We are getting a kitten (3 months) very soon. However during christmas we are spending the night with family some distance away. We would like to take him with us. The one thing that worries me is: my sister is already bringing her cat, who is used to having access to the whole house when they are there (but he hides most of the time when everybody is there). Any tips for cohabitation ? Should we keep the cats separated ? If the cat was older I’d probably think about leaving him home, but I feel uncomfortable with that as the adoption will be so recent and the kitten still young…
That's a big ask of a very small cat, they'll have had less than a month to get used to their new environment, the separation from their mother and litter-mates and then be shipped off some distance to another new location that has new people and a new cat. Introducing kittens to unfamiliar cats is ideally done slowly over a few days, and while it can go quicker and smoother than that my concern would be if it doesn't there's not a lot of wiggle room in the scenario you're planning. Add in that the adult cat is already out of it's normal comfort zone and it's a recipe for disaster.
If you're only going to be away for the one night just keeping them separated is likely to be a great deal easier on everyone involved - including the cat and kitten!
In addition to motosubatu's answer you should also consider leaving the cat at home for one night.
You'll have to gauge the reactions of your kitten when you bring it home. Does it hide away in fear or explore its new surroundings? Does it refuse to eat or drink because it's petrified with fear? Does it approach you or shy away from you? Do noises scare it or not? How long does it take the kitten to feel safe in a new environment?
If your kitten is very brave and chill in new environments, there's nothing stopping you from bringing it with you. But if the kitten is anxious, hides away or even refuses to eat and drink, the least stressful solution is to leave it home alone for a day. Make sure you leave it with enough food and water and maybe a second litter box. Maybe you have a good friend or neighbor who can come over once or twice clean the litter box while you're away.
Just imagine what your christmas gathering would be like if you were constantly worried because your kitten hid in the smallest, deepest corner the whole time and didn't eat or drink while you were sitting at the christmas dinner table...
PS: We have some good questions here about adopting kittens, like:
- Recommendations for introducing kittens to adult cats
- Cat's suddenly became very aggressive when brought to Mom's place
- What should be done to a new young cat?
- List of important habits to teach a young kitten
- Is this normal first day home behavior for my kitten, or should I be concerned?
- Help! I’m worried about my new kitten. She hasn’t eaten in over a day and I haven't been able to see her in over 12 hours :(