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Introducing New Kittens to Pets

Welcoming a new kitten or cat into your home is difficult if you have other pets. Here’s some advice to avoid a confrontation between your pets and your new kitten.

Prepare a room for the kitten in a quiet area of your house. Put the kitten's food and water in the room, as well as its scratching post and litter box. Make sure the kitten has something soft to sleep on.

If at all possible, have someone else bring the kitten into your home. Ask the person to leave the kitten in its carrier and take the kitten directly to its room. Shut the door. Open the carrier and let the kitten out.

Don't be surprised if the kitten runs for cover. Leave the room, shut the door, and lavish your other pets with affection.

Enter the kitten's room only to give it food and water and to clean its litter box. If the kitten seems to want attention, spend some time in the room. Talk softly and handle the kitten gently. Encourage family members to do the same. Continue to lavish your other pets with affection.

As the days pass, spend more time in the room with your kitten. When the kitten seems confident, confine your other pets and let the kitten out of its room. Don't be surprised if it takes a quick look around and retreats to its room.

How long your kitten is allowed out of its room depends on how comfortable it is and how your other pets are behaving. Continue to let your kitten out of its room while confining your other pets for a short period of time each day.

After about a week, it's time for a face-to-face meeting. Expect some fluffed tails, hissing, and growling. Consider keeping a spray bottle filled with water handy in case an actual fight develops.

Don't leave your kitten alone with your other pets until you're sure it has been accepted into the pet family. At that time, you can move your kitten’s food and water dishes next to your other pets'.

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