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CAT / new pets
Introducing a New Kitten to Other Pets
Tips to keep the fur from flying
Welcoming a new kitten can be an exciting prospect for pet parents, but a daunting one for existing pets. Here are a few tips to help you avoid confrontation and encourage everyone to get along.
Before your kitty arrives
- Find a quiet room in the house with a door that shuts. This room should be your kitten’s home base for a few days. Everything your kitten will need should be in there including food, water, a litter box, a bed and a scratching post.
The first day
- If you can, have a friend or neighbor bring the kitten into the room in a carrier.
- Go into the room yourself, close the door and open the carrier. The kitten will probably run and hide. That’s okay! Leave the little one alone in the room to get comfortable.
- Since your older pets may be anxious by now, leave the room, call them to you and give them lots of love.
The next couple of days
- Keep your kitten in the separate room and regularly bring food, refresh the water and change the litter box. If you spot the kitty coming out to explore, spend a little more time in there. Speak softly and handle your kitten gently if they seem interested. The rest of your human family can slowly do the same.
- Don’t forget to give equal love and attention to your other older pets.
- Once your kitten seems curious and confident, it’s time to let kitty out of their room— but just for a while. Put other pets in a different room while you let the kitten explore your house. Don’t be surprised if the kitten only takes a quick look around before retreating to their room. Try this for a few days, letting the kitten explore a little longer each time.
At the end of the first week
- Now it’s time for all your pets to meet! Expect some defensive behavior from your older pets, including fluffed-up tails, hissing and growling. Don’t worry; they just want to seem tough in front of the new kid. Just keep a spray bottle of water handy as a deterrent, in case the show of strength turns into actual bullying.
- Always supervise your pets until you’re absolutely sure the big ones will play nicely with the little one.
- With that milestone reached, it’s time for the finishing touch: feeding the kitten in the same area as your other pets.