New Kitten to
Introducing a new kitten to your existing cat can be a daunting experience, but with a gradual and patient approach, the two can learn to coexist happily. It's essential to avoid introducing the two cats face-to-face immediately. This can be overwhelming for both pets and can damage their relationship. Instead, take the following steps to introduce your new kitten to your resident cat over a period of days and weeks.
Step 1: Prepare Separate Space
Before bringing your new kitten home, create a separate space or room for the kitten. This includes setting up a comfortable bed or sleeping area, providing litter boxes in a quiet and accessible area, and making sure that there are plenty of toys and scratching posts to keep them entertained. This will serve as their "safe space." If possible, try to limit the number of new sounds and smells in the environment as much as possible, as this can be overwhelming for your new kitten.
Ensure that your other resident cat can access the rest of the house, except for that room. Give your new kitten at least a week to adjust to the new area free from other animals. Ensure that each cat has access to its resources, such as beds, water bowls, litter trays, and toys. Have one of each type of resource per cat in your household.
Step 2: Bring Your Kitten Home
When you bring your new kitten home, take them straight to their safe space. Leave them in their carrier with the door open, allowing them time to explore. Avoid forcing your kitten to come out; they will investigate when they feel comfortable. Playtime and reassurance are essential to help your pets feel happy and safe. Spend time playing with your kitten, cuddling them, and providing plenty of positive reinforcement for good behavior. This will help your kitten feel more comfortable and will strengthen your bond with them.
Set aside bonding time each day with both your new and resident cats separately.
Step 3: Create a Routine
Creating a routine for your Sphynx kitten can help them feel more comfortable in their new environment. This means feeding them at the same time each day, providing playtime and snuggle sessions on a regular schedule, and sticking to a consistent bedtime routine. This will help your kitten feel more secure in their new surroundings and will make them feel more comfortable and settled.
Step 4: Use Scent
Once your new kitten feels comfortable and safe in their room, introduce them to your resident cat through scent. Your pets feel safe when surrounded by their scent, and they will start to learn about each other through smell. Try swapping blankets or bedding from where each cat has been sleeping to make a "scent introduction." Swapping food bowls will also help your cats learn more about each other. After two to three days, switch the cats' locations so they can investigate each other's smell. Some behaviorists suggest rubbing the cats separately with the same towel to intermix their scents. After a few more days, play with each cat near the door, encouraging them to paw at toys under the door. Eventually, the cats may play "paws" under the door with each other.
Step 5: Use Visual Contact
If your cats respond well to each other's scent, let them see each other. With your new kitten still in their safe room, open the door just enough to let your resident cat see inside but not enter. This way, the two can see each other and meet. They may sniff each other, stare, or walk around with tails up. If the meeting goes well, reward them with treats! Feed the cats near the door that separates them so they learn that coming together results in a pleasant experience.
Step 6: Introduce Face-To-Face
If visual introductions go well, you can open the door to the safe room or remove any barriers you have had in place and let your cats meet and investigate! Start with a short introduction at first, and gradually increase the time they spend together. It's normal for your pets to be a little nervous or hesitant at first, and there may be some hissing. However, watch out for fights! If your pets are hissing constantly, showing signs of aggression, or fighting, intervene by clapping or making a loud noise and separate them. Take a step back and try again another day with a new, shorter introduction, then repeat until they are more tolerant of each other.
Please be Patient
In conclusion, introducing a new kitten to your resident cat can take time and patience. Be sure to keep a close eye on them, even once they seem friendly. It may take several weeks before they can be near each other unsupervised