I have a 7 year old cat and a 1 year old cat. I had fostered before I got the 1 year old and my older cat didn't seem to mind, so we have it another go and agreed to foster a young kitten with a cold. We quarantine her in a separate room from my resident cats.

A few days ago, the kitten bolted out of the room and ran down the hall and was stopped by the one year old cat, who looked spooked by this new thing in the house. Since then, he has not wanted me to touch or pick him up, and he never sleeps on my bed with me like he used to.

I love fostering, but I want my resident cat to be happy and loving like he once was. How do I get him back to his old self? Should I introduce them when the kitten is healthy again?


2 Answers 2


I disagree with the comment, on introductions. Generally you should not introduce sick foster animals to your healthy home animals. The shelter I volunteer with has a clause in their agreement, where you state you will keep them separated.

Even seemingly healthy foster animals should not be introduced to your home animals.

In our house the foster animals are downstairs and the personal animals are upstairs. They are not allowed to intermingle at all.

As kittens are very adoptable, I would expect the foster to go back to the shelter/rescue as soon as he is healthy.

Addressing your personal cats issues, are outside my abilities. But the reaction you describe is much the same as if your spouse had discovered you had a lover hidden in the spare room. I expect your cat's recovery from the situation will be similarly difficult.

Related What are the expectations of pet fosters?

  • 1
    We do he same thing, separating fosters and residents. The fosters go in the basement, and residents have full range of the house. But my 5 year old brother let the kitten escape and my other cats have already seen it. We have been for fostering for two years and this has never happened before.
    – Aly
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 1:38
  • @Aly good plan, and accidents do happen. I am a rabbit person, so can't address the psychology of cats with this great of an issue. We do have several cat experts, hopefully one will stop by with help. Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 8:46

Well, thing is all you got to do is keep them separated for a while, then keep them together in the same room for a few minutes. Then, keep a good eye on them and do it over and over again.

Your cat should get used to it. When the kittens show no sign of fear and your cat does not attack or growl, you can let them roam around all over. They should have enough space to stay away from each other if they want, just remember to keep an eye on them, just in case.

But if your cat is still mean to it and hurts it but you still want to keep the kittens then you should keep them in different rooms or you might want to get rid of them.

My family used to have a tortoise shell breed of cat named Ginger, and we adopted a cat named Flower. We used this method and only a few days later Flower would always sit with Ginger and follow her everywhere.

But now Ginger is gone, she died from cancer.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.