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Introducing a Kitten to An Adult Cat

Have you decided to adopt a kitten? Congratulations! We love to see cats going to good, loving homes. However, your resident furball may not be quite as enthusiastic. If Mittens and little Fluffy start out on the wrong paw, it could take months—or even years—to undo that damage. First impressions are a big deal to kitties, so it’s very important to make sure introductions go well. Here, an Ashburn, VA vet discusses introducing kittens to adult felines.

Safe Space

Mittens and little Fluffy will need time to get to know one another. Slow introductions are best. We recommend getting a quiet back room set up with bedding, toys, a litterbox, food and water, and perhaps some kitty furniture. Put your adorable new arrival in there at first, and let her settle in. There are two benefits to doing this. For one, it gives you time to make a trip to the vet’s. Also, this gives your kitten time to start smelling like your home, instead of the shelter. Feed both cats near the door of this room, so they start forming a good association with each other.

Doctor’s Visit

Before letting your kitties officially meet, you’ll need to get the all-clear from the vet. If little Fluffy hasn’t been spayed or neutered yet, this is a good time to do it. It’s also important to make sure that both felines are microchipped and up to date on their exams, vaccinations, and parasite control.

Kitty Scent Trade

Your furry buddies will soon start sniffing around the door, and perhaps playing ‘pawsies’ with each other. The next step is to let your cats get used to each other’s scents. Rub each kitty with a soft cloth, and then let them smell the cloths.

Meet ‘N Greet

Once both furballs have accepted the fact that there’s another kitty in the house, you can let them meet. Take your kitten out in the living room in her carrier, and let your other cat see her. Pet and praise both felines, and offer them toys and treats. You may see a little hissing and posturing, but this should fade steadily. It can take up to a year for cats to accept one another, so be patient!

Please call us, your local Ashburn, VA pet clinic, for all your cats’ veterinary care needs. We’re happy to assist!

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