out the dominance of the house themselves, yet you don't want them to get hurt in the process.

    Once they seem to be okay together, leave the room for a bit and see if they behave when you aren't around. Once you feel you can leave them together you can move kitten's food and litter to their permanent homes (again slowly, cats don't like change) and they should be good to be friends.

    I have never in 25 years of owning cats had to take a kitten back because the resident cat wouldn't accept them. If you do it slowly enough, they will learn to love or at least tolerate eachother. Then one day you will come home to see them curled up on the couch together ha ha.

    Through out the entire process, make sure your cat is getting lots of praise and loving, especially when she is nice and gentle with the kitten. Bribery with treats to make her understand that the kitten is a good thing can work too!

    Sometimes, and trust me, this is incredibly rare, they hit it off right off from the start and there is none of this introduction period. My sister had that happen once with her older resident cat and a new kitten. She brought Midnight home and popped her into the sleeping area with Spalding and they have been inseparable ever since (10 years!!). But...that almost never happens.

    Good luck and enjoy bringing home kitten!

    Source(s): Experience
  • 1 decade ago

    Based on how your question is focused more on the adult's comfort than the kitten, I think you are well prepared to.

    Try all the tricks, when you bring the kitten home leave her in her carrier for a few minutes and watch your cats body language. A normal reaction I think would be a few moments of sniffing, then maybe a little growling. Anything more than that I would worry. As for the growling if it does happen, calm your adult cat by talking "whats the matter?" and rewarding her for focusing on you by petting. Remind her that her world is the same, just with the addition of a small cat in a box.

    If your cat has an immediate reaction of hostility or fear, bring the kitten back. Your 4 year old for whatever reason is not secure enough for an easy introduction and she should be your main priority. An extremely dominant or submissive cat can learn to live with others in time, but it's not fair to bring that into the home she is accustomed to and best for everyone to end it right away.

    Female cats are like female humans, no two are exactly alike. I wouldn't call it a bad idea to try (although I hope the kitten is tested or your cat up to date on shots), just keep your focus on the adult cat and how the first meeting may affect her life.

  • Bob N
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Cats need to be properly introduced to the new home, the new humans, and the existing cats if they are to get along well and not have problems.

    Here's how we introduce newcomers to our gang:

    Cats need to be introduced very slowly.

    First of all, we do not allow a new cat to have any contact with our other cats until a vet has given the new cat a clean bill of health. This includes tests for such things as FIP and Feline Leukemia.

    Cats can be successfully introduced to each other regardless of their ages or sexes.

    We have successfully added adult cats to our family containing both young and old cats as well as introducing very young kittens to the other cats.

    It has to be done slowly. If you simply put them together, you will have behavioral problems the vast majority of times.

    The new cat has to be given time to get used to you and the new environment - don't try to introduce the new cat to the new home, to you, and to the other cats all at once. Do it in stages.

    Also, the existing cat has to get used to the smell of the new cat.

    We introduce cats by keeping the new cat in the back room for up to a month. My office is there as is my wife's sewing table. There is a sofa and bookshelves.

    We spend a lot of time with the new cat to get them used to us, the new environment and the new smells.

    After they accept us with no problems, we put a screen door on the back room door frame and let everyone see each other for a week or so.

    It may take a lot less time than a month to get to this point but we just take it slow and easy.

    Once we judge it safe to do so, we let the new cats out into the house and chaperon the first encounters.

    We've only ever had one problem introducing cats like this and that problem was resolved in a couple of weeks.

    We've had 26 cats over the past 22 years and many of them were adults - 12 and older - when they joined our family.

    We've also introduced several kittens, ranging from ages of 7 weeks to 4 or 5 months, to the rest of the crew with no problems.

    You have to take it slow.

    If you can't put up a screen door, perhaps two baby gates, stacked one on top of the other, will close off the door but still allow the cats to see each other.

    If you can't use a screen door or baby gates, try letting the existing cat into the room with the new cat for a few minutes while you chaperon.

    If things get bad, take the cat out of the room.

    You just have to introduce cats slowly

    There are cats who could be thrown together and become pals but they are few and far between.

  • 1 decade ago

    Something that would help the transition is to get the kitten spayed as soon as possible - female cats are especially territorial, so getting rid of some of those hormones in the kitten before they even really develop might make her seem less threatening to the older kitty cat. Vets are starting to spay cats much earlier now - it's possible as soon as the kitten is over 2 lbs, usually around nine or ten weeks. I'm not sure about older females taking kittens as their own, in my experience, it has been the neutered males that become mothers to the kittens

    Source(s): long time multi-cat owner
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  • 1 decade ago

    Hi,

    I have always throughout the years brought in new cats and kittens. Some times it takes time but i have never had a major problem with it.

    Just put the new kitten in a bedroom and let your other cat smell her under the door for a few days..then slowly introduce them. What i did was i put their food bowls on opposite sides of the room when i fed them their canned food..(i always leave dry down)...then each time i fed them i moved the bowls closer and closer together. I had 2 males and 3 females when i brought in the last kitten i found. I think my other cats were more afraid of this kitten then she was of them...lol.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Dont worry your cat should be fine

    A couple of years ago i bought a new kitten home and i had

    another cat which was about 6 then

    they still dont get on much but the put up with each other

    At the start they might meow and growl and each other but thats all normal

    Dont worry

    Yeas some female cats like to take kittens as there own but not all of them do

    Hope I helped

    Good luck

    Danielle

  • It should be fine. Put the kitten in an open area, where the other cat can approach her at her leisure. Let them sniff each other, and even hiss and growl at each other. If the older female tries to bite or swipe at the kitten let it happen (as long as she isn't causing real damage to the kitten), this is just her asserting her dominance as the "alpha" female. Not the right term, but it's best way I can explain it. They probably won't like each other much at first, but once your older female realizes the kitten is there for good, they should acclimate just fine. The older cat might even start to groom and care for the kitten. But try not to butt in while the older female is "laying down the law" with the kitten. After awhile, they'll seem like best friends, and your older cat will appreciate having a play buddy around.

    Source(s): I'm a vet tech
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I introduced a kitten to my 9 year old male ( who was by himself up until then) and altho it took him a bit to get used to the new kid he eventually did and now they sleep side by side on my bed, and lick each other at bath time, and now my old guy lets my young guy eat first. I'd say they should be fine. I love my 2 boys and im glad i have 2!!

  • 1 decade ago

    You could but it would cause a huge mess. Cat fight! Your older cat will be territorial so put your kitten in a bathroom and slowly allow her around the house. The older cat will get used to her scent. Then have a face to face meeting when the kitten's able to fend for itself, and I can guarantee there will be some hateful clawing, but being the new cat your kitten will have to tough it out.

  • <3
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    i did it, it worked fine, my older cat slapped by kitten a couple times and was pissed for a couple weeks but now they love each other(:

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