Can Cats and Kittens Get Along?

Get tips on how to introduce young kittens to older cats and how to help both cats get along.

By Marilyn Krieger, CCBC

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Kitten and Older Cat
Kittens and cats can get along with a few guiding principals, but a bond might be better between cats of the same age.
Q: I am thinking about getting a new kitten. I already have one male cat who is approximately 6 years old. Would he react badly if I got a female 2- to 3-month-old kitten?

A: Consider a few factors before adopting a cat or kitten to keep your adult cat company: the age, the personalities and the histories of both your resident cat and the newcomer.

I usually do not recommend pairing a kitten with an adult cat, although there are always exceptions. The age discrepancy between your adult cat and a kitten can be a challenge. Your 6-year-old resident cat is not as active as a kitten. Kittens, by definition, play incessantly, whereas adult cats prefer napping in between moderate to small amount of playtime.

Your resident cat might enjoy and bond with a new cat. If your resident cat has a history of successfully living with other cats, then he will probably do fine with a new friend, as long as you introduce your cats gradually to each other. Every cat is different. Some would rather remain the King and Queen of their households and are not willing to share their people and their territory with other cats.

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Reader Comments

Christine    International

7/3/2014 11:14:09 AM

We have an American short hair 2 yo neutered male cat and are soon adopting a 9 week old angora and maine coon mix male kitten. My 2yo cat is very loving, lap cat, and follows us everywhere. He is more of a mellow tempered cat and can become shy around noisy environments. I have had a lot of cats in the past and understand to introduce them slowly, however, would the same sex be an issue? We may be able to change to a female kitten but have our hearts set on the male. As soon as the kitten is able to be neutered we will do so. Any advise on the breed combination/ same sex/ age difference?

Ryan    Espanola, NM

6/4/2014 1:22:17 AM

Hi my question is how to get my cat's to get along with the new kitten I just got it's about 6 weeks old nd a female but I have a male who I've had for about 5-1/2 years now and a female who is about 4yrs old and is also the daughter of the male.they have not attacked it just hiss,growl at it and also they hide and I don't know what to do.?

Rowan    Bromyard, AL

6/2/2014 8:50:00 AM

Is there a problem with getting 2 male kittens and putting them in a female cat's space?

sheina    ballarat, VI

1/16/2014 6:13:00 PM

I have a two year old cat he is a very friendly boy but we got him from the rspca so we don't know if he would like a kitten we have a dog whos very much like a kitten and he loves her... I was planning on getting a kitten - a female because that's the only way that he would like her. does it matter what gender/age...

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