Your cat and a strange kitten: how to make your cat accept a newcomer to the household
There are situations when it’s necessary to introduce a very small kitten to the household with a pre-existing adult cat. It may be just a kid aged from one to one and a half month that you’ve brought to the house or it may be a newly-born kitten, which desperately needs care of a mother cat. Let’s see how to make your cat not only to accept a new pet but also to help it settling down in a new home.
A cat and a teen-age kitten
Surprisingly enough but an adolescent kitten is accepted by adult pets much easier than a very small one. If the kitten is one or one and a half moth, it’s perceived by a grown-up animal as a sufficiently self-dependent baby animal. In this case your primary goal is to explain to your pet that this baby animal belongs to your «pack».
Before bringing the kitten to the house you should play with it, hold it in your arms, feed it and then return home. The cat will smell its scent from your clothing and understand that you’ve dealt with another feline. You have the smell of the kitten on you. At that point it’s recommended to play with the cat, to pat it or to give it a bit of food. After that you should get back to the kitten. Now it will already clearly recognise a new smell that gives off from you. The kitten has already associated the pleasant emotions from feeding and playing with you. Now you are emitting one more scent, which the kid will remember. You may come home with it.
Your cat will surely be waiting for you near the door and at that moment you should give it to understand that you love it as usual but you also value the kitten you’ve just brought in. While you are still holding the kitten, you should stroke the cat and then feed both animals. It’s a good idea to give them a small portion of a very tasty meal in order to make them to eat together. If the cat keeps the kitten off the food, you shouldn’t encourage this behaviour and let it know very distinctively that the kitten is yours. Pat your pets by turns in order to stave off the cat’s aggression and jealousy as well as to form its perception that you accept both animals in your family «pack».
Thereupon make sure to play with both pets by offering them to chase some toy on a leash or a laser pointer. Cats enjoy these games and they rivet their attention in such a way that they completely ignore each other. At the same time they will be getting used to the presence and smells of each other.
At first you should offer the kitten your shirt or another piece of clothing for bedding since it has already got accustomed to your scent and therefore will feel itself safer in a new place. And your cat will interpret your smell on the baby animal as a proof that it’s also the part of the pack.
If you usually take your cat with you in your bed, in a few days you may put there the kitten as well. Even if it doesn’t want to stay with you and quickly leaves, it will be one more positive sign for your senior pet. But it’s most likely that the kitten will be tired from playing and fall asleep wherever you place it.
A cat and a very young strange kitten
Your cat can react to a very small unfamiliar kitten more unfavourably so in the first few weeks you should watch over your pets more closely. The initial introduction should be performed in the same manner as it has been described earlier but you will probably have to feed the newborn kitten manually or with the help of a pipette. They train to feed from a bowl or small dish roughly to the age of a month.
Nonetheless you should vigilantly watch that your cat won’t think the small feline to be too weak and won’t treat it in a way it deals with its own too fragile kittens. The point is that both cats and dogs are naturally inclined to eat their offspring if they somehow draw a conclusion that the kitten or the puppy has too few chances to survive. But since modern veterinary science can ensure survival of such baby animals, they are quite often got separated from their parents and end up in the houses of tender-hearted animal lovers. In contrast with you, your cat may think that the kitten lacks vitality.
In order to avoid a tragic event, at first keep your eye on the cat and the kitten and make sure that they don’t stay one on one unattended. Well, when the kitten grows up a bit and it’s at least a month, you won’t need to worry anymore since cats raise and care about such a grown-up kitten by themselves. And if you correctly introduce the animals to each other, by that time the cat will already accept the kitten and will help you to train the kid to conventional food, toilet and cat tree.
Author: Alena Morgunovskaya
Translation: Olga Kosenko