Cats are very territorial animals that hardly accept the arrival of a new cat. So how do you ensure that everything goes well between your cat and the newcomer? How to accept an adult cat kitten? I tell you everything you need to put in place so that they get along wonderfully quickly.

How to make a kitten accept an adult cat: What not to do

Let’s start first with what not to do. Never arrive with the new kitten by placing the two face to face as if you were introducing two people. This presentation is very traumatic, the kitten will be very scared and will be in intense stress.

Do not leave them on their own either, hoping that they learn to live together, this can be dangerous because your adult cat, especially if he is not neutered or has a heavy experience, can put the life of a kitten in danger for a question of territory.

The introduction of kittens must be done gradually, here is how to proceed to achieve this.

What to do step by step

There are several steps to follow and it is better to respect them one by one so that everything goes well.

Step 1: Prepare your home for her arrival

First of all, it is important to prepare a personal corner for the arrival of the new kitten which will thus have its own dedicated space. The new kitten will need space and comfort and its territory should never be shared with the other cat.

In this room, put everything he will need, pot of food, bowl of water, scraper, basket and toys. Keep the litter box a bit out of the way for hygienic reasons.

The corner reserved for him will allow the kitten to feel comfortable in his new home and will serve as a sort of « haven of peace ». This way he can feel safe and take time to adapt to the new environment.

Step 2: Leave the new kitten in the separate room

As soon as you arrive with the new kitten, immediately take it to the separate room, it should be there all the time for the first few days. Don’t let cats make eye contact. They must first know each other by smell.

Leave the kitten in the new room, with everything it needs like water, food, litter, and playthings.

It is very important that the cat can be distracted and feel comfortable in this room, because change is very stressful for the kitten, so you need to make it as comfortable as possible.

After setting everything up in the room for the new kitten, leave it alone for a few hours (about 2 hours) to calm it down. From time to time, open the door a little to check that everything is fine with him.

The cat will already smell the new kitten and begin to notice that there is a new member in the family. Make him feel free to sniff the door, but don’t let him come in and stare at the kitten. If he is a little stressed, you can offer him snacks and play with him to calm the animal.

After two hours, enter the room and watch out for the new kitten. It is important not to force anything if he is still afraid, just leave him alone in the corner he has chosen. Stay calm in the room to keep him company so he gets used to your presence.

Offer him very tasty food, let him eat calmly and watch. Then you can try playing with it. Keep repeating these processes and as you notice the opportunities he gives you, you can pet him.

Step 3: The encounter by smell

For the first few days, the new kitten should stay in the room. It is important every time you enter the room to give enough care to the resident kitten so that it impregnates its scent in your hands, this attitude also avoids the jealousy of the resident cat. Don’t forget to give lots of attention and affection to the resident cat, it’s important to do this so that he doesn’t feel left out.

When you go out, let the old cat smell. When you enter the room again, it will be the kitten’s turn to sniff your hand to find out the cat’s scent.

It is also important to always put food for them at the same time. They will eat at the same time, but without opening the door!

But how to do it ?

It’s simple, a small pot on each side of the closed door. They’re going to eat really good food and they’re going to feel under the door. This will make them associate with a pleasurable activity. With this, the tension between the two will decrease.

Remember that there should be no eye contact yet at this stage.

presentation kitten to cat

Step 4: Show the kitten around the house

Once the new kitten is comfortable, it’s important that they get to know the new home. To do this, lock your old cat in a room to prevent him from seeing the kitten.

After that, open the door and let the new kitten explore and get to know the new home.

Let him explore for an hour, two at most, then switch roles. The new kitten should return to its designated room and the resident kitten may be released into the house.

You can do this once a day, it is also important because it allows them to feel each other in the house.

Step 5: The first eye contact

During all these stages it is essential that you observe the behavior of your cats. When you notice they are more relaxed, you can move on to first eye contact. But it always depends on the cats and can vary between three days, one week, two weeks or even three weeks at most. So take a good look.

It’s not yet time to open the door and let the new kitten out. This first time, just open the door and let them observe each other for a few minutes. Remember to open the door just a crack, no space for them to put their paws, just space for eye contact.

Then close the door and offer both cats a good meal, again to create a positive association.

Don’t be scared if they have negative reactions, just be careful not to hurt them.

Repeat this process several times a day for about a week.

Step 6: Transport box assembly

Once they are more relaxed, you can organize a « meeting » by placing them each in a transport box.

Place your new cat in the box and move it to a place outside the safe room (eg living room).

It is important to open the door very slowly and bring the carrying case into the living room very calmly, without sudden movements. Let the cats look and sniff each other through the carrier door.

If there are any signs of aggression, end the encounter and return the kitten to its safe room.

This technique allows kittens to get to know each other visually without the possibility of harming each other. You will need to repeat this process several times.

Another option is to install a baby gate to create a secure barrier. This way cats may feel more inclined to approach.

You can feed them near the edges of this physical barrier and use food and toys to encourage them to associate good things with encounters. The game builds trust between the two and reduces stress.

Step 7: The first physical contact

When you make eye contact through the gap in the door and you feel they are very relaxed, it’s time to open the door a little more and let the new kitten out.

Watch this first meeting between the two and stay very attentive because of a possible attack. Whenever you feel like they are going to be weird, calm things down in a calm way if possible, with jokes and snacks. No jets of water that will create unnecessary stress. 

Now is the time to watch over and allow the two to get to know each other well. During the day you can leave the two together and at night for added safety, if you feel any tension bring the new kitten back to its crate.

Tip: To avoid jealousy, always greet the old cat first. Ancient cats also need love so they don’t feel « traded in ». So do not forget to pay special attention to them.

Step 8: Patience and Lots of Love

Even following all these steps, your kittens can take up to 90 days to fully accept each other because each kitten has its own particularities.

So keep calm, use toys, snacks or ambient smell to calm the mood.

You can be sure it’s a matter of time now. Your kittens will need time to bond and you will need lots of patience and attention with them.

The process of adjusting from a newly adopted cat to an older cat can be a bit tedious at first, but after adjusting, you will find that you did the right thing in giving your cat a new buddy. He will be happier and they will have a lot of fun together.

FAQ: The most common questions

Some questions often come up regarding this problem, here are the answers to the most common questions regarding this problem:

Can an adult cat kill a kitten?

If your cat is unneutered and/or has behavioral issues in general, then there is a small possibility of this happening. You must then treat these problems at the base by neutering it and bringing it to a behaviorist for cat.

In any case, these are two things that should have been regulated for the well-being of your cat. Because if you leave him with his troubles, his life expectancy will be reduced outside and he will have inappropriate behavior such as urinating everywhere or scratching.

Does a cat need another cat?

A cat is certainly a territorial animal, but if you are not home often and he does not have access to the outside, then it is better that he has company, but they cannot be with each other only when fully tamed.

What to do if the initial solutions are not enough?

In this case, you will have to use the anti-stress sprays so that they tame more easily and also go to see the veterinarian or the behaviorist if one of the two has a deeper problem.

How to get a kitten accepted by an adult cat? The final word

Here is a summary of things to do:

  • First, prepare your home for the arrival of the new kitten and let him settle in a safe room just for him. For his mental and physical safety it is essential, and make sure that he is well there.

  • Second, introduce your cats by smell and then by first eye contact, but without physical contact to ensure animal safety and avoid fights. The main thing is to go gradually, you should never skip the steps.

  • When they’re very relaxed, it’s time for a guided personal introduction with a lot of patience and attention. Keep calm and watch your cats. If aggression shows through, stop the meeting.

  • It is normal for the adaptation to take some time, around three weeks, because your cats will need time to get to know each other and get used to the new thing. Until then, don’t leave them both unattended.

  • If possible, make an appointment with your home veterinarian so they can check on the adaptation process and the health of your kittens. A behaviorist is also sometimes necessary.