If you’re a cat person, chances are you want loads. No one’s just half a cat lover. You want to be surrounded by the furry felines. And who could blame you?
But if you’re thinking of getting your second kitten, you might need some tips on how to introduce your new fur baby to your current one. Cats can get sibling rivalry just as much as the next person, and it can often result in some nasty scratches, to say the least.
Before you bring your new kitten home, take a look at these tips on how to ease the transition for both your feline friends.
Keep them separate to begin with
Your new kitten is going to be scared when they first come home, but you can ease that with a dedicated safe space in your home. Allow them somewhere they can retreat to when exploring gets to be too much.
Go for an area that can be shut off from the rest of the house, and that your current cat wouldn’t consider “theirs”. Avoid a room that they tend to sleep in regularly, for example.
Add a litter box, food and water bowls, and loads of toys so that your kitten isn’t lonely when you’re not around. Make the area comfy so that they can sleep and something they can hide in or around, so that they feel safe.
Introduce them slowly
When the time finally comes where you think your kitten is comfortable in your home, then it’s time to introduce the new siblings. But cats are very territorial, where a new kitten can feel like a threat to their home so go slow. Keep the cats separate for a couple of days, and then give them each an item with the other’s cat’s scent, such as a blanker, cushion or fabric toy. Keep it in an area that your cat feels comfortable and let them get used to the idea of a new cat in their own time. Don’t approach with it to their face or that could feel like a threat.
When they are used to each other’s scents, you can start to let them interact. But supervise, and keep them physically separated, like sniffing under the door or through a baby gate.
Get your vet visits done as soon as possible
Part of any adoption process should involve an initial vet checkup, which would be best performed on the day you’re taking the kitten home, so that you don’t interrupt the process of getting your kitten accustomed. You can ask about spaying and neutering if your kitten isn’t already fixed, here.
But vet bills can be pricey. You can avoid that with some pet insurance, Petsure offers kitten insurance that not only covers vet fees up to £15,000 but also supplies guidance and videos on taking care of your kitten as well as unlimited 24/7 free video call access to a vet.
Look out for the warning signs
Cats having a tumble and a little paw at each other is pretty regular cat play, but it can quickly turn to hissing and arched backs in a second. If you see either one of your cats start to become aggressive, you will need to separate them and start over again. Keep an eye out for signs of distress, such as urinating outside the litterbox, a lot of meowing, and abnormal grooming, and flag them up to your vet.
If you keep seeing some aggressive play, you can initially distract them with a loud noise or a toy so that they can take the chance to back off, but don’t let physical fights occur. Separate the cats until they both calm down and have another go tomorrow.