Introducing new kitten to older cat

Category:

As Seen With - Cathy Rosenthal

Encourage Kindness to Animals!

Highly-acclaimed children's books for your child or organization

Introducing new kitten to older cat

Updated Dec 21, 2021

Dear Cathy,

We have a three-year-old domestic cat. She has always had a picky appetite, and has times of affection and aloofness. We recently acquired a ragdoll kitten. For the last month, our older cat’s appetite and playfulness have diminished appreciably.  The two of them interact very minimally; the older cat seems to allow the kitten to have the run of the house. Basically, we would just like to bring back her personality. Any tips?

– Mike, Newington, Connecticut

Dear Mike,

If the new kitten got the run of the house from the start, the older cat may be feeling stressed by the new household dynamics. Cats are very territorial, and it would be easy for a dominant personality to change the mood of the entire household. Introductions go best when cats have time to adjust to each other more slowly.

Go back to making proper introductions by putting the new kitten in a room with a litter box and toys for a few days, giving your older feline the chance to relax and roam the house again. During this time, take turns sitting on each side of the door, using a feather toy under the door to play with whichever cat is on the other side. Fingers crossed they will connect each other’s scent with something fun, and reintroductions will go easier.

Once they are around each other again, make sure there are at least two litter boxes. Also, don’t feed them near each other until you are sure they are friends. They need to have their separate spaces.

If your older cat continues to have a poor appetite, however, please get her checked by a veterinarian.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to cathy@petpundit.com. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal

Was this article helpful? Share with others!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

DSC_4602

Cathy Rosenthal, CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 25 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

Other Articles You Might Enjoy

Try trimming nails on cat with a full belly

Dear Cathy, Recently, a reader asked you how to relax her cat, so that she could clip the cat's nails. My sister has had many ...
Read More

Poor economy hurts dogs and cats too

A poor economy means that more pets are ending up in animal shelters than ever before. Shelters all across the nation report rising populations, as people surrender ...
Read More

Treating an over-grooming cat

Dear Cathy, Our 15-year-old male cat has started pulling tufts of fur from his legs with his teeth. He pulled fur from a two-inch spot. ...
Read More