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

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...

Danielle    odenton, MD

11/3/2013 2:23:48 PM

We have a 10 year old male who lost his best friend about a year ago. We knew we wanted another feline just wasn't sure if we wanted a kitten or cat. Well my daughter wanted a kitten so bad because she never had a baby cat. Our male is a very gentle cat and loves to look after things, so went with a kitten. Its been over a month and so far so good. I introduced them slowly like every website says to do. My 10 year old has not once done anything mean to our little girl kitten. The 10 year old has found new spunk in him. He is playing and chasing with kitten. I do not let the kitten roam at night yet. Just because she is into everything. I did get A female kitten because I heard an older male can become territoral with a younger male kitten. Hope this helps!

Holly    Bethel, MO

10/5/2013 11:24:19 PM

We have a 7 yr old cat and got a 6 week old kitten. the older cat didn't like her at first but after a week or so they got along now she is a little over year old and they will not leave each others side for a long period of time and they will moew for each other if they cant see each other near.

CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

10/1/2013 10:03:57 AM

Lindy -- You did the right thing by adopting a female. That will help ease relations, as long as they are both fixed. Because they're both young, you might wind up with a playful pair who will entertain each other.

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