Bringing home a new kitten is definitely fun, but it may present a few challenges if you already own a male cat. Thankfully, a younger female is an ideal match for a male cat. After a short period of adjustment, your two feline friends should be getting along just fine.
Both male and female cats are creatures of habit, and they will dislike any change in their environments or routine. Expect your male cat to show displeasure when you add a new kitten. Males cats are apt to express frustration by urine-marking territory around your home. Fend off this behavior by designating an area where the kitten will not go, preferably a spot or item that your male cat enjoys, like a particular couch cushion or nook. Be sure to clean any places he has marked to discourage repeat urination. Look into products designed to calm cats, such as scented sprays or medications.
It is likely that your male cat will display some degree of aggression towards your new kitten. Flattening ears, hissing, spitting and growling are all warning signs that your male cat may be too uncomfortable to be safely around the kitten. Closely supervise the interaction between the two cats for the first few weeks or months. Keep the kitten separated with her litter, food and water in a separate room for days at a time, if needed. Be patient and soothing towards your male cat. Punishing his aggression may only make his anger worse.
Older male cats may stalk younger or more shy female kittens. An overly eager male cat may frighten the kitten. Let the two cats get used to each other's presence with small introductions. Give a sock or towel with the kitten's scent to the male cat, and vice versa for the kitten. Let the two sniff each other from underneath the crack of a closed door. Place the kitten in her carrier, and let the male cat sniff her behind the safety of the crate. If you work to gradually increase the amount of the cats' physical interaction, both cats are less likely to feel threatened by their new roommate.
Kittens require large amounts of attention and energy, which may leave your older cat feeling neglected. He may act out with destructive behavior or sulking. Be sure to give him undivided attention for a period of time every day. Encourage your male cat to play, be affectionate towards him, and stick to his feeding and grooming routine as much as possible. Do not let your male cat hide for long periods of time.
Chloe Newkirk is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been a freelance writer for over five years, and written for a variety of publications. She is a graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. Her areas of expertise include crafts, pop culture, the arts, pets, American history and food.