Introducing a New Kitten to Your Resident Cat

November 16, 2005

orange tabby kittenThe best pet tip I've found with cats is to get a couple of small towels - one for each cat. Rub the cats with their own towel, then give it to the other cat to sleep with and get used to each other's scents. Of course, we still take the time to slowly introduce them to each other, but this towel method seems to make the process go much easier in the long run.


This is Spike. He showed up in our carport one morning and we fell in love with him! He's an adorable orange tabby, 13 weeks old and extremely friendly and playful. He's the 3rd cat that we've adopted in the past 18 months and they all get along very well.

By Mary J. from Florence, SC

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129 Questions

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November 3, 2019

I just rescued a small kitten and she is finally rehabilitated and healthy so it's time to introduce her to her siblings! One is 1 year old, one is 8 months old, and, one is 7 years old. They are so friendly to each other and to her! However, our kitten hates them, she can't even go near them without hissing! What do we do to help her feel safer and like her new siblings?


November 3, 20190 found this helpful
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Kee her hungry and other kittens too, and then give food together and they will only eat and will eat and let then eat more so they will be full with it. Then before a chance o fa conflict apart them for a bit,


Start giving kitten food in other kittens containers so that will give it closeness feel also.
Pet your kitten more than other kittens to give feeling, etc.
separate time feed each kitten while they were hungry in you hand and that will have them learn to follow demand and discipline

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February 7, 2018

I got a 8 week old kitten today and my 7 month old keeps hissing at her. I have had to have the kitten with me in the bedroom at night with food, litter tray, and water as my female is not liking her. I just don't want my 7 month old cat hurting a 8 week old kitten. The 8 week old kitten is dying to see the older cat and wants to play, but my older cat doesn't like her and is always hissing at her.

I don't want to have to re-home my new addition because of the older cat. Will she eventually like the kitten? How do I do this and make them get along?

Introducing a New Kitten to the Resident Cat - black kitten


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February 7, 20182 found this helpful
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Like any creature, cats are territorial. This new kitten is infringing on the 1st cats she is obviously unimpressed. Cats do adjust after a little while usually. The first one just needs to see that the kitten is not a threat, But some cats never quite adjust so it may be some trial and error.


Protect the little one as long as you can...and when its a little older they may just have to establish their own order.

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February 8, 20180 found this helpful
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They are both still young and yes, this will happen. Even with dogs this happens. I introduced a new puppy in the house and my older dog who is almost 5 wasn't happy at all. He did bite the puppy a few times.

This does take time and you basically have to do this slowly and let them get used to each other. You'll have a few incidents and the older cat will show the younger one who's boss. They will work this out in time because they are both still young. I would keep going on like you are now and slowly, allow them in the room together for a bit longer each time.

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February 13, 20181 found this helpful
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One thing I have found that helps is to see that the new cat has her own space. I use a guestroom with litter box, water, food, toys and a few cozy beds and a window sill to look out of. My new kitties sleep in their rooms and get increased time out with the resident cats. I have found this keeps them much calmer and there is less hissing swatting etc, Look for a couple months of hostility.


Eventually they come to a truce. Will they ever like each other? It is hard to say. I like some people and not others. Cats are about the same, but slow introductions really help. Lately I have discovered that meditation type music (flutes, Enya) really calms the waters for cats. My 2, who will mix it up, just chill and go take another nap.

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February 28, 2018

I have a cat who is almost one year old and I just got a kitten who is about 10 weeks old. My cat is hissing at the kitten, but that is all she does for now.

How do I get her to like the kitten?


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March 1, 20181 found this helpful
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Since both are still young this may not take very long for them to accept each other.

