new kitten to keep cat company?

in Pets & Pet Care
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katie4katie4 Forumite
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We adopted our now 5 year old cat assuming he was an ordinary tabby however he is now suspected to be maine coon or norwegian forest cat as he is a very big boy!


We are thinking he may like some company. I have seen him out with other cats but when we rescued a female bengal and had to bring it home in a carrier he did not like it one bit but when we rescued two little kittens he didn't seem bothered by them he would sniff them even though they were hissing at him
This is why we think a kitten may be more suitable.


I am just wondering if anyone has any experience / tips with introducing an older cat to a kitten?
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  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    We already had a 9 year old male when we adopted a 2 year old female'.

    We kept her in a separate room for a while - he listened at the door. A bit of hissing when they met but they soon settled.

    They used to play a form of cat tag up and down the stairs - we couldn't understand the rules.

    Feed them separately.
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  • sarahgdsarahgd Forumite
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    I'd give the shelter a ring, those guys are brill at matching up cats. (would be my dream job!)
  • sarahgdsarahgd Forumite
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    I agree with the feeding the separately, its descends into chaos when the alpha male eats all the food!
  • Astar1809Astar1809 Forumite
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    katie4 wrote: »
    We adopted our now 5 year old cat assuming he was an ordinary tabby however he is now suspected to be maine coon or norwegian forest cat as he is a very big boy!


    We are thinking he may like some company. I have seen him out with other cats but when we rescued a female bengal and had to bring it home in a carrier he did not like it one bit but when we rescued two little kittens he didn't seem bothered by them he would sniff them even though they were hissing at him
    This is why we think a kitten may be more suitable.


    I am just wondering if anyone has any experience / tips with introducing an older cat to a kitten?

    My Wife recently got a kitten to friend our cat of two years, the initial two days were like a wild west with the stand offs and the hissing/growling on either side. But now we are 2 months in and they are best of pals, regularly cuddling up together and playing. Our original cat was put out for a little bit as he has the rule of the roost before but now both are very happy.
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    sarahgd wrote: »
    I agree with the feeding the separately, its descends into chaos when the alpha male eats all the food!

    It's the younger female that scoffs her food and then cleans up whatever he's left.

    She dominates the roost.

    They are wonderful company .
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  • sarahgdsarahgd Forumite
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    Thats so funny, its a bit like me at the dinner table! :rotfl:
  • SensibleSarahSensibleSarah Forumite
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    I've introduced kittens to adult cats without issue. Keep kitten in spare room, feed separately, supervised contact only for a few weeks. Couple of days of hissing and growling but they soon get over it. That said, none of my (4) cats particularly like each other - I'm sure they'd all be thrilled if they were the only cat to be honest.
  • edited 25 November 2019 at 9:01PM
    KiKiKiKi Forumite
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    edited 25 November 2019 at 9:01PM
    If you can sense he needs company then it's worth a try - but as others have said, you need to manage introductions really carefully. Separate room for the new cat, and you can scent swap from one cat to the other, and put the new cat's scent around the house for a week or so before you very slowly introduce - scent swapping first is very effective, and can reduce both anxiety and fear in an introduction. Introductions are better done sight only at first (eg, kitten in arms, allowing cat to sniff him) then removed again over a few days. Then allowed supervised contact for a few minutes a couple of times a day etc. And adapt depending on how well it goes. You may find it takes weeks, or it could take a couple of days!

    If not managed well, it can be disastrous. I've seen two cats 'for adoption' in my road in the last year because owners brought new cats home and just expected the resident cat to accept it. Resident cats have been so unhappy that their territory has been taken, or that the new cat is bothering them, that they've pretty much 'left home' and only go back to eat. Both cats have been rehomed, but it's so sad to see they've had to leave their house because owners just expect animals to get along.

    Not suggesting you'd do that, of course! But be prepared to accept that if resident cat doesn't cope, you may need to give up the new cat. It does happen. The more carefully you manage it with scent swapping and resource management (at least two litter trays, two separate sets of food, slow introductions over a few weeks), the greater your chance of success! If you go to a shelter, they'll have a really good idea of which of their cats is likely to integrate well with an older boy.

    I tell you this from experience: I've had to re-introduce both my cats (mum and son, would you believe!) twice, after mum just SAW another cat and then turned on her own son because she couldn't differentiate between him and alien cat! It took two months the first time, to go from her outright attacking him, to them being okay in the house together. It's awful to watch, but I managed it so much better second time because I'd learnt how to do it (had a cat behaviourist in to help).

    HTH - good luck! Maine Coons are lovely soppy cats and do tend to like company. (Don't know about Norwegians.)

    Edited to clarify: Norwegian Forest cats, obviously. Not actual Norwegian people, although I'm sure they like company, too.
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  • TripleHTripleH Forumite
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    We got a kitten as companion for our then 11yr old cat. She hated other cats (well strongly disliked) to the point she caused 1 to have a nervous breakdown because she kept intimidating him and she was a very vicious hunter.

    Anyway the cat carrier opens, small kitten pops out all excited about her new home and we saw no more of the older one for 2 days (hiding under the sofa).

    They get on well enough to share a window sill now.

    When our 3rd arrived (a boy snd biological brother of our second cat) a few months after his sister, the oldest cat sniffed his bum then walked on and ignored him. It was his sister who seemed the most upset. They now are almost inseperable.

    My point... a kitten or very young cat (in my opinion) is more willing to adapt to the environment and less set in their ways than an older cat.

    Our oldest is now 15 and is second fiddle to the middle cat who rules the roost, but mainly because she cannot be bothered anymore. She gets left alone most of the time and all 3 serm very happy.
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  • GreenQueenGreenQueen Forumite
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    We had a similar experience, we got two kittens (about 10 weeks old). our 12 yo cat walked into the room, took one look and walked out. For the next couple of weeks he pretended the kittens didn't exist, ignoring them and walking away if he saw them. He gradually got to be a bit more accepting.

    After one of our kittens died at about a year old (long, sad story:sad:), the older cat and remaining kitten became inseparable and snuggled up together at night, sharing one bed even though they had one each. Sometimes it needs time, and I agree that kittens are more likely to fit into an existing cat household than an adult cat.
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