Looking for tips for bringing a new kitten home? Check out these practical advice for helping kittens adjust to a new home.
A new kitten should be introduced cautiously in any situation. First thing to do is confining the new kitten to a single room. Choose a room that you’re often in. When your older cat passes by the door in the room where kitty is located without paying attention – and when your kitten is comfortable where she is, it’s time to take the next step.
Do the old switch-a-roo. Take your kitten’s bed and place it nonchalantly somewhere in the existing cat’s space, and meanwhile relocate your 7-year-old cat’s bed by putting it in kitty’s room. Every couple of days, switch again.
Use your cat’s discernment for scent discrimination to your advantage. Nashville feline behaviorist Pam Johnson Bennett explains when cats wipe their cheeks against your legs or legs on furniture, they’re depositing pheromones (chemical receptors) that communicate comfort and perhaps pleasure. Act as a sort of United Nations for cats by brushing a clean rag against the cheek pads of your kitty and then rub that scent on chair legs, planters and other places where your adult cat habitually rubs his cheeks. When finished, just drop the rag in the land of your adult cat. If you want to go a step further, purchase a sort of pheromone in a bottle called Feliway.
Now, actually switch the cats, beginning 30 minutes at a time. Once these cat swappings become routine without either cat expressing anxiety, you’re now ready to actually introduce the cats to one another.
Keep these initial meetings brief – we’re talking two minutes. Give both cats something else fun to focus on aside from the other cat. Still, it’s inevitable your 7-year- old will protest, and excerpt his status as top cat. However, if he gets too physical, you’ve gone too far too fast.