  • Usually it is better to keep them in separate rooms and let them "mingle" for short periods of time but be ready to rescue the little one if necessary. Try not to be too observant or the older one will realize there may be a problem here. Try not to force them to be friends as it will work out okay in a few days.
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  • Place something (blanket, small towel, clothing) that has their scent in with the different cat so they will become accustomed to the one's scent.
  • It is also a good idea to place something that has your scent in with each cat. Even a sock will work.
  • Hopefully all of this will only take a few days.
  • Be sure to give equal attention to each kitten (no matter how cute the little one turns out to be).
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March 1, 20180 found this helpful
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This will take time and each cat will learn their place. I have introduced a cat in two different ways. Once I just let them get to know each other. This one worked out, but at times the older cat would start a fight with the younger one. I found out it was better to have the animals of the opposite sex. This works the same for dogs. The older dog will always put the baby in their place and make sure they know who is king.


You can also try what others do and separate them. Let them get to know each other little by little by introducing them. You can start with the smell or moving them around and leaving them in a room where the other cat has been.

As long as the older cat isn't attacking and hurting the new kitten I'd leave them for now and see how it works out. If the older cat is hurting the kitten, you have to move them away from each other.

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September 30, 2018

I brought home an 8 week old kitten today as a playmate for my 10 week old kitten. They sleep next to each other, but my 10 week old just keeps attacking the 8 week old one. What should I do?


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October 3, 20180 found this helpful
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I agree with Attosa. I give each of my kittens their own room complete with litter box, beds, toys scratch post, food etc. They then have the run of the house as long as everybody is getting along. Sometimes somebody needs a timeout. Not as a punishment, but just to simmer down. Before long everybody is getting along. They keep their rooms and will retreat on their own if they are stressed.

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October 4, 20180 found this helpful
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Cats take a long time to adjust to one another. My best friend had a situation where the two never got adjusted and she had an upstairs and downstairs cat. It worked for her, but was a little more work than she liked. She had doors between levels that could be closed to do this, which not everyone does.

From experience, you have to be careful that that the "attacks" don't break skin or draw blood and if they do, be careful and get vet care if they don't heal quickly. This can be quite dangerous as infections can set in quickly (which is what happened for my friend to decide to separate).

Don't force the situation. Let them go at their own pace. Be sure to give each loving and time. Keep food separate and litter also to foster better relationships.

You vet may have better tips for you. Both are young and will need to have established vet care soon to keep them well and healthy!

Wishing you and your fur kids a long and happy time together! Even if it has to be separate but equal!

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October 4, 2017

I have a kitten that is 10 weeks old female and just got a new one that is a 7 week old female. The older one continually attacks the younger one. They bite, hiss, and growl at each other. I try to break then up, but they just run back and attack each other again.

They have done this for two days and it is only getting worse. I would like to know if anyone has an idea how to adjust them to each other?


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October 9, 20170 found this helpful
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I agree with the recommendations here for slow introductions, having their own space, litter boxes and feeding dishes. That has always worked for me. But, when they begin playing with each other and you see more biting hissing and chasing dont feel like a failure. You will see less of it and it will fade away faster, it will not disappear. Especially with kittens. Kittens engaging in this kind of behavior usually dont hurt each other, it just sounds like war. Just keep an eye on them...they will grow up.

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June 3, 2018

I have had my boy kitten for about a month now. I brought home a girl kitten yesterday she's a little skittish and the two don't get along well. I have the oldest in the bedroom with food and an extra litter box and the kitten in the other room with her.own stuff.

The two meow at each other through the door, but when they are in the same room they fight. I'm not sure if it's playing or them being mean. The littler one hisses at the bigger one. I started doing that towel method today.


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June 3, 20180 found this helpful
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Help them make friends with one another.

Step 1
Trim their nails to avoid puncture wounds if they fight.

Step 2
Let them smell each other under the doorway. They may start reaching under the door to play.

Step 3
Add some of the litter from each box to the other. Cats go by smell so the smell of the other cat in the litter with no bad effect will let each cat think that the other is present and they are still safe.

Step 4
Try letting them be together under your supervision, while you play with them with a toy on a rod type of toy.

Step 5
It is hard for them to be in a fighting mood while they are playing.

