We have two older cats and are considering getting a couple of kittens. Our cats are on the older side, 15 years, but are still active and spunky. If we did bring in some kittens, what are some suggestions or recommendations for handling the introduction between them?
The article "Integrating Kittens with Cats" (W.V. Cats) provides intricate details on a procedure for introducing kittens to adult cats. According to the article, the paraphrased steps (backtrack to the prior step if there is an issue) are:
Keeping the new kitten / cat separate from the household for multiple days.
Providing scents from each feline involved to each other; transmitted through use of cloths. This begins the process of a safe introduction.
Non-interactive transference of each cat to the other territory to continue scent familiarization.
Visually introducing the cats for a few minutes, without physical interaction.
Feeding or rewarding the cats near the territory borders.
Introducing the cats physically under intense supervision.
- brief visitation
- continue rewarding with treats
- separate if fear or hostility is apparent
Introducing the cats for longer visitations
- multiple hours
- constant supervision
Allow unhindered interaction, but separate when unsupervised
Allow unhindered, unsupervised interaction
- allow only when kitten has reached 16 weeks old
- allow if all prior steps were successful