How to Introduce Newborn Kittens to Other Family Cats

by Melodie Anne Coffman, Demand Media Google
    It'll take some work, but soon your new furry pal will soon be a part of your feline family.

    It'll take some work, but soon your new furry pal will soon be a part of your feline family.

    You just found out your co-worker is looking for homes for her new litter of kittens. After going through her pile of adorable photos, you decide it's time to bring a new kitten home. While your feline family members might not approve right away, they'll learn to adore the addition.

    Items you will need

    • Litter box
    • 2 food bowls
    • Cat food
    • Water
    • Cat toys
    • Playpen or baby gate

    Step 1

    Set up a personal room for baby Fifi, such as your master bedroom or spare bedroom. Give her her own litter box, bowls of food and water and toys. Don't allow the other kitties in the house to go near the room for one or two days -- they already know there's a new feline around.

    Step 2

    Pet, brush and play with little Fifi often and then go out in the living room and let the rest of your furry brood take a whiff of you during a long petting session. You may not know it but baby Fifi left her scent all over you. By petting the other felines with your "scented" hands, you're putting Fifi's signature perfume all over them. This gives each kitty time to adjust to Fifi's scent.

    Step 3

    Take Fifi out of her room, set her up in a different room for a day or two. Allow your kitties to roam around in the area where Fifi has been living. They'll continue to get used to her aroma, making it easier to accept her into the clan.

    Step 4

    Work on visual contact between felines as long as you are home to observe. Place Fifi in a closed-in pen in the middle of your living room or put up a baby gate at the entrance of her room. This gives all of your fuzzy friends a chance to sniff one another, but provides a barrier in case someone gets nervous.

    Step 5

    Watch their body language. As long as no one has a puffy tail, there isn't any hissing going on and none of them are growling, they're probably getting used to one another. However, if Fifi or any of the other kitties seem upset, continue doing several barricaded face-time sessions each day until everyone seems content.

    Step 6

    Feed each feline dinner in the same room without a barricade. Place Fifi's dish on one side of the room and everyone else's dish on the far side of the room. If everyone dines happily, move their bowls a little closer together. You may have to work on this over a period of several days, moving dishes a little closer together each day.

    Tip

    • Encourage playtime. Play with your fuzzy friends as a group by wiggling a play wand in front of their faces. This gives your old-timers a chance to see that baby Fifi is a friend, not a threat.

    Warning

    • Until all kitties are completely happy together -- no hissing or hair sticking up -- do not leave your new kitten alone with the adult cats. You don't want a big brawl to occur. It may take days or weeks for everyone to live in harmony, but eventually they'll all be one big happy furry family.

    About the Author

    Melodie Anne Coffman has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.

    Photo Credits

    • Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images