Step 6
Be prepared for some hissing. One kitten will retreat when hissed at. This establishes dominance.

Step 7
Once dominance is established there should be no more fighting, only hissing.

Step 8
After that you can let them be together permanently.

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July 15, 2013

Closeup of black kitten.We just got an 11 week old kitten a couple days ago and our 2 year old cat does not like her at all. Not only does our older cat hiss at our kitten, but she hisses at me and I don't know what to do. I'm afraid if they don't get along we will have to rehome our kitten. What's the best way for the cats to bond?

By Katie P.


July 17, 20135 found this helpful

I can assure you that sometimes it takes a while for cats to stop hissing with displeasure at the youngest addition to a family. That is normal behavior. I have the same thing all the time over here. (unless we are talking about Manx kittens which are like dogs).

I would not let the youngster really near the cat alone for a while. I could put her in the bathroom with her own food and water and litterbox, or the laundry room. I like to have them each have their own places. Have them have their own bowls especially. When they are together, tell the older cat "Look, it's a baby" when they are together. Talk softly and when the older cat complains, say "awww, that scares the Baby."

Your tone of voice helps. I would pay a lot of attention to the older cat. And in it's own place pay a lot of attention to the litte one too. I used to take the little ones on a tour, I would hold them and walk thru the hosue and tell them the names of all the animals and such. They would look all around. Walk slow and talk to the kitten like you are talking to a child. Do this everyday.

Here are some links:

Here is some info I copied and pasted from this link:
1. Allow your old cat to gradually familiarize itself with the kitten. For example, if it is a stray kitten that spends most of its time outdoors, let your old cat observe it through the window most of the time and bring the kitten indoors for short periods of time.

2. Set aside a room in your house where the kitten can live most of the time, if it is spending most of its time indoors. Take the kitten out of the room for short intervals and gradually introduce it to your old cat.

3. Establish a litter box for the kitten. If possible, place it some distance away from your old cat's litter box. Later, your cats may use each other's boxes, or even the same box, but its best to introduce your kitten to his own box at first.

4. Give the kitten its own food dish and water bowl. The cats then can use the same water bowl, but it is best if the kitten has his own bowl at first.

5. Talk nicely to the kitten and your old cat as you are introducing them to each other. Cats understand emotion, and your old cat can adapt to your emotion if it knows that you are friendly toward the new kitten.

6. Play with the kitten using balls or other cat toys, and let the old cat watch or join in. The old cat then realizes that the kitten is a great playmate.

Read more:

Don't be overly concerned but don't expect them to share things. The baby will be afraid of using a litterbox in front of the oler cat and eating in front of him so give the kitten it's own area.

Keep us updated!

Blessings, Robyn

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October 12, 2017

I am looking for help here because we have a unique cat. My wife and I got two Bengal cats from separate breeders, Misty was first and 6 months later came Kiwi. (The first image is of Kiwi and Misty together happily.) After 5 happy years for the four of us, Misty was tragically diagnosed with epilepsy. She was put down about a month ago and it was agonizing losing one of our best buddies.Introducing a New Kitten to Resident Bengal Cat - Kiwi and Misty


It has been a month and we decided Kiwi needed a new friend, so we adopted from a shelter this time! We got Elsa from a shelter (the white kitten) and she is an absolutely amazing kitten. She wants to play with Kiwi right away, but we know to take it slow. Many people on here give good advice for cats, but Bengal cats can be very different. Kiwi is stubborn as hell and things only go well on her terms. We have a hard time cutting her nails as she never lets us hold her. She didn't have a problem with Misty so we thought she might be happy with a new buddy (Elsa).

It's been a week and we keep Elsa in a separate room with all the fixings, but it is clear she wants out of the room. It is almost impossible to get Kiwi into a room we want her in, has to be on her terms.

At times Kiwi will tolerate Elsa when we bring her out, we are very careful to monitor the situation, but Kiwi has never ever been violent, not even with bugs. It has been a very stressful week trying to get these two to get along, Elsa is cool with it, but Kiwi is stubborn!

We are trying all the tips we read, but we don't know how long this will take. I don't need them to be best buddies right away, but I do not want to keep Elsa in the room much longer. We tried cracking the door to her safe room and having them play together between it. Kiwi is okay watching Elsa from a distance of about a foot, but as soon as she gets in striking distance she hisses and growls and swats at poor Elsa.

How much longer will this last? We have tried feeding them together in eye sight, but Kiwi is very picky about her food bowl, if we move it too far she simply won't eat, that's how stubborn she is! She will give up and walk away if it's not her way. To this day Kiwi will not let us hold her. I just want to get to a point where Elsa can be released from the room for good. I know they will get along in time they are both loving in their own ways.

Please help us! We feel bad leaving Elsa in the safe room so much, we spend time with her, but still, will Kiwi ever accept her? How long does this take? How can I speed the process up while showing them both respect? How do I know if Kiwi will truly try to hurt Elsa or is it okay to let the swatting happen? Any advice would help!


Introducing a New Kitten to Resident Bengal Cat - new kitten


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October 12, 20171 found this helpful
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For now it is just patience and a lot of love and caring for them.

  1. You will need to keep the new kitten in a room of its own for a while.
  2. Give the kitten their own water dish, food dish, and bedding if you want to give them a bed to sleep on.
  3. You will have to get the older cat use to the kitten's smell. You can do this slowly by playing with the kitten in the otehr room and letting the kitten rub up against you.
  4. Now go and get the older cat and let them smell you and the smell of the kitten.
  5. Slowly start to feed the older cat near the door of the new cat. See how the older one reacts.
  6. You will need to move the bowl of food closer each time to the door.
  7. You will do the same for the kitten on the other side.
  8. After the cats can eat with the door in the middel and the bowls against the door it is time to move on to the next phase.
  9. This will be propping the door open just a crack and allowing the older cat and the kutten to start smelling each other.
  10. Let them see each other and smell each other.
  11. You can now try and swap room with the two or you can try to bring out the kitten and let him be in the same room as the older cat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Don't keep the kitten there too long because this might cause a problem.
  12. Keep doing this and incease the time.
  13. After about 2 weeks the two cats should be able to be out of the room and in the house and running around.
  14. The older cat might never accept the younger one, but it will be easier and the older one shouldn't atttack the younger once too much after this.
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So I adopted two siblings kittens at 7 weeks. One is a female named Sparkles (she is space gray) the other is a male named Tiger (he is gray and black). They are now 3 months old and today on my way to a pizza store with my boyfriend I found a stray male kitten 2 months old. It is bright orange and white and I named him Ginger and from the looks at it he hasn't been on the streets for long.

He wasn't dirty and he wasn't skinny. He was healthy and I brought him home. Gave him a bath and introduced him to Sparkles and Tiger. Now Tiger gets along great with the new kitten, but my female dislikes him. She hisses at him, growls at him, and he does nothing but lay there. Why is she doing this?

Introducing New Kitten to Resident Cat - Sparkles
Introducing New Kitten to Resident Cat - Tiger
Introducing New Kitten to Resident Cat - Ginger
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August 12, 2013

Black and white kitten with black over nose, Jack.I have a male kitten (Jack) who is 12 weeks old and he has settled in with me and my son very happily :) I've had him for four weeks. The vet advised me to get another kitten/cat as he was starting to stress from being lonely. I got my little female kitten (Cookie) yesterday and quite understandably she has been very on edge about the whole thing (shes 8 weeks).

He attempts to play with her, but she gets scared and hisses. He tolerates this for about 5 minutes then starts to go for her hind legs. Is this normal? Does anyone have any tips? (also going to get her spayed and him neutered in a couple of weeks...will this help?)Black and white kitten, Cookie.

By Samantha Rose M. from Scotland

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