If you bring the kitten into your home as a second cat, you can do the following to help them get along.
How to help your new and existing cat get along:
– Scent trail: take scent samples from your kitten and give your cat the scent. For example, use a blanket the kitten has used and the newcomer’s scent won’t hit the existing animal unexpectedly.
– Scent mix: Try petting the cats in turn so that your hands take on each other’s scent and the scents mix.
– Conflict avoidance: If possible, the arrival room of the kitten is not the one where the first cat prefers to stay. Make sure that the cats can only sniff each other through a gap in the door or through the puppy gate, so that the kitten does not enter the territory of the old resident unsuspectingly.
– Positive conditioning: Place the food bowl of both cats on either side of your door and feed them both at the same time. This way, the different smell from the food takes is a positive association.
– Extra portion of love: Devote extra time and attention to the first cat so that no jealousy arises.
– Supervise: Be sure to stay in the room when the cats are first brought together. This way you can intervene if the situation escalates. A well-socialised kitten should know the “rules of etiquette” and react appropriately to the body language of its – hopefully positively-minded – new housemate.
What equipment should be available?
Cat litter box
For a kitten, a slightly smaller model that it can easily climb into is sufficient. If possible, use the same litter from their birth home in the tray, but do not use clumping litter, which is dangerous for kittens, for the time being. Kittens can swallow grains of litter which could harden in the stomach.
The scratching post should not be too high, but it should have a viewing platform from which the kitten can observe the environment from a higher vantage point. If possible, use soft pads on the floor area around the scratching post in case the kitten falls off.
Cuddle cave or cat basket
The sleeping place for your kitten should be slightly elevated, but without the risk of falling.
Feeding and drinking bowl
The water bowl should not be placed directly next to the food bowl, as cats tend to forget to drink while eating. It is therefore better to quench thirst in a separate place.
Boxes with a lid that opens upwards are ideal. This also makes it easier to handle at the vet.
Many manufacturers offer special junior food with ingredients adapted to for young cats. If the kitten can’t manage to eat from the bowl by itself yet, there is a simple reason for this: it hasn’t yet learned the trick of leaning down to the bowl. Try feeding from a spoon at chest level in the beginning and lower it further and further down to the bowl. The little cat’s stomach needs four to five small meals a day at first.
Comb and brush
Even short-haired breeds need careful grooming to keep their skin and coat healthy.
Age and size appropriate toys must be used, and pets should always be supervised. Snack balls where small treats fall out while playing, cat fishing rods, fiddle and intelligence toys, play mice with catnip are all appropriate for kittens, your local Maxi Zoo staff can advise on the best one for your pet.
If a new pet has joined your family you need to be perfectly equipped from the start to ensure they can settle in to their new life easily.
Maxi Zoo are on hand with our new pet starter kits for every kind of pet. You can find out more information about them here. Our store staff are available to give customised advice so you choose the perfect product for your new arrival, and you can get 10% off* your starter kit when you visit your local Maxi Zoo store, find yours